The Dakota Marker

For 8 years, the NDSU Bison and the SDSU Jackrabbits have battled fiercely in a newly forged Division I football rivalry. On October 22nd, NDSU traveled to Brookings to attempt something it hadn’t accomplished since 1999…to defeat the Jackrabbits on their own turf! This year, the Bison were successful and they evened the record of wins to 4-4.

To commemorate the annual victor, a traveling trophy was created to stoke the competition. And the trophy is not just some giant nickel. It has a very interesting historical significance for the Dakota land-grant universities. The trophy is called the Dakota Marker and the rivalry is called the Dakota Marker series.

The Dakota Marker is a 230 lb. replica of the quartzite monuments that were used to mark the border between North and South Dakota when Dakota Territory was split into 2 states along the Seventh Standard Parallel. On June 4th, 1891, a contract was issued to craft quartzite monuments in Sioux Falls to mark the boundary. Each monument stood seven feet tall and ten inches square at the top and were placed at half-mile intervals. The monuments were inscribed with the initials “N.D.” on the north side and “S.D.” on the south side. During the summers of 1891 and 1892, 720 monuments were installed to complete the Dakota border marker project.

And guess what? 120 years later, you can locate many of the original markers along the border of North and South Dakota today.

In fact, Coteau des Prairies Lodge is less than a 2 mile hike or trail ride to the nearest marker. And a number of other makers can be found along the border from there.

For you Bison and Jackrabbits fans…just another great reason to come to the Coteau!

Read the game recap article from the NDSU newspaper The Spectrum here: