The Wild And Scenic Middle Missouri River Driving Tour Mile 31.3 to 50.5

Ruined building that was once part of the Rising Hail Colony
Ruined building that was once part of the Rising Hail Colony



Mile 31.3 - Community of Greenwood. Look left to see abandoned Greenwood Presbyterian Church
The first Yankton tribal headquarters was here in Greenwood, South Dakota, on the banks of the Missouri River. Life on the reservation became increasingly tied to the river. Steamboats brought goods and supplies promised by the treaty. Agency buildings and a sawmill were constructed in the town. The Yankton cultivated crops, especially corn along the rich river bottomland surrounding the area. Greenwood, like many other river towns, fell in prestige when the railroad took the place of steamboats for supply and delivery to the reservation. A scattering of historic buildings can still be found in the community today, this includes the first Presbyterian Church in the Dakotas.

Mile 31.5 - Charles Mix County Road turns to dirt

Mile 40.8 - Rising Hail Colony Ruins
In 1936 the United States Government created Rising Hail Colony as an agricultural experiment area in an effort to help the Yankton Sioux become self-sufficient. Ruined chalkstone buildings are all that is left on this formerly thriving Indian cooperative. About 50 people from multiple families worked together to construct houses, a community hall, barn and post office among other buildings. A schoolhouse held the Rising Hail Cooperative Office.

The community quickly became self-sustaining with water supplied from a well. Dairy products, poultry and beef were produced from the Cooperative's livestock. The community prospered until the onset of World War II. For example, in 1941 it made a profit of $206,500 in 2013 inflation adjusted terms. Unfortunately, the loss of manpower due to the war led to the colony's precipitate decline. Just a few years after the war ended, the colony went into private ownership.

Mile 43. 4 - Charles Mix County Road turn back to pavement

Mile 44.3 - Town of Marty. Turn left onto BIA Road 129 (388th Avenue)
The town of Marty with a population of 402 is at the heart of the Yankton Indian Reservation. The town grew up around the former Marty Catholic Mission complex. It was created in 1913 on allotment land and was named after Friar Martin Marty, a missionary to the Yankton tribe. The most prominent building in the community, the St. Paul Catholic Church, was built of limestone and cement in 1942. The church was part of a complex of buildings that were once part of the Marty Mission Indian School. The complex contained a boarding school as well as a convent for Catholic nuns. In 1975 the Indian School was transferred from the Blue Cloud Agency to the Yankton Sioux Tribe.

Click here for the Wild & Scenic Middle Missouri River Driving Tour Mile 50.5 to 65.8

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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