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Gitchie Manitou State Preserve

Gitchie Manitou State Preserve

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  • Date Posted: May 1, 2014
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  • Address: Sioux Falls, SD, USA

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Gitchie Manitou State Preserve


Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state of South Dakota and the county seat of Minnehaha County. It has a population of about 124,000 people.

Sioux Falls was originally laid out near the Big Sioux River. Today, Sioux Falls is located at the junction of I-90 and I-29.

A number of indian tribes inhabited this area near the Big Sioux River before the Europeans settled the area. A number of burial mounds left by these tribes can be found in the areas around Sioux Falls.

Railroads arrived in Sioux Falls in the 1880’s resulting in a population boom. In the 1890’s however, city was overtaken with a grasshopper plague and a national depression. The towns growth halted for a decade.

In 1909 the John Morrell meat packing plant brought business to Sioux Falls. And a military base increased the growth of the community during World War II in 1942. In 1981, Citibank relocated its primary credit card center from New York to Sioux Falls.

Gitchie Manitou State Preserve became a state preserve in 1969. It is situated along the South Dakota/Iowa border. It is bordered on the south and west by the Big Sioux River.

In 1973, four Sioux Falls, South Dakota, four teenagers were shot to death at Gitchie Manitou State Preserve. Their names were: Roger Essem, Stewart Baade, Dana Baade, and Micheal Hadrath. Another teenager, a girl was raped. Three brothers, David, Allen, and James Fryer were convicted for the crime. According to one source, the Fryer brothers chased down the four teenagers who were camping at the park, harrassed them and then shot them to death. The three murderers are in prison in Fort Madison.

Ghosts and Paranormal Events:

At Jasper Pond at Gitchie Manitou State Preserve, visitors have reported strange grunting and growling sounds from a creature that is out of sight. Some have described it as the sound of a dying cow or an exotic bird. Odd noises have been reported coming from the trees. Branching breaking when there are no animals that can be seen in the vicinity. Feelings of uneasiness have been reported at Gitchie Manitou State Preserve as well as feelings of being watched.


The Shadowlord (1998). The Shadowlands Haunted Places Indexs: South Dakota. Retrieved January 24, 2011 from (2011). Gitchie Manitou State Preserve. Retrieved January 28, 2011 from

Wikipedia (2011). Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Retrieved January 28, 2011 from,_South_Dakota

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