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History & Heritage Book Club

We've got a great lineup of programs coming to the Heritage Center. We hope to see you at the meetings!

Pioneer Girl Perspectives Event

History and Heritage Book Club News

The blue tiles and black dome are what Richard Gibson believes makes the South Dakota Capitol unique.

Gibson will be talking about South Dakota’s Capitol and the other state houses when the History and Heritage Book Club meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the Cultural Heritage Center. He will also present a program at Rawlins Library and conduct a book signing while in the capital city.

Gibson spent more than two decades traveling to capitols, photographing them and learning what makes each state house unique. The resulting book is “A Celebration of State Capitols.” The book is arranged alphabetically by state, with four pages of information and photographs devoted to each capitol. The book also contains information about former capitols, governors’ mansions and more.

Gibson’s talk on Aug. 15 is titled “The State Capitols.” He will give a PowerPoint presentation of photos of the interior and exterior of the capitols, supplemented with historical photos and vintage postcards. He will tell about unique features and share interesting stories of the capitols.

Gibson will sign copies of “A Celebration of State Capitols” from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the Heritage Store at the Capitol.

The program at Rawlins Library will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14. Gibson’s topic will be “Capitals of the World.” These capitals are communities that want to be known or recognized for their unique claim to fame, such as being the “Frog Capital of the World.” These communities often hold festivals to celebrate their claim to fame. Gibson will tell why the town makes this claim to be a world capital and show photographs of how this is celebrated.

“A Celebration of State Capitols” will be available at a sale price at all three events.

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m., History and Heritage Book Club, Cultural Heritage Center

Brad Tennant will takes people through South Dakota history one day at a time when he discusses his new book, “On This Day in South Dakota History.” Tennant is a professor of history at Presentation College in Aberdeen and chairman of the board of trustees of the South Dakota State Historical Society.


Get on Board the Riverboat Cruise!

The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation and the Encounters on the Prairie, South Dakota Chapter of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation on Pierre’s new paddleboat, Sunset, on Sunday, September 24th from 12pm-3pm CDT.

Boarding will begin at 11:30 a.m. CDT at Fischers Lilly Park in Fort Pierre, with launching at 12 p.m. CDT.

The cruise includes a portrayal of famed riverboat pilot Grant Marsh by South Dakota Humanities Scholar Arch Ellwein. The menu will include choice of burgers, pulled pork or chicken sandwiches with salads. An open bar will be available for beverage purchases.

The cruise is open to the public so everyone can enjoy a morning on the river. The cost will be $35 per person. Please make reservations by Friday, September 15th, by calling Holly at (605) 773-6346. Payment by credit card is appreciated when making the reservation.

The paddleboat has two restrooms and is handicap accessible.  The program and the meal will take place in the enclosed portion of the boat.

Don’t miss the boat! Make your reservation now!

This is what fun looks like!


Tuesday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m., History and Heritage Book Club, Cultural Heritage Center

Jace DeCory will lead a discussion of “Black Elk Speaks” by John Neihardt. Widely hailed as a spiritual classic, the story reveals the life and visions of the Lakota healer Nicholas Black Elk. The program is sponsored by the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation and the As the Pages Turn Book Club, and made possible by a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council.

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.