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The Black Hills: Legends of America

Rising from the Great Plains of South Dakota are a small, isolated mountain range that is steeped in Native American history.  Inhabited by Native Americans since around 7,000 BC, the Black Hills have an interesting and controversial place in American History. 

History and Evolution

The Black Hills have been inhabited by the Lakota (otherwise known as Sioux) since the 18th century, when they all drove out all pre-existing tribes.  Needless to say, the Lakota were not happy about Europeans and Americans encroaching on their territory after the discovery of gold in the 1870’s!  In the much disputed Treaty of Fort Laramie, the Black Hills belonged to the Lakota. The Black Hills became the most densely populated area at this time, made up of the cities of Deadwood, Lead, and Central City. After fighting with the Lakota in one of the greatest wars of the Plains, the Americans gained control of the territory, and sadly, have been fighting over it ever since. 

Attractions in the Black Hills

The Black Hills are known to some beautiful state parks and other historical monuments, nestled in the beauty of forests and mountains. Included are Mount Rushmore, Jewel Cave, The Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park, among others.   A key part of the Hills economy, every August the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is held in the Black Hills.  One of the major parts of the Black Hills is Rapid City, one of the state’s largest and densely populated cities.  The economy includes tourism, mining, and ranching; cities in the Black Hills are very spread out and contain over 250,000 citizens in total.  The climate of the Black Hills varies along with Mother Nature: with winds, erosion and some volcanic activity.  A number of ghost towns can be seen, and the Black Hills are also home to the almost extinct species of Buffalo. 

The Black Hills combines the spirit of the Old West with Native American culture, nature, and quaint recreational spots for people of all ages. 

For more information, please visit www.blackhillsbadlands.com

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