Historical Landmarks in the Great Plains

Mount Rushmore
The great plains begin in Canada, go through Midwest United States and as far south as Texas and New Mexico. The Great Plains was where the pioneers set off for California, where Lewis and Clark started on their journey of exploration, and where the fur traders and Native Americans met to trade. Today the Great Plains are home to national parks with camping, boating and hiking, and locations that are on the National List of Historical Places.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (picture above) is open daily, 365 days a year. It took 400 skilled workers 14 years to complete, finishing in 1941. The heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are each 60 feet tall. There are caves to explore, such as Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave nearby, and Badlands National Park is under two hours away. There are several choices for programs at the monument. The ranger walk is 30 minutes and goes over the first half of the presidential trail to the base of the mountain. The sculptor's studio talk lasts 15 minutes and includes demonstrations. The evening program lasts 45 minutes and focuses on history. The kids' exploration area is an interactive experience.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
13000 Highway 244
Keystone, SD 57751
(605) 574-2523


Fort Union Trading Post

The Fort Union Trading Post was the most important trading post on the upper Missouri River from 1828 to 1867. The post has be partially reconstructed and there are re-enactments are presented during the summer months. The Bodmer Overlook trail is just outside the fort. It is a 1 mile trail with some uneven terrain and low grade assent.

The Fort Union Trading Post Rendezvous is held every June. Traders come dressed in 1800s styles and bring furs and handmade items that would have been at the original rendezvous. Demonstrations include blacksmithing, sign language, flint knapping, period cloth, finger weaving, weapon firing, beaver skinning and pottery making. Bagpipers perform Sunday afternoons from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. A special daily presentation is offered on the use of cameras and photography during the nineteenth century.

Fort Union Trading Post
15550 Hwy 1804
Williston, ND 58801
(701) 572-9083


Herbert Hoover Birthplace

The Herbert Hoover Birthplace is a two-room cottage and stands today just as it did when Hoover lived here as a boy. The Herbert Hoover Prairie Trails are three trails that loop through 81 acres of prairie grass and flowers. The actual trails are mowed and an asphalt walkway leads to the trail head from the library. There is a steep incline.

Herbert Hoover Birthplace
P.O. Box 607
West Branch, IA 52358-0607
(319) 643-2541

Article Written By Regina Sass

Regina Sass has been a writer for 10 years, penning articles for publications in the real estate and retail industries. Her online experience includes writing, advertising and editing for an educational website. Sass is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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