Joseph N. Nicollet Tower and Interpretive Center,_SD.jpg

            The 2,400 square foot interpretive center and 80 foot high tower were built as a monument to French explorer and cartographer Joseph N. Nicollet. He conducted expeditions across the plains and prairies of South Dakota in 1838 and again in 1839. Nicollet had arrived in the United States in 1832, some 30 years after Lewis and Clark had reached the Pacific ocean. However the territory accross the mighty Mississippi had yet to be mapped, the coastal waters hadn't been surveyed and even the location of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. had yet to be accurately determined. There was plenty of work to be done. Importantly, and unusually for his time, Nicollet shared an excellent report with the Native American community. Today his maps, ahead of their time scientifically and methodically, are also cherished as one of the only sources for many of the original Native American placenames. Thus, this tower was also built with the cooperation of the Dakota people.

            The project construction was kick started by Harold L. Torness who was greatly inspired by the book
Joseph N. Nicollet on the Plains and Prairies: The Expeditions of 1838-39 with Journals, Letters, and Notes on the Dakota Indians. This book was a translation of Nicollet's detailed field journals , a publication by Martha C. Bray of Saint Paul, MN and the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The tower and interpretive center were then built at the same time. Construction dates were May 1991 to June 1992, with the dedication taking place in October of 1991.

Address: 45352 Highway 10, P.O. Box 215, Sisseton, SD 57262
SD Highway 10 and Golf Course Road)
Phone: 605-698-7672
Fax: 605-689-7906

Mid-May - Mid-September
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 - 4 p.m.


Joseph N. Nicollet Tower and Interpretive Center