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Journey Museum celebrates its 25th anniversary

The staff at the museum is commemorating the silver anniversary by saying thank you to those...
The staff at the museum is commemorating the silver anniversary by saying thank you to those who helped the museum.(Nick Nelson)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 4:03 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - It’s the 25th anniversary of one Rapid City attraction, the Journey Museum and Learning Center.

The staff at the museum is commemorating the silver anniversary by saying thank you to those who helped the museum.

They had a special display, and a bottle of champagne ready to celebrate 25 years.

Executive Director Troy Kilpatrick says the museum has come a long way from its initial effort to preserve the history of the Black Hills.

He says, back then, there was limited space to feature the artifacts and historical mementos that tell the story of the area.

“At that time, our Department of Interior, Engineering Arts & Crafts Board, and the Minnelusa Historical Association were all at Haley Park,” Kilpatrick said. “If you can think of that building, it’s a cool old building, but not very substantial for taking care of museum collections and artifacts.”

He says having the museum in its current location, and even the shape of the building, was important to symbolize the geography of the Black Hills.

“The building is shaped uniquely to represent the uplift of the Black Hills,” Kilpatrick said. “There are red stones all the way around the building, over 200 of them which represents the Spearfish formation, but also talks about the Lakota legend of the great race. So, our goal here is to connect the science and culture together from billions of years ago to the present day.”

Kilpatrick adds that although he’s in charge of the museum, there are still things about the area he learns every year.

“When we added ‘learning center’ to our title and started bringing in educational programming on a daily and weekly basis, we were able to communicate with the community better,” Kilpatrick said. “That’s what the theme of all this is. It’s science, its culture, its Native American history, it’s pioneer history. Even us being involved with NASA and the South Dakota Space Consortium.”

Kilpatrick says he hopes more people visit this year as COVID-19 slows down.

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