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  • Pickler MansionPickler Mansion Faulkton, South Dakota
    The Pickler Mansion or pink castle as it is also known, was built in phases starting in 1882 and being finished in 1894 in the town of Faulkton, South Dakota.  It was the former home of Congressman John Pickler and his wife Alice, who was a well known suffragette.  The 19th century Prairie Victorian home has 20 rooms, that are filled with the original furniture and decor, and there is a secret or panic room that was to keep them safe from storms or Indian attacks, although by that time, there were not many Indians out to torment white people.  A music room contained hand made wood work and is a marvelous example of craftsmanship for that period and in that part of the country.  This majestic home was visited by many notable people, most prominent were Susan B. Anthony, Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt.  John Pickler was the first Representative from the new state of South Dakota and served 4 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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  • Pine Ridge Indian ReservationPine Ridge Indian Reservation South Dakota
    This reservation is home to the Oglala Sioux Native American reservation in South Dakota, encompassing almost 3.5 million square miles of land.  It is the 8th biggest in the nation and bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.  The majority of land lies within the two poorest counties in the state and the entire United States.    It is populated by less than 30,000 Sioux.  It was the home of famous Chief Red Cloud, who was a well respected warrior and statesman, leading the fight to keep settlers from using the Bozeman Trail; which was the best of the buffalo hunting grounds.  Once he was at Pine Ridge, the chief worked to start a Jesuit run school for the children and his burial ground is on a hill overlooking the school that he started; which also bears his name, the Red Cloud Indian School.  Another famous personage was William Mervin Mills or Billy Mills that gained international fame in the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo as a runner.  It was a huge upset in sports history and his early childhood saw him overcoming incredible odds to achieve this wonderful fame.  His story is one to be heard and delighted in, considering he was a half breed and living on the reservation in his early life was especially difficult because of his half breed status.  He is the only American to win the 10,000 meter race and today is a spokesperson for the Running Strong for American Youth program and a motivational speaker.  He is a great American and is to be remembered and known for showing this country and the world what a lot of hard work and determination can do, no matter where you come from or what kind of experiences you have growing up.  He is certainly an inspiration to all the Native Americans in this country and will be loved by all for his superhuman efforts to overcome monumental obstacles to attain his dreams.

March 14, 2011