Have you ever wondered: How did Sioux Falls get its nickname?

Published: Jul. 17, 2018 at 1:57 PM CDT
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Sioux Falls became known as the Queen City in the late 1800s. More than 125 years later, Queen City Bakery opened its doors in downtown.

The bakery is known for fresh, homemade baked goods. The owners said when they opened the doors 10 years ago, they wanted a name to reflect their traditional pastries.

"It was a throwback to the city itself when it was still growing we intended to do to grow as well," Mitch Jackson said, who owns the bakery in downtown Sioux Falls with his wife, Kristine.

The two are from South Dakota but were living in New York when they came up with the idea to open a bakery in their home state.

"I flew to Sioux Falls to look at commercial space," Mitch said.

He was at Falls Park when he learned about the nickname, Queen City.

"I was on a plane back from Sioux Falls between here and Chicago, and Queen City Bakery popped into my head," he said.

He and his wife went back and forth for the next month on names.

"And that was the name we kept coming back to. It just seemed to stick," Mitch said.

They quickly learned Sioux Falls wasn't the only place known as the Queen City.

"I don't think we have ownership of the Queen City either," Kevin Gansz said, who is the curator of education at the Old Courthouse Museum.

He said business men used Queen City as propaganda in the 1880s.

"I can't really say why exactly they chose Queen City. "Boston Globe" has entire pages, where it talked about the thriving business that is going on in Sioux Falls," Gansz said.

Entire pamphlets were sent out bragging about Sioux Falls to bring more business and industry to the community.

"I think there are also other cities and communities in the country at the same time that are promoting themselves as the Queen City," Gansz said.

"We often get calls and orders placed from people thinking they're ordering from a bakery in their town, which is in a total other state just because of that name overlap," Jackson said.

He said he often gets calls from Cincinnati, Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina as other Queen Cities.

If you have any questions you want Vanessa Gomez to dig into, email her at vgomez@ksfy.com.