History & Museums

An immersive journey through the days of Yankton’s past

The history of Yankton extends back to 1804 when Lewis and Clark stops near the confluence of jamesan Missouri rivers a short distance from Yankton while exploring the new territory. The site of the Yankton Sioux camp was rolling treeless Prairie in the summer of 1858 when the first enthusia stick pioneers selected the location for a new settlement. The decision was influenced primarily by the favorable possibility of a Steamboat landing on the Missouri River. By 1861 Dakota territory was created by the act of Congress which included the vast area of what is now South Dakota North Dakota and parts of Montana Ohio Wyoming in Nebraska. Yankton was named the first territorial capital the mother city of the dakotas. Immigration was encouraged by availability of cheap land. Settlers of varied nationalities came by boat covered wagon and horseback. The tidy settlement began to expand. Yankton became an independent important transportation center making major contributed contributed nation to the growth of western territories. As an important call many of early steamboats stopped in to Yankton to pick up or unload car grow in route to other River ports. Many historic homes built by Steamboat captains or with River transportation money stillstand. The coming of the railroad in 1870 three was the beginning of the decline of riverboat traffic. The city has continued to grow from that small settlement of 1850 eight. Through the years population growth has been steady. Today still proud of his rich heritage the Grady re inked an area has more than 20,000 people within its urban and suburban limits. This tour reflects the fearlessness of those early settlers who faced and overcome untold hardships to create this rivertown.

Take a walking tour of some of the historic homes in Yankton using this interactive page as your guide.

Pierre Dorian’s Marker

Activities & Attractions History & Museums

Pierre Dorian was the first white settler in the Yankton area. He lived among the Yankton Sioux at the time that Lewis and Clark passed […]

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Mead Cultural Education Center

Activities & Attractions Arts & Culture History & Museums

Now Open!  In 2018, the Dakota Territorial Museum relocated to the Mead Cultural Education Center, a historic building on the South Dakota Human Services Center […]

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Dakota Spirit Fountain

Activities & Attractions Arts & Culture History & Museums

This stunning fountain reconnects Yankton with its past of being called “The Fountain City”. This fountain fittingly called “Dakota Spirit” was sculpted out of one […]

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National Field Archery Foundation Museum

Activities & Attractions Archery History & Museums

The museum showcases historical bows, archery equipment and archery related artifacts collected throughout the NFAA’s 75-year history. Their extensive recurve collection of 178 bows includes […]

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Yankton College Office

Activities & Attractions History & Museums

Yankton College was the first institution of higher learning in the Dakota Territory, providing a quality liberal arts education to thousands before closing in 1985. […]

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Mount Marty College

Activities & Attractions History & Museums

Mount Marty College is a beautifully maintained 80-acre campus along the bluffs of the Missouri River. The college offers bachelor degrees, master degrees, associate degrees, […]

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Meridian Bridge and Meridian Plaza

Activities & Attractions History & Museums

The Meridian Bridge, a long-time landmark in Yankton, is the result of hard work and determination of local citizens. The bridge closed to vehicle transportation […]

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