Blue Blanket Island (39WW9) an Historic Contact Site in the Oahe Reservoir Near Mobridge, South Dakota

Blue Blanket Valley Map

Publication: Plains Anthropologist, Vol. 14, No. 43

Author: Robert L. Stephenson, et al.

Date of Publication: February 1969

PDF File: Stephenson-et-al.-1969-Blue-Blanket-Island-39WW9-an-Historic-Contact-Si.pdf



The Blue Blanket Island site (39WW9), a small, fortified, proto-historic Indian village on an island in the Missouri River, in Walworth County, South Dakota, was partially excavated by a River Basin Surveys crew in August 1961. One centrally located earthlodge, sections of the fortification, storage pits, and middens were excavated. Artifacts were scanty but architectural details were informative. The lodge was 18 sided with a short entryway to the south (river side) and leaner posts of split cedar. The palisade was of split posts and the ditch was wide and shallow. The site appear s to have been an Arikara village of short duration, probably occupied during the 1780’s and 17 90’s. The abandoned remains of this village were noted by Lewis and Clark in 1804.