A free, old-fashioned pie and ice cream social is being held on the grounds of the Oahe Chapel north of Pierre from 1:30-3:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday, Sept. 8.
Live music will be offered by local musicians. Ron Smith on piano and Lori Hall on bells will play in the chapel at 2 p.m. There will also be games available such as corn hole and ladder golf. While this is a free activity, freewill offerings will be accepted.
The event is being hosted by the Oahe Chapel Preservation Society, a group of local volunteers who have been charged with maintaining and preserving the Oahe Chapel for future generations. The chapel is owned by the South Dakota State Historical Society, but the Preservation Society does not receive state funding. Maintenance of the chapel is funded through annual memberships, rentals, donations, and fundraisers.
The chapel is located adjacent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, approximately five miles north of Pierre on SD Highway 1804.
Established in 1874 by Rev. Thomas L. Riggs, a Congregationalist minister, and his first wife, Cornelia Margaret “Nina” Foster, the Oahe Mission was built to serve the Sioux Indians of central South Dakota. It was located on the east bank of the Missouri River at Peoria Flats, roughly five miles upriver from the current location of the chapel. The chapel was built in 1877 and was used as both a schoolhouse and a house of worship. It was moved to its current location in 1964 after construction of the Oahe Dam flooded the original site.
Ecumenical church services are held at 8 a.m. each Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. These services are hosted by members of the Pierre-Fort Pierre Ministerial Association and the Oahe Chapel Preservation Society.
For more information on the Oahe Chapel, the Oahe Chapel Preservation Society or how to rent the chapel, contact the State Historical Society at (605) 773-3458 or go online to history.sd.gov/Preservation/OaheChapel.aspx.
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.