Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Belle Fourche, South Dakota: Geographic Center of the United States

Some place has to be the geographic center of the United States, right? Belle Fourche, South Dakota, is it. (Say it like it is Belle Foosh, French for beautiful fork, as in the river.)

If you are wondering how Alaska and Hawaii factors into all of this, the idea is that if you balanced the entire United States on a pin, the pin would stick into Belle Fourche. Visitors are willing to take the geography majors' word for it.

The actual geographic center is well north of town, on an unpaved road in the middle of nowhere. That doesn't exactly promote tourism. So, a display was made for the visitors' center in the middle of town. The marker shown above is outside and down a small hill from the center. While visiting, you can go through a museum on the area's history.

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