The Journey Museum celebrates 25 years
By Joe Budd
Native Sun News Today Staffwriter
RAPID CITY – Before the Journey Museum, viewing the history and knowledge, might take a few stops in the city. However several years ago, the idea was floated to build a more modern museum, and with a little help, a better display area was brought forward for both the locals and tourists to learn from.
The first, historical museum that exists for the local area, was the old Sioux Indian Museum, dating back to the 1930’s. Pieces of its collection, dating back to the 1890s, was majority-owned collection from an arts collector down on the Rosebud Reservation. The museum contains items like beaded work, ceremonial items, Native American clothing, exhibits made from animals, kids items, instruments, Saddles and even Tipis.
Another museum area, dealing with Geology, paleontology and Archaeology, is aided by two separate and currently operating museums of their own accord. The Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, and the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City, both helped to fill out these three sections, to tell the early history of the local area, going back into the Paleo-Indian times, up to the “Historic” section of times, as late as 50BC.
The Museum does follow a nice direction for the exhibits, starting with a Star room, giving a view of what the skies originally looked like, to the rock records for the Black Hills.
A Paleontology Field Tent, with displays next shows, what people could experience when it comes to fossil research. This particular field is well-known given the plethora of fossils to this day that are found in the Badlands. Note: still not allowed to go fossil hunting on federal property.
There’s an exhibit on the 1874 Custer Expedition, including photos and other features, plus artifacts from the expedition’s geologist, Newton Winchell, and includes his journal.
The Aviary Room, located in the Pioneer gallery, shows 9 dozen stuffed birds and animals from the Black Hills Area, and were collected by Henry Behren from 1888 to 1911, inside a 25 mile radius of Rapid City.
The flood exhibit, which highlights the 1972 flood, contains video, records, and maps, pictures and testimonies, plus news articles about this time in the city history. Given this year, is about the 50th anniversary of the Flood, the Native Sun News Today will report more as the date draws closer.
There’s also an area, highlighting the Black Hills Forests, and how it’s been used in a variety of ways, how it had issues with Pine Beetle infestations, and efforts to repair damages from forest fires, an uncommon episode.
More recently, in the Native American exhibit area, a treat for people coming through the area were able to see a new tipi was being painted by a local artist, Martin E Red Bear. The Tipi, which features 41 horses with no two alike, or color scheme, is designed to honor all veterans, regardless of race, and each of the shield carried by the riders, features a different Veteran insignia. The tipi, painted and set up to replace an older tipi that was nearing the end of its lifespan, was first raised on April 22nd. The project was started in January of this year, and was finished up in March, while Red Bear was also assisted by his wife on the project.
To reach the Journey Museum, from I-90, you can reach it via the Haines Ave Exit in Rapid City, or from Highway 79, you can follow the road into town, staying north. Turning on East North Street going east, follow the road, turning at New York Street, on your right. The sign will be on your right.