By Leah Vanden Bosch

Submitted Images

Summers are best spent traveling, and with its eclectic collection of galleries, artifacts, and exhibits, the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center will allow visitors to travel through time. Tucked into a bluff just north of the Capitol in Pierre, the Cultural Heritage Center features the museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, showcasing the heritage and culture of the state.

“The facility is extraordinary,” gushed Jay Smith, the museum’s director of four and a half years. “I was lucky to find such a remarkable place to come to work.”


The unique location of the museum isn’t the only thing that makes it extraordinary. In addition to the permanent exhibits ranging from the territorial period to present day, the museum’s temporary displays tell the history of South Dakota in an unprecedented way.

“The South Dakota Experience” is the museum’s biggest exhibit, a timeline view of the state starting with the Native American population. Its focus is on the ideas and issues that make up South Dakota, educating on what that was in the past and how those experiences created the life we know today.

“People will be surprised at all of the diversity and culture that exists here and the way that our heritage has developed over time,” said Smith. “It’s an exiting story that not only allows people to look back in time but also see something of themselves within South Dakota’s history.”

This summer, the museum will be making the most of its unique location in the observation gallery, featuring “Building South Dakota,” opening July 30th. The temporary exhibit is a study of the architectural environment from territorial days to the present, unveiling what the early settlers needed to start constructing the region we know as home today. The observation gallery is made up of a series of windows overlooking the campus of the South Dakota state government, Hilger’s Gulch, Fort Pierre, and the Missouri River. The space is limited in its use with the ultraviolet rays coming through the windows, but “Building South Dakota” is making the most of the views.


To read the full article, pick up the July issue of 605 Magazine or click here

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