History of Santee I - History

History of Santee I - History

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Santee I

(Fr.: t. 1,726; Ibp. 175'; b. 45'; dph. 14'5"; cpl. 480; a. 2 64-pdrs., 10 8" shell guns, 20 32 pdrs. 57 cwt.16 32-pdrs. 33 cwt., 2 heavy 12-pdrs.; cl. Brandywine )

The first Santee, a sailing frigate rated at 44 guns, was laid down in 1820 by the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard, but, due to a shortage of funds, she long remained uncompleted on the stocks. She was finally launched on 16 February 1855 and first commissioned on 9 June 1861, Capt. Henry Eagle in command.

Santee departed Portsmouth on 20 June 1861 stopped at Hampton Roads to load ammunition, and resumed her voyage to the Gulf of Mexico on 10 July. On 8 August, the frigate captured schooner, C. P. Knapp, in the gulf some 350 miles south of Pensacola and escorted the blockade runner to that port. On 27 October, Santee took her second prize, Delta, off Galveston. That hermaphrodite brig had attempted to slip into Galveston with a cargo of salt from Liverpool.

Shortly before midnight on 7 November, boats left the frigate and entered Galveston Bay hoping to capture and burn Confederate armed steamer, General Rusk. However, in attempting to avoid detection, the boats ran aground. Since he had lost the advantage of surprise, the expedition's commander, Lt. James E. Jouett, canceled his plans to attack General Rusk and turned his attention to the chartered Confederate lookout vessel, Royal Yacht. After a desperate hand-to-hand fight, he captured Royal Yacht's crew, set the armed schooner afire, and retired to Santee with about a dozen prisoners. During the action, one man from the frigate was killed and two of her officers and six of her men were wounded, one mortally. After a five or six-mile chase on 30 December, boats from Santee captured 14-ton Confederate schooner, Garonne. Capt Eagle stripped the prize for use as a lighter.

In January 1862, when the Union naval force in the Gulf of Mexico was divided into two squadrons, Santee was assigned to Flag Officer Farragut's new West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Under the new organization, she continued to blockade the Texas coast, primarily off Galveston, until summer. Then, because scurvy had weakened the frigate's erew and the enlistments of many of her bluejackets had expired, the ship sailed north. She reached Boston on 22 August and was decommissioned on 4 September.

Refitted at the Boston Navy Yard the ship was recommissioned there exactly a month later and sailed for Newport, R.I., to serve as a school ship at the United States Naval Academy which had been moved there from Annapolis, Md., for security during the Civil War. At Newport, midshipmen lived, studied, and attended classes in frigates Santee and Constitution as they prepared for positions of leadership in the Union Navy.

After the close of the Civil War, the Naval Academy returned to Annapolis, and Santee, carrying midshipmen, sailed for that port and moored near Fort Severn on 2 August 1865. There, she continued her duty as school ship which she had performed at Newport. The following year, she became a gunnery ship and was used by midshipmen to master the art of naval gunnery. About the same time, the frigate began to be used as a barracks ship for midshipmen being punished and for new fourthclassmen receiving their first taste of Navy life. For decade after decade, the frigate served the Naval Academy without interruption and was a strong and memorable agent in molding the nation's naval officers.

Then, before dawn on 2 April 1912, after a half a century of duty as an educator, Santee sank at her mooring. Efforts to refloat the frigate proved unsuccessful. She was sold to Joseph G. Hitner, of Philadelphia, on 2 August 1912, the anniversary of her arrival at Annapolis. After six months of effort, she was finally raised, and, on 8 May 1913, Santee departed the Severn under tow and proceeded to Boston where she was burned for the copper and brass in her hull.

History of Santee I - History

Santee History

With the advent of the automobile in the early part of the 1900's, increased pressure grew to provide for more convenient and passable roadways across the state. In 1927, a bridge was built over 'the river' between the towns of Summerton and Santee. This led to the subsequent intersection of US 301 and SC 15 with SC Highway 6, laying the groundwork for the growth of the crossroads community of Santee.

