Archive for February, 2016

During the 1980s and 1990s, University of South Dakota commencement program covers often presented brief descriptions of USD buildings.




In 2004, this building was remodeled and renamed the Dean Belbas Center. It houses Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and the Office of the Registrar.



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Fort Vermillion



This year, one of my personal projects is to find out more about Fort Vermillion. When did it exist and where? Here is what I know so far:


Fort Vermillion was a French trading post established by Pierre Chouteau, Jr., and Company along the Missouri River in the vicinity of what is now Vermillion, South Dakota. Théophile Bruguiere was a trader in residence. (Jones)


From June 1845 to the spring of 1846, Mormons rested at the fort while on their mission to find a permanent place for the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to settle. (Jones)


The USD Archaeology Laboratory in the late 1990s searched for the location of Fort Vermillion. They could not just look for remnants of the fort along the current banks of the Missouri River because the Missouri River had dramatic changed its course since the establishment of the fort. The lab “conducted a remote sensing survey over a portion of farmland that was once a river channel, and while they found the channel, the old shoreline area contained no cultural materials.” (Molyneaux)


I haven’t found the fort on any of the maps we have in the Archives and Special Collections, though I am still looking. I did find it on G.K. Warren’s maps in Callaway and Wood’s book, and that is the source of the image in this post.




Gerald E. Jones, An Early Mormon Settlement in South Dakota, South Dakota History, vol. 1 no. 2, Spring 1971.


Brian Molyneaux, email to author 1/12/2016.


Graham A. Callaway and W. Raymond Wood, Lieutenant G. K. Warren’s 1855 and 1856 Manuscript Maps of the Missouri River, Bismarck ND: State Historical Society of North Dakota, 2012. Originals of the maps are in the National Archives.

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