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Stanley County: History and the Outdoors


PIERRE, S.D. – Stanley County, located in central South Dakota, is bordered entirely by the Missouri River to the east. Fort Pierre is located within this county.

Water recreation is a big attraction in Fort Pierre, where access to the Missouri River makes activities like boating, water skiing and jet skiing a top choice for fun. World-class walleye fishing can be found in Lake Oahe, along with an assortment of smallmouth bass, perch and salmon.

In addition to the great outdoor activities that surround Stanley County, art and history abound in the region as well. Casey Tibbs, born and raised 50 miles northwest of Ft. Pierre, is world-renown for his contributions to, and accomplishments in, professional rodeo. The Casey Tibbs Foundation is located in Ft. Pierre and serves to promote the sport of rodeo and preserve its heritage.

In 1742 the Verendrye Brothers went in search of a water route to China. While the French-Canadian brothers did not find a route to China, they were among the first newcomers to visit the South Dakota plains. To mark their visit, the brothers placed a lead plate on a hill in present day Ft. Pierre. It lay undisturbed for 170 years. The Verendrye plate is on permanent display at the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society.

The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties. This profile was researched and compiled by Jennifer Anderson, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.


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