Mitchell Site

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Mitchell Site
Mitchell Site, Mitchel SD Thomson Archeodome Research Center 02.jpg
Mitchell Site is located in South Dakota
Mitchell Site
Mitchell Site is located in the US
Mitchell Site
Nearest city Mitchell, South Dakota
Area 41.1 acres (16.6 ha)
NRHP Reference # 66000712[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHL July 19, 1964[2]

The Mitchell Site is an archaeological site in Davison County, South Dakota, near Mitchell, South Dakota. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.[2][3]

At the time of the designation in 1964, it was stated:

Mitchell Site is the only reliably dated site (c. 1000) pertaining to the Lower James River Phase (Initial Variant) of the migration of late Woodland-Mississippian culture to the Middle Missouri Valley. It is distinctive for its evidence relating mortuary practices to other intra-site practices.


The site contains what was once a village made of lodges surrounded by palisades.

The site is managed by a nonprofit organization and is open to the public as Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.[4] Visitors can watch archaeologists uncover artifacts in the Thomsen Center Archeodome. The Boehnen Memorial Museum features a reconstructed lodge and many of the artifacts found at the site.

The people who once lived on the Mitchell site acquired their food from many different sources. The discovery of food processing tools and carbonized seeds suggest that these people were growing much of their food. Artifacts, such as hoes and squash knives are also good indicators that they were farmers. Various types of carbonized seeds and corn cobs show they were growing corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and tobacco. [5]

H.C. Greene and John Head settled at the junction of the James River and the Firesteel Creek. They lived in dugouts in the ground for the winter of 1872-1873. The two then built homes during the summer of 1873. The reason why they picked the location was because they thought the Milwaukee Railroad would choose that spot to cross the James River, which ended up being right as the town Firesteel came to be.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c "Mitchell Site". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  3. ^ Note: A National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination document should be available upon request from the National Park Service for this site, but it appears not to be available on-line from the NPS Focus search site.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°44′30″N 98°02′02″W / 43.7416°N 98.034°W / 43.7416; -98.034