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       West River History Conference                April, 2015
Rapid City, South Dakota
Let the Games Begin:
Sports and Recreation
in South Dakota

Call for Papers
Accepting Paper Proposals Until August 17

At the recent monthly meeting of the Conference Board  we decided to broaden the theme of this year's October conference, by adding the word "recreation" to the title.  The Board's desire is to broaden topic possibilities beyond typically male-dominated team sports.  Please consider presenting stories and research on recreational activities outside the normal definitions. 


For example Native Americans prior to white settlement traditionally loved any activities offering the opportunity to bet on the outcome.  Could there be a tie-in with modern-day casinos on South Dakota's reservations?  Nineteenth century immigrants introduced customs, food, and pastimes from all over the world.  What did your ancestors do for fun?  Were these games changed in any way by their new environment?

The Black Hills offer all kinds of outdoor activities unrelated to team sports.  Do you know some interesting history about spelunking, rock climbing, horseback riding, hiking, or biking?  Of course, many famous rodeo stars hailed from South Dakota.  Did you know that one of the biggest rodeos in the country was once held in tiny Belvidere?  

What about school yard games of old?  Many of us as youngsters were absolutely obsessed with playing marbles.  We dug holes in the playground, collected all kinds of different sizes and weights of marbles, and conducted elaborate elimination tournaments.  Whatever happened to playing marbles?

Use your imagination and help bring something new to the table at this year's conference.  And don't forget Abigail Adams' admonition to her husband:  Remember the ladies!  We look forward to hearing from you!  

Board Member Spotlight
Board Secretary Bobbi Sago of Spearfish, and her writing partner, Jan Cerney of Philip, have been commissioned to write their fourth book for the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing.   Black Hills Gold Rush Towns, Vol. II is due May 11.  They have also written Spearfish (2007), the first volume of Black Hills Gold Rush Towns (2010), and Black Hills National Forest:  Harney Peak and the Historic Fire Lookouts (2011).  Bobbi is in her 12th year as Special Collections Librarian/Archivist at Leland Case Library at Black Hills State University.
Sponsorships are available to help keep the conference affordable for our participants
and to encourage young people to attend.
Exhibitors  and Booksellers Welcome

Friday, October 2, exhibitors and booksellers will be sharing their historically-related materials with conference participants.  If you have a new book to sell, or especially an historical exhibit pertaining to this year's theme, please let us know!  There is no charge for a table (or half table) - but are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.  All participants must register for the conference.
Call for Papers

Let the Games Begin:  Sports and Recreation
in South Dakota
October 1-3, 2015

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 August 17th in order to be included in the program. 

Please note:  Your completed paper is NOT due until the conference in October.  Only the abstract and above information is due August 17th. 
West River History
Conference Board

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

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Quote of the Month
A nation without a strong sense of history is like a man who has no memory.

Robert H. Fowler, founder
American History magazine



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