Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Williston North Dakota



April 7, 1805
Our explorers survived the long cold Winter. They spent 5 months at Fort Mandan and must have been anxious to continue their journey.
Spring brought rain and they watched closely as the ice on the Missouri broke up and cleared.  Meriwether Lewis wrote with astonishment about the agility of the “Indians” jumping from one small piece of ice to another in order to retrieve buffalo that had fallen into the river and drowned.

They were as prepared to continue as they could be.

“Our vessels consisted of six small canoes, and two large pirogues. This little fleet altho’ not quite so rispectable as those of Columbus or Capt. Cook, were still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those deservedly famed adventurers” Meriwether Lewis April 7, 1805

The Keelboat and crew left  with instructions to make their way down river to St Louis “without loss of time”. They took with them government dispatches, specimens for the Philosophical Society, reports for President Jefferson and private correspondence.
The 2 pirogues and 6 dugout canoes set a course that day to continue up the Missouri. Their party included 33 people. Captains Lewis and Clark, 3 sergeants, 23 privates, Clarks servant York, George Drulliard as hunter and interpreter, Toussaint Charbonneau and Sacagawea as interpreters and their baby boy Jean Baptiste.
The smaller vessels allowed them much less storage space so they carried considerably less. Trade goods, writing implements and books, navigational and surveying tools, as well as a tipi for officers and interpreters to sleep in were all packed aboard. They still carried Lewis' iron boat.
The explorers anticipated traveling more quickly without the heavy keelboat, expecting to make 20-25 miles a day. The canoes were described as clumsy and sometimes had to be dragged or poled through the water. When the wind was behind them they could raise square sails and travel at about three miles an hour. They made very good time, traveling over 90 miles in the first 4 days.
Food was obtained on a daily basis by hunting and fishing. Sacagawea proved her value as a team member by foraging for wild licorice, Jerusalem Artichokes and other edible plants. Her contribution to the groups diet likely kept them from suffering diseases like scurvy that are caused by nutritional deficiencies.
Confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers
On April 25, 1805 they reached the confluence of the Yellowstone River and were in what is now the state of Montana. They made camp about two miles south of the confluence and had a celebration. Private Joseph Field was sent one day’s journey up the Yellowstone River to bring back descriptions of the rivers nature and course.
The men were impressed with the landscape and with the plentiful game.

The land stretches on to the horizon with nary a tree in sight

“The country on both sides of the missouri from the tops of river hills, is one continuous level fertile plain as far as the eye can reach, in which there is not even a solitary tree or shrub to be seen.” Meriwether Lewis April 10, 1805

“Set out this morning at an early hour; the wind was favourable and we employed our sales to advantage. Captain Clark walked on shore this morning, and I proceeded with the party, we saw great quantities of game today; consisting of the common and mule deer, Elk, Buffaloe, and Antelopes; also four brown bear” Meriwether Lewis April 28, 1805

Lewis was impressed with the persistent hunting skills exhibited by western Grey Wolves and developed respect for the grizzly bear after several frightening encounters with the ferocious creatures.

Heading further west on May 8, 1805 they found and named the MIlk River.

Naming of the Milk River 
A few days later on May 14th, a frightening incident almost lost them the white pirogue and most of their equipment. The pirogue was steered by Toussaint Charbonneau when a “sudon squawl of wind struck her”. Charbonneau panicked and was unwilling or unable to correct the course until threatened at gunpoint by Private Cruzat to “take hold of the tiller” The pirogue containing the captain’s papers, instruments, medicine, books and trade goods was swamped with water and nearly lost. The Captains did not think much of Charbonneau prior to this incident calling him “the most timid waterman” but Lewis wrote of Sacagawea:

“the indian woman to whom I ascribe equal fortitude and resolution, with any person onboard at the time of the accedent, caught and preserved most of the light articles which were washed overboard.”

They spent two days camped and drying out the contents of the pirogue. Losses included a few medicines and gunpowder ruined by the water, and kitchen tools which sank.

North Dakota's Badlands
September 6, 2017
We have made it to our last stop in North Dakota. Williston is an oil boom town so close to the Montana border that we have crossed it without even realizing.  Our RV park is on the top of a hill overlooking the city and Montana in the distance. The drive here was beautiful through part of North Dakota’s Badlands. We enjoyed looking at those weather carved cliffs and stopped at a turnout to enjoy them while we ate a leisurely lunch. We plan to drive back down this way to see Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s North Unit. The entrance to it is right up this road.