Back in the late 1940's, Santee was just a crossroad with two or three restaurants and some stores. Because a lot of folks from the North were coming through on their way South, it was not long before a number of small motels started to be built along Highways 301 and 15, and beautiful Lake Marion. This was long before Interstate I-95 was constructed.

Back in those times, the town didn’t have the right to sell alcohol to travelers. In order to be able to sell alcohol in South Carolina back then, you had to be an incorporated community. So the local hotel, restaurant, and store owners got together and petitioned to officially incorporate the Town of Santee, so they could sell alcohol to visitors. The rest is history.

Up through the 1950's, the primary occupation in the Santee area was farming. It wasn't until the 1960s that Santee began to give serious attention to the potential economic impact of travel and tourism on the town's future. By the early 1970s, in anticipation of the opening of I-95 running through Santee, new motels, restaurants and businesses had begun to be built along the SC 6 corridor.

In the mid-1970s the town government and its local business leaders started working together to secure federal funds to plan for and install central water and sewer systems. Bringing in central water and sewer, along with the completion of the I-95 bridge span across Lake Marion signaled a new era of growth and development for the Santee community.

Though its now a far cry from the little crossroads community that it was in the early 1940's, Santee still maintains its small town feel, while proudly focusing on its new motto as an 'Oasis of Recreation' on the banks of Lake Marion. Today visitors come to play golf, boat, fish, camp, hike, and observe the abundant wildlife inhabiting the area.

What Santee family records will you find?

There are 9,000 census records available for the last name Santee. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Santee census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 425 immigration records available for the last name Santee. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 3,000 military records available for the last name Santee. For the veterans among your Santee ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 9,000 census records available for the last name Santee. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Santee census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 425 immigration records available for the last name Santee. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 3,000 military records available for the last name Santee. For the veterans among your Santee ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.


The region was the homeland of the Kumeyaay people. These original residents established the village of Sinyeweche on the banks of the San Diego River in the present day Santee area. [7]

The city is named after Milton Santee, the second husband of Jennie Blodgett, whose first husband was George A. Cowles, a pioneer rancher and businessperson in the San Diego County area. [8]

Santee shares the northern part of a valley with the city of El Cajon. The city is bisected by the San Diego River, which flows east to west for approximately 4.2 miles (6.8 km) within the city limits. Hills form a natural barrier on its northern and western sides.

At an altitude of 1,198 feet, Rattlesnake Mountain is the highest point in Santee. Rattlesnake Mountain is home to the Sky Ranch community, and is topped with a large illuminated star during the holiday season. [ citation needed ]

Climate Edit

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Santee has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps. [9]

Historical population
Census Pop.
198047,080 123.1%
199052,902 12.4%
200052,975 0.1%
201053,413 0.8%
2019 (est.)58,081 [6] 8.7%
U.S. Decennial Census [10]

2010 Edit

At the 2010 census Santee had a population of 53,413. The population density was 3,231.6 people per square mile (1,247.7/km 2 ). The racial makeup of Santee was 44,083 (82.5%) White, 1,057 (2.0%) African American, 409 (0.8%) Native American, 2,044 (3.8%) Asian (1.8% Filipino, 0.4% Chinese, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.3% Japanese, 0.2% Korean, 0.2% Indian, 0.5% Other), 253 (0.5%) Pacific Islander, 2,677 (5.0%) from other races, and 2,890 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8,699 persons (16.3%). [11]

The census reported that 52,447 people (98.2% of the population) lived in households, 77 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 889 (1.7%) were institutionalized.

There were 19,306 households, of which 7,156 (37.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 10,304 (53.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,614 (13.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,157 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,135 (5.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 119 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,986 households (20.6%) were one person and 1,534 (7.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.72. There were 14,075 families (72.9% of households) the average family size was 3.13.

