Tri-State Museum, Belle Fourche, SD

Three States, One History, Countless Stories

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get in touch

Tri-State Museum, Belle Fourche, SD

For further information about this and upcoming events
at the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center
please contact Director Kristi Thielen at 605-723-1200.

First Saturday Brunch
Saturday, June 6

The speaker will be Bonita Ley, presenting on the topic of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ley has done a great deal of study on the life of this celebrated author and the background to the recently published bestseller, “Pioneer Girl.”

 Brunch is served at 10 a.m. and is free to museum members and $5 for non-members. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and is free to all. For further information about this and upcoming First Saturday Brunches, please contact Kristi Thielen at 723-1200.

Second Annual Cemetery Walk
Saturday, June 13, from 2 to 4 p.m.
at Pineslope Cemetery in Belle Fourche. 

The event features presentations by re-enactors, who appear as significant personalities from Belle Fourche history.

In the event of inclement weather, the Cemetery Walk will be held at the Tri-State Museum.

The Cemetery Walk is sponsored by Questers, an international nonprofit which was organized to provide funds for the preservation and restoration of historical objects, existing memorials and landmarks.

In Belle Fourche, the Questers provided financial support for the relocation and restoration of the Johnny Spaulding Cabin, located on the grounds of the Tri-State Museum and Center of the Nation Visitor Center.

For any additional information about the Cemetery Walk, contact Sheila Frost at 892-3748.

Family Fun Day “Volcano!”
June 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.  

The day will include a short film about volcanoes and families will also learn about a “failed” volcano which is in the Black Hills. There will also be a craft to make a brown paper bag volcano, a book drawing and an activity in which kids will use simple materials to create their own volcanic explosion. All kids who attend will receive a free take-home packet of puzzles, games and info on volcanoes.

This Family Fun Day is sponsored by Roundup Building Center.

Cost for attending the Family Fun Day is $2 per person or is free for those with museum membership. Dads get in free, in honor of Father’s Day. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling 723-1200. For more information about this and upcoming Family Fun Days, please call Director Kristi Thielen at 723-1200.

“Here’s Your Hat!” mini-exhibit opens April 15th

A mini-exhibit on the history of hats and featuring hats and hatboxes from the Tri-State Museum archives opens at the Center of the Nation Visitor Center on Wednesday, April 15.

“Here’s Your Hat!” covers the history of hats and the rise of millinery; the creation of men’s hats such as the homburg, fedora and bowler; and the creation of women’s hats such as the bonnet, picture hat and pillbox. The story behind the creation of the Cattleman’s hat – what most of us know as the “cowboy” hat – is prominently featured.  

Among the exhibit photos is that of Belle Fourche milliner Sarah A. Brown, circa 1890, to accompany the story of how she created hats for both ladies and ladies of the evening.

The exhibit was conceived by Tri-State Museum Collections Manager Jean Maher and she is the exhibit’s curator, as well. The exhibit storyboards were written by Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center Director Kristi Thielen.

The exhibit will be in place through the end of May.

“BOOM! The History of Fireworks.”
Temporary Exhibit to Open June 26th

The exhibit will consist of photos, some artifacts and a series of storyboards, including one about “the Belle Fourche fireworks guy,” pyro technician Fritz Carlson.

The museum would also like members of the Belle Fourche community to be a part of the exhibit. Anyone who has an interesting memory that relates to fireworks or a fireworks display, is encouraged to email, mail or bring their story to the museum. These stories will be collected in a notebook that will be part of “BOOM!”

Emailed stories can be sent to The museum’s mailing address is Tri-State Museum, 415 Fifth Avenue, Belle Fourche, SD 57717. If a story will be dropped off, the museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. After Memorial Day, hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Please include name, address and phone number with your story. Fireworks memories will be collected up to June 24.

For further information about Fireworks Memories or the exhibit, please contact Kristi Thielen at 723-1200 or

Children’s dress-up trunk for interactive play

The Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center now offers a trunk of period-style clothing for child visitors to try on. The trunk includes prairie dresses, skirts and blouses for girls; vests, shirts and knickers for boys. There are also several hats.  Items in the trunk will be changed every few months to provide variety.

The dress-up trunk is being added as a way to provide more hands-on experiences for young visitors to the Tri-State Museum.

The public is invited to stop in at the museum on Friday to see the display; the museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

415 5th Avenue
Call for more info 723-1200


The Tri-State Museum is a 4,000 square foot, city-owned and operated, historical museum based out of beautiful Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The museum is located on US-85 in the Northern Black Hills. We are a short drive to major attractions such as Deadwood, Rapid City, Spearfish Canyon, Rocky Point State Park/Orman Dam, Devils Tower, and Mt. Rushmore.

Our museum focuses on the early pioneer, rodeo, and old west history of the Tri-State region of Western South Dakota, Eastern Wyoming and Southeast Montana. The museum houses over 5,000 artifacts, rodeo memorabilia, historical records, antiques, collectibles, fossils, and other items. These include the original 1876 Johnny Spaulding Cabin, artifacts from the early cattle days, artifacts from the Belle Fourche Roundup Rodeo (largest rodeo in South Dakota), and much, much more.

We work closely with the South Dakota State Historical Society, The Adam's Museum and other local organizations such as The Butte County Historical Society, Questers, Lions Club, Golden Hills Antique Club, Northern Hills Retired Teachers, and others.

The museum is very active in the region, helping to promote and host many local activities, educational programs and special events.



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