Industrial Crash to Retail Cash: The Story of South Sioux Falls
In Richard Franklin Pettigrew’s mind, Sioux Falls had agriculture and transportation; all it needed to really boom was industry. South Sioux Falls was Pettigrew’s idea that would lead Sioux Falls to that industrial future. The city would be an industrial suburb and would compliment Sioux Falls with manufacturing jobs and quality residences. Rail lines would connect South Sioux Falls to the businesses and shops in the main city. A transcontinental railroad would distribute its products to the region, nation and the world. Pettigrew would own the factories, railroads and land for residences. His name would rank with Carnegie, Rockefeller or Hill. Unfortunately for Pettigrew, it was a dream that would never come true.
Building Sioux Falls: 1883-1919
From a young city with boundless resources in 1884 to a growing metropolis in 1919, the city of Sioux Falls was an economy that was greatly diversified. The ambition of adventure and wealth brought people to the young city who were lured by promise and prosperity. The once feeble structures created from wood were replaced by multistoried structures that defined the Sioux Falls skyline. The growing community filled city blocks and became the economic and industry leader in South Dakota. Sioux Falls steadily increased the strength of its position as the financial, commercial, educational, legal, religious and political center of the state.
A Cabinet of Curiosities
A Look at Sioux Falls’ First Museum recreates a vignette of the museum Richard Pettigrew built in 1923, exhibiting artifacts originally displayed in his museum. Mr. Pettigrew’s museum was a conglomeration of objects collected in local archaeological excavations with his brother Fred, objects collected on his travels around the world, and objects traded with other collectors and researchers worldwide. Displaying intriguing pieces such as a walrus skin kayak, prehistoric stone tools, geological specimens, historic guns, and original photos, the exhibit portrays an earlier type of museum, one that showcased objects for their uniqueness rather than as interpretative tools used for educational purposes.