September 7, 2017
Today we drove to the Missouri Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center. The Center has a wonderful Lewis and Clark exhibit but also serves to tell the story of the history of this part of North Dakota. The personal stories of the men and women that settled this state are astounding. Such perseverance and bravery were needed every day to make a life in this environment.
We walked a paved trail down to the water in order to see the rivers coming together. It’s a beautiful spot populated with ducks and white pelicans on the surface with huge catfish swimming in the shallows.

Commanding Officer's Quarters at Fort Buford. Sitting Bull negotiated the terms of his surrender here.
Fort Buford, a military fort and supply depot, is close by. This place was noted as a defensible position by Lewis and Clark, although it was not built until 1866 during the years of westward expansion. The fort is most well known for being the place that Sitting Bull surrendered to the United States Army after the Battle of Little Bighorn.
13 striped ground squirrels inhabit the grounds of Fort Buford.
We noticed holes and hills in the grounds and thought they were prairie dogs until seeing small chipmunk like animals. The 13 striped ground squirrels are the only current residents of the fort.


September 9, 2017
A reconstruction of Fort Union Trading Post sits on the Montana-North Dakota border where the Missouri once flowed right outside its gates. This National Historic Site looks as it did in 1851 when John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company owned it. There is even a large fur press on the dock area that was used to bundle the traded furs into bales for shipment down river to Missouri. This is our first experience of a whitewashed wood fort and it is an impressive sight.

Camping area at Fort Union Trading Post
The side of the fort away from the river has a large expanse of land where native American trappers camped while negotiating with the fur traders. Exhibits inside describe the elaborate trade rituals of pipe smoking and gift exchanges that preceded those dealings.


The Assiniboine, Crow, Hidatsa, Cree, Mandan, Sioux, Arikara  and Ojibwa people traded here for 60 years before aggressive western expansion after the Civil War destroyed the native American way of life.
The river is now miles in the distance but you can still imagine the busy place this must have been when steamboats and keelboats pulled up to the dock.
Fort Union Trading Post is in North Dakota but the grounds include a portion of Montana. We took the opportunity to stop for a photo op "on the line"
Stopping on the state line.
Driving back to the RV Park we saw signs for a Lewis and Clark Trail Museum and followed them into the small town of Alexander, North Dakota. The museum is housed in an old 3 story brick schoolhouse built in 1914.
Eerie looking petrified wood tree stumps
The grounds contain an interesting display of petrified wood in the form of tree stumps. They were found during excavation of a local highway and moved to the museums lawn. The large stumps have the color of driftwood and the texture of stone. Neither tree nor stone they are visually disturbing and look as though they came from another world.
The museum's first floor contains a wall sized map of the Lewis and Clark Trail. It was fun to trace our steps on such a large scale and to realize that we have only covered about 30% of the distance they traveled. We took a quick walk through the rest of the museum. Collections include a Country Store, a Post Office, a Millinery Store and a Shoe Repair Shop. The Lewis and Clark portion of the museum was no different than those we have already seen. The beauty of their collection is the glimpse that it gives you of local life at the time of the pioneers in McKenzie County.

September 13, 2018
We have entered Big Sky Country and it is living up to its name. The great northern plains continue with sightlines to the horizon and unless you are near a home that has planted a windbreak there is hardly a tree to be seen. It is no wonder as he traveled this huge area that has become Montana that Meriwether Lewis wrote that he longed for his first glimpse of the great rocky mountains.
The city of Glasgow sits at the spot where the Milk River enters the Missouri. The explorers named because of its slightly opaque appearance “like tea with a tablespoon of milk in it”. The explorers spent 2 weeks in this area camping along the portion of the Missouri that is now swallowed up behind the dam in Fort Peck Lake. Today is our first real experience of smoke conditions from the fires in western Montana and visibility was limited.

Fort Peck Lake with smoke conditions
We visited the Fort Peck Dam and its interpretive center where a small Lewis and Clark exhibit is surrounded by dinosaurs.

Peck's Rex discovered 20 miles south of Fort Peck Dam
Fort Peck Dam is on Montana’s Dinosaur Trail and the evidence to prove that lives here in the skeletal remains of a T-Rex and many other dinosaur species.

