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Exploring History in Siouxland, Old Courthouse Museum, Sioux Falls

20 Nov

The Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Old Courthouse Museum with clock tower in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is an old saying that one never truly knows where he/she is going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Or something to that effect. Which is why for me when traveling about Siouxland and areas nearby I enjoy finding museums and other places that contain nuggets of history about the region. One such place is the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls. It contains a surprisingly large number of exhibits and gives a bit of history as its function as a former courthouse.

Historical displays are set up throughout the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Historical displays are set up throughout the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A movie projector from the early days is set up on display in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Current displays contain information about the first World War that recently was celebrated in France, commemorating the 100th year of Armistice Day when a peace treaty was signed, and people had hoped it was the war to end all wars. But that didn’t exactly go as planned. Human nature being a funny sort of barometer in gauging how people will behave.

A current display shows the bunker set ups used during WWI in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The museum though is a fine example of architecture and gives a visitor a nice sense of its place in the history of the territory doing the westward expansion of the country and before the Dakota Territory became two separate states. I enjoy spending the time to learn a bit more about the region and its place in history and look forward to finding other gems to explore down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Informational displays help a visitor understand the function of the building in its former life as an acting courthouse at the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Historical displays are found throughout the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A buffalo is ensconced near a scenic painting near the entrance of the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Now an open space, this was a former courtroom seen in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mural on a wall leading to a former balcony seating area for a court room in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Architecture in Siouxland, University of South Dakota, Vermillion

20 Oct

Working with B&W on a grey day on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As I explain to students who take some of the photo courses I teach through the Lifelong Learning program at Western Iowa Tech in Siouxland, sometimes the weather, time of year, and other factors will nudge my shooting style on a particular day. On a trip to Vermillion, SD it was an overcast day. No bright blue skies, the leaves not yet turning and apparently more rain on the way. But it didn’t deter me from shooting a few images.

Working with B&W on a grey day on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Working with B&W on a grey day on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I photographed in B&W, working with tonality and lines and form. Not all images are competition winners, most in fact are not. But still they achieve the effect I was looking to create and help tell their own story. Color isn’t everything, and at times can detract from an image. So one must rely on other ways to relaying to the viewer what they the photographer is trying to share. Light and shadow, form and shape, etc.

Working in B&W on a grey day on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Working with B&W on a grey day on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Working with B&W on a grey day on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I visited it had been after a rather contentious fight in the U.S. Senate about the newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice. Some remnants of students’ thoughts remained, although many were fading from the sidewalks they were expressed on. And here again, I felt B&W was a better way of expressing the students’ written thoughts rather than color and the colorful chalk used. It provided a more stark presentation of a tough topic that is only now gaining mainstream attention.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The #MeToo movement seen on the campus in the form of sidewalk chalk writing about sexual assault at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The #MeToo movement seen on the campus in the form of sidewalk chalk writing about sexual assault at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The #MeToo movement seen on the campus in the form of sidewalk chalk writing about sexual assault at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lions and Tigers and Bears near Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

18 Oct

A Kodiak bear sits in repose at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A black bear relaxes in the afternoon sunlight on a coolish day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This fall I made a trip to Sioux Falls, SD, just outside of what some might consider Siouxland, and again visited the Great Plains Zoo there. It was a cool day, temps somewhere in the 50’s and overcast for the most part. On a visit to the zoo a year ago it was much warmer in the fall and the animals for the most part then stayed indoors. But on this particular day they were out and about, enjoying the sunshine and their confinements as much as they can.

A red fox curls up in the sunshine on a cool day for a nap, ignoring visitors watching at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brown bear seems very aware of his surroundings and what’s near at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The zoo is educational and is very good at describing its residents and particulars about their individual lives. It also has an area devoted to educational pursuits.

