The Menoken Indian Village Site, also known as the Verendrye Site, is the archaeological site of a village of earthen homes that was occupied from the thirteenth century onward. Between twenty and thirty earthlodges are generally enclosed by a four-bastion palisade on the inside of a fortification ditch. The site covers about three acres on a terrace adjoining the southeast side of an old meander loop of Apple Creek. The protected site conveys the appearance of a temporary summer campsite of Late Plains Woodland people who camped here repeatedly over a long precontact period. Early historians believed that this site was the isolated, fortified Mandan village visited by French explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye in a 1738 expedition. Recent scholarship has essentially disproven this theory, although the site was clearly active for several centuries before La Vérendrye’s explorations. Deferential fieldstone and timber features by the State Historical Society in the 1930s (CCC work relief projects) have helped protect and interpret this National Historic Landmark site.
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Menoken Indian Village State Historic Site
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