Bon Homme is the oldest ghost town in Dakota Territory. Once the center of much activity and great hope, the tiny village of Bon Homme never survive the whims of the Missouri River or the dreams of territorial and county leaders. At one time, the now extinct ghost town of Bon Homme was surrounded by the current towns of Tyndall, Tabor, Springfield, Yankton, the capital of Dakota Territory, and a 2000 acre island in the Missouri River. The remains of Bon Homme now rests under the waters of the Lewis and Clark Lake behind Gavins Point Dam.
Bon Homme, the first settlement in the Dakota Territory came into being when America’s President Thomas Jefferson and France’s Napoleon Bonaparte signed the treaty of 1803, giving America ownership to all the land west of the Mississippi River as well as the French city of New Orleans, thus doubling the size of the United States.
By Marita Placek
Read the entire story in the latest edition of Living Here magazine.
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