Hands-on demonstrations showcase homestead skills

Dakota Buttes Museum Friday, Aug. 26

In a photo taken 111 years ago, women homesteaders gather at the front of a sod house on a South Dakota homestead. (Courtesy Photo)
In a photo taken 111 years ago, women homesteaders gather at the front of a sod house on a South Dakota homestead. (Courtesy Photo)

Know how to make soap? How to wash clothes on a washboard, rinse them, run them through a wringer and hang them? How to spin and weave? How to quilt, churn butter, or ferment vegetables? And just how did those homesteaders cut and lay sod for their houses or make rope for their farm use? What was it like to attend school in a one-room schoolhouse? Or to play games out on the prairie?

Those activities and more are part of the third major set of events accompanying the State Historical Society of North Dakota’s (SHSND) traveling exhibit, “Land in Her Own Name” at the Dakota Buttes Museum in southeast Hettinger. This showcase of homestead skills will be demonstrated by modern homesteaders and by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of homesteaders at stations around the museum buildings for students, schools, and the public on Friday, Aug. 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. MDT.

“It’s a hands-on day,” says Ceil Anne Clement, president of the Dakota Buttes Historical Society which operates the museum. “Come when you can and stay as long as you like.”

The day-long set of activities is part of the overall focus on Women Homesteaders of the Northern Great Plains at the museum this year.  All events are free, family oriented  and open to the public. Donations to help defray expenses are appreciated.

“We’re trying to bring our past into our future,” says Rita Becker, committee member. Others committee members are Ginger Dangerud, Marge Yohe, Betty Svihovec, Ceil Anne Clement, Pat Mattson and Bonnie Smith. For further information, or to schedule times for a group, please call 701-567-2771 or 701-853-2997.







GAMES