The age distribution was 12,710 people (23.8%) under the age of 18, 5,068 people (9.5%) aged 18 to 24, 14,790 people (27.7%) aged 25 to 44, 15,105 people (28.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,740 people (10.7%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

There were 20,048 housing units at an average density of 1,212.9 per square mile, of the occupied units 13,576 (70.3%) were owner-occupied and 5,730 (29.7%) were rented. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.5% the rental vacancy rate was 4.0%. 36,198 people (67.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 16,249 people (30.4%) lived in rental housing units.

2000 Edit

As of the census [12] of 2000, there were 52,975 people in 18,470 households, including 14,018 families, in the city. The population density was 3,298.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,273.6/km 2 ). There were 18,833 housing units at an average density of 1,172.7 per square mile (452.8/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 86.70% White, 1.48% African American, 0.81% Native American, 2.55% Asian, 0.41% Pacific Islander, 4.03% from other races, and 4.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.36% of the population.

Of the 18,470 households 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 18.2% of households were one person and 6.9% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.19.

The age distribution was 28.2% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% 65 or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

Estimated median household income in 2008: $71,806 (up from $53,624 in 2000)

Located on 15 acres (6.1 ha) in Santee is the Las Colinas Detention Facility, [13] which serves as the primary point of intake for women prisoners in San Diego County. It began as a juvenile facility in 1967 and was converted to an adult women's institution in 1979. [14]

A 10-week series of free concerts is organized each summer by the city's Community Services Department. [15] The Santee Wine and Bluegrass Festival, [16] a fund-raiser for local park and youth recreation programs, is held each fall at Town Center Community Park. Santee is also home to Off Broadway Live, a 100-seat, cabaret-style theatre, featuring the Pickwick Players. [ citation needed ]

21 thoughts on &ldquo The Ghost Towns of Lake Marion, Part 3 – The Water Rises &rdquo

Thank you for these three write-ups on Ferguson and Church Island. You found the answers to several questions that Doug Bostick’s book left open. I grew up in Sparkleberry swamp where my father had a cabin and we spent a lot of time after cabin was torn down in 1972 in the Ferguson area. Never knew the road bed was the railroad. Especially appreciate you overlaying the old map onto Google Earth. Makes the picture so much clearer. Thanks again for sharing.

Can anyone tell me about a plantation/farm…Quackenbush? My grandmother and her twin brother were born there in 1911..I think it must be one that was flooded but we cant find any information on it. In our old records from family members it just says Quackenbush Plantaton Clarendon County.
thank you for any information or leads for me to follow
sherri mcclendon

Quackenbush is in Summerton, SC 29148 which is in Clarendon County SC.
Google Wyboo Swamp.
Quackenbush is 2 coves over from Wyboo (next to Grimes creek)
One of my Uncles T. Walden Elliott (assumed) drowned (in his early 20’s) at Quackingbush in 1957. He was last seen wading in the water about waste deep and became missing. Later he was found in only about chest deep water. I hope this helps in your search.

thank you so much..forever everyone has looked at me like I am crazy when I ask about Quackenbush…cant wait to forward the info to someof the family.

You are quite welcome.
I was born in Clarendon County which is rich with history, especially Revolutionary War.
General Francis Marion had many of his excursions here. I fact in a boat, leaving Quackenbush, you would roll out right toward the I-95 bridge, and cross Lake Marion. Pond Bluff Plantation (Marion’s) home place is underwater there not too far from Quackenbush.
I’ll try to do some Quackenbush research for you. I’ve never heard it called a plantation before, but that makes sense, and how the community got its name.

I will be visiting Charleston in January. I am glad I saw this. I was looking into visiting my ancestors place of birth, grave, and many other places. I just started looking into Pond Bluff, and was having a difficult time mapping it. I ended up here when I did some more “googling”. I never new there were so many landmarks on Francis Marion!

