About The Journey Museum
The Journey Museum in South Dakota chronicles the history of the Black Hills region and the cultures that have existed there, such as the Native American Lakota people and the pioneers. It also explores the area’s natural environment.
The Journey Museum is split into several sections, amongst them an archaeology gallery with pieces dating back to 7500BC. There is also a large Native American collection with items ranging from artwork to everyday tools, as well as a gallery which documents the lives of early European settlers in the Black Hills.
History of The Journey Museum
The Journey Museum opened in 1997. It is situated in the heart of Rapid City, in South Dakota, and chronicles the journey of 2.5 millions years of history of the Black Hills and Native American culture via four different main collections: geology and palaeontology, archaeology, Native American Culture, and Pioneer History.
The Journey Museum Today
The Geology Gallery contains a wall that has a 2.5 billion-year-old rock record of the Black Hills area. Alongside many fossils, there’s a model of an on-site dig with a tent, to provide visitors with an understanding of field work. There are also models of a T-Rex and a Triceratops.
After the Geology exhibition is a section which exhibits the archaeological finds of 5 key time periods from 7500 BC to 250-50 BC.
Next is the Sioux Indian Museum, which contains over 5,500 pieces of Sioux Indian art, such as beaded and ceremonial items, traditional Native American clothing, hide and calendar paintings, children’s games and items, instruments, Native American saddles, and tipis. There’s also a hologram of a Native American elder who tells three stories.
The final section, the Minnilusa Pioneer Gallery, has a trapper’s cabin, a board walk, saddles that visitors can sit on, a hardware shop modelled after the first major hardware store in South Dakota, as well as several story boards with information and artefacts about the pioneer days.
It also covers the interaction between Native Americans and early settlers during the period from first encounters to modern day reconciliation and relationship rebuilding.
Alongside the main exhibitions, the museum hosts and runs a number of year-round educational programmes and events, and is also surrounded by some 7 acres of western native gardens which are maintained by a variety of volunteers from the area, and contain indigenous vegetables, flowers, and trees.
Getting to The Journey Museum
The Journey Museum is a 2 hour 45 minute drive from South Dakota, via l-90 W.