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vMEAD continued from page 9 had a farm and grew crops and raised livestock and were self-sufficient. Both staff and patients lived on the campus sharing many of the same facilities. Through the years, the hospital acquired much of the surrounding land making it large enough to be considered a town! Over time, patient populations fluctuated, superintendents, doctors, nurses, and staff came and went. Mental health treatment improved significantly which meant shorter patient hospitalization stays in many cases. Currently, only a handful of staff live onsite. The need for numerous buildings and a large campus no longer exists. Many of the buildings became vacant, were no longer being used, and some deemed dangerous. In 1991, the State of South Dakota conducted a study of the campus and determined eleven buildings, some dating back to the late 1800s, were unsafe or it was cost prohibitive to bring them up to code. A new building would be more cost effective and a plan was made to construct the Mickelson Center for the Neurosciences. A timeline was set for demolition of the eleven buildings, including the Mead. Crystal accounts approaching the Mead with camera in hand. Massive in size the exterior is impressive in stature. Built in a “U” shape, the building is classified as Neo-Renaissance in 1991. A threestory veranda supported by enormous columns stretches the expanse of the front of Mead and continues around its east and west sides on the first and second floors. The building was constructed from concrete blocks, which were made on campus, and faced with Sioux quartzite chips. The blocks are held together with cement produced from the former Portland Cement Company, once located west of Yankton. Upon entering the building and stepping into the foyer, all attention is directed to the incredible marble staircase leading to the east and west wings on the second floor. Large parlors, patterned terrazzo floors, and tall windows are throughout the building. Completed in 1910, at a cost of 85,000.00 the building was originally known as the Women’s Receiving Hospital, and later the Mead. The building was part of hospital administrator Dr. Leonard Mead’s visionary plans for the campus. Progressive in his approach to mental health, he believed the surroundings where patients lived should be beautiful. This included a spacious bright place to live with colorful manicured landscapes. Working was considered therapeutic for those who desired to do so, and entertainment and activities were a healthy part of treatment. Even though the building sat vacant for thirty years and the paint was peeling, there were leaks, trees were growing on the roof, and animals were calling it home Crystal said she and some of the YCHS could see past all of this. She knew the Mead could be brought back to its original grandeur, while helping preserve Mead’s architectural vision and attitude toward mental health. Could this be the museum’s new home? Shortly after the tour, the idea to acquire the Mead was brought to the YCHS board by Robert Gehm then YCHS board member. In January 2008, the board voted unanimously to pursue the idea of turning it into the new museum and cultural center. The next step was to approach the State. In June 2012, YCHS signed a twenty-year lease with the State of South Dakota. and the dream for the Mead building was now becoming a reality! Crystal explains “the lease stipulates that by the year 2018, they- the YCHS as the Dakota Territorial Museum -need to occupy the Mead building. Not occupy the entire building, but we have to occupy the building and be functioning solely out of that 22vHERVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 building by the end of 2018. So those plans are very set in stone. Once the YCHS feels that we are confident that we want to own the building, there has already been state legislation passed that stipulates that we can buy the building from the State of South Dakota - after twenty years or any time within that twenty years - for a dollar.” The Mead Cultural Education Center (MCEC) officially opened its doors in December 2018. The first exhibit to open was the Children’s Museum. Bright, colorful, and interesting this exhibit is fun and educational too! This interactive exhibit even boasts a whistle which sounds just like a train. The Lewis and Clark exhibit was the second to open. It initially opened as a “text” exhibit with panels telling the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It reopened in April 2019 and now includes 3-D objects including a bull boat, pelt room, and a famous mountain lion which made the local news a few years ago. Visit the exhibit to learn about the mountain lion who used to call the Yankton Community Library home. This year, 2019, marks the 140th Anniversary of the Yankton State Hospital now called the South Dakota Human Services Center. To commemorate this anniversary the museum will be opening “Yankton State Hospital: Minds, Methods, and Medicine”. The exhibit will focus on “bridging the gap between the legends & truths about the campus then and now. It will be designed to help the general public understand the stories of the hospital from a historical viewpoint”. Many people have wondered what is going to happen with the outbuildings at Westside Park? Rest assured Crystal said they will soon be making a trip across town to their new location adjacent to the Mead in “Heritage Park”! In addition to the buildings, the park will include a Wind Energy windmill and a botanical garden of native plants to this area. The new Heritage Park will allow visitors to have a more interactive experience than they have had in the past. The park is scheduled to open in 2020. In addition to the restoration, exhibits, Heritage Park, there are several events on the horizon. The Mead hosts a series of programs called “Feed Your Mind” featuring guest speakers. Presentations include Carol Ryan “Medicine in the Time of Lewis & Clark” in September and in October Ruth Page Jones “A Century Celebration: Women’s Suffrage in South Dakota, 1868-1918”. Don’t forget the annual Haunted History tours celebrating Halloween, and a beautiful vMEAD continued on page 23 October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 10% OFF All PINK Items In The Store! Save All Month! Expires 10/31/19 909 Broadway, Tripp Park Plaza 605-689-3999 www.eweknitit.com Open: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm • Saturday 9am-3pm

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