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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!

First Person

History and Heritage Book Club News

Sod houses will be the focus of the May History and Heritage Book Club meeting. The program begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

Guest speakers will be Molly Rozum, Casey Crew Blom and Jeanne Ode.

Rozum’s article “It’s Weathered Many a Storm: The Enduring Sod House in Northwestern South Dakota” was published in the Winter 2017 issue of “South Dakota History,” the quarterly journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society. Rozum will tell about the role of sod structures in the settlement of that region. Rozum is an associate professor and Ronald R. Nelson Chair of Great Plains and South Dakota history at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Blom will speak about Pioneer Homestead. Visitors to the site located along SD Highway 240 north of Interior can visit one of the few original sod houses remaining in the United States. The soddie was built in 1909 by Mr. and Mrs. Ed Brown. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Ode is managing editor of “South Dakota History” and will discuss the work involved in publishing the quarterly.

Copies of “South Dakota History” as well as books about homesteading are available in the Heritage Store at the Cultural Heritage Center.


Wayne Fanebust of Sioux Falls will discuss his book “Chasing Frank and Jesse James: The Bungled Northfield Bank Robbery and the Long Manhunt” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12 at the Cultural Heritage Center.

On Sept. 7, 1876, the James-Younger gang was nearly destroyed while trying to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minn. Of the eight bandits, only the James brothers escaped death or capture. The botched bank robbery followed by an improbable escape through Dakota Territory and Iowa, elevated the James brothers from notorious criminals to legendary figures in American history and folklore.


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 www.history.sd.gov 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.