The size of the Xiphactinus fish was frightening especially his teeth.
The city of Glasgow is home to a Pioneer Museum that has a life sized exhibit of Lewis and Clark naming the Milk River.
Our favorite find there was an old covered wagon labeled as an early style camper.  It made us feel right at home.

I think the ride was a little rougher than what we are used to.

Look at the size of the stove in this early camper
We have decided to head north and leave the trail for a few days. We are very close to Canada and the Wild Horse Border Crossing so are going to take the opportunity to spend some time in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Who knows when we will be this close again!

Poppies at the confluence center

Fort Buford and the Missouri Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center
15349 39th Lane NW
Williston, North Dakota

Fort Union Trading Post
15550 ND-1804
Williston, North Dakota

The Lewis and Clark Trail Museum
102 Indiana Ave E
Alexander, North Dakota

Glasgow Valley County Pioneer Museum
816 US Hwy 2 W

Glasgow, Montana

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mandan, North Dakota

Statue of Sakakawea at the North Dakota Heritage Center. Leonard Crunelle 1910
October 21, 1804
The explorers idyllic days on the river ended with the first snowfall of the season. 
They had been searching for a good place to spend the Winter and the early arrival of freezing temperatures hastened those plans. They ended up making camp near the Mandan Villages, a settlement that had been described to them by British and French fur trappers.
The Mandan Villages were located on a bluff overlooking the river and downstream from the Knife River where an allied tribe, the Hidatsa also had established communities. There were 5 separate villages that housed over 4000 people. The Mandan had a peaceful reputation and were known to welcome visitors. The Mandan villages were an established Winter trading hub for trappers and Native Americans.
earth lodge village
The Expedition reached them on October 26, 1804.
They had traveled 1600 miles up the Missouri from Wood River camp.
It had taken them 7 months to do so.
The Corps met with Mandan and Hidatsa leaders giving their official Indian speech and small gifts. It was agreed that the explorers could build their fort nearby.  Sheheke, one of the Mandan chiefs told them

 "Our wish is to be at peace with you. If we eat, you shall eat; If we starve you must starve also."

Fort Mandan
Fort construction began on November 3, 1804 with the building of 2 rows of log cabins. The cabins were surrounded by a 12-15 foot tall palisade fence. The only construction material available to them was cottonwood which is poor for building purposes. Its excessive shrinkage as the wood dried over the Winter left them with open spaces where cold air could blow in.
The soldiers readied their own shared quarters. There were officers rooms, a guard house, and blacksmith shop. They moved in on November 20th.

One of the rows of huts.
"We this day moved into our huts which are now completed. This place which we call Fort Mandan, is situated on a point of low ground, on the north side of the Missouri, covered with tall and heavy cottonwood. The works consist of 2 rows of huts or sheds, forming an angle where they joined each other: each row containing 4 rooms, of 14 feet square and 7 feet high, with plank cieling , and the roof slanting so as to form a loft above the rooms, the highest part of which is 8 feet from the ground:"     Nicholas Biddle's published account of the expedition 

Fort Mandan was completed and Winter was upon them. Expedition members stayed busy with hunting parties needing meat for themselves and also to trade for dried corn and vegetables. 
The Captains spent a great deal of time writing their reports for President Jefferson. The blacksmiths made necessary repairs of equipment and created a decorative sort of hatchet out of scrap iron from one of the Keelboat's stoves that was nearly worn out. The hatchets would prove very valuable in trading for food over the long Winter. 
The men worked together to dig out wooden canoes to transport them up the river in Spring.

They entertained. 
Hidatsa and Mandan chiefs as well as fur traders came to visit. 
William Clark interviewed each of them carefully seeking information about the land and people to the West. 
They met Pierre Charbonneau and his young wife Sakakawea, pregnant at the time. Charbonneau and Sakakawea were hired as interpreters and came to live at Fort Mandan. I cannot imagine the complicated communication that these conversations must have been. Clark speaking English to  fur trader/interpreter Rene Jessaume who translated the words into French for Pierre Charbonneau who translated the words into Hidatsa for Sakakawea who spoke them to the native american with a combination of hand signals and words of their own dialect.