Quackenbush in the 1950s was bought by Elliott Lumber Company, Summerton, from C. N. Plowden, a prominent S.C. politician from Summerton who called the large house on the 500- plus-acre farm, Lake Marion Manor. Camp Bob Cooper, if not adjacent to Quackenbush, was just down the road. My father was part owner of the lumber company, and I spent many weekends at the house. I also spent two weeks of my honeymoon there. Next to the honeymoon, some of my best memories of the place are related to fishing and hunting. The quail hunting was superb on the vast broom straw fields that afforded easy shooting unobstructed by trees and brush, and I once counted as many as 18 coveys on a single hunt.
T. Walden Elliott was the brother of DuValle Elliott, Summerton, also one of the owners of Elliott Lumber Company. We referred to T. Walden Elliott as Wally Elliott. I remember when he drowned, and, after this tragedy, visits by adults in the family became more infrequent. The farm was broken up into lots that were auctioned, and the house was eventually sold to the Richardson family of Clarendon County. The rich experiences enjoyed at Quackenbush will be remembered by me as long as I have a memory.

Sherri my father was born in 1912 and I have vague memories of him talking about Quackenbush.You might try to contact Tim Oliver his father owned a lot of property in that area.

Roston..thank you so much..I would love to find some old photos of those days in hopes of finding maybe old family pictures..most of my old pictures are from my ggrandmother. Onie Babb…her mother was Fannie Abercrombie..its the Grumbles side of the family I am curious about…they were mostly from Laurens. I will try to ask Tim Oliver..thanks again sherri

By the way..how do I reach Tim Oliver..lol

please feel free to email me [email protected]

I have sure enjoyed this story.told so well I can see,the pictures were so clear.
Thank You for a great piece,I guess I had never really new the story,I will look forward to more,

Thank you so much for this series. I have lots of family around the Eutawville/Santee area and spent much of my childhood with them on and near the lake. I have always heard bits and pieces about the “underwater town” and such, but never so much in one place. Being a bit of a history geek myself, it was particularly interesting. If you make it back to the area, just down from Bell’s marina and Ferguson landing road, you can see the Eutaw Springs battlefield. Might catch that next time. There is/was an old pitcher pump there that has some of the cleanest, freshest water I have ever drank. When I was little (some 30+ years ago) I remember seeing the bubbles as the water bubbled up from the spring in the edge of the lake there.

Love this article. During my studies of Lake Marion for the last twenty five years I’m missing bits and pieces of the puzzle.I have seen maps of Francis Marions Plantation at two different locations.If you or you know of someone that has a map older than 1960 please email me([email protected]).The information I’m seaching for may be on older maps.Ok for you Lake Marion trivia folks out there heres a good one.If you are a true Lake Marion history buff you might know this?When Lake Marion was flooded what is now know as Wyboo Creek what name was it called then ?Please email answers.

This was a great series of articles, Tom. I enjoyed reading them.

I’m wondering if Ferguson is an ancestor of mine. Both my father and my brother are named Benny Ferguson. Most of our family is from the south, though.

Can you tell me where exactly Pond Bluff Plantation is located? There is a forgotten cemetery there of about 103 graves. I am interested in pictures of this area to record. The lake at this time is low.

Nice story! I love hearing history of South Carolina since we just moved to Bluffton about two years ago. However, Lake Marion itself is a mess. Who really wants to be restricted to driving a boat between the green and orange? Then, there are places you have to chance it without markers. Well that doesn’t work well. We hit two stumps or trees under the water. Fortunately, I knew it had to happen, and I was going really slow with my engine up. Oh…in the HOT hot sun, until I finally reached one of those markers. This lake is a disaster. Shame on South Carolina for not coming back to clear those trees during the past 75 years. Can you imagine how much better the economies would be around the lake. Instead, there are 70 year old fish camps, and abandoned marinas trying to make it. Wow! I know this will hurt some feelings, and you are right, there is much beauty on the lake. But, for the largest lake in SC, you really only can use about 10-20 percent of it.

I have a place on Quackenbush road and I know Tim Oliver, I can contact him with any questions for you.This area is known as Potato creek. I too love the lake history, and the history and names before the flood. anybody know where the town of Frierson was?

