~ Falls Park on the Big Sioux River ~

I made a few stops along my way to Washington. One of those stops was Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

About 10,000 B.C., as the Wisconsin glacier retreated at the end of the last Ice Age, the first humans came into this region. These nomadic hunters pursued mammoths and other large mammals. Now known as Paleoindians, their spears were tipped with fluted stone points.
These people were replaced about 5500 B.C. by Archaic hunter-gatherers whose way of life focused on hunting smaller game and harvesting wild plants. About 2000 years ago, Woodland Indians moved here, introducing pottery, earth lodge villages, burial mounds and the bow and arrow.
Plains Village groups were the next to arrive. They cultivated large gardens and built sizable permanent communities. In 1000 A.D. ancestors of the Missouri River Mandan lived in a fortified village near Brandon and in the 1500s, a large Oneota settlement spanned the Big Sioux River at Blood Run.
By the nid-1700s, the Sioux, a nomadic Plains group, displaced the less militant permanent villagers. Lastly, Sioux Falls City was founded by Euroamerican settlers who arrived in 1856.

Source: Sioux Falls Park signs




Park Art




"Two Eagles" In memory of Walt and Cleo Savage

"American Farmer" by Sondra Konson


"Monarch Of The Plains" This sculpture by Darold E. Bailey was the first sculpture to reside at Falls Park. Large herds of bison roamed the area of Sioux Falls in the 1800s.
U.S. government officials actively destroyed bison to defeat their Native American enemies who resisted the takeover of their lands by white settlers. American military commanders ordered troops to kill buffalo to deny Native Americans an important source of food.
"Buffalo" Bill Cody, who was hired to kill bison, slaughtered more than 4,000 bison in two years.

Source: pbs.org


"The vast granite walls which have stood for years, rugged and wildly picturesque,a great and inspiring example of the handwork of God, are being smoothed away by the kiss of hammer and the marvelous power of the explosive." SF Press, November 29, 1907
Originally, there were three series of falls within Falls Park. The Upper and Main Falls still exist. However, by 1913, the Lower Falls were eliminated. First quarrying companies mined the Sioux Quartzite rock and boulders for building stone and street pavers. In 1912, the remaining rock was removed to improve the flow of water for the hydroelectric plant.
Elimination of the Lower Falls was just one of many changes made to the Big Sioux River's course by industries. Creation of the mill pond dam and elimination of the river channel around the west side of Seney Island were other changes to the river that were made to benefit the Queen Bee Mill and Sioux Falls Light & Power.

Source: Park signs

Pipestone (Sioux Quartzite) in the park



Main Falls











Upper Falls












Sioux Falls Park at dusk


Music is "Silver Spring"

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