It was a severe Winter with heavy snow. 
Captain Clark recorded temperatures as low as minus 21 degrees at the fort. The river froze over enough that the buffalo could cross without falling through the ice. 
The Corps of Discovery spent 146 nights at Fort Mandan.

August 30, 2017

We have reached Mandan North Dakota, near the 1804 Winter home of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Interior of an earth lodge at On a Slant Village
Fort Abraham Lincoln is just south of us, situated not far above the river. The State Park is home to On a Slant Village, a reconstructed Mandan Village. This village would have been one of those abandoned villages spoken about in the expeditions journals. 
Archaeological evidence supports the presence of an earth house village in this place from 1575-1781. A smallpox epidemic and attacks from the nearby Lakota decimated the original Mandan inhabitants. The survivors moved north to join the communities near the confluence of the knife river.  
The current village is a series of earth lodges built in traditional fashion. They are 20-40 feet in diameter with ceilings 10-15 feet high. The lodge is built over a wooden frame. The wood poles are covered with a thick layer of willow branches, then a thick layer of grass and finally a thick layer of earth. As time passes the earth layer blooms with flowers and grasses becoming one of the prairie. A hole is left open in the center to allow smoke from the fire to escape. 
Doorway covered by a buffalo robe
Each earth lodge serves as a one room museum that features an aspect of Mandan life.
Fort Abraham Lincoln is also significant as being the home of George Custer's 7th Regiment.
The North Dakota Heritage Center near the Capitol in Bismark has a beautiful statue of Sakakawea and her son Jeanne Baptist Charbonneau.


Sakakawea is an american folk hero that has inspired books and stories but very little is actually known about here. Even the spelling of her name is disputed. Here I am using the version that the State of North Dakota has officially adopted but other spellings are just as valid. 
Sakakwea was valuable to the expedition for her ability to interpret native language. She was from the western part of the country having been kidnapped from the Shoshone as a teenager. Although not a guide she was able to  recognize some landmarks as they neared her home. The young woman was also able to identify edible plants on their journey west. 
Fort Mandan and the Knife River Villages are about an hours drive from Mandan, located in what is now Washburn, North Dakota. It was a beautiful drive through prairie land with occasional views of Lake Sakakawea.
The fort is a reconstruction and is estimated to be about 12 miles from the original site. That site is currently under Lake Sakakawea, behind the Garrison Dam. 
The fort has a small but informative Interpretive Center and guided tours of the rooms of the fort itself. It was pretty amazing to see the wood structures and tiny rooms that would have served multiple people. Beds and lofts were shared sleeping head to feet and covered with buffalo robes. I had a hard time thinking of sleeping right next to someones feet in an era when bathing was not common. 

Statue of Seaman at Fort Mandan
I think my favorite part of Fort Mandan is a larger than life statue of Seaman, in a park overlooking the river. He is sculpted sitting in his own garden with a very happy expression.
The Knife River Villages were home to the Hidatsa and where Charbonneau and Sakakawea lived before joining the expedition. It is a National Historic Site dedicated to preserving Hidatsa culture. The Interpretive Center had exhibits of the dried vegetables that would have been traded to expedition members. 

Cutaway of food storage cache holding Winter vegetables
It was interesting to see a cutaway example of the cache in which they would have been stored underground. The members Lewis and Clark Expedition owe their health and perhaps even their survival to the planning of the Hidatsa and Mandan farming community, and their willingness to share goods through trade. It would have been difficult to survive the Winter on meat along, especially when the game became so thin that the only thing they could salvage from an animal were the organs.

The circular depressions in the ground are the site of former earth lodges
Outdoors we were able to see an example of an earth lodge and then walk the travois trail down to the banks of the river. As you walk and look out over the grassland you can see circular depressions in the earth that were once the site of lodges. The source of widely traded knife river flint is nearby and has also been designated a National Historic Landmark. 
It was exciting to see where the Corps of Discovery spent so much of their time. Walking in Fort Mandan we could picture them huddled around a fire, writing in their journals and working on various chores. We walked the banks of the Knife River and counted those circles, imagining each one a home, seeing the children playing between them. 
This is a beautiful place but it is not hard to envision the long waiting, the impatience at the halt in the journey and the desire to continue west. 
Up until this point other white men had preceded them, now they were waiting at the edge of unexplored territory. 

