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Mead: A Center Preserving Our Heritage Through Culture and Education vBy Chauntel Wright 8vHERVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 If you have not visited the Mead Cultural Education Center, put it on the top of your list for things to do in Yankton! The building is an amazing architectural structure and home to the history museum, children’s museum, and event center. It houses captivating exhibits which tell the colorful stories of the development of Yankton and the Dakota Territory. Prior to the Mead, historical collections, artifacts, and documents were stored and displayed at the Dakota Territorial Museum located in Westside Park. The museum itself has a long and interesting history. In 1936, the Daniel Newcomb Daughters of the American Revolution and a Dakota Territorial Jubilee project opened the museum in the Dakota Territorial Council Hall located in present day Riverside Park. The building was later moved to Westside Park in 1953, and in 1961 the Yankton County Historical Society (YCHS) was formed to take over the care of the museum. The collections were growing, so in 1971 a new and larger museum was built adjacent to the old council building which remained as extra exhibit space. Many additional outside buildings were added, including the Gunderson Rural School House, Hovden Cabin, and the Burlington Northern Caboose. For thirty years the museum flourished with programs, events, and expanding collections while welcoming countless numbers of guests from across the globe. According to Crystal Nelson, Executive Director and Curator, with the ongoing growth a new building was again a topic of discussion for YCHS. Many options were explored including building a new museum to the east on the museum’s property which was formerly a running track. During these discussions in 2007, Nelson and a YCHS board member, were invited to tour the Mead building which was scheduled for demolition. The campus holds great historical significance to Yankton and the State of South Dakota. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and listed on the National

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