Seniors Check Out the Capital of SD

Pierre (pronounced peer) is the capital of South Dakota. Senior citizens, can you name the capital of its sister state North Dakota? Yes, Bismarck it is. Periodically I like to go through the list of state capitals and see if I can remember them. Since I taught French for over 38 years, I always remember PIERRE as the state capital. It means “stone” or “rock” in French.

Steve Martin said recently, “Those darn French. They have a different word for everything!” That’s true and to add to the confusion a bit, every noun is either masculine or feminine. Nose is masculine. Mouth is feminine. Chin is masculine. Leg is feminine. Now figure that all out. Many have tried and it really does not make a lot of sense. Steve Martin is right you know. That’s enough on the French language…for now anyway.

Back to Pierre…

The city, named after Pierre Choteau Jr of the American Fur Company, was founded in 1880 on the Missouri River, opposite Fort Pierre. He built Fort Pierre Chouteau just outside of the current city of Fort Pierre. Lewis and Clark passed through Pierre during their expedition.

Included in the listings on the National Register of Historic Places in Pierre are the South Dakota State Capitol and Governor’s House, the George McMillen House and the Soldiers & Sailors World War Memorial. About 13,500 folks live in Pierre.

If you take a look at a Mapquest rendition of SD, you’ll find that Pierre is located right in the center of the state with a huge lake just to the north of the city. Due to its central position in the state, Pierre is surrounded with history.

State capital buildings in any state always draw my attention. I loved them in Sacramento and Dallas. The state capital in Pierre, a stunning Greek Revival building completed in 1910, was at first modernized and later, in 1989, restored to its original magnificence. It’s the most fully restored capitol building in the U.S. There’s lots of history associated with the capital building that you will not want to miss.

Not your typical museum structure, the Cultural Heritage Center is built into the side of hill, and much of it is underground. A few pertinent facts on SD for your record book can be found here.

Seniors, Bring Your Fish Pole

Drive on up to the Oahe Dam, that looks to me like a bunch of grain silos stacked up.  Oahe is one of the largest man made lakes in the world and a very popular fishing destination for senior fishing fans… should be with 2,250 miles of shoreline. Lake Oahe and its sister Lake Sharpe form a fisherman’s nirvana with year-round catches of salmon, walleye, bass and trout. The  rumbling falls may be of interest to you if you like fast rushing water… it’s a whole lot of streaming water.

In and all around Pierre it is just beautiful with lots of scenery for senior visitors to enjoyjeb

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