Tri-State Museum, Belle Fourche, SD

Three States, One History, Countless Stories

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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.


May Brunch is “Summer Picnic Surprise: St Onge History
Saturday, May 2nd

The Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center will hold its May First Saturday Brunch on Saturday, May 2. The speakers will be Jeannine Guerin and Joanna Jones, who will  describe their experience of attending a St. Onge picnic, where they asked former residents for their memories of that community.

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.

“Plains Born: South Dakota Ranch Arts”
from March 18 through May 2.

The exhibit reflects the arts and artistry of the west, and includes leather and metal works, quilts, drawings, stories and poems. Artists whose works appear in the exhibit include Amanda Richardson, Coy Fisher, Robert Dennis, Kevin Willey, Whit Olson, Shirley Bruch, Veldon Morgan, Jan Swan Wood, Gale Patzlaff, Elizabeth Ebert, Bonnie Krogman and Joe Urbaniak.

Also on display are works by quilter Yvonne Hollenbeck, leather artist Slim McNaught and hat maker Jack Scholl. These three artists are currently booked to appear at the Tri-State Museum for a demonstration of their works, on Saturday, April 11 from 10 am to 2 pm.

“Plains Born” was previously displayed at the Days of ’76 Museum in Deadwood and the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center, in Fort Pierre.

This exhibit is a project of the South Dakota Arts Council/Department of Tourism, in cooperation with South Dakotans for the Arts and Deadwood History. It is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

There is no admission charge to view this exhibit. For more information about “Plains Born” please contact Kristi Thielen at 723-1200.

Amanda Richardson bought a boot making business and all the equipment,  trained with the former owner and started her own custom boot and repair business near Sturgis. Slim McNaught (and Darlene McNaught) of New Underwood, who makes tooled leather belts, wallets, chaps, book covers and other small items. He is also a cowboy poet.

“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.

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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