All early maps (1838-1879) showed the Hole-in-The-Mountain or Mountain Pass where Coteau Perce creek drained SW from Lake Benton to the Big Sioux. It is 8 miles SE. Nicollet & Fremont, first explorers, visited the "Hole" on July 6, 1838 and passed westward 3 miles north of here, visiting Lakes Oakwood and Poinsett and returning to Minnesota 43 miles further north.
Ft. Ridgely & South Pass Wagon Road. Wm. H. Nobles, Supt. and Samuel A. Medary, Engineer, used the "Hole" in 1857 for this first made road (fords of rock and mounds to show the way) into South Dakota. This road, which terminated at the Missouri,
was 254 miles long and crossed the Big Sioux at Medary. Medary in 1857, said of the "Hole." "It is the only known route favorable for a railroad through or over the Coteau des Prairies." The Dakota Central Railroad (North Western) in 1879 confirmed his prediction, and Elkton, first Ivanhoe, Andrew W. Blanchard PM 16 June 1880; Aurora, Byron J. Kelsey, PM 7 January 1880; Brookings, George W. Hopp, PM 9 December 1879 may accord their existence to the "Hole" while Fountain, Chauncey A. Kelsey PM 30 July 1878 in Section 2-110-49 5 miles N of Aurora and Medary. Brookings County first county seat, became ghost towns since they were off the Railroad.