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       West River History Conference                April, 2014
Rapid City, South Dakota

Conference Speakers Announced 

The Board of the conference is so proud to be able to announce that the entire line-up of keynote speakers scheduled for last fall's "Atlas" conference has agreed to re-schedule.  With the exception of Wayne Paanenen (who actually did present, and has an all new program for us), they will be presenting the programs announced for last year. 

Thursday evening:
125 Years of Statehood on video

Black Hills videographer Wayne Paanenen will share archival footage representing 125 years of South Dakota statehood in his own inimitable style.
Friday luncheon:
Well known South Dakota performing artist, Gordy Pratt uses "first-hand" stories and original songs to weave a colorful tale of the Wild West.  His mix of humor, history and music richly bring to life such famous figures as Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane and Bullock's good friend, Theodore Roosevelt.
Saturday Westerners breakfast:
Hill City watercolorist Jon Crane is renowned for his ability to capture great detail in watercolor art and strives to reserve the historic places before they disappear.  His oversized nostalgic landscapes of rural American have become his trademark.

Saturday Foozle:  Bluegrass Music by
Back by popular demand:   "Songs and lore of a traditional American music form".  In addition to performing lively entertainment to close out this year's conference, this unique musical group shares background and history tying this folk music to our nation's development.
Do you know a deserving student?
Scholarship money is available for conference registration and travel expenses to encourage students and their teachers and/or parents to attend. It has been a long-time goal of the West River History Conference to increase the participation of young people so they can learn more about their heritage and carry on the work of preserving it.  All applications for this year's conference are welcome!
The collected papers of the 2013 conference should be available early in June.  Books for conferences from 2012 and prior are available and can be ordered by downloading an order form from our website.

This conference is made possible with support by

Sponsorships are still available to help keep the conference affordable for our participants
and to encourage young people to attend.
Call for Papers

Digging Deep
for History's Roots in the West
October 16-18, 2014

Paper topics are not limited to the conference theme.  Topics must be submitted with a title, brief description, and biographical sketch of the presenter by September 3rd in order to be included in the program.
New Paper
submission deadline
Please note that in order to prepare the conference program and ship it in a timely manner, the deadline for submitting paper proposals has been changed to September 3rd.
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, Sponsorships
Carolyn Weber, Corresponding Secretary

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Quote of the Month


The more that people, especially young people,

know about where they live,

the more pride and ownership they feel about the place,

and the less likely they are to disrespect or vandalize it.


Mike Miller, Rigby, Idaho

sergeant in Sheriff's Dept.




Do you know someone who might enjoy our conference?  Please share this newsletter.
The 2013 West River History Conference was one for the record books, and has already drawn positive feedback for the unique opportunities to network and bond under challenging conditions.

We are therefore inviting suggestions for a nickname which best describes last year's blizzard-affected history conference.


A $50 cash award will be presented at this year's conference for the cleverest moniker describing the conference that survived and thrived during Winter Storm Atlas.


Send your entries to