Thursday, February 23, 2017

10 Black Hills projects approved for property tax moratoriums

State Historical Society board approves 22 applications statewide

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota State Historical Society board of trustees recently approved 22 applications in 10 counties for the eight-year state historic preservation property tax moratorium for restoration and rehabilitation made to historic buildings.

“These approvals are significant because if an historic building qualifies for the tax benefit, an eight-year delay is placed on the property tax assessment of any certified improvements,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society, headquartered at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. “Property tax assessments may not be increased due to certified rehabilitation of the building.

“The property tax moratorium is an incentive for owners of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places to maintain and rehabilitate their homes and businesses,” Vogt added. 

One of the criteria for the approval was that the projects meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Of the 22 properties receiving the moratorium, 13 are private residences and nine are or will be income-producing properties. Investment per project ranged from $3,000 to $4 million. Private investments totaled $8.49 million. 

For more information on how to qualify for the state historic preservation property tax moratorium, contact the State Historical Society at (605) 773-3458, or go online to

Following is a list by county of the sites approved for the property tax moratorium.

Aurora County
Hilton House, 402 N. Main St., White Lake; constructed c. 1920; 2016 work was to refinish the porch.

Hofmeister House, 209 E. 1st St., White Lake; constructed in 1912; 2016 work continued rehabilitation to create usable living space in the basement.

Brown County
Olwin-Angell Building, 321 S. Main St., Aberdeen; constructed in 1903 with third floor added in 1914; 2016 work was to create a gym on the first floor.

Clay County
7 Center St., Vermillion; constructed in 1922; 2016 work included the installation of new electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems along with other interior renovations.

13 & 15 W. Main St., Vermillion; constructed as two separate buildings in 1883 and 1892, buildings combined into one in 2005; 2016 work remodeled the interior for a new business.

Davison County
Mitchell National Bank, 217 N. Main St., Mitchell; constructed around 1907; 2016 work repointed exterior stone.

W.S. Hill House, 520 E. 6th Ave., Mitchell; constructed in 1910; 2016 work renovated the original fireplace.

Fall River County
Harlou Building, 407 N. River St., Hot Springs; constructed in 1893; 2016 work renovated a portion of the first floor to hold a gallery, shop and studio space.

Hughes County
E.W. Stephens House, 500 N. Grand Ave., Pierre; constructed in 1939; 2016 work included a kitchen remodel, replacement of the house electrical, plumbing and heating/cooling (HVAC) systems, remediated mold and asbestos, repointed exterior brick and refinished all the wood floors.

McDonald House, 1906 E. Erskine St., Pierre; constructed in 1885; 2016 work included stabilizing the foundation, remodeling the unfinished attic, renovating the second floor bathroom, and remodeling the kitchen.

Miller House, 519 N. Huron Ave., Pierre; constructed 1925; 2016 work rebuilt the interior.

Lawrence County
3 Shine St., Deadwood; constructed in 1895; 2016 work was structural stabilization and remediation of hazardous materials.

138-140 Sherman St., Deadwood; constructed around 1897; 2016 work restored the original exterior appearance.

360 Williams St., Deadwood; constructed around 1880; 2016 work removed non-historic material, installed new electrical, plumbing and HVAC, repaired the foundation, replaced the roof, abated lead paint and painted the exterior.

Fountain House, 21 Charles St., Deadwood; constructed in 1890; 2016 work included a completed exterior restoration, installation of new electrical, plumbing and HVAC, and interior renovations.

Meade County
McMillan House, 1611 Davenport St., Sturgis; constructed in 1887; 2016 work included renovation of the first floor bathroom to remediate water damage, installation of interior storm windows, installation of new gutters and downspouts, and repairing and repainting some plaster walls.

Minnehaha County
Bowen House, 840 W. 9th St., Sioux Falls; constructed 1899-1900; 2016 work repointed the brick exterior and repaired cracks in the foundation.

Odd Fellows Home, 100 W. 10th St., Dell Rapids; constructed in 1910; 2016 work was the completion of two condo units.

Pennington County
Aby’s Feed and Seed, 408-412 5th St., Rapid City; original grain elevator and industrial complex constructed between 1911 and 1944; 2016 work repaired the loading dock on the south side and completed renovation of brick buildings on the north side and the warehouse on the east side.

Dean Motor Company, 329 Main St., Rapid City; constructed in 1930; 2016 work kept the open floor plan to adapt to a mixed use concept retaining the original industrial feel of the building with clay tile walls and visible roof trusses.

Fairmont Creamery, 201 Main St., Rapid City; constructed in 1929; 2016 work replaced the roof.

Hotel Alex Johnson, 523 6th St., Rapid City; constructed in 1927-1928; 2016 work updated guest rooms, administrative spaces, banquet halls and restaurant facilities.

(Thanks to the South Dakota State Historical Society for providing this information.)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Historic Winchester Firearms featured at Journey Museum

Reported by KEVN:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Northern Plains history symposium to focus on Black Hills

"Forts, Wars and Treaties on the Northern Plains" scheduled for June 1-3

The Case Library for Western Historical Studies at Black Hills State University in Spearfish and the Fort Meade Cavalry Museum are sponsoring a symposium and tour on June 1-3 that will highlight the region’s rich history.

Titled “Forts, Wars and Treaties on the Northern Plains,” the event will include an opening reception, presentations by Western history experts including Jerome A. Greene, Paul Hedren, Eli Paul, Randy Kane, Mike Her Many Horses, Donovin Sprague and Paul Higbee; a book signing, library tour and an all-day tour of Fort Meade and Bear Butte.

“Regional history symposiums offer the information and stories that bring a fuller understanding to our state’s history,” said David Wolff of Spearfish, vice president of the State Historical Society’s board of trustees and one of the coordinators of the event. "This symposium will look at the history of the Northern Plains, with an emphasis on the Black Hills. The topics to be discussed, especially Indian/White relations and military encounters, have a strong connection to what went on during the settling of Dakota Territory."

“The symposium is an opportunity for scholars and enthusiasts to share insights and knowledge about the multifaceted history of the Black Hills and the Northern Plains, as well as highlight the resources of the Case Library and Fort Meade Cavalry Museum,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society, headquartered at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

Other sponsors include the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, the West River Foundation, South Dakota Humanities Council, BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., the BHSU College of Liberal Arts and the E.Y. Berry Library-Learning Center.

For a registration form, click this link:  Forts, Wars and Treaties Symposium.  For more information, visit the website:

Contact Wolff at or Bobbi Sago at (605) 642-6361 with questions.

Monday, February 13, 2017

State Historical Society awards five preservation grants

Historic preservation projects in Arlington, Delmont, Faulkton, Madison and St. Onge have received matching grants from the South Dakota State Historical Society.

“2017 is the 20th year for this historic preservation grants program,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society. “In 2016 we awarded $108,204 between 11 projects which had matching funds of $291,301. The resulting total public-private investment is $399,505. This program is designed to encourage restoration or rehabilitation of historic properties and is one more way we can promote and protect our history and culture.”

The grants are awarded through the State Historical Society’s Deadwood Fund grant program. Funding for the program is from Deadwood gaming revenue earmarked by state law for historic preservation projects throughout the state. The program is administered by the society’s State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

The following projects were the most recent to receive grants to supplement their work:

n Arlington: Arlington Community Museum, also known as the Arlington Masonic Temple, built 1907-1908, $2,378 grant awarded for roof replacement
n  Delmont: Thomas Lenehan House, or The Onion House, built 1902, $20,000 grant awarded for structural and roof repair of onion dome tower 
n  Faulkton: Pickler Mansion, built 1882-1894, $10,700 grant awarded for structural stabilization
n  Madison: Herschell-Spillman Steam Riding Gallery, also known as the Prairie Village Carousel, built sometime between 1901 and 1920, $20,000 grant awarded for wood and mechanical restoration
n  St. Onge: Anderson-Ridley Barn, built 1902, $3,437 grant awarded to repoint mortar on the barn

These new recipients represent a total award amount of $56,515 and matching funds of $236,586. The total public-private investment is $293,101. These figures are reflected in the 2016 statistics above.

