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

Last Call for Papers 

Have you submitted your paper title for the 22nd Annual West River History Conference yet?  Topics should be submitted  with a title, brief description, and biographical sketch of the presenter before September 3 in order to be included in the program.


Please note:  we do not need your completed paper until the conference in October, but we do need the above information to get the programs published and distributed in timely manner.


This year' theme is Digging Deep for History's Roots in the West, but topics are not limited to the theme of the conference.  Any topic relating to the history of the region is welcome.

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!
This conference is made possible with support by

B&W Humanities Westerners


Barker Wilson Law Firm, Belle Fourche

Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone

Center for Western Studies, Augustana College, Sioux Falls

Cheyenne Crossing, Store, Spearfish Canyon

Keystone Historical Society

Minnilusa Historical Society, Rapid City

 South Dakota Railroad Museum, Hill City

Sponsorships are still available 
to help keep the conference affordable for our participants
and to encourage young people to attend.
The collected papers of the 2013 conference will be available in August.  Books for conferences from 2012 and prior are available and can be ordered by downloading an order form from our website.
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.
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 is September 3rd.
West River History
Conference Board

Shebby Lee, President
Bev Pechan, VP
Bobbi Sago, Sec/Publications
Diana Hayes, Treasurer
Marguerite Kleven, Exhibits
Sandi McLain, Project Director
Wayne Gilbert, Sponsorships
Carolyn Weber, Corresponding Secretary
Carol Saunders, Student Liaison

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Quote of the Month


We historians are all in the revision business, aren't we? 

If we don't ask new questions and work toward some fresh understanding, what's the point? Treating past historians respectfully is our obligation: revising and building on what they have done is our job.


Elliott West


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

The 2013 West River History Conference was one for the record books, and will be remembered  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