"The beginning of the real unknown" Meriwether Lewis 


North Dakota Heritage Center
612 E. Boulevard Ave
Bismark, North Dakota

North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
2576 8th St SW
Washburn, North Dakota

Fort Mandan
838 28th Ave SW
Washburn, North Dakota

Knife River Villages NHS
564 County Rd 37
Stanton, North Dakota

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
4480 Fort Lincoln Rd
Bismark, North Dakota

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Back on the trail of Lewis and Clark: Mobridge, South Dakota


8/29/2017
Detour over.
We are back on the mission of following the Lewis and Clark Trail and have moved north and east to Mobridge South Dakota.
Mobridge is a small city on the Missouri River that got its name when the bridge over the river was being built in 1924. A telegraph operator abbreviated when he transmitted Mo bridge completed and the city gained its name. There were 5 Missouri River bridges being built in South Dakota at the time and it was a grand accomplishment to be the first to finish the task.


Murals painted by Oscar Howe at the Scherr-Howe Event Center in Mobridge
The Scherr-Howe Event Center is the city's auditorium.  It is a small basketball arena with a stage on one side of the court and bleachers on the other.  The space brought back fond memories of the small school in upstate New York where we both attended high school.


Mural of Sacajawea with the expedition on the banks of the Missouri.
The event center was built in the 1930's as a WPA project. We visited to see it's artwork. The sidewalls of the arena are painted with a series of 10 murals depicting the history of the Yanctonai Dakota as they began to interact with traders, explorers and settlers.
The murals were painted by Oscar Howe as part of the WPA project. They were completed in 1942. Mr. Howe joined the military when the United States entered WWII but was given a 12 day furlough to finish the murals before reporting for active duty. Oscar Howe is an accomplished Native American artist and these are some of his earliest works.
Border details around the event center complement the murals.
We were particularly interested in the panel that highlights Sacajawea with members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on the banks of the Missouri River. I also appreciated all of the patterned borders that decorated the spaces between the murals.


Sitting Bull Monument
Outside Mobridge, at the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, there are 2 monuments on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River.
The first is a large granite bust of the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux leader Sitting Bull. The charismatic chief lead the people in their resistance of the US governments policies over their lands. He fought in Custer's defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, spent several years in exile in Canada, and later toured with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in an effort to bring attention to the plight of Native American people. He was killed in 1890 during an attempt to arrest him for alleged participation in the Ghost Dance movement. He was 59 years old.
Sitting Bull was buried without ceremony at Fort Yates in South Dakota. His remains were stolen from that place in 1953 and moved here near the place of his birth.
The bust that marks his grave was carved by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski-the same artist that designed and began the Crazy Horse monument.


Sacajawea Monument
Sacajawea is also remebered by a tall pillar and bronze plaque that describes the contributions of "Bird Woman" to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sacajawea is believed to have died at the age of 25 at the nearby Fort Manuel Lisa. The only documentation of her death is a journal entry by trapper John Luttig on December 20, 1812. 

"This Evening the Wife of Charbonneau, a Snake Squaw, died of a putrid fever, she was a good and the best Women in the fort, aged abt 25 years she left a fine infant girl."

The monument was erected in 1929 and was built with funds collected by local school children with a penny project.



October 10, 1804
The expedition has traveled up the Missouri to present day Mobridge. They are feeling safer having had no further contact with the aggressive Teton Sioux. They passed a large inhabited island and were impressed with the fields planted with tobacco, corn, beans and squash. They later wrote of being fed a "boil" of those vegetables, referred to as the 3 sisters.
The planting of these 3 vegetables together was intelligent farming. The cornstalks provided a strong upright for the beans to climb on and the squash plants with their broad leaves shaded the soil holding in moisture. The corn, beans and squash could be preserved by drying and eaten during the long Winter months. 
I have ordered Three Sisters Soup a few times since we left Nebraska. The soups I was served were flavored with seasonings that would not have been available to the Arikara, but the blend of 3 main ingredients is consistent. This recipe from the Food Network seems close to what I have enjoyed. 

William Clark wrote about the earth lodges of the people that he called Rickerees and we know to as the Arikara.

"Live in warm houses, large and built in an oxigon form forming a cone at the top which is left open for smoke to pass, those houses are Generally 30 or 40 foot Diamiter, Covd. with earth on poles willows & grass to prevent the earths passing thro'"     William Clark October 12, 1804
Clark also described the Arikara's reaction to York.

