Discover the Real Dakota of the Past

At the Dakota Discovery Museum, the story of the settlement of the prairies is told from pre-settlement through the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. Here, you can learn about the American Indian cultures that dominated the Plains before white settlers arrived. Among the exhibits that help tell the Indian story are a tipi and numerous authentic Indian garments and artifacts.

Settlers brought crops and cattle to the Plains, and that story is told with the aid of vintage farm and ranch equipment, including an impressive sheep wagon, which sheepherders lived in under the wide prairie skies.

Beyond the exhibits inside the museum, there’s also an outdoor campus with real-life structures and equipment. The house of Louis Beckwith, one of the late-1800s founders of the Corn Palace, is preserved and restored here. Visitors can walk through the house and be transported back in time, imagining a turn-of-the-20th-century home come to life.

At the completion of a visit to the museum, a great shopping opportunity is available in the museum’s gift store, where South Dakota-themed books, artwork, jewelry and other items are offered for sale.

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