Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

We continue to make our way north and west, and have spent the past couple of nights near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We are staying at the Big Sioux Recreation Area, which is part of their state park system. The sites are nice and large, but we have yet to see a staff member or ranger since we've been here.

You make your reservations on line, pay on line, and then just pull on in. The little office has been locked ever since we arrived and no one answers the phone. Strange...

We decided to visit Falls Park today, which contains the falls that the city was named for. The city was built along the banks of the Big Sioux River, and the falls were the center of a planned industrial area.
Sioux Falls
As waterfalls go these are pretty modest, The total drop is about 50', with the highest individual fall at 25'. The rock that forms the river bed is Sioux Quartite, an extremely hard and durable rock that was used to construct large buildings throughout the area.
Sioux Quartzite
The Queen Bee Mill was constructed at the falls in 1881 and was intended to be the centerpiece of the industrial area. The seven-story mill was capable of producing more than four times the amount of flour of a typical mill. Unfortunately it required large amounts of both high-quality wheat and water, and both of those things were in short supply. The mill went bankrupt in just two years, and burned in 1956. All that remains is the foundation walls.
Remains of the Queen Bee Mill
Onward we go!!


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