About ChamberlainAfter the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, settlement in and around Chamberlain and nearby Oacoma boomed. In 1880 the Milwaukee Railroad reached the end of the line in Chamberlain. The two towns later became ferrying points for passengers and freight passing between the eastern and western states by both steamboat and rail. A large deposit of crude manganese also was found in the Oacoma area.
The Native American Scenic Byway, which begins in Chamberlain and ends at I-90 in Reliance and SR 1806 at Fort Pierre, is open all year. Highlights along the route include the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center at St. Joseph's Indian School; the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation; Big Bend Dam, which crosses the majestic Missouri River; and the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation.
Erosion of certain parts of the Missouri River Valley has uncovered many prehistoric fossils, including a mosasaur skeleton thought to be about 78 million years old. Paleontologists return to the area each summer for digs.
The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center , at the I-90 rest area between exits 263 and 265, is open seasonally and contains interpretive displays depicting the explorers' journey through the state. A 55-foot-long replica of a keelboat forms part of the building's exterior; phone (605) 734-4562.
Also near the I-90 rest area stands “Dignity of Earth and Sky,” a 50-foot-tall, stainless steel statue depicting a Native American woman with a star quilt draped over her back. Installed in 2016, the statue honors the cultures of the Lakota and Dakota people and is illuminated with LED lights at night.
Visitor Centers Chamberlain-Oacoma Area Chamber of Commerce 112 N. Main St. Chamberlain, SD 57325. Phone:(605)234-4416
Things to Do St. Joseph's Indian School
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