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YANKTON IS RICH IN HISTORY

We'd love to help you explore.
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LOGO SYMBOLISM

As Yankton's biggest event yet, this logo represents the vision to make Yankton synonymous with archery worldwide. The explorer represents the famed exploratory expedition of the Western half of the United States.

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MOTHER CITY OF THE DAKOTAS

Yankton, which means "End Village" in the Sioux Indian language was a virtual treeless campsite on the banks of the Missouri River in 1859. Two years later it became the capital of the Dakota Territory and a rollicking river port.

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THE WILD WEST

In 1876, former gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok was gunned down in a saloon in Deadwood. His accused killer Jack McCall was brought to Yankton for trial. He was convicted of the murder and hanged in Yankton.

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THE MERIDIAN BRIDGE

Before the Meridian Bridge was built, people would cross the Missouri River via ferries, rafts, walking on ice, and a pontoon bridge. Finally in 1919 the Meridian Highway Bridge Company was formed and two years later construction began.

 
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GAVINS POINT DAM
LEWIS & CLARK LAKE

Before the Meridian Bridge was built, people would cross the Missouri River via ferries, rafts, walking on ice, and a pontoon bridge. Finally in 1919 the Meridian Highway Bridge Company was formed and two years later construction began.

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NFAA EASTON YANKTON ARCHERY CENTER

The NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center (NEYAC) is the largest archery center in the world. NEYAC is home to the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Headquarters, the National Field Archery Association Foundation (NFAAF), and the National Archery Museum.


NEYAC has been referred to as the "Field of Dreams" of the sport of archery. 

NFAA EASTON YANKTON ARCHERY CENTER

THE WORLD'S LARGEST ARCHERY CENTER
 

YANKTON IS PROUD TO BE THE HOME OF
THE WORLD'S LARGEST ARCHERY COMPLEX

We'd love to show you around. 
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Situated on nearly 140 acres, within the city limits of Yankton, South Dakota; the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center (NEYAC) features a 70,000 square foot indoor shooting facility that can accommodate a 90-meter range or up to one hundred 18-meter lanes, with a raised viewers’ mezzanine, two classrooms, a fitness studio, an art studio, four tennis courts, and the NFAA Foundation Archery Museum. The outdoor complex also contains three Olympic field ranges, three field rangers, and two 3D ranges. 
 

The NEYAC has hosted two World Championships; the 2015 Youth World Championship, and the 2018 World Indoor Championship. The 2020 World Field Championship was postponed to 2022

 
NEYAC Coplex Map

NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center Complex Map

In 1803, the United States government made the greatest land deal in history when they purchased the Louisiana Territory (827,000 square miles west of the Mississippi River) from France.  After the purchase, U.S. President Thomas Jefferson sought the help of Meriwether Lewis to find “the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce.”  Lewis invited William Clark to be his co-captain of the Corp of Discovery Expedition, consisting of 45 men in charge of documenting resources and establishing sovereignty over all American Indian Nations living in the Territory in addition to finding a water route to the Pacific Ocean.  The Expedition left Camp Dubois, Illinois in 1804 on a trip which would last over two years.

Lewis and Clark made their way through what would become Yankton on August 28, 1804. The expedition had a council with the Yankton Sioux Tribe, at Calumet Bluff, near present day Lewis and Clark Visitor Center just west of Gavins Point Dam. 

MOTHER CITY OF THE DAKOTAS

South Dakota's First: Capital, Bank, Newspaper, High School, College, Medical Clinic, Bridge Across the Missouri, Brewery

Yankton was established as the first capital of the Dakota Territory and held that title for 22 years. People were drawn to our river access and progressive way of life. 

The video below narrated by Yankton native, Tom Brokaw, (an American network television journalist and author) and produced by the Yankton Historical Society is shown at the Mead Cultural Education Center located on the corner of Hwy 81 & 50. The video gives a fantastic overview of the history of Yankton from its prehistoric roots through present-day life in Yankton. 

Life in the Dakota Territory was a raucous and wild way of life, filled with crafty entrepreneurs, famous gunslingers, crooked politicians, proud Native Americans, resilient steamboat captains, brave homesteaders and much more.   Yankton was established as the first capital of the Dakota Territory, and held that title for 22 years. People were drawn to our river access and progressive way of life. 

 
 

LEWIS & CLARK EXPEDITION

Sixteen States, 4,900 Miles, One National Historic Trail

THE WILD WEST

AN EXCITING TIME OF PIONEERS, OUTLAWS AND ADVENTURE
 

MERIDIAN BRIDGE

ENGINEERING MARVEL & THE LAST LINK OF THE MERIDIAN HIGHWAY

The historic structure most readily visible from Yankton's riverfront is the Meridian Bridge. It is notable as the first permanent river crossing in the Yankton vicinity and as one of the final links in the Meridian Highway, an early north-south route from Winnipeg, Canada, to Mexico City, Mexico.

 

The vertical lift design was a typical period engineering solution to a typical problem of spanning a wide navigable river and thus did not garner much attention in engineering circles in the 1920s. The region's population, however, considered it an outstanding bridge engineering accomplishment that greatly improved economic and social connections across the Nebraska and South Dakota border.

On October 11, 2009, the new Discovery Bridge was opened to traffic. The Meridian Bridge was closed and soon underwent conversion to pedestrian/bike use. In November 2011 it opened for recreational use. Hiking, biking, running or walking across the bridge is a popular outdoor activity in the Yankton area.

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With a purpose to regulate river flows and generate power, the Congress-directed Gavins Point Dam was constructed in 1955, immeasurably changing the Yankton community. It gave us Lewis and Clark Lake, which draws nearly 2 million visitors every year. 

The video below is shown at the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center above Gavins Point Dam. The video captures the history of the southernmost of the six main stem dams along the Missouri River. Additional footage was provided by the South Dakota Department of Tourism and State Development as well as South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

GAVINS POINT DAM - LEWIS AND CLARK LAKE

LAST HYDROELECTRIC DAM ON THE MISSOURI RIVER