Does anybody have any locations of ghost towns on the Clarendon County side of Lake Marion? This will be used for a class project for my history students.

Thanks for the article i always heard that my great grandefathers brother shot himself on the steps of springfield plantation

My father, Charles M Brice, was the Engineer in Charge of clearing for the Santee Cooper Project from 1939-1941. His office was in Holly Hill and my mother was his secretary. He told me many stories about the clearing and the project in general. I had many pictures and layouts of the movable camps, which I donated to the Authority in Moncks Corner. I kept several color photos taken at the beginning of the project and the completion. Thank you for the article, brought back many memories from my youth and the time I spent with my Dad fishing both Lake Moultrie and Marion.

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The Santee is formed in central South Carolina 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Columbia by the confluence of the Wateree and Congaree rivers. It flows southeast for 5 miles (8 km) before entering the northwest corner of Lake Marion, which stretches in a long wide arc to the southeast for approximately 30 miles (48 km) to Santee Dam. A navigable diversion canal first built in the 1970s at the southern tip of the lake connects to Lake Moultrie, a reservoir on the nearby Cooper River. The modern canal is operated by Santee Cooper as part of the larger hydroelectric project on both rivers. The dam was finished in 1941.

Downstream from the reservoir it flows east, then southeast, forming the northeast boundary of Francis Marion National Forest. Approximately 10 miles (16 km) from its mouth it bifurcates into two channels, called the North Santee and South Santee, that flow parallel and separated by approximately 2 miles (3 km), creating Cedar Island. The two channels reach the ocean at Santee Point, approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of Georgetown, and not far from the mouth of the Pee Dee River.

The river was named by early English settlers after the Santee tribe, which inhabited areas on the middle part of the river. The first European contact was by a Spanish party led by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The Spaniards called the river the Jordan in honor of the Jordan River.

After suffering a defeat by the English and their allies during the Yamasee War in 1715–1716, the Santee were relocated. Many were shipped as slaves to the West Indies, opening up the river for British settlement as part of the Carolina Colony. Most of the Siouan peoples had migrated into the upper Midwest before European encounter.

In the late 18th century, the upper river was the site of the homestead of Francis Marion, a patriot of the American Revolutionary War. The original site of his homestead has been flooded by Lake Marion, which is named in his honor.

Construction of the 22-mile (35 km)-long Santee Canal, linking the river to the Cooper, was begun in 1793 and finished in 1800. It allowed direct water transportation between the Upcountry of central South Carolina and Charleston, at the mouth of the Cooper and the harbor. The canal operated for 50 years before being made obsolete by the introduction of railroads.

During the Great Depression, the state of South Carolina created the Santee Cooper power utility. The main source of electric power for the utility came through federal construction during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt of a hydroelectric project inland from Charleston. Starting in 1939, the Santee River was dammed, forming lakes Marion and Moultrie, and diverting the river's flow into the Cooper River through a hydroelectric plant at Pinopolis. The WPA project was completed in 1941.

Though the project succeeded in providing cheap electricity to modernize rural South Carolina, unintended consequences were changes to the character of both the Cooper and Santee rivers below the project. Deprived of most its water flow, the Santee River became more saline and its ecosystem gradually changed below the dam. The Cooper River received more of the freshwater and sediment loads that used to flow into the Santee and carried them downstream. This has resulted in greatly increasing the dredging costs to keep Charleston Harbor operating as a port. In the 1980s, the Army Corps of Engineers built a "rediversion" canal to send most of the water back into the Santee, partially mitigating this problem.

History of Santee I - History


May 1866 - The 247 Santees shipped from Davenport, Iowa. Arrive at the Niobrara River by Niobrara Township.

June 11, 1866 - Santees removed from Crow Creek. Arrive at Niobrara River by Niobrara Township (first site of the Agency was a mile East of Niobrara.)

