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Freight and passengers arrived in early-day Sturgis by oxen trains.
John C.H. Grabill
Freight and passengers arrived in early-day Sturgis by oxen trains.

Sturgis and Ft. Meade to celebrate during History Days

Sturgis and Meade County Historical Society - June 8, 2018

STURGIS, SD - The Sturgis & Meade County Historical Society is hosting its 4th Annual History Day on Friday and Saturday, June 15-16. The event will be combined with the dedication of the revitalized Nolin Monument and a celebration of the 140th birthday of Sturgis and Ft. Meade.

The dedication of the Nolin Monument will take place at 3 p.m. Friday, June 15, at the monument which is located in front of Sturgis Regional Hospital on Junction Avenue. (In case of inclement weather, the dedication will be held at the Sturgis City Auditorium.) The original monument was built in 1932 by local residents to honor Charles Nolin, a contract mail carrier killed in 1876 near that location. Due to its deteriorating condition, the monument was rebuilt this past year.

In addition to a formal program, the Nolin Monument dedication will include an appearance by a pony mail carrier who will collect postcards, printed to commemorate the occasion, and carry them to the Sturgis Post Office where they will receive a cancellation designed especially for this event. Postcards are $1 each and can be purchased at the Fort Meade Museum, Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, Sturgis Photo and Gifts,  Black Hills Rally and Gold, all in Sturgis, SD and Bob’s 66 Gas Station in Rapid City, SD.

Immediately following the dedication will be a reception and community mixer, from 4:00-6:30 p.m., at Sturgis City Auditorium on Main Street.

At 7 p.m., Sgt. Puregood’s Traveling Medicine Show will hit the stage in the vacant lot on the corner of Main and Junction next to the Sturgis City Auditorium. Those attending the show will be transported back to the 1880’s when the traveling medicine show brought entertainment to small town America while peddling a variety of 'Snake Oil' products. Music and comedy abound as Sgt. Puregood (Randy Bender) and Soapsuds Sal (Alexis Iverson) expound on the virtues of Puregood's Perfected Panacea!

Saturday’s events begin at 9 a.m. at the City Auditorium. Photo exhibits, celebrating familiar names and faces of Sturgis and Fort Meade, will be available for viewing until noon. A bus tour of historic Sturgis homes and area burial sites will be held from 10-11 a.m. The tour will leave from the Auditorium. Also scheduled for 10-11 a.m. at the Auditorium will be a demonstration and talk, “Light and Iron: Tin-Type Photography in the West” by David Rambow.

A parade in celebration of the 140th birthday of Sturgis and Ft. Meade will be held at 11 a.m. The parade will begin from the Sturgis Veterans Club and then go west on Main to Third Street, south on Third Street to Sherman Street, east on Sherman to Middle Street, and then north on Middle Street back to the Veterans Club where the parade will disband.

All events for Saturday afternoon will be held at Fort Meade. The softball field is the location for the 1 p.m. dedication of the Fort Meade Walking/Bike Trail.

Also beginning at 1 p.m. and running throughout the rest of the afternoon at Barry Stadium is the Fort Meade Play Day consisting of pony rides, an archery range, pioneer games, Native American dancers, children’s rodeo and an old-time photo booth. Those attending will also have an opportunity to shoot Cavalry and Old West weapons (using blank ammunition).

The Play Day includes a presentation on the history of Fort Meade by Randy Bender portraying Col. Caleb Carlton, who, in 1892 as commander of Fort Meade, issued an order requiring that “The Star-Spangled Banner” be played each evening at the retreat ceremony, when the flag is lowered. In case of inclement weather, the Play Day will be canceled.

At 5 p.m., a Dutch oven dinner will be held at Barry Stadium. Tickets for the event are $20 each and can be purchased at the Fort Meade Museum, Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce and County Drug in Sturgis. Tickets will not be sold at the event.

A free concert of music and poetry by Jan and Collin Wood will be held at 6 p.m. followed by the closing ceremony and flag retreat at 7 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the dinner and concert will be held at the Sturgis Community Center.

For a complete schedule and more information go on line to www.sturgishistory.org and on Facebook.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785