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Woman’s story of ranch life focus of March history book club

One woman’s story of ranch life in the 21st century will be the focus of the March meeting of the History and Heritage Book Club.

Author Darcy Lipp-Acord works in Gillette, Wyo., and will be speaking about her book, “Circling Back Home: A Plainswoman’s Journey,” from Gillette to locations in Rapid City, Pierre and Sioux Falls at 7 p.m. CDT (6 p.m. MDT) on Tuesday, March 11. People at all three locations will be able to see, hear and talk to each other through the use of the Digital Dakota Network, a statewide interactive video communications system.

People may join in the discussion at the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Dr., in Pierre; at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Classroom Building Room 109 in Rapid City; and Room 145 of the Administration Building at the South Dakota University Center, 4801 N. Career Ave., Sioux Falls. Everyone is welcome to attend the free event.

'Circling Back Home’ consists of 13 essays woven around the themes of family, faith and ranch life,” said Michael Lewis, president of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation. The foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society. The foundation and the SDSHS Press sponsor the History and Heritage Book Club.

The author grew up near Timber Lake on a farm owned by three generations of her family. Growing up, she envisioned herself living what she called a “more international lifestyle” as an adult. She found herself “circling back home” to an agricultural lifestyle, as she and her family live on a ranch near Gillette that is managed by her husband, Shawn.

“The essays represent the larger story of a plainswoman that I felt was being overlooked,” Lipp-Acord said. “I felt like the story of so many women of the plains needed to be told and honored.”

Literature does not contain many stories of women who drive to town for parts or who cook meals for their husbands when they come in from the field or range, she said.

‘Circling Back Home’ is the story of one woman, but in sharing the stories of her grandmothers, Lipp-Acord speaks to the untold experience of many plainswomen and the heritage of living on the prairie,” said SDSHS Press Director Nancy Tystad Koupal. “Lipp-Acord is a wonderful story teller, and she knows how to share her experiences with readers – whether on the page or in person.”

“Circling Back Home” is available at the Heritage Stores at the Cultural Heritage Center and Capitol in Pierre and through the SDSHS Press at or (605) 773-6009.

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