Archive for the ‘Recently Received’ Category

Archives and Special Collections recently received 4 photographs of this observance.

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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.

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The Archives and Special Collections recently received the book Rediscovery the Barns of Clay County, South Dakota by the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission.

Members of the community, under the leadership of Jim Stone, investigated and recorded approximately 350 barns in Clay County. Most of the book consist of Historic Sites Survey Structure forms, which describe each barn with photographs, sketches, maps, histories, and more.

The book is full of local history, such as:

“With his basement walls up he used a sled and a team of oxen or horses to harvest timber in Nebraska Territory. This timber was cut and hauled back across the ice on the Missouri River in the winter” (page 744).

“Huge limestone blocks under the granaries on the West side in original barn. Limestone blocks were extra’s from the Court House construction, in 1912” (page 1450).

“This was a very large operation. Immigrants and young farmers could always get a job on the Lee ranch to build a nest egg before they started farming on their own. … Oral history states that they had 76 teams of workhorses at one time” (page 2601).

“Lodi church remodeled into a barn” (page 2644).

Copies of the book can also be found on the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission’s web site, local public libraries, museum, and historical society.



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The Archives Special Collections has recently received a book about residents of our county who did not return from war. It contains 10 biographies written by USD students and their professor concerning military service personnel from Clay County, South Dakota, who were killed in action. The biographies are based on information gathered from local archives, libraries, historical society, veterans services office, online resources, and family members.

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The library has received two copies. One is in the book collection in Special Collections, and one is in the main collection of the library.

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