Dell Rapids
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
N 43° 49.329 W 096° 42.255
14T E 684610 N 4854681
Quick Description: Named after the dells and rapids of the Big Sioux River which runs through town and reminded settlers of the dells of the Wisconsin River.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 4/17/2006 8:51:24 AM
Waymark Code: WMANY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Milbank
Views: 17

Long Description:
Dell Rapids was conceived as a town site in 1871. Peter Morse from Osage, IA came to the Big Sioux river, not wanting to get wet, continued south along the east bank. The river split, and again not wanting to get wet, he followed the east fork until coming to the most beautiful view imaginable. THE DELLS. "With all this rich farmland and this view" his mind said, "this will make an excellent town site". He then turned his horse toward Osage to seek support.
Returning in July with the Rice Bros and B.D. Graves, they set to work building a habitation. A rock foundation and walls, surround with a sod roof was placed on what is now the SW corner of 7th and Garfield. The first abode in the city.
Others joined this first group who all cooperated in building some form of habitation. There were 13 souls as residents of what was then called Dell City to celebrate Christmas together at the Dennis Rice homestead. Peter Morse was not among them. He does not appear again in the literature until 1872. He may have had family back in Osage.
The spring of 1872 brought abundant rain which caused considerable flooding. Albion Thorne had built two houses in the fall and winter, renting the first.
A wood mill was the first enterprise followed by a flour mill after one year. A hardware store was erected close by but the owner killed himself shortly thereafter.
A ferry was used until the first bridge was built in 1878. However, a flood in the spring of 1881 took out this bridge and it was replaced by a stone one. It is believed these bridges plus the first steel bridge were located at the end of Orleans Street.
For reasons unknown, the downtown area grew in its present location rather than by the mill where the first store went up. Reasonably at the end of Mill Road. All lumber for the first habitations had to be hauled from Minnesota or Iowa because of the lack of trees on the South Dakota prairie. Thus the reason for the Tree Homesteads which became very popular.
In 1888 the downtown was wiped out by fire. The leaders of that time stated that any store now built must be fire insulated. Still today we have the Rose Quartz Frescoes and rock or block walls insulating each of the business places from that period.
Marker Name: Dell Rapids

Marker Type: City

Marker Text:
Dell Rapids Minnehaha Co. ~ Population 2145 in 1965 Named after the Dells ...

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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dbrockhouse visited Dell Rapids 11/25/2011 dbrockhouse visited it
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