In the late 19th and early 20th century, thousands of bands were formed across the United States to play for theaters, entertainment, civic pride, and competition. These bands were popular in their communities, because they did not have to compete against radio or recordings. Sioux Falls had a number of bands like these, but an earnest effort to form a municipal band in Sioux Falls began in 1919. The city election was held on April 15, 1919, and the proposition to form a band passed 2,452 to 2,282. For the past 100 years, the Sioux Falls Municipal Band has played at local events, parades, retirement communities, and of course the Sioux Falls Parks. Learn about the band, directors, players, and more at our latest exhibit. Come to the Old Courthouse Museum for the opening and a performance by members of the Municipal Band on Friday April 5th, 2019, from 5-7 p.m. to celebrate 100 years of music for the people.
Exhibit Opens July 11th at the Old Courthouse Museum
By the late nineteenth century, bicycling was an established pastime and competitive activity throughout the world. As the bicycle gained in popularity, innovative entrepreneurs developed new technologies to improve riding. One offshoot of these efforts was the attempt to motorize bicycles. Some of the first motorcycles in the United States were made by Waltham Manufacturing Company in 1899, adapting a heavyweight roadster bicycle to fit a small engine imported by the Aster company of France under the name Orient-Aster. Many other companies followed suit, including Indian, Harley-Davidson, and Excelsior. A legitimate motorcycle industry was booming in the United States, with nearly 100 makers building their own bikes prior to the market crash of 1929. Today, motorcycles are produced for leisure, touring, racing, and the military.
Join us on Thursday, July 11th from 5-7 p.m. for food, drinks, and bikes at the exhibit opening reception at the Old Courthouse Museum. Admission is free. Sponsored by the Siouxland Heritage Museums Alliance.
Some may find it surprising that there was a time when consuming alcohol was a crime and women did not have voting rights. In fact, these two issues had been debated for over a century. Both were at the forefront during the Progressive Era, a time of political and social reform in America. Some women saw that the only hope of passing nationwide prohibition was if women received the vote. In South Dakota, women organized groups, published newspapers, and held speaking tours to get both measures passed. Soon after South Dakota passed statewide prohibition and granted women the franchise, the 18th and 19th Amendments did the same at the national level.
Commemorate the centennial anniversary of the 18th and 19th Amendments at the opening reception for The Bottle and the Ballot: Prohibition and Women’s Suffrage on Thursday, November 7th from 5-7 p.m. at the Old Courthouse Museum. Admission is free.
The League of Women Voters will be on hand to answer questions, and the Museum is partnering with the Pink Boots Society and Fernson Brewery for the release of a limited run beer, Tea Totaled, to be tapped at the opening reception. Women in the brewery industry from the region will be brewing this beer together at Fernson Brewery.
Exhibit Opens at the Old Courthouse Museum April 16th!
We take photographs to remember. In a way, photographs serve as historic documents. They preserve what once was and allow us to view the important events in our lives.
At first glance, these photographs of Sioux Falls appear to be just street views and buildings, scenes that were carefully composed to convey the prominent features of our city. Regardless of their subject, they are tools to help us view Sioux Falls’ past. They confirm where buildings were, what businesses occupied them, and they show a growing and ever-changing community.
The exhibit Scenes of Sioux Falls: A Photographic Journey is a great way to navigate the memories we share. Some images were taken by professional photographers, while others are snapshots taken by amateurs. Regardless of who took these photographs, they help us examine the past. Join us for the exhibit opening reception on Thursday, April 16th from 5-7 p.m. for refreshments and a new look at Sioux Falls’ past! Admission is free.