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Animals of all kinds have made South Dakota home, and visitors can get a close-up look at some of the species that live near Freeman in our natural history display.

Our Collections

Germans From Russia

Pioneers had to be creative and resourceful when they arrived on the prairie. Everything had to be done by hand and made from scratch. Once the railroad arrived, pioneers could purchase goods like furniture, kitchenware, tools, and food items. A parlor display, a summer kitchen, and countless household artifacts show the everyday lives of the early pioneers.

The majority of our collection comes from our German-Russian ancestors. The museum traces their immigration from Russia to Dakota Territory in the 1870s. Items such as immigrant trunks, diaries, and Russian artifacts show us what life was like for these immigrants who were seeking a new life in a new country.

The Germans from Russia started their lives in South Dakota with a wagon and a plow, but times changed quickly. Trace the development of agricultural implements and transportation vehicles in this area. Tractors, cars, motorcycles, and even a 1927 Lincoln-Page biplane are part of our exhibit.

While it isn't the German-Russian story, we also tell the stories of the Native peoples who lived on the plains long before European settlers arrived. This display ranges from arrow heads and early tools to clothing and artwork. We are pleased to tell the story of Standing Bear and Steven R Riggs. Children especially enjoy our brain-tanned buffalo hide and winter count.

Freeman, SD

Natural History

The young town of Freeman was greatly impacted by the coming of the railroad in 1879, bringing a variety of businesses and goods to the area. A general store, doctor's office, dentist's office, local banks, printing press, and even the town jail are represented in the museum. 

Pioneer History

Agriculture & Transportation

Native History

Our collections tell our stories. Heritage Hall Museum has over 2,000 artifacts to explore. There is something for everyone!