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Squire Gallery

The Squire Gallery in the center of the Museum's first floor features four vignettes of the history of Dakota Territory.

Now Showing:

Opening the Dacotah Frontier

woman in buggy

Over one year in the making, a new gallery space entitled “The Squire Gallery” re-opened on November 19, 2013, with its premier exhibit “Opening the Dacotah Frontier”. The new gallery is located in the center of 1st floor at the Dacotah Prairie Museum, next to the gift shop.

The new space was the result of the combining of four small exhibit rooms which housed: an 1880s parlor, the Pheasant Canteen, and two Native American displays. The Pheasant Canteen has moved to 2nd floor and been united with the World War II exhibit there. Some of the Native American artifacts have been incorporated into the new exhibit and most of the parlor elements have been returned to storage in the Museum’s collection.

Trapper and Native American

The small exhibit room walls and the adjoining hallway were demolished and one large exhibit room was created. Part of the space has original tin ceiling and part did not, so a new ceiling of similar pattern was installed. This was followed by the construction of a carriage house and a frontier fort office. Glass walls were added to protect the new exhibits and carpet was laid in the public spaces. In the exhibit areas behind the glass, hardwood floors were installed to enhance the time period feeling.

Four vignettes of the history of Dakota Territory were completed in the new space: the Native Americans of the area; the trappers and traders of the territory; the local Calvary forts established after the Civil War; and the founding of the new towns of the Territory. 

Hatterscheidt map collection

The final area will be dedicated to the contributions and collections of Fred Hatterscheidt. Unique to this exhibit is the use of the Museum’s firearm collection to tell the story of life in the history of Dakota Territory. The appropriate guns will be featured in each area to enhance the story. The majority of the firearms in the exhibit were donated by Mr. Hatterscheidt. This last section, then, will serve as an introduction of the adjoining exhibit: “The Hatterscheidt Wildlife Gallery”. Pictures taken by Hatterscheidt on his hunting trips are highlighted in the section as well as artifacts which he collected from the various places he hunted such as India, Africa, and Alaska.

Gun cabinet and lower cabinets

The new gallery was sponsored by a generous donation from Sally and Ka Squire of Aberdeen. The exhibit “Opening the Dacotah Frontier” also received financial gifts from the Fred Hatterscheidt Foundation and the Foundation of the Dacotah Prairie Museum.