Tag Archives: sioux falls south dakota

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©)

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©)

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©)

A Day at the Zoo near Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

4 Oct

I took another trip to Sioux Falls recently, geographically just outside the boundaries of what many consider Siouxland, but only an hour from Sioux City. I know zoos are educational and provide a glimpse of life many of us would not normally see, but at the same time am sad that these animals can not roam the terrain where originally they come from.

That said, the Great Plains Zoo is a nice facility and this particular visit it struck me that part of the zoo structure reminds me of territorial amy posts or forts built in the Dakota Territory that incorporated both Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming and Montana I believe.

Part of the zoo exhibit barriers resemble early American frontier forts in its construction at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A board walk takes visitors above the African plain for that part of the Great Plains Zoo exhibit in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This area of the zoo contained animals that were African in origins and the animals roamed about in grassy areas, except for giraffes that day. An employee informed me that with recent rains the grounds area became too muddy and the giraffes were confined to an area deemed safer for them. But on a cool day as temps hovered in the 50’s and 60’s the animals were out and enjoying the sunshine.

A Grevy zebra dances a little jig while eating at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bird in the African safari exhibit peers up at a visitor at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some had hunkered down for nap or at least a rest while others paced through their compounds.

African wild dogs snuggle together in the afternoon sunlight on a cool day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Eastern black rhinocerous walks impatiently around its compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It has rained quite a bit it seems for early fall in the region. And created difficulties for all including farmers and area communities where the possibility of flooding from overflowing rivers and creeks pass through many. But it also seemed to create small islands of grazing area for the bison at the zoo as they all stayed in one area to feed during a time when the sun came out.

I know I will return to the zoo again, just to watch the animals and to enjoy the quiet that can be found there and appreciate what is there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

American bison graze in a fields at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Brutally Cold Days in Siouxland, Falls Park, Sioux Falls, SD

19 Jan

Recently the weather in Siouxland has been brutally cold.

And I read with amusement the lamentations and OMG pronouncements of online headlines and national tv news broadcasts of the brutal cold when it hits the East Coast. Maybe that area doesn’t get much terrible cold, we’re talking minus zero and colder air temp with windchill factors creating temperatures more like -20 or more. On one of those terrible cold days I drove to Sioux Falls, SD and to Falls Park. The air temp on my vehicle said 8 degrees when I reached the area. And to look around the park confirmed that it was mightily cold.

A frozen water falls at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

The falls at Falls Park was frozen but for a small shooting stream near the bottom. And for a park normally filled with people, I only saw a handful that day walking about and looking.

Some open water was seen flowing in the Big Sioux River that passes through Falls Park despite the frozen water falls in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Only a few people braved an 8 degree day to witness a frozen water falls at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And to be fair, maybe everyone in the area has already seen the falls frozen over. Recently a friend told me they had heard it on the news.

Some water flow still spills out of a frozen water falls at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Normally teeming with people on warmer days, no one was witnessing the frozen water falls at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

I have to admit I spent maybe 20 minutes walking about shooting some photos, and then I too, made tracks back to my vehicle and the heated seats it happens to have, unlike the available seats around the park.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Normally teeming with people on warmer days, the park bench was empty of people witnessing the frozen water falls at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Enjoying a Spring Day in Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

2 May

In early April I took a trip up to Sioux Falls, SD to enjoy lunch at a little eatery I found and to just enjoy a warm day in spring. Currently the weather is much cooler again with rain, and that is too be expected. But the nice day brought like-minded people out as they too came to Falls Park in Sioux Falls to enjoy sunshine, the water and just being in the moment.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

History in Siouxland, the Pettigrew House and Museum, Sioux Falls, SD

19 Apr

On a trip in Siouxland to Sioux Falls, SD, I stopped by a historical house and museum of one R.F. Pettigrew. This gentleman was the first sitting U.S. Senator from the state of South Dakota. He also sounded like a bit of a rough and tumble character, actually involved in a brawl with another politician, beating someone with his cane. Evidently gentleman were not synonymous with genteel. Pettigrew however did much for the city of Sioux Falls in its early days and was also a world traveler. There is a small collection of items in the museum from Egypt and the Orient from his travels.

It’s fun to learn about local history, even if it is next door and to find out how places were shaped through the actions of its citizens.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

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