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    Dacotah Prairie MuseumDacotah Prairie Museum Aberdeen, South Dakota
    The museum actually was started back in 1938, when John Murphy, a Northern State College professor and Marc Cleworth, who was a salesman, started the Northern South Dakota History Museum that was kept in the Central Building on Northern's campus, with its collections growing with donations and loans, until 1941, when it had collected more than 500 objects and relics. That museum had to close since its spaces were needed by the college to train pilots for the war, with the antiquities either returned to those that donated them or to be put into storage until they could be brought back out for review. That wouldn't happen until 1970, when these relics were added to those in the new Decotah Prairie Museum; which had been revisited when a number of past presidents of the American Association of University Women came together for a meeting, in 1963, to decide what kind of community projects could they become involved in. In 1964, the committee and other groups began looking for a possible site for the new museum which had been discussed and agreed upon. In 1968, the parks and recreation department of the city offered them the Anderson Recreation Center, which is now the Senior Center, as a temporary home for the museum and its collections. The board accepted their generous offer, and in 1969, opened the Dacotah Prairie Museum that showcased little displays on L. Frank Baum, Native Americans and early life in Brown County; as they continued to look for a more permanent home. Finally, in 1970, the group was offered a building on South Main to be used as a museum, and by October had opened their doors. That initial opening happened with just a small area of the first floor being used for exhibits, but by the beginning of the next decade, they had the entire building for themselves, as the collections continued to grow and expand. Exhibits include; Prairie Stitchers Needlework Exhibition, the Gage Parlor, various museum collections, Faith in Brown County, Hatterscheidt Wildlife Gallery, Bells are Ringing, Children's museum, the Fan Room, the Toy Room, Anniversary of Humans in Space, New Dawn on the Prairie, and many more.

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    Sand Lake National Wildlife RefugeSand Lake National Wildlife Refuge Aberdeen, South Dakota
    This beautiful refuge is one of the state's natural treasures, that is nestled in the northeast corner of the state, and haven to a large number of wildlife that is there for those that wish to enjoy the bountiful beauty of nature, including birdwatchers, hunters, nature lovers, anglers, and photographers. The Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge is home to over 266 species of birds, a variety of amphibians, reptiles and birds, as well as 40 mammals that is considered to be a mosaic of wildlife and the wild places that they need to live. It is famous for its magnificent concentrations of wildlife, getting numerous awards and special designations, and named as one of the top fifteen birding sites in North America. The refuge has brought wildlife photographers from around the nation to photograph its outstanding landscapes and thick concentrations of wildlife, with deep blue waters, auburn skies and a landscape that never seems to end. It offers birdwatchers the bonanza of their lives with the diversity and beauty of the plethora of flying creatures that come here to rest, stop, or to just visit such a special place. But it does have its dangers for many of those same birds, as the hunting season brings out the best, offering big game, waterfowl and upland game, for those that enjoy hunting with muzzleloader, rifle or bow. There are white-tailed deer herds running all over the region, pheasant, grouse, grey partridge and more. Fishing is also excellent here, with northern pike, walleye and other rough fish.

April 26, 2011