Vermillion, South Dakota

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Vermillion is a city in and the county seat of Clay County,[4] in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of South Dakota, and the tenth largest city in the state. Vermillion lies atop a bluff on the Missouri River.

The area has always been home to various Native American tribes.[citation needed] French fur traders first visited in the late 18th century. Vermillion was founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1873. The name refers to the Lakota name: wa sa wak pa'la (red stream).

Home to the University of South Dakota, Vermillion has a mixed academic and rural character: The University is a major academic institution for the state, boasting the state's only law and medical school, and the state's only AACSB accredited business school. Major farm products include corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. The population was 9,765 at the 2000 census. Vermillion is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the proposed site of a Hyperion Refinery (formerly known as the Gorilla Project), which will be one of the 10 biggest refineries in the United States.

Vermillion is also home to a winery and the National Music Museum.



Lewis and Clark camped at the mouth of the Vermillion River near the present day town on Friday, August 24, 1804. (The previous day they had killed their first buffalo and the following day they climbed Spirit Mound, according to Clark's journal.)

  • The original town was entirely located below the bluffs on the banks of the Missouri River, and three-quarters of the town was washed away in the great flood of 1881.

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