South Dakota Trivia

How long has the Flaming Fountain in Pierre been burning?

According to Harold Schuler’s book, Pierre Since 1910, “In 1964, Ken Williams, building and grounds superintendent, ignited the gas flowing from the 1944 artesian well [which supplies the water for Capitol Lake]. A flaming fountain has burned since that time.”


South Dakota is a leader in honey production.

In recognition of its importance to the state’s farm economy, the honey bee (Apis Mellifera L.) was adopted as the state insect in 1978. Our mild, clear clover honey is often shipped out-of-state to be blended with darker honey.

How much corn is needed to create the murals that adorn the Corn Palace?

The Corn Palace was built in 1892 to entice settlers to the area by showcasing the abundant crops farmers could grow in the rich South Dakota soil. Today, the Corn Palace continues to showcase South Dakota’s agricultural heritage by using more than 3,000 bushels of corn and 40 tons of other grains and native grasses to create outdoor murals depicting South Dakota scenes.

South Dakota is well-known for its excellent state parks and recreation areas.

There are twelve state parks, 50 state recreation areas and three state nature areas.

What are the cardinal virtues in Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tradition?

“Woksape” (wisdom), “woohitika” (bravery), “wowacintanka” (fortitude) and “wacantognaka” (generosity).

The George S. Mickelson Trail stretches the length of South Dakota’s beautiful Black Hills covering 114 miles.
It follows an abandoned railroad bed, and climbs gently into jagged cliffs and pine forests. The Mickelson Trail has a crushed limestone surface and wide path. It tops out at 6,100 feet.

Who wrote a much-beloved series of books about her childhood on the prairies of South Dakota?

Author Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteaded in De Smet, S.D., with her pioneering family at the age of 12. The farming community and surrounding prairie served as the setting for six of her much beloved “Little House” books.

In 1743 the LaVerendrye Brothers, exploring for France, become the first white men to leave proof of their presence in South Dakota.
They buried a lead plate on a hill on the west bank of the Missouri River near present day Fort Pierre to claim the area for France.


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