Health Tourism

Archives and Special Collections recently received:

The water cure: archaeological investigations at the sanitarium and bath house, Cascade Springs, South Dakota.

Abstract: “The Water Cure is an overview of the growth of health tourism in the southern Black Hill of South Dakota during the 1890s. During this era, medical doctors believed in the curative powers of drinking and bathing in mineral waters. They encouraged people to restore their health in therapeutic settings around natural warm springs. Bath houses, founded on the age-old Turkish bath experience, offered dry, steam and shower rooms as well as individual or group plunge baths to cure maladies such as hemorrhoids or rheumatism.”

I love archaeological reports, particularly those written for the public. In addition to a meticulous description of the archaeological project, the methodology, and the results, they include all this marvelous background history, architectural description, and material culture images. This report contains everything needed to set the context for the sanitorium and bath house. The wide range of topics covered is best illustrated by its table of context:

Part One: Settling the Southern Black Hills

   Chapter 1. Homesteaders: Alabough Canyon

   Chapter 2. Early Transportation: Railroads, Stagecoaches, and Electric Motor Lines

   Chapter 3. Hot Springs Town-Site Company: Friendly Competition

Part Two: Carlsbad Spring Company

   Chapter 4. The Water Cure: Health Tourism

   Chapter 5. The Sales Pitch: Gather Your Loose Change!

   Chapter 6. Feverish Growth, Blocks, Lots, Streets, and Alleys

   Chapter 7. Surrendering Possession: The Panic of 1893

   Chapter 8. Final Disposition: 1894-1908

Part Three: Archaeological Excavations

   Chapter 9. Exposing the Ruins: Survey and Testing

   Chapter 10. Sanitarium and Bath House Footprint: The Crown Jewel

   Chapter 11. Internal Plumbing: Steam Boilers and Pipes

   Chapter 12. Day to Day Life: Domestic Artifacts

   Chapter 13. The Turkish Bath Experience: A Day at the Spa

   Chapter 14. Four Objectives: Assessing the Results

Here are more images from the book:

Boen, Byrne, Mayer, Shierts, Vogt, and Williams. The water cure: archaeological investigations at the sanitarium and bath house, Cascade Springs, South Dakota. Rapid City and Pierre, SD: Archaeological Research Center and South Dakota State Historical Society, 2020.

When did the USD football team play Notre Dame?


Information from The history of intercollegiate football, basketball, track, and baseball at the State University of South Dakota, Richard T. Haase, USD M.A. thesis.

Consult Haase’s thesis to find out if USD beat Norte Dame and when.

Image of USD football team from Digital Library of South Dakota.

Happy Dakota Days.

The Archives and Special Collections has added its collection of photographs published in 1882 by Bailey, Dix & Mead of Sitting Bull and his camp to the Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD). The Bailey, Dix & Mead series is comprised of twenty-four views of Sitting Bull’s time as a prisoner of war at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory. (Of the twenty-four images in the series, the Archives and Special Collections holds fifteen.)

Bailey, Dix & Mead were the publishers of the series. The photographer? Was it W. R. Cross from Niobrara, Nebraska? Was it Stanley J. Morrow of Yankton? Although definitive formal documentation has not been found (Goodyear 32), many researchers have reached similar conclusions and believe that W. R. Cross was indeed the photographer.

Included in the Bailey, Dix & Mead series, is the familiar portrait of Sitting Bull:

A third portrait of Sitting Bull, which appears to be from the same time period and possibly the same photographer, can be found “published and photographed” as part of a series entitled: “Sitting Bull” and Camp, While held Prisoners of War at Fort Randall, D. T. by W. R. Cross. The image is number five in the series (shown here from the Everett D. Graff Collection of Western Americana, Newberry Library).

The topical photograph of this blog post (see first photograph above), Chilson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, has also been published in the DLSD and is an alternative pose that:

1 – appears on a W. R. Cross mount,

2 – is printed with the same text as found on the portrait of Sitting Bull in the Bailey, Dix & Mead series, and

3 – has a shadow of under-printing in the text which clearly reads “Niobrara, Nebraska,” the location of W. R. Cross’ studio at the time. The under-printing text also matches the Cross photograph in the “Sitting Bull” and Camp series.

The only other manifestation of this photograph that has been located thus far, appears in several places on a Stanley J. Morrow mount as a stereograph:

A rare Sitting Bull stereoview by S. J. Morrow

and as a single copy image in the Frank Bennett Fiske Collection, and also attributed to Morrow, at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. To make matters more complex, photographers of this time were known for copying other photographers’ works and placing them on their own mounts, sometimes “with” and sometimes “without” permission. Photographers would also sell and/or trade their negatives with one another. Tragically, both Cross’ and Morrow’s negatives were destroyed in fires, creating a significant barrier for analysis.

Does the Archives and Special Collections have the only version of this photograph on a Cross mount? Was this a test print or photographer’s proof? Are there other copies in libraries, archives, and private collections?