During the winter, the Agency was moved 3-4 miles East of Niobrara at the mouth of the Bazile Creek, where present day Maiden's Leap is located.

Summer 1867 - Santee Agency is moved to present day site, which at the time was called Breckenridge.

1867 - First church built by Samuel D. Hinman where present day Our Most Merciful Savior Church is located . Which also served as the first Agency .

1868 - Fort Laramie Treaty is signed.

1868 - First Building is built by Samuel D. Hinman.

1869 - Group of Santee families leave to establish homesteads by what is now Flandreau, S.D.

1869 - An addition added to schoolhouse to serve as a hospital.

August 1869 - Santee Reservation Land is established.

October 1869 - Santee agent Samuel M. Janney establishes the first police force of 1 member from each of the 6 bands with the pay of $5 a month.

June 1870 - Tornado wipes out church and .

Winter 1870 - Santee Normal Training School is established by A.L. Riggs, with an of 111 students.

June 1871 - Samuel M. Janney builds 3 story chalkstone sawmill on Bazile Creek so the Santees can grind their own grain into flour.

August 1871 - Santee Normal Training it's own printing press and begins printing the lapi Oaye (Word Carrier).

1873 - Breakout of smallpox epidemic claims 70 Santees' lives.

1874 - Industrial School opens with an enrollment of 36 pupils and 3 teachers.

1875 - Day established by Episcopal Mission at Blessed Redeemer at Howe Creek and Wabasha's Village near the Holy Faith Church at Hobu Creek.

April 23rd, 1876 - Head Chief Wabasha dies.

January 22, 1878 - First election held to elect 2 from 4 districts to replace old chief system.

1882 - Hope School. A small institution for boys, was opened up by the Episcopal Mission in Springfield, S.D.

1884 - After the burning of the Indian Missions, the girls' school, St. Mary's, is moved to Springfield, S.D.

Summer 1884 - A court of Indian offenses is instituted. But the court and police force were eliminated in 1891.

February 2, 1887 - Dakotah language is prohibited in the classrooms at The Normal Training School.

1893 - Government of Normal Training school is terminated.

Summer 1893 - First per capita payment is made to the Santee Agency in the sum of $34.93.

1898 - Santee population rises to 1,098.

1917 - Withdrawl of government services leads to closing of Santee Agency.

1935 - 2 Room School House is built across the street from what is now Takoja Tipi Daycare, which would serve as the primary school after the Normal Training School permanently closes it's doors in 1936.

History of Santee I - History

From 1863 the Santee history ran a varied and uncertain course as the government tried to settle them in several different places. The proposals which came in from all quarters seemed to be dedicated to getting rid of the Santee. Finally"> Santee History I

