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“Custer in the Dakotas” program coming to Cultural Heritage Center on June 30

Author Jeff Barnes will present “Custer in the Dakotas” at 2 p.m. CDT on Sunday, June 30, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

Barnes’s talk is based on his latest book, The Great Plains Guide to Custer: 85 Forts, Fights and Other Sites. Some of the Custer sites covered in the book are Camp Sturgis near Yankton, Fort Randall at Pickstown and Custer’s camps in the Black Hills. North Dakota sites include Fort Rice and Fort Abraham Lincoln, Custer’s starting point on the trail to the Little Big Horn.

“Custer left a significant footprint in the history of South Dakota,” said Jay Smith, museum director for the South Dakota State Historical Society. “He led the Black Hills Expedition of 1874 that confirmed the presence of gold and ultimately led to the gold rush. His camp site in the Hills later became the town of Custer. Barnes’s program will cover Custer’s earlier Dakota experiences and his final battle at the Little Big Horn.”

A freelance writer and fifth-generation Nebraskan, Barnes is a former newspaper reporter and editor, board trustee of the Nebraska State Historical Society, past chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission and former marketing director for the Durham Museum in Omaha, Neb.

In addition to The Great Plains Guide to Custer, Barnes has written Forts of the Northern Plains, and is currently working on The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill. Barnes presents throughout the Great Plains on the history of the region.

“Custer in the Dakotas” is made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Tourism. The Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council, and the State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen. 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.

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