Does this add further evidence that Cross was the photographer for the images in the Bailey, Dix & Mead series, as well as this photograph? If so, how did Stanley J. Morrow come to reproduce it and sell it as his own?

And, why is this photograph of Sitting Bull so obscure and so hard to find?

— The Archives and Special Collections would like to thank Larry Ness, Bob Kolbe, and Frank Goodyear for generously sharing their time and expertise in the search for more information regarding this very special photograph.

Goodyear, F. (1996). The narratives of Sitting Bull’s surrender: Bailey, Dix & Mead’s photographic western. In S. E. Bird (Ed.). Dressing in feathers: The construction of the Indian in American Popular Culture (pp. 29-43). Boulder, Colo.: Westview. Main Collection / 3rd Floor E98. P99 D72 1998

Further reading:

Hurt, Wesley Robert, and William E. Lass. Frontier Photographer: Stanley J. Morrow’s Dakota Years. University of South Dakota Press, 1956. Main Collection / 3rd Floor TR140 .M6 H85

LaPointe, Ernie. Sitting Bull: His Life and Legacy. Gibbs Smith, 2009. McKusick Law Library, Native and Indigenous Peoples, Main Floor E99 D1 .S569 2009

Pope, Dennis C. Sitting Bull, Prisoner of War. South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2010. Main Collection / 3rd Floor E99 .D1 S6129 2010



The Archives and Special Collections has a 1970’s poster promoting the Library with the caption “Looking for a date? Visit the I. D. Weeks Library.” What do you think, can 1970s attitudes towards dating and women in universities be inferred from this poster? If so, are current attitudes the same or different?

From the William Lyon Papers, Archives and Special Collections.


according to a book in Chilson Collection with this title.

Hint – many of the letters that look like a “f” are actually a “s”.

to USD’s COVID-19 Experiences Project?

Coronavirus, Globe, Flags, World, Nations, Disease

Don’t be shy. I will let you read two of my less-than-great haikus,, written at different stages of the pandemic:


Ha, TP hoarding

Funny until you run out

Shelves are still empty


Please don’t come near me

Your breath and touch dangerous

I so want to live







-while at the time having a region called New South Wales


Close-up of New Holland


1798  World Map


in a book with a long title in the Chilson Collection in the Archives and Special Collections:

Payne, John. A New and Complete System of Universal Geography; Describing Asia, Africa, Europe and America; with Their Subdivisions of Republics, States, Empires, and Kingdoms: The Extent, Boundaries, and Remarkable Appearances of Each Country; Cities, Towns, and Curiosities of Nature and Art, Also Giving a General Account of the Fossil and Vegetable Productions of the Earth. The History of Man, in All Climates, Regions, and Conditions; Customs, Manners, Laws, Governments, and Religions: The State of Arts, Sciences, Commerce, Manufactures, and Knowledge. Sketches of the Ancient and Modern History of Each Nation and People to the Present Time. To Which Is Added, a View of Astronomy, as Connected with Geography; of the Planetary System to Which the Earth Belongs; and of the Universe in General … Being a Large and Comprehensive Abridgement of Universal Geography. New York: Printed For, and Sold by John Low, Book-seller, at the Shakespeare Head, No. 332 Waterstreet, 1798. Call number Chilson Collection  G114 .P34 .

Autobiographies by Lewis Akeley and Edward Churchill have vivid descriptions and fun stories centered around their teaching experiences at the University of South Dakota. Akeley’s book covers approximately 1887 to 1933. Churchill’s book covers approximately 1920 to 1961.

My favorite stories are Churchill’s description of the campus in 1920 and how it felt to teach evolution after the Scope’s trial of 1925.



Map from 1920-1921 USD Catalog.  Campus boundaries are Cherry Street to the north, Pine Street to the east, Clark Street to the south, and Dakota Street to the west.


For a more general second-hand account of USD in the 1920s, see Cedric Cummins’ book University of South Dakota, 1862-1966. He has an entire chapter on the 1920s and covers a breadth of topics. I particularly like his descriptions of student life and sports activities.

All three books are in the USD Archives and in I.D. Weeks Library. Also, the Archives and Special Collections has the papers of Akeley, Churchill, and Cummins.

Akeley, Lewis E. This is what we had in mind: early memories of The University of South Dakota. Vermillion, SD: The University of South Dakota, 1959. Call number LD5073 .A6.

Churchill, Edward P. Three thousand coyotes and I: memoirs of a zoology professor. State University of South Dakota. Vermillion, SD: State University of South Dakota, 1962. Call number QL31 .C54 A3.

Cummins, Cedric. The University of South Dakota, 1862-1966. Vermillion, SD: Dakota Press, 1975. LD5073 .C85x.

If you are curious about a later period of USD history, check out the oral histories by Chuck Estee.


I need to find a bowler hat and a dark suit. Should I dress up and sit outside of Old Main now while there are not many people on campus, or wait until fall when the leaves are off the trees, allowing us to photograph a clearer view of Old Main and East Hall?

Image from Catalogue of the University of South Dakota for the year 1892-3. Catalogs for USD are in the USD Archives.

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