From 1863 the Santee history ran a varied and uncertain course as the government tried to settle them in several different places. The proposals which came in from all quarters seemed to be dedicated to getting rid of the Santee. Finally, the Secretary of the Interior picked a site on the Missouri River 100 miles from Fort Randall, about eight (8) miles above Crow Creek. The choice was a disastrous error. In 1864, 1300 Santee were placed at Crow Creek and in three months starvation and disease reduced the number to 1000. The very memory of Crow Creek became horrendous to the Santee.
Although the Crow Creek episode lasted but three years it was an important period in the history of the Santee Sioux. The Crow Creek period was over when it was decided the Santee should be moved to the mouth of the Niobrara River in Northeastern Nebraska Territory. The people from Crow Creek reach Niobrara on June 11, 1866. The first site of the settlement agency was about a mile east of the present town of Niobrara.
On February 27, 1866, President Johnson's executive order was issued withdrawing from preemption and sale. Four townships that are in what is now known as Knox County. The chief advantage of the site was that it had plenty of timber and at least 2000 acres of tillable land. Being low on the Missouri River, it would be easy to send supplies to it. It was decided by the government that the site would allow the Santee Sioux to become self-supporting.
In the summer of 1869 the establishments of the Santee Reservation became a reality. After several changes, inclusions and withdrawals the Santee Reservation became a compact, rectangular, tract of land twelve miles from East to West and averaging about fifteen miles from North to South, encompassing 115,075.92 acres. The biggest event for the Santee of the 19th Century was the allotment of lands and the opening of the reservation to white settlement.
The 1868 Treat of Fort Laramie provided for allotment of land to those desiring to farm. The present boundaries were defined in the Treaty. Over the next decade and a half allotments were made and patents were issued years later. A deadline was set by presidential order that all lands not allotted by April 15, 1885 would on May 15, 1885 revert to public domain.
By April 15, 1885, about 72,000 acres had been divided into 853 allotments. 1,300 acres were reserved for agency, school and missionary use and about 42,000 acres were open to white settlement. Allotments were gradually leased or sold to non-Indian farmers until the amount of land controlled by the Santee was reduced to the present acreage of about 2,200 acres of allotted land and about 3,200 acres of Tribal Land.
From 1885 through 1934 the history of the Santee Sioux can be understood only against the general trend of Indian Affairs during the period. The Agency of the Santee Reservation closed in 1917 and there was a gradual withdrawal of Government Services. The attempt to make farmers out of the Santee was a failure and the practice of leasing dissipated the holdings of Indian Lands.
The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934 brought a change in Indian Policy. This Act stopped the allotments and required the Secretary of Interior to attempt to regain land lost during the allotment act, IRA also proclaimed Congress to be supportive of Indian Self-Governance and the creation of Tribal Constitutions.
Indian Tribes (historically and at present) are subject to an Act of Congress, however, since the passage of the Indian Education and Self-Determination Act of 1972, the Tribes have been given some measure of control over their internal affairs.

Historical Background
The Isanti or Santee Sioux belong to the "D" speaking dialect of the Great Sioux Nation. This is a distinction that is rarely considered except for those speaking the language as an important component of Indian Culture.
The recorded history of the Santee Sioux begin with the White Americans encounter with the Tribe around 1600. Most of the history prior to the encounter is based upon legend.
When the whitemen penetrated the homeland of the Sioux, the Santee were living along the Mississippi River, the the are now known as the State of Minnesota. Placing Tribes in their present locations was by an act of Congress, which divided the Great Sioux Nation into (9) smaller reservations. Due to the westward expansion and policies of the Federal Government to acquire Indian Land, unilateral treaties were made with Indian Tribes to gain possessions of their land.
Starting in the early 1800's and continuing through most of that century saw the movement of white Americans into territory occupied by the Sioux. With this movement of white settlers, came the White man's desire to cause the Santee Sioux to adopt his culture and ways. Considerable effort was made to turn him into a Christian and a farmer. The efforts met with few successes. What was happening during these years of "Civilizing the Sioux" were smaller events that would end in catastrophe for the Santee. A period that would be described as "Reservation Life for the Santee People in Minnesota" began when the Sioux ceded all the land East of the Mississippi by Treaty in 1837.
This Treaty left the Santee without a home. In 1854 an Act passed by Congress , allowed the President to confirm an area along the Mississippi River in what is now South Dakota, Western Minnesota , Iowa and North Dakota. This area was supposedly reserved for the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Mdewakanton, and Wahpekute bands. Friction began to grow between the Santee, the United States Government and the White Settlers.
In 1862, it reached and explosive stage and as a result the Four (4) bands of the Sioux mentioned above, took part in an uprising in Western Minnesota, for these actions, an act was passed on February 16, 1863, which abrogated and annulled all Treaties made with the Sioux. All lands and occupancy within the State of Minnesota were forfeited to the United States. With this Act, the removal of the Sioux Indians from the State of Minnesota was begun.

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Blog: Santee History Lesson 101

Prior to joining the Union on September 9, 1850, California was governed at different times by both Spain and Mexico. Today, remains of the Spanish influence can still be seen in the historic Old Mission Dam site at the west entrance of the City. Established in 1779 under the direction of Father Junipero Serra, and built by the Kumeyaay Indians, the dam provided water to the land of Mission de Alcala.

