What are cadastral maps?

 They are land ownership maps.

The Archives and Special Collections has many cadastral maps, both as sheet maps and in atlases. Library records for most of these maps and atlases are in the library catalog and can be found using such subject terms and key words such as cadastral, real property maps, landowner maps, land use, and General Land Office.

Here is a sample list of local cadastral atlases in the Archives and Special Collections:

Clay County Atlas, 1901

Standard Atlas of Clay County, 1912

Atlas of Clay and Union Counties, 1924

Atlas of Clay and Union Counties, 1960

Atlas of Clay and Union Counties, 1980

Atlas of Clay County, 1990, Centennial Series

Farm and Home Directories: Clay, Lincoln, Turner, Union, and Yankton Counties, 1984-present.

Cadastral maps are helpful to historians, genealogists, archaeologists, and those tracing landowners for legal reasons. Though cadastral maps are often reliable, the ultimate source of past and present ownership information is still the county courthouse.

Keep in mind, ownership is only one type of land / human relationship. The others are harder to map.

– about past United States epidemics are in the Archives and Special Collections in the Health Sciences Rare Books Collection:

Carey, Mathew. A Short Account of the Malignant Fever, Lately Prevalent in Philadelphia: With a Statement of the Proceedings That Took Place on the Subject in Different Parts of the United States. 3d Ed., Improved. ed. Philadelphia: Printed by the Author, 1793. Call number WC 530 C275 1793.

Philadelphia’s yellow fever epidemic of 1793 claimed the lives of nearly 4000 people. Carrey’s book and other related histories revel a little-known episode in Black history. Due to a mistaken belief that African-Americans could not get yellow fever, many Blacks volunteered or were volunteered to care for the sick and dying. They served in all capacities, including as nurses, cart drivers, and grave diggers. At the time, Philadelphia was the temporary capital of the United States and one of the largest U.S. cities.

Other books in the Health Sciences Rare Books Collection are:

United States. Public Health Service. Preliminary Report on the Yellow-fever Epidemic of 1882, in the State of Texas. Washington, D.C., 1882. WCK U58p 1882

Fenner, Erasmus Darwin. History of the Epidemic Yellow Fever, at New Orleans, La., in 1853. New York: Hall, Clayton, 1854. WCK F336h 1854

Miner, Thomas, and William Tully. Essays on Fevers, and Other Medical Subjects. Middletown, Conn.: E. & H. Clark, 1823. WC M664e 1823

Herman P. Chilson, Hot Off the Press books, youth books, DVDs, videos, government documents, and oral history collections in the Archives and Special Collections and in the I.D. Weeks Library also have items on pandemics and epidemics.

The Alan H. Schell collection of campaign buttons, pins, and political ephemera contains 2 watches in addition to the nearly one thousand pins, buttons, and ribbons that date from the 1884 to the 2008. Can you tell which watch was meant to support a candidate and which one was meant to lampoon a candidate?

Volume 21 of the Volante, which covers October 1, 1907 through June 12, 1908, has been added to the Digital Library of South Dakota.

and that the Archives and Special Collections is not a scary place.

Health Tourism

Archives and Special Collections recently received:

The water cure: archaeological investigations at the sanitarium and bath house, Cascade Springs, South Dakota.

Abstract: “The Water Cure is an overview of the growth of health tourism in the southern Black Hill of South Dakota during the 1890s. During this era, medical doctors believed in the curative powers of drinking and bathing in mineral waters. They encouraged people to restore their health in therapeutic settings around natural warm springs. Bath houses, founded on the age-old Turkish bath experience, offered dry, steam and shower rooms as well as individual or group plunge baths to cure maladies such as hemorrhoids or rheumatism.”

I love archaeological reports, particularly those written for the public. In addition to a meticulous description of the archaeological project, the methodology, and the results, they include all this marvelous background history, architectural description, and material culture images. This report contains everything needed to set the context for the sanitorium and bath house. The wide range of topics covered is best illustrated by its table of context:

Part One: Settling the Southern Black Hills

   Chapter 1. Homesteaders: Alabough Canyon

   Chapter 2. Early Transportation: Railroads, Stagecoaches, and Electric Motor Lines

   Chapter 3. Hot Springs Town-Site Company: Friendly Competition

Part Two: Carlsbad Spring Company

   Chapter 4. The Water Cure: Health Tourism

   Chapter 5. The Sales Pitch: Gather Your Loose Change!

