First established in April 1862, the area now called Minnehaha County–along with most of southeastern South Dakota–was evacuated later the same year after two european settlers were killed by Native Americans just north of Sioux Falls. The Native Americans were upset with the terms of the land cession treaties that were forced upon them by the United States government.
Three years later the the military returned and established Fort Dakota, a fifty square mile military reservation, in an area encompassing much of what is now the city of Sioux Falls. In 1866 the european settlers began to return to the valley and Minnehaha County was reorganized in 1868. In 1869 the area was deemed safe from Native American retaliation, and the military reservation was vacated. Upon the fort's abandonment, the floodgates opened for the settlement of Minnehaha County. 
1. Gregory Mathias, Preservation Consultant and Lynda Schwan, SHPO, Dell Rapids Residential Historic District, Minnehaha County, SD, nomination document, 2000, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
Our Local Communities
Minnehaha County covers over 800 square miles. It has nine cities. Two towns. Twenty-four townships. And nine unincorporated communities. Each with its own distinct character and history. And each with its own unique story.
Use the links below to explore Minnehaha's historic places, learn about local preservation efforts, or how to get involved. You'll be suprised at all the treasures that surround you!