"Those Indians wer much astonished at my Servent they never Saw a black man before, all flocked around him & examined him from top to toe" He went on to tellof York's playing games with the children making himself "more turribul than we wished him to doe"

October 14, 1804
The Court Martial of Private John Newman was held. He was charged with insubordination and sentenced to 75 lashes. He was no longer permitted to work on the keel boat. He would remain with the party until Spring when he would be returned to St. Louis for discharge from the Army.  This sentence upset the Arikara who had no experience of corporal punishment.

"The punishment of this day allarmed. the Indian Chief verry much, he cried aloud.....his nation never whiped even their Children, from their burth." William Clark 

Early the next morning the expedition set up river toward the Mandan. Their journal entries for that period of time describe ample hunting, sunny days full of beautiful scenery and relief from the constant annoyance of mosquitoes. Stephen Ambrose described that part of their journey in his book about the expedition Undaunted Courage.

"If there ever was a time in which the Lewis and Clark Expedition bore some resemblance to a bunch of guys out on a long camping trip, it was the first part of October 1804"



Sitting Bull Monument and Sacajawea Monument
From US Hwy 12 just west of the river in Mobridge turn South onto 1806 and drive 4 miles to the gravesite.

Scherr-Howe Event Center murals
212 Main Street
Mobridge, South Dakota



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Norwegian Chapel in the Hills, Rapid City


There is a little bit of Norway in Rapid City North Dakota, in the form of a stavkirke a Norwegian "stave church". 
The Chapel in the Hills is a peaceful place on a quiet residential street on the west side of Rapid City, near Canyon Lake. 
Its soaring roof line topped with Viking dragons looks at home among the tall pine trees that surround it.

There are dragons on the roof.
The beautiful golden brown of the Ponderosa Pine it is built from gleams with age.
A stavkirke is built on a stone base. Here the stone was also used to build a walkway, staircase and retaining walls down to the lawn. The stone complements the wooden structure and contributes to the peaceful feel of the property.

wild turkeys provided a welcoming committee.
We visited early on a weekday morning. Our only company was the docent at the Visitor Center and a flock of wild turkeys.
The Visitor Center is a piece of art in itself. 

The stabbur serves as a Visitor Center
The building is a stabbur, a traditional Norwegian grass roofed storage building. This particular building was crafted in Norway, shipped to South Dakota in pieces and assembled here.
The Chapel in the Hills is a Lutheran church built in 1969 as exact replica of the Borgund Stavkirke near Laerdal, Norway. The architects used a copy of the original blueprints from 1150 AD to guide the construction.

Staves and roof detail
A stavkirke is named for the staves, the large log pillars that support its weight. 
There are 16 of them bracing the Chapel in the Hills.

Carving on the door casing.
The doorways have intricate carvings.
The roof is made of thousands of hand carved wooden shingles.
The interior of the chapel is small and the furnishings are simple. They are also made of wood.

Simple wooden benches for servises.
We were told that the entire structure is held together with wooden pins. The only metal used in the construction was for door hardware, which is also handcrafted.
The property also features a meditation trail and a tiny log cabin museum.

Norwegian prospectors log cabin.
The log cabin was built during the Black Hills Gold Rush by a Norwegian prospector. It was recently acquired and moved to the Chapel in the Hills site to serve as a repository for Norwegian art and artifacts. We were able to see some antique kitchen equipment and furnishings as well as examples of Rosemaling and the Norwegian embroidery called Hardanger. I particularly enjoyed the Steinulfr carved Rune Stones on the Museum path.




The Dakotas was a destination for thousands of Norwegian immigrants in the late 1800's. Some came to seek riches in the form of Black Hills gold. Others were fleeing land shortages and were drawn to the farmlands of North and South Dakota. The Chapel in the Hills honors their heritage.
You can attend evening services nightly at 7:30 at the Chapel in the Hills during the Summer months.

Chapel in the Hills
3788 Chapel Lane
Rapid City, South Dakota


This stone is raised to honor our warriors for loyal service. .Remember our warriors who fought and died for their homeland. God help their souls.  

This stone is raised to honor our forefathers who sailed the western sea. They made their homes in a new land.