Deadwood Fund grants are awarded twice a year with grant application deadlines of Feb. 1 and Oct. 1.  They are reviewed at the spring and winter meetings of the State Historical Society’s board of trustees. For more information on the Deadwood Fund grant program, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217; telephone (605) 773-3458; or website

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Celebrating Laura Ingalls Wilder's 150th birthday

PIERRE, S.D. – A special program will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.
The free program will begin at 7 p.m. CST on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The program will take place at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre and will be broadcast to the De Smet Middle School using the state’s video conference network. People at both locations will be able to see, hear and talk to each other and the guest speaker. People at other locations are welcome to join the program by telephone or through the state’s video conference network. Please call (605) 773-6006 for more information.
“February 7 marks the author’s 150th birthday. Through Wilder’s books, readers of all ages have experienced what it was like to be a pioneer in the late 1800s,” said Michael Lewis, president of the South Historical Society Foundation. “Her books have captivated readers with the story of the Ingalls family since the first one was published in 1932.”
The program is sponsored by the foundation and the South Dakota Historical Society Press as part of the History and Heritage Book Club, and also the Ingalls Homestead and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, both of De Smet. Birthday cake and several recipes from “The Little House Cookbook” will be served. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Wilder was born in 1867 in Pepin, Wis., and died on Feb. 10, 1957, in Mansfield, Mo. In a speech published in “A Little House Sampler” edited by William T. Anderson, Wilder said she realized that her life represented a period of American history in which the frontier had gone and agricultural settlements had taken their place. She had lived in the phases of the frontiersman, the pioneer, the farmer and the towns.
Wilder’s first attempt at writing her life story was meant for adults. “Pioneer Girl” went unpublished until 2014, when published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Wilder said she rewrote her story for children as a memorial to her father. The resulting “Little House in the Big Woods” was an instant success. It was followed by seven more books that told the story of Wilder’s growing up, courtship and marriage.
Joining the program by telephone will be Anderson. The award-winning historian and author has written extensively about the Ingalls and Wilder families. Like many, he became fascinated with Wilder when he was a youngster. His third-grade teacher read Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” to the class and made it interesting. He later contacted Wilder’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, for information and visited sites where the Wilders had lived. His first published writing, “The Story of the Ingalls,” was published when he was 15.
Anderson’s talk will focus on his most recent book about Wilder, “The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder.” The letters span from 1894 to 1956 and include correspondence to her editor, readers, husband and daughter.
“The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” “Pioneer Girl” and the Little House books are available at the Heritage Store at the Cultural Heritage Center.
About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.
About the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation
The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is a private charitable nonprofit that seeks funding to assist the South Dakota State Historical Society in programming and projects to preserve South Dakota’s history and heritage for future generations.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Spearfish Canyon State Park proposal spurs more opposition

First announced by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard a year ago, public hearings on a proposed Spearfish Canyon State Park are drawing lots of interest.

Spearfish Canyon along U.S. 14A
And there doesn't seem to be a lot of support for the concept, which hinges on a "land swap" of state land for U.S. Forest Service land.

Even Forest Service officials expressed opposition to the land swap deal, despite early support from U.S. Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds.

Yesterday (1/26/17) at a public forum in the Spearfish Park Pavilion, the public weighed in on the proposal.  According to the Rapid City Journal, it was a "raucous crowd of about 400 people," most of whom strongly oppose the plan. (Read the RC Journal story here.) 

We were supportive a few years ago when South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks developed and improved the facilities around Roughlock Falls, which would appear to be smack-dab in the middle of the proposed new Spearfish Canyon State Park.  But there was no revelation  back then that state officials would return a few years later with plans for a Spearfish Canyon State Park.