Stuffed animals reside in the Delbridge Museum of Animal History at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Near the tiger enclosure there was Chinese calligraphy on the walls of a building which blended in nicely with the shadows created by nearby trees. Adding a quiet kind of ambience to that corner of the zoo. It was a peaceful day and even the animals seemed to sense that. Watching and marking time. Tomorrow is yet another day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Asian characters on an exhibit seem to blend into the shadows as shadows themselves at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Amur tiger paces in his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A red wolf looks out at visitors looking into his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mountain goat enjoys his perch atop Redrock Mountain at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rare breed goat watches passers-by from a perch at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young boy smiles as a rare breed goat eats some treats he left for them at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young Snow monkey is not having any of it from an older sibling at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Doorway in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

16 Oct

I am always attracted to doorways when I am out and about. Some seem inviting, others have a nice shape or form. Definitely there is something always on the other side and so there is also a bit of mystery as to what lies beyond. Some questions may never be answered, but I guess that is part of the appeal and wondering and imagination.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A shed door in Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Art Walk Downtown, near Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

12 Oct

A sculpted piece of art by Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A number of communities in Siouxland now have sidewalk adorning their downtown area as does neighboring communities of Siouxland. Sioux Falls is one such place and has had a sculpture walk for a few years. It certainly makes a community come alive with pieces of art sprinkled about. And the community is easily navigated on foot and with space for those who linger to look at the art and those who need to hustle and make their destination.

 

A closeup view and reflection in a sculpted piece by Bruce Stillman in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sculpted piece of art by Peter Vogelaar in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I personally like smaller communities that bustle but one doesn’t feel like you are in a bowling lane like in a larger metropolis and getting jostled about while trying to enjoy the views around you. Some of us are just born tourists and look the part. The downtown area of the community has a nice urban feel and is a nice way to spend a day before going off to see other attractions and just enjoying the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Plants dot some area in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sculpted piece of art sits between two buildings sharing a patio walk-in area in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Hanging plants add some ambience to downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Plant decorated orbs dot some streets in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Orpheum Theatre redone with a more modern look in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On a chilly fall day three women are dressed for the weather as they walk in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Day the Music Went Quiet in Siouxland, National Music Museum, Vermillion, SD

10 Oct

I found out recently that the National Music Museum located on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD will be closing for two years for an expansion project of the museum that will add 16,000 square feet of additional space, which includes two floors and an underground level.

The National Music Museum ot the campus of the University of South Dakota, will be closing for a couple of years for expansion and renovation, seen at Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

From reading a press release and a current newsletter I found out that the 1910 former Carnegie Library expansion will include extra display area and a new performing space. The museum currently houses 15,000 instruments plus other material associated with them. It will be expanding its restoration area and be adding a dedicated research area.

I have visited the museum a few times taking advantage of free lunch time concerts that are presented there. A real treat to hear accomplished musicians perform their stuff. I especially like the Christmas concerts which gets a person into the mood for the season.

 

 

I will be sad not to hear a Christmas concert this year or next in the museum’s current performance space. It is small and intimate like a group of friends arriving at someone’s parlor to hear a performance. Performances will continue though at other venues on campus with a scheduled Christmas performance on the books. The expansion will benefit the museum though, and its continued service to the world of music and make a living art a little easier to ensure its future and enjoyment of music lovers.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the Views in Siouxland, Iowa Lakes and the Missouri River

26 Sep

I enjoy visiting areas around Siouxland that incorporate bodies of water. Whether it be visiting the Iowa Lakes region or up near Yankton, SD. I like water, watching it, the views and horizons.

Enjoying a day at the lakes in Arnolds Park, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Enjoying a day along the Missiouri River in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have read that bodies of water have a calming effect on people, and just gazing out onto the horizon can sometimes give us momentary peace of mind as well as making us contemplate what our own personal horizon is, and if we are willing to take the journey to reach them once we figure out what they may be.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying a day at the lakes in Arnolds Park, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Enjoying a day at the lakes in Arnolds Park, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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