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Sanborn County in South Dakota is rich in history and surprising facts. From fascinating rock formations to famous residents, here are 7 interesting things you may not know about this area.

1. Sanford Underground Research Facility

Located in the town of Lead, the Sanford Underground Research Facility is a premier research facility for exploring the frontier of particle and nuclear physics. The facility is situated in an old gold mine and is home to the largest neutrino detector in the world. Scientists from all over the globe come to conduct experiments and study the mysteries of the universe.

2. Pteranodon Fossil

A fossil of the Pteranodon, a prehistoric flying reptile, was discovered in Sanborn County in 1994. This remarkable discovery dates back to the late Cretaceous period, around 65 million years ago. The fossil is now on display at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Museum.

3. Spirit Mound

Known as the "Mountain of Little People" by the Lakota people, Spirit Mound is a geological formation located in Sanborn County. It is believed to be one of the few landmarks mentioned by Lewis and Clark in their journals during their expedition in the early 1800s. According to legend, the mound is a place of spiritual importance, with numerous ghost stories and legends associated with it.

4. Famous Residents

Sanborn County has been home to several famous people over the years, including former NFL player Caleb Schlauderaff, author LaVyrle Spencer, and pioneer entrepreneur Joseph Morello. Spencer is a renowned romance novelist, having published over 20 novels that have sold millions of copies worldwide.

5. Laura Ingalls Wilder

Although Laura Ingalls Wilder was not a resident of Sanborn County, her famous book Little House on the Prairie is set in the nearby Dakota Territory. She was born in Wisconsin, but her family traveled extensively throughout the Midwest, including South Dakota. The Ingalls family lived on a farm just south of De Smet, which is now a popular tourist attraction.

6. Mellette House

The Mellette House in the city of Watertown is a historic home that was built in 1885 by South Dakota's first governor, Arthur Mellette. The house is now a museum and contains artifacts and exhibits that showcase South Dakota's history and culture. The Mellette House is a popular destination for visitors interested in South Dakota's past.

7. Baseball Legends

Sanborn County has produced several notable baseball players, including Dave Collins, a former MLB player who played for the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees. Collins was known for his speed on the basepaths and his ability to play multiple positions. He went on to become a coach and scout after his playing days were over.

In conclusion, Sanborn County is a fascinating area that is rich in history and surprising facts. From the Sanford Underground Research Facility to Laura Ingalls Wilder, there is something for everyone to discover in this part of South Dakota. Whether you are a fan of science, literature, or sports, Sanborn County has something to offer you.

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