To learn more about the proposed state park, you can take a look at the website Spearfish which was developed by the State of South Dakota.  It provides background information on the project, including information about the master plan, maps, history, and other updates. 

And, if you're so inclined, you'll find our views on the proposal at Black Hills Monitor.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Battleship South Dakota launched before Pearl Harbor attack

1941 sound recording of the USS South Dakota christening is available on the South Dakota State Historical Society website

PIERRE, S.D. – Two lacquer radio transcription discs, held in the collections of the South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, broadcast the June 7, 1941, double christening and launching of the battleship USS South Dakota from the New York Shipbuilding Corporation ways at Camden, N.J.
The digital audio recording of the christening of the South Dakota can be heard on the South Dakota Digital Archives website. Visit and find the link on the right to “USS South Dakota.” A transcript of the recording is also available on the website. The audio recording run time is just over 21 minutes.
The two discs were recently sent to the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass. The conservation center used its touchless optical scanning technology, called IRENE, to retrieve the sound from the two discs. 
At 1:20 p.m., on June 7, 1941, First Lady Vera Bushfield, official sponsor of the battleship christening ceremonies and wife of South Dakota Governor Harlan J. Bushfield, christened the battleship with a “full-size” bottle of Cook’s Imperial American champagne across the waiting prow of the United States Navy’s newest battleship South Dakota. A second “half-sized” champagne bottle, donated by Pierre resident Genevieve Trask, was also used in the ceremony – a special double christening. 

The U.S. Navy’s newest battleship, the USS South Dakota, awaits its christening and launching at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation ways in Camden, New Jersey, on June 7, 1941. (Photo courtesy South Dakota State Historical Society-Archives)

After a brief delay, the South Dakota traveled down the ways into the Delaware River. As proclaimed by radio announcer Lewis Fischer, “There she goes … Mrs. Bushfield has just smashed the christening bottle and majestically the South Dakota is going down the ways. You can hear the crowd yelling, the flags are flying and the whistles blowing. It is a magnificent sight.”
The Sioux Falls Washington High School band performed at the event and played “Anchors Aweigh” as the ship drifted into the Delaware River. The band played the national anthem later in the ceremony. 
The main speaker for the event was U.S. Secretary of War Frank Knox. He said, “There are fewer stirring views, nor moving sites, than that which you just witnessed. To see a great battleship leave the spot on the land and take to her native element. And to know that great ship will make a tremendous contribution to the safety of our country and all the people in it is a moving thought.
Secretary Knox emphasized that day on June 7, 1941, exactly six months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the necessity of preparing the military for the future, saying “We must, if we are to play our part in the world of the future, establish and maintain the greatest sea power the world has ever seen and along with that predominant sea power, and auxiliary service, civil supplemented and make it all powerful everywhere.”
He continued, “Unhappily we seem to be living in a time, when affairs are moved by force, when destinies are controlled by force and since we know now that at this time in the world, which for some time in the future we must live. Then we Americans must have that force, which is first essential to protect us in our security and safety and finally to support those elements and those ideals in humanity and civilization that will bring finally peace to this war in the world.”
Knox concluded, “On your behalf I say, to the good ship South Dakota, God go with you, because after all, your mission, the mission for which we built you, is not war, but the prevention of war as God wills. Thank you.”
A recording of the ceremony was made by radio station WCAU of Philadelphia. The recording was sent via airmail to WNAX in Yankton, which broadcast the ceremonies. Arthur J. Smith, program director of WNAX, presented the transcription discs to Governor and Mrs. Bushfield, who then transferred them to the South Dakota State Historical Society. 
The 17th Virginia Class nuclear submarine, the USS SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790), will be christened in the summer of 2017. The submarine is scheduled to join the fleet in August 2018.The SSN 790 will be the third boat commissioned with the name “South Dakota.” The first was the Armored Cruiser USS South Dakota (ACR-9). The second was the Battleship South Dakota (BB-57), one of the most decorated battleships in World War Two.
- 30 -
 ~~~~ Story courtesy of the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.