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The prairie restoration, with grasses and other native plants being reestablished, began in 2001 New Balance Soccer Cleats Black

The explorers were told that the Indians believed the hill to be the residence of "little people or spirits."

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New Balance Women Runners

New Balance Women Runners

3 National Music Museum, 414 E. Clark St. The National Music Museum features world renowned collections of musical instruments and related materials and serves as an international center for collecting and conserving musical instruments of all cultures.

´╗┐historic prairie treasure

The first homestead was filed on Spirit Mound in 1868, and settlers established two farmsteads, planted groves and windbreaks, and divided cultivated fields with barbed wire. Most of the site was farmed, with the remainder in pasture, Wetmore says.

"It's kind of a journey through time in a sense," Heisinger says, adding that the light colored Niobrara chalk at the top of the mound is 65 million years old.

"They saw a lot of bison, antelope, elk big herds. It almost becomes real when you stand here," Heisinger says as he surveys the landscape from the top of the mound.

Thanks to descriptions recorded in their journals, historians know that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark stood on the top of Spirit Mound, viewed the extensive prairie below and endeavored to understand the mystery of the site.

What's been restored so far, however, is incredible, Wetmore says. "It's a tremendously interesting nature area."

not to miss

In 1974, Spirit Mound was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, in order to provide Spirit Mound visitors with an opportunity similar to what Lewis and Clark experienced, the site is being restored by the Spirit Mound Trust and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, Wetmore says.

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"Clark wrote a pretty vivid description of the day," says Mark Wetmore, vice president and treasurer of the Spirit Mound Trust board of directors. "It was a stifling hot day and was really the first time after four months of struggling against the current of the Missouri that they took a day off."

VERMILLION It's not a long hike to the top of Spirit Mound just seven tenths of a mile but the story and beauty of the land stretches much farther, attracting history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike to the area.

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But most notable is Spirit Mound's connection to Lewis and Clark.

4 John A. Day Gallery, Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on the University of South Dakota campus. The art gallery annually features 15 18 exhibits, ranging from multimedia installations and juried competitions to student exhibitions.

Vermillion offers small town charm and a unique blend of art and culture, history, education, entertainment and fun. Here are five more things to do while there.

and will take decades of growth before it becomes a good representation of the prairie as seen by the expedition.

"They had heard that there were little people with sharp arrows living on the mound 18 inch tall spirits who could shoot arrows two miles and hit their targets," Heisinger says.

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At the mound nine miles away from where they New Balance Navy Mens

New Balance Women Runners

5 Shakespeare Garden, located in front of the Pardee Laboratories Building on the USD campus. The garden features every flower, herb and shrub from columbine to wormwood mentioned in Shakespeare's works.

New Balance Women Runners


New Balance Women Runners

1 Valiant Vineyards, 1500 W. Main St. Take a tour of South Dakota's oldest winery. Tours include a look at the winemaking facility, cask room and bottling area with an expert guide and conclude with a wine tasting. Stay the night at the winery's bed and breakfast. Over Museum, 1110 University St. The museum collects, preserves and documents objects relating to South Dakota's natural and cultural history, including fossils, photographs, works of art and archaeological artifacts.

It's a long process, Heisinger says, and it isn't without its share of problems particularly where there was once a feedlot. "From feedlot to prairie is a difficult transition," he says. "The ground has such an elevated pH level. Prairie plants don't thrive in such a rich soil, so it's a New Balance 4040v3 Molded

docked at the Missouri River Lewis and Clark didn't find any little people but wrote that they found a "most butifull landscape."

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For 55 years after Lewis and Clark's visit, the area remained the land of the Yankton Sioux, with fur traders conducting business from nearby posts on the Missouri River. In 1859, the Yankton Sioux moved to a reservation 70 miles west, and Congress created Dakota Territory in 1861.

Because the Missouri River has shifted in the past 200 years, there are very few places where a person can stand today and know that Lewis and Clark stood in the same exact location, Heisinger says. Over Museum in Vermillion. "It's an easy walk to the top, and when you get there you can look around and see every distance, every direction. It's just an intriguing part of American history."

Although there are other hills nearby, the mound, New Balance Women Runners in its relative isolation near Vermillion, is striking. Geologists call this kind of formation a roche moutone, a bedrock knob that was shaped but not leveled by the last Pleistocene glacier 13,000 years ago, says Jim Heisinger, a retired University of South Dakota biology professor and president of the Spirit Mound Trust board of directors.

Corn will be planted in that area this year, Wetmore says. "We're hoping that the corn will pull some of those minerals out of the soil so we're able to plant native grasses there. The site will look a little funny this year, but we're hoping it works."

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