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Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month 2024

Preservation Adventures!

Celebrated each year in May, South Dakota Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month was created to acquaint the public with the disciplines of archaeology and historic preservation and to strengthen the enduring bond between the past and the present! Historic Preservation Month has been celebrated in South Dakota since it was established nationally in 1973. The state added archaeology in 2005 to recognize it as a partner in historic preservation. 

Governor Kristi Noem has made this official by proclaiming May as Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month in South Dakota. In her proclamation, which can be read in full here, she says "it is important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions made by dedicated individuals who preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that shape us as South Dakotans". This year's theme is "Preservation Adventures"! The Historic Preservation Office encourages South Dakotans to celebrate this theme by learning about and exploring historical locations in their local communities and throughout the state. We will be posting to this page below, the South Dakota Historical Society's Facebook page, and the SDSHS online calendar with ideas, activities, educational programs, and events throughout this month!


Have your own preservation adventure and explore the state with these travel itinerary ideas!

- SD Highway 14, Brookings to Pierre

- SD Highway 50, Platte to Vermillion

-SD Highway 12, Milbank to Mobridge

- Black Hills Hikes Itinerary 


Other ways to celebrate this month include:

- Taking a walk around a local historic residential and/or commercial district or tour a historic cemetary.

- Researching local historic buildings and places, learning about their history, and supporting the preservation of them.

- Reaching out to a local preservationist or historian to learn more about what they do in their job and ask them how you can assist in preservation efforts.




Archaeology Camp 2024

Archaeology Camp 2024 will be on June 4-6! Registration has closed for this year.

Stay tuned on our Archaeology Camp page for information on our 2025 camp come next Spring!



Student Essay Contest 2024: "This Place Matters"

Congratulations to the following three students who won our 2024 4th Grade Student Essay Contest!

1st Place: Paisley Carter from Jolley Elementary School in Vermillion, If Barn Walls Could Talk

2nd Place: Sydnee Stevens from Gettysburg Elementary School, The Bait Shop

3rd Place: Chiles Heien from Gettysburg Elementary School, 212 Forest City Bridge

This year we saw another record breaking number of entries at 232 essays from 28 different schools across South Dakota! We coulnd't be more grateful for this amazing amount of participation, and reading about all the historical places around the state that are special and importatnt to all the students who entered was truly inspiring. Thank you to all the students, parents, and teachers who put time and effort into the contest this year. We hope to continue growing this contest each year and help to spread the importance of South Dakota's history to our young learners!

To read our 2024 winner essays, click here!







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