Dakotaland Museum closes 2023 season with a bang

Louise Van Poll
Posted 9/15/23

Dakotaland Museum enjoys fair traffic

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Dakotaland Museum closes 2023 season with a bang


The Dakotaland Museum had a great 2023 season. The season started last spring with several school field trips and visitors even before its official opening. They continued throughout the summer with more schools, tour groups and many visitors coming from out-of-state and out of the country. And they finished the season with a bang at the close of the State Fair by nearly doubling the number of visitors we had in 2022.

“The Museum Board of Directors and I wish to thank everyone who was a guest this year,” said Louise Van Poll, executive director. “Your support of the museum and your financial support make it possible for us to continue to preserve our artifacts and to improve the experience.

 Several patrons enjoy touring the Dakotaland Museum during the State Fair.

“One improvement we made just before the Fair started was an outdoor sign mounted in front of our train engines,” she said. “ The sign tells the story of Patsy, the narrow-gauge steam locomotive, and the little yellow compressed-air engine. Both were given new paint during the Day of Caring and Rex Sawvell and Pete Marcus installed the sign.”

Fundraising is ongoing to design, print and install more reading rails inside the museum. Reading rails stand about waist height in front of a display and include a narrative panel identifying the items in the display.

One panel, “Music for the Masses,” has been printed and is about the evolution of the phonograph. Grant money from the Mencke Family Fund will help them order the metal frame and get it completed this fall.

Additional funds have been awarded for the museum to continue this project next year.

Donations are always appreciated and may be sent to P.O. Box 1254, Huron, SD 57350.

The Pyle House Museum and the Centennial Stone Church Center are available all year for tours or rentals. Call the museum at 605-352-2528 with questions or to make an appointment.

The newest addition to the Dakotaland Museum is this sign telling the story of the museum’s train engines located on the museum grounds. Signs and reading rails like this one can enhance the experience of museum visitors.