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State Historical Society presenting Governor’s Awards for History

The South Dakota State Historical Society will be presenting the Governor’s Awards for History on Saturday, April 29, during its annual history conference in Sioux Falls.

Three individuals and one organization are being recognized by the State Historical Society for their efforts in preserving state history.

The award winners include Keith L. Crew of Philip, Marlene Eimers of Redfield, Jon K. Lauck of Sioux Falls and the Arlington Community Museum.

“We are pleased to give out these awards,” added Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society. “These are just a few of the shining examples of how people across the state and beyond are helping us in our efforts to promote, nurture and sustain South Dakota history.”

Crew is the individual award winner. He and his family restored an original sod dugout home that is located on their ranch near the Badlands. The house, called “Prairie Homestead,” was built in 1909 and opened to the public in 1962. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is now also a candidate for listing as a National Historic Landmark.

Eimers was named the 2017 History Teacher of the Year. She teaches at Redfield Elementary School, where she has taught for all of her 28 years. Each year, Eimers has her students research an historical character in South Dakota history. The project culminates with a living wax museum at the historic Redfield Railroad Depot, where the students give biographical speeches about their characters, in the voice of the character.

Lauck is the winner of the Herbert S. Schell Award for best article in the previous year’s “South Dakota History,” the State Historical Society’s award-winning quarterly journal. His article, “‘It disappeared as quickly as it came’: The Democratic Surge and the Republican Comeback in South Dakota Politics, 1970–1980,” appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of the journal. Lauck’s article explores the factors that fueled the return of the Democratic Party to power in South Dakota during the 1970s following a 40-year hiatus. He also looks at why voters resumed their traditional conservative stance by the 1980s.

The Arlington Community Museum, built in 1907-08, was originally called the Arlington Masonic Temple, and is one of the most recent South Dakota listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum encourages area school children to participate in its special events. Museum volunteers recently collaborated with the Arlington School to put a sports section together. The Arlington Community Museum is also working with museums in Lake Preston, Carthage, Oldham-Ramona, Volga, Willow Lake and De Smet to promote preserving area history.

The Saturday awards luncheon is part of this year’s State Historical Society annual history conference, taking place Friday and Saturday, April 28-29 in Sioux Falls. This year’s theme is “Laura Ingalls Wilder: a 150-Year Legacy.” Registrations are still being accepted. Call (605) 773-6000 for more information or visit

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.

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