Chairs of Our Lives
Have a seat, take a load off, sit down, slang your tote, pop a squat; any way you say it, to do this one needs something to sit on, and what’s better than four legs, a seat, and a back! A chair is a device to support the human body and can be anything from a small wooden chair to an oversized throne. A chair is not just something we rest our assets on; it can be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. These pieces of furniture can tell stories of grand historical figures or family memories. It’s interesting that chairs are everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. We don’t give a chair a second thought; we just sit down. The staff realized that we have many chairs in our collection, but we have never showcased them. That is what you will see here - a sample of some of our most interesting chairs. It may be the great history behind them, the wonderful design, or that they just bring back fond memories. No matter what shape or size, material or history, chairs are in all of our lives. Click Here for more Information.
Minnehaha County Towns
Loosely translated from the Dakota words for “laughing or curling water”, Minnehaha was in reference to the falls of the Big Sioux River. Since the creation of Minnehaha County in 1862, communities have thrived while living on this piece of South Dakota prairie. Throughout the county, numerous towns grew with the quarrying industry while others flourished due to railroads or agriculture. As time progressed, so did some towns, often leading to incorporation. Smaller communities, which relied on certain single industries, were more apt to become distant memories as resources were depleted or demand diminished. Regardless of the town, diversity of experience or opportunity has made Minnehaha County one of the leading counties in South Dakota. Click Here for more Information.
Symbol of Freedom: The American Flag
A flag is much more than a piece of fabric attached to a pole. Whether you call it a flag, banner, ensign, standard, colors, or symbol, it is an object that shows loyalty to a leader, a group, or a country. A flag is a device to determine friend from foe. It is a symbol of national identity. Each country’s flag is uniquely designed to stand for the nation’s land, its people, its government, and its ideals. A country’s flag can incite pride, joy, courage, and sacrifice. The American flag is one of the most recognized flags in the world. Click Here for more Information.
North Wind: Enduring Dakota Winters
Winter, and the cold it produces, makes South Dakota a harsh place to live for several months of the year. Despite the cold, the people who have lived here have adapted to its trials. Far too often, winter is painted as a brutal, unforgiving time; but winter can also be a time of great beauty and mystery, a time to slow down and prepare for the upcoming seasons.
Native Dakota tribes had already adapted to the cold and winter was a time of rest and refueling, when families sat in the tipi around the fire and listened to storytellers recount tales passed down through generations. The white man’s early reports of the weather in Dakota Territory, however, spoke to its brutality and its almost endless duration. During the early settlement period, those living here found the winters of Dakota a harsh reality and a battle between life and death. Today, we are better equipped and able to deal with winter's harshness. Although winter still has its ability to be deadly, now these months are more about enduring rather than surviving. Click Here for more Information.
Bicycles: Life on Two Wheels
Next to walking, bicycles are arguably the most popular form of personal transportation in the world. What takes several hours of travel on foot becomes faster and more efficient on two wheels. At the height of popularity in the 1890s, bicycles were faster than walking, and they were less expensive to own and maintain than a horse and buggy. Today, they are less expensive, more maneuverable, and more environmentally-friendly than the automobile. When one thinks of a bicycle, a sleek machine with skinny wheels and turned-down handle bars may come to mind. However, bicycles have come in many varied shapes and sizes over the years. Much more than a child’s first set of wheels or a practical means of travel, the bicycle has influenced everything from living patterns to clothing styles and social reform, and has given a whole new outlook to recreation and the benefits of exercise.
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Vietnam: In Our Words
The Vietnam Era. To each American, this time period in our history conjures up many images. From sacrifice and loyalty to drafts, protests, and unrest; from helicopters in the jungle to nightly body counts on the evening news. The war in Vietnam was complex, with many conflicts, battles, and opinions.
With this exhibit at the Old Courthouse Museum, we seek to tell the story of the Vietnam War, not battle by battle in history-book fashion, but rather through the stories of the people who lived through the time. Each person's perspective on the war is
framed by personal experiences. Vietnam: In Our Words uses the stories of veterans, wives, children, friends, family members, and civilians to look at the broader context of the Vietnam War. From those who were stationed overseas to those at home, each person's experience is varied and relevant to the story.
We thank those who have shared their memories and created a living history archive within the community, and we appreciate the time and courage it took many to tell their personal stories. We hope these narratives will continue to open dialogue for future healing from this contentious time in American history and show those not involved what affect the war had on everyone. Click Here for more Information.