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Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month

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PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed May as South Dakota’s Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month. 

South Dakota’s cultural heritage is rich and diverse as represented by thousands of archaeological and historical sites, historic buildings, and landscapes that have been discovered and recorded throughout our state,” Gov. Daugaard said in the proclamation. “Public appreciation and understanding is the foundation of preserving South Dakota’s past for future generations,”

“This annual celebration serves as a showcase for local communities to honor their past and help build their future.” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. “It brings historic preservation to the forefront of our daily lives by emphasizing the vital importance of protecting our nation’s history and pre-history and heightens public awareness of the destruction to archaeological sites which are disappearing due to vandals and forces of nature.”


This year the State Historical Society’s State Historic Preservation Office sponsored a student photo contest with the theme This Place Matters. Students in grades 6-12 were asked to photograph any South Dakota location that was at least 50 years old and that they felt was important to preserve. The winning photos can be viewed at


The grand prize winner was Natasha Wilson, a senior at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls. Natasha’s photo of the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls is featured on this year’s Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month poster. An image of the poster may be viewed at People wanting copies of the poster may contact Cindy Snow at 605-773-2907 or


Madison Vanduch, a seventh grader from Mickelson Middle School in Brookings, won the Grades 6-8 Division with a photo of the Coughlin Campanile on the campus of South Dakota State University. Alexis McConnell, a senior from Alcester-Hudson High School, won the Grades 9-12 Division with a photo of an antique gas pump in a farm yard. 


The State Historical Society maintains an online calendar of events that highlights educational archaeological, preservation, and history related programs from across the state and beyond. This may be found at The calendar link is in the top menu bar. If you would like to submit an event to be posted on the calendar, a form is available on the calendar web page.


For more information on this annual celebration or other historic preservation programs, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217; telephone (605) 773-3458 or website



Media Notes:

  •  Photo courtesy of South Dakota State Historical Society.
  • The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Tourism. The Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council, and the State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen. The State Historical Society is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

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Jeff Mammenga
Media Coordinator
Phone: 605-773-6000