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

Conference Wrap Up
2014 Conference Attendance Tops 100 Again
Vendors Clear skies and moderate temperatures greeted history buffs and professionals alike who gathered together for a fulfilling week-end of sharing and reminiscing at this year's history conference, held in Rapid City October 16,17, and 18. 
Many people who had planned to attend the conference in 2013 met with Winter Storm Atlas instead.  Fortunately, the award winners were all present again this year to receive their unexpected awards, so we had double the awards to present at this year's awards luncheon. 

Best Paper awards are listed to the right.  Thank you to all who attended, who sponsored, and who enjoyed the conference.  We look forward to seeing you again next year!
2014 Conference Pictures
Arley Faness, 2013 Herb Blakely Award Winner
Chuck Rambow, 2014 Herb Blakely Award Winner
Bobbi Sago, 2014 Helping Hand Award
Mary Livingston, 2014 Zoom Zoom Award Winner

Deadwood Express, songs and lore of a traditional American music form

Gordy Pratt

as Seth Bullock

Hard-working Board Members

Sandi McLain and Diana Hayes

Peg Aplan, presenter

This conference is made possible with support by

Deadwood Preservation
B&W Humanities
an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities

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

Mitch Johnson, Rapid City

Minnilusa Historical Society, Rapid City

Reptile Gardens

 South Dakota Railroad Museum, Hill City

2013 Conference
Best Paper Awards Announced


Gretchen Collier, Minot ND:  Making it Home: Hearing the Voices of Female Homesteaders 



3rd Place: Jeff Broome - "The Fletcher Family Indian Captivity Story: An incident in the Plains Indian War"

2nd Place: Virginia Hanson - "Finding Jackob Kinna, Civil War Veteran"

1st Place: Paul Higbee and Tom Matthews - "The Matthews Family's Trail from Texas to the Black Hills"



Honorable Mention: Kari Geiger - "My Friends Went to Haight-Ashbury But I Went to Deadwood

Winner: Jean Kary - "Abourezk Store"



Whitewood Sixth Grade Class - "History of the Whitewood School"


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're raised studying kings and presidents and generals, but I'm more interested in the historical underdogs, in slaves and immigrants and anyone who's gone overlooked.  Each story adds another pixel to the overall picture and gives us a better understanding of the past and a clearer image of who we really are.


Megan Smolenyak

(descendant of American slaves)


June Ring, presenter

Let the Games Begin
Sports in South Dakota
October 1-3, 2015
Mark your calendar for next year's conference.
State senator and editor of South Dakota Magazine had some nice things to say about the West River History Conference in his October 7 online blog.  Check it out.