The Spanish parceled this region into land grants and divided the grants among Spanish soldiers in payment for services rendered. Years later, the land was sold to American settlers. George A. Cowles (Kohls), a founding father, was one of the local buyers. Cowles bought 4,000 acres in 1877 to develop his vineyards. He also introduced a number of tree species to this area, such as pomegranate and magnolia trees.

Known as Cowleston, the town was linked to the Cuyamaca Railroad at Cowles Station. A landmark that bears this pioneer's name is Cowles Mountain, at the southwest end of the Santee Valley.
Three years after Cowle's death in 1887, Jennie Cowles married Milton Santee, a realtor and surveyor. In 1891, Jennie Cowles Santee received permission to operate the post office under her husband's name. That same year, Cowleston's first school, Cowles School in the Cowles School District, was built.

In 1893, the community followed her lead and changed the town's name to Santee. The school and the school district also adopted the new town name.

Hosmer P. McKoon came to the Santee area in 1885 and purchased 9,543 acres, which he called Fanita Ranch in honor of his wife Fannie. Over the ensuing years, segments of the ranch were sold to new arrivals.

The City of Santee's evolution from being a small, backcountry village in the late nineteenth century to becoming a diverse and multifaceted modern city is a fascinating and colorful story. From the community's original founders, George and Jennie Cowles, Hosmer McKoon, and Milton Santee himself, to those who led the incorporation drive toward it becoming a city almost a century later, Santee's history is filled with people who shared a vision of this community becoming something truly special.

In 1898, the Scripps family of newspaper fame took possession of Fanita Ranch, a 7,000 acre parcel. It was used to raise cattle and as a country resort by the Scripps family. During World War II, 2,300 acres of the ranch, west of present Santee, were acquired by the federal government and used as a military training ground. In 1958, another 4,300 acres were purchased by a development firm, the Carlton Company (later Santee - Carlton Company). Its early president was Bill Mast, after whom Mast Boulevard is now named. During the ensuing 22 years, the area's population expanded from less than 2,000 residents in 1950 to 25,750 in 1970. With this phenomenal rate of growth, the residents became increasingly concerned about the character of the community, particularly as it related to new development.

Subsequently, residents of Santee expressed interest in the community through the San Diego County Santee Citizen's Planning Committee. This group of volunteer citizens, established and officially recognized by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in December of 1968, served as a local land-use-and-planning advisory board to the county planning commission and the Board of Supervisors. Though the size of the committee was not fixed and subsequently fluctuated, 29 people originally served on the Executive Committee and another 129 members made up the entire planning committee.

This core of community activists spent thousands of hours, giving up precious free time, preparing the Santee Community Plan. The sacrifice, however, bore fruit when the plan secured approval from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 1974. Following the City's birth, the plan acted as the community's General Plan until the current Santee General Plan was adopted in 1984.

1976 proved to be a sad time for incorporation supporters who watched in dismay as their initiative for cityhood was voted down by a 2-1 ratio. In 1980, however, residents reversed themselves and voted for incorporation, giving rise to the City of Santee. In the same election, the electorate chose its first five-member City Council. Prior to the direct election of a Mayor in 1984, Council Members selected from among themselves a Mayor and Vice Mayor for terms of two years. Terms were reduced to one year in 1982, although the Mayor's was increased to four following the passage of the direct-election initiative of 1984, giving residents exclusive power to seat the Mayor.

The first Santee City Council Members were:
Gene Ainsworth, Mayor
E.T. "Woodie" Miller, Vice Mayor
Jim Bartell
Jan Claussen
Roy Woodward

The City has continued to grow and mature since its incorporation in 1980. No longer just a bedroom community of homes, Santee now boasts major commercial centers in its downtown, a business community which employs over 17,000 people, and significant recreational opportunities. Santee takes pride in its past and looks forward to its future!

Watch the video: Pushing Back The Darkness: The Santee Cooper Story