East River Vs. West River

 The Missouri River divides East River and West River South Dakota.

Wikimedia Commons / Alexius Horatius

The Missouri River divides East River and West River South Dakota.

Brooks Houwman, Staff Writer

South Dakota, the rolling plains of intense dry summer heat and frigid awful winters. 

Despite this,  South Dakotans love their state. Shockingly there is a rivalry taking place between the South Dakotans. What divides them all is the Missouri River that crosses close to the center of the state. The Missouri River starts its journey in Montana. From there it goes east to North Dakota then down to South Dakota where it cuts the state close to half. This rivalry has been going on forever, yet no one has ever solved what the best side really is. To find this out I put together three different categories and gave my complete unbiased explanation of who won over the category.  


Both East River and West River are famous for a number of different restaurants and foods. From restaurants deep in the Black Hills to small-town dives dotted around South Dakota, each side has both its positive and negative parts. What really must be brought in to decide who wins is South Dakota’s state food, chislic. 

“John Hoellwarth, a German Russian from the Crimea region, brought the dish with him when he immigrated to Hutchinson County in the 1870s, according to historical records,” said Alexa Giebank in her article “A history chislic and why it’s South Dakota’s unofficial dish.”

Hutchinson County is located in the lower southeast corner of South Dakota, making chislic an East River delicacy before it was West River’s. 


Generally, South Dakota is not what most people think of when it comes to scenic vacations or scenery whatsoever. East River consists of mostly plains with the exception of some of the biggest towns and some lakes. These are pretty, but nothing can compare to the Black Hills or Badlands, on the west side of the river. Both have attractions, one of the biggest being Mount Rushmore, which brings in close to 300 million in revenue each year. The scenic views of trees and mountains are incomparable to other views around South Dakota.

Most Corn:

There is a soil difference between East River and West River South Dakota, and because of this, West River is not especially good at growing crops. Corn is a very important crop for things like sweeteners, gas and animal food, and the East River has so much of it they have their own corn palace.


East River and West River both have so many amazing characteristics to choose from, but still, there must be a winner. With East River’s ability to bring South Dakota’s most famous food to South Dakota they easily win the food category. The next category was the scenery aspect of South Dakota which the West River dominated because of the Black Hills and Badlands. The final and most important category was Most Corn. The West River could never even come close to the amount of corn the East River produces. I mean come on, they have a corn palace. Through this extremely complicated algorithm, everyone now knows East River is the superior side of South Dakota.