   Chapter 6. Feverish Growth, Blocks, Lots, Streets, and Alleys

   Chapter 7. Surrendering Possession: The Panic of 1893

   Chapter 8. Final Disposition: 1894-1908

Part Three: Archaeological Excavations

   Chapter 9. Exposing the Ruins: Survey and Testing

   Chapter 10. Sanitarium and Bath House Footprint: The Crown Jewel

   Chapter 11. Internal Plumbing: Steam Boilers and Pipes

   Chapter 12. Day to Day Life: Domestic Artifacts

   Chapter 13. The Turkish Bath Experience: A Day at the Spa

   Chapter 14. Four Objectives: Assessing the Results

Here are more images from the book:

Boen, Byrne, Mayer, Shierts, Vogt, and Williams. The water cure: archaeological investigations at the sanitarium and bath house, Cascade Springs, South Dakota. Rapid City and Pierre, SD: Archaeological Research Center and South Dakota State Historical Society, 2020.

When did the USD football team play Notre Dame?


Information from The history of intercollegiate football, basketball, track, and baseball at the State University of South Dakota, Richard T. Haase, USD M.A. thesis.

Consult Haase’s thesis to find out if USD beat Norte Dame and when.

Image of USD football team from Digital Library of South Dakota.

Happy Dakota Days.

The Archives and Special Collections has added its collection of photographs published in 1882 by Bailey, Dix & Mead of Sitting Bull and his camp to the Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD). The Bailey, Dix & Mead series is comprised of twenty-four views of Sitting Bull’s time as a prisoner of war at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory. (Of the twenty-four images in the series, the Archives and Special Collections holds fifteen.)

Bailey, Dix & Mead were the publishers of the series. The photographer? Was it W. R. Cross from Niobrara, Nebraska? Was it Stanley J. Morrow of Yankton? Although definitive formal documentation has not been found (Goodyear 32), many researchers have reached similar conclusions and believe that W. R. Cross was indeed the photographer.

Included in the Bailey, Dix & Mead series, is the familiar portrait of Sitting Bull:

A third portrait of Sitting Bull, which appears to be from the same time period and possibly the same photographer, can be found “published and photographed” as part of a series entitled: “Sitting Bull” and Camp, While held Prisoners of War at Fort Randall, D. T. by W. R. Cross. The image is number five in the series (shown here from the Everett D. Graff Collection of Western Americana, Newberry Library).

The topical photograph of this blog post (see first photograph above), Chilson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, has also been published in the DLSD and is an alternative pose that:

1 – appears on a W. R. Cross mount,

2 – is printed with the same text as found on the portrait of Sitting Bull in the Bailey, Dix & Mead series, and

3 – has a shadow of under-printing in the text which clearly reads “Niobrara, Nebraska,” the location of W. R. Cross’ studio at the time. The under-printing text also matches the Cross photograph in the “Sitting Bull” and Camp series.

The only other manifestation of this photograph that has been located thus far, appears in several places on a Stanley J. Morrow mount as a stereograph:

A rare Sitting Bull stereoview by S. J. Morrow

and as a single copy image in the Frank Bennett Fiske Collection, and also attributed to Morrow, at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. To make matters more complex, photographers of this time were known for copying other photographers’ works and placing them on their own mounts, sometimes “with” and sometimes “without” permission. Photographers would also sell and/or trade their negatives with one another. Tragically, both Cross’ and Morrow’s negatives were destroyed in fires, creating a significant barrier for analysis.

Does the Archives and Special Collections have the only version of this photograph on a Cross mount? Was this a test print or photographer’s proof? Are there other copies in libraries, archives, and private collections?

Does this add further evidence that Cross was the photographer for the images in the Bailey, Dix & Mead series, as well as this photograph? If so, how did Stanley J. Morrow come to reproduce it and sell it as his own?

And, why is this photograph of Sitting Bull so obscure and so hard to find?

— The Archives and Special Collections would like to thank Larry Ness, Bob Kolbe, and Frank Goodyear for generously sharing their time and expertise in the search for more information regarding this very special photograph.

Goodyear, F. (1996). The narratives of Sitting Bull’s surrender: Bailey, Dix & Mead’s photographic western. In S. E. Bird (Ed.). Dressing in feathers: The construction of the Indian in American Popular Culture (pp. 29-43). Boulder, Colo.: Westview. Main Collection / 3rd Floor E98. P99 D72 1998

Further reading:

Hurt, Wesley Robert, and William E. Lass. Frontier Photographer: Stanley J. Morrow’s Dakota Years. University of South Dakota Press, 1956. Main Collection / 3rd Floor TR140 .M6 H85

LaPointe, Ernie. Sitting Bull: His Life and Legacy. Gibbs Smith, 2009. McKusick Law Library, Native and Indigenous Peoples, Main Floor E99 D1 .S569 2009

Pope, Dennis C. Sitting Bull, Prisoner of War. South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2010. Main Collection / 3rd Floor E99 .D1 S6129 2010



The Archives and Special Collections has a 1970’s poster promoting the Library with the caption “Looking for a date? Visit the I. D. Weeks Library.” What do you think, can 1970s attitudes towards dating and women in universities be inferred from this poster? If so, are current attitudes the same or different?

From the William Lyon Papers, Archives and Special Collections.

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