Tri-State Museum, Belle Fourche, SD

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Tri-State Museum, Belle Fourche, SD

Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center to be open on Saturdays beginning April 2

Beginning April 2, the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sundays and Mondays. The change is being made in response to increased interest in the museum’s permanent collections and changing exhibits.

After Memorial Day, the museum and visitor center shifts to summer hours which are Monday-Saturday, 9 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. For further information about the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center, call 605-723-1200.

For further information about this and upcoming events
at the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center
please contact Director Kristi Thielen at 605-723-1200.

Third Annual Pine Slope Cemetery Walk
June 11th at 2:00pm

The Third Annual Cemetery Walk – dubbed “Pine Slope Personalities” – will take place at Pine Slope Cemetery at 511 Sixth Avenue in Belle Fourche on Saturday June 11 at 2 p.m.

The Cemetery Walk consists of select performers who appear as celebrated persons who are now buried in Pine Slope. Each performance is about 20 minutes long and the performers often appear in period costumes to heighten the historical aspect of the event. Chairs will be set up for the comfort of the audience.

Those persons being presented at the 2016 event include Fidelia Gilger, Bertha Baird, Kathryn Giacometto, Mary Ritts, James Craig, John McClure, Gene Sly and Hi Hantz. Organizations which collaborate on this event include the Belle Fourche Questers, Belle Fourche Writers Group, the Belle Fourche Arts Council and the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center.

In the event of rain, Pine Slope Personalities will be held at the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center at 415 Fifth Avenue in Belle Fourche. For further information about Pine Slope Personalities, please call Sheila Frost at 892-3748.

Click on picture for a larger view

“Belly Up to the Bar: Saloons” is the new temporary exhibit

The Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center will open a new temporary exhibit entitled, “Belly Up to the Bar: Saloons” on Saturday, May 28th.  Cookies, punch and coffee will be available through the day as part of the opening. That Saturday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibit charts the history of saloons, especially in the old west, with photos, storyboards and artifacts drawn both from the museum’s permanent collections and those donated by community member Jerry Ager. The exhibit will also include a touch-screen quiz of fun facts about saloons.

Information and anecdotes about saloon music, bar bottles, the questionable liquor served in saloons, their occasional role as the host of theatrical performances, speeches and religious services - and how Prohibition ultimately ended the saloon era - are some of the topics explored in the exhibit.

The exhibit also has a local angle as Belle Fourche is unique for having once had a “Saloon Street.” The history of Belle Street saloons and saloonkeepers such as Bruce Sebastian and Dan Roberts will be a prominent part of the exhibit.

“Belly Up to the Bar: Saloons” will be in place until Labor Day.

New mini-exhibit entitled “But first  . . . coffee.”

The exhibit explores the history of coffee including its discovery,  the rise of coffeehouses, the “Coffee Wars” of the 19th and 21st century, the history of Arbuckles’, known as the “coffee that won the west” because of its popularity with cowboys, and coffeehouses in the Belle Fourche area, such as the Green Bean Coffeehouse.

In addition to storyboards, the exhibit includes a wide variety of photos and artifacts from the museum’s permanent collections, including antique coffee pots and coffee grinders.


The title that rides above the exhibit – and the images of the steaming cups of coffee that flank it – were made out of coffee beans.

Specialty coffeehouse coffee will be served to those visitors who stop in to see the exhibit and request a cup to drink as they do so.

The title for the exhibit was selected because coffee is an early morning staple for so many people and because this exhibit is the first thing you see on entering the Museum and Visitor Center.

The exhibit was designed by Assistant Director Jean Maher, who also did photo curation; Collections Archivist Nicole Carrier did artifact curation and coffee bean artwork; storyboards were researched and written by Director Kristi Thielen.

The exhibit will be in place until June 10th. There is no admission to visit the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center. May hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 4. Memorial Day to Labor Day hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 to 5 and Sunday, 1 to 4.

Children’s dress-up trunk for interactive play

The Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center now offers a trunk of period-style clothing for child visitors to try on. The trunk includes prairie dresses, skirts and blouses for girls; vests, shirts and knickers for boys. There are also several hats.  Items in the trunk will be changed every few months to provide variety.

The dress-up trunk is being added as a way to provide more hands-on experiences for young visitors to the Tri-State Museum.

The public is invited to stop in at the museum on Friday to see the display; the museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center hires new Collections Archivist

PHOTO: New Collections Archivist Nicole Carrier poses next to the doctor’s buggy in the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center.

The Tri-State Museum and Visitor has expanded its staff to include a Collections Archivist. Nicole Carrier will be tasked with managing the digital archives of the museum’s collections as well as overseeing the contents of the permanent collections and providing artifacts for the mini and temporary exhibits. Carrier will also assist with programming, events and some Visitor Center tasks, including those handled for the Black Hills Roundup.

She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, where she was living prior to Belle Fourche. Carrier moved here three months ago and is enthusiastically learning all she can about her new “home town.”

For further information about the Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center, please call 605-723-1200.



415 5th Avenue
Call for more info 723-1200


The Tri-State Museum is a 4,000 square foot, city-owned and operated, historical museum based out of beautiful Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The museum is located on US-85 in the Northern Black Hills. We are a short drive to major attractions such as Deadwood, Rapid City, Spearfish Canyon, Rocky Point State Park/Orman Dam, Devils Tower, and Mt. Rushmore.

Our museum focuses on the early pioneer, rodeo, and old west history of the Tri-State region of Western South Dakota, Eastern Wyoming and Southeast Montana. The museum houses over 5,000 artifacts, rodeo memorabilia, historical records, antiques, collectibles, fossils, and other items. These include the original 1876 Johnny Spaulding Cabin, artifacts from the early cattle days, artifacts from the Belle Fourche Roundup Rodeo (largest rodeo in South Dakota), and much, much more.

We work closely with the South Dakota State Historical Society, The Adam's Museum and other local organizations such as The Butte County Historical Society, Questers, Lions Club, Golden Hills Antique Club, Northern Hills Retired Teachers, and others.

The museum is very active in the region, helping to promote and host many local activities, educational programs and special events.



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