The Verendrye Museum in Fort Pierre is named for Louis and Chevalier Verendrye, two French brothers who explored the upper reaches of the Missouri River.



Thank you to all our contestants, sponsors, supporters and to the

attendees of our BBQ held on August 15th!
















The Verendrye Museum will be closed for 2020 for ongoing renovation.

The other Verendrye Museum historic sites are open to the public at no charge. This includes the Log Cabin Visitor Center, 1905 Stanley County Jail, Sansarc County School Museum and the Fort Pierre Depot, all located in historic downtown Fort Pierre. Donations of any denomination are welcome.

Thank you to all who attended the 2020 Annual meeting and/or sent in your memberships! More than 45 people attended the Annual Meeting and dinner at the Sutley Senior Center on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

Your support is greatly appreciated! Congratulations to the Bierle Family of Midland who received a Horseshoe plaque recognizing them as the “ Friend of History 2020 Award” for their continued work in keeping history alive through supporting trail rides, finding and marking the trails by marking them with oak signs which will help them last longer.   G&N Construction received a Buffalo plaque recognizing them as the “Friend of Verendrye Museum 2020 Award” for their assistance over the last couple years in donating equipment and in-kind construction for repair and maintenance of the Sansarc Country School Museum and the Old Stanley County Jail repair.  Karl & Eileen Fischer were also recognized for their support with a six-piece leather engraved “Verendrye Museum 2020” coaster set.

Two words: Integrity and Dedication
Those are two of several words that describe Zay Norman. Zay has completed his term as a Board Member after volunteering his service for 15 years. A recent surgery robbed him of his eyesight, yet after the unfortunate disabling incident, he continued to serve on the Board by having someone drive him 50 miles into town to attend the meetings and events. The Horseshoe plaque recognized Zay Norman for “15 years as a Board Member from 2005-20019” was presented to him by President Seiler for his continued support, even while he was dealing with a most difficult circumstance!

All plaques presented were made by Board Member Lynn Fravel.

Board Election:

We thank Randy Seiler for his leadership and guidance as he steps down from the President position.  Wyatt Johnson was voted in to serve a three-year term.  Sandy Cronin was voted in as a new Board Member for a three year term filling Norman’s seat.  Brian Scott completed his three year term and was re-elected to serve another three years.   The Board meets the third Wednesday of the month at 7p in the Depot meeting room and the public is always invited.

Renovation Details:

Rick Hahn, Fort Pierre Public Works Director, provided an update on the museum renovation stating the original museum was built in 1935 and did not have air conditioning but heat was provided with a coal burning stove and later a water boiler provided the heat.  When the Museum was granted use of the building for a museum in 1968, the boiler did not work and therefore the Verendrye Museum did not have heat, cooling or hot water for the next 50 years!  In 2018 the City of Fort Pierre and the Verendrye Museum split the bill to install a hot water heat to help volunteers better clean the building and items.  The City of Fort Pierre is committed to keep the museum in Fort Pierre and rents the building to them for a dollar while the city pays the utilities. Because there is no heating or cooling, it is very hard on archival material and items.   The renovation process includes demolition of the American Legion building connected to it, creating a workspace for archives, new doors, tuck pointing the outside, new windows, creating an exit that meets code, new bathrooms that are ADA compliant and a new heating and cooling system to keep the archives in a constant temperature.  Renovation is projected to be completed in late 2020.

Donations for the non-profit Verendrye Museum are accepted at the Museum’s Log Cabin Visitor Center on the corner of U.S. Hwy 83/Main Street and during the summer at the Railroad Train Depot, on the corner of U.S. Hwy 83/1st Street and 4th Avenue. Visitation to all five of the Museum’s sites-Log Cabin Visitor Center, Sansarc Country School Museum, Old Jail, Train Depot (and the Verendrye Museum at 115 Deadwood Street after renovation) are free and open to the public.

The Verendrye Museum in downtown Fort Pierre is closed and is undergoing costly building renovations. Be a community supporter! Memberships go to offset costs of the renovations.  $35 for single, $500 lifetime for couples, $50 for a family, $75 for a business and $500 for a Supportable Membership.

2020 Membership Form

About the Verendrye Museum:

In 1743, they buried a lead plate in a hill claiming the entire Missouri River drainage for France. The Verendrye Museum is located in the old American Legion Hall, a 1930’s vintage building that was placed on the National Historic Register July 31, 2017 and is owned by the City of Fort Pierre. The Historical Society of Old Stanley County had a vision of establishing a museum, which was realized in 1968 with the opening of the Verendrye Museum as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The museum houses a collection of South Dakota and regional artifacts documenting the early history of the area. If you are in Fort Pierre in the off season you can see some museum displays at the Fort Pierre Log Cabin Center located on the corner of Main and HWY 83.

Latest News

Historic Bell Dedicated to Fort Pierre

  Another piece of history was added to Fort Pierre on July 4th, 2019. A large school bell weighing in at more than 800 pounds was permanently placed beside the Sansarc School Museum, located behind the log cabin on the corner of Hwy 1804/1st Street and Main Street in...

read more

Historic Bell to be Unveiled in Fort Pierre

Fort Pierre has always been full of rich history and one more piece of historic culture will be added on July 4th, 2019. Immediately after the 4th of July parade, Fort Pierre will dedicate the almost century-old country school bell. The bell was previously at the...

read more