Conference Crier small
       West River History Conference                October, 2013
Rapid City, South Dakota
Photo by Robert Kolbe
Winter Storm Atlas No Match
for Conference Participants


(Yes, there was a conference!)   

The View from our Hotel

History buffs who gather each fall for the West River History Conference understandably come to learn history and to share the fruits of their own research. But this is the first time that we have gathered to actually make history! Winter Storm Atlas, October 3-5 - the exact dates of our annual conference - was one for the record books.


Over 100 intrepid participants registered for the conference, and while many of them were unable to attend because of the storm, many more who were staying at the conference hotel and had other plans, joined us and enjoyed themselves despite the circumstances.  Read more...


Read Conference Evaluations


Presenters who were scheduled in this year's program but couldn't get here because of the storm

are invited to attend and present those papers next year. 

Only the papers which were actually presented will be published in the 2013 compiled papers.

Please bear with us as we sort out refunds and
re-scheduling of speakers for next year's conference.
21st Annual Conference Photos
Camping out in the Lobby
Saturday Snowdrift

Food Rationing
This conference is made possible with support by
SD Humanities
An affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Deadwood Historic
Black Hills Corral
  Keystone Area Historical Society
Minnilusa Historical Association
Center for Western Studies, Augustana College
Friends of the Hill City Community Library
Dr. James D. Nelson, DDS, PS
Big Thunder Gold Mine
Barker Wilson Law Firm
Mitchell Johnson, Atty.
Don Fjellestad
Sylvia Cox
2012 Conference
Best Paper Awards


Renamed The Patti Storm Student Awards for Excellence


3rd Place:  Drew Vance, Faith, SD

"End of the Line for the Railroad, becomes a Little Oasis on the Prairie"

2nd Place:  Katie Haines, Faith, SD

"Dreams, Drudgery & Disenchantment"

1st Place:  David Ruth, Faith, SD

"Romanticism Gone Awry:  City Slicker's Guide to the West"

Honorable Mention:  Raul Ponce de Leon, Deadwood, SD
"Myths & Mrmories:  Reflections of Aces & Eights"
Honorable Mention:  Norma Kraemer,  Rapid City, SD
"The Flood of '72, a Nemo Perspective"
3rd Place: John Timm,  Sioux Falls, SD
"Governor Mellette's Lonely Mission"
2nd Place:  Tim Velder,  Sundance, WY
"Murder at Midnight"
1st Place:  Wayne Gilbert, Rapid City, SD
"Incident at Lightning Creek"
New Category: 
Honorable Mention:  June Ring, Norris, SD
"Puppets and Portals"
Honorable Mention:  Jean Kary, Norris, SD
"Ride for the Herd"
1st Place:  Richard Melarvie, Mankato, MN
"My Grandpa, An Extraordinary Common Man, His life on the Prarie, the story of James Melarvie, in his own Words"
First Watson Parker Scholarships Awarded

Gretchen Collier and Samantha Gores of Minot State University were able to attend this year's historic conference because of the generosity of the Keystone Area Historical Society and others who contributed to the new scholarship named for the long-time conference supporter and "Dean of Black Hills Historians."  Congratulations!

Like us on Facebook 




Quote of the Month


The West is dead my Friend.

But writers hold the seed

 And what they saw

 Will live and grow

 Again to those who read.


C.M. Russell, 1917


 Do you know someone who might enjoy our conference?  Please share this newsletter.


West River History
Conference Board

Shebby Lee, President
Bev Pechan, VP
Bobbi Sago, Sec/Publications
Diana Hayes, Treasurer
Marguerite Kleven, Exhibits
Sylvia Cox, Project Director
Wayne Gilbert, At Large
Carolyn Weber, At Large