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76-MeadeCulturalHeritageCenterYanktonSDAug2022

After having completed breakfast, I am taking Chloe for her morning constitutional. We went to the Meade Cultural education center located in Yankton South Dakota.

The Dakota Hospital For The Insane, now named The South Dakota Human Services Center, opened in 1879 and served all residents of the Dakota territory.

Built in 1909 the Mead Building was originally used as patient housing for women until the 1980s when patient numbers dropped.

Dr. Leonard C Meade was the architect behind the main building and many others on the historic campus. The building was designed to provide a home for women where they could be cared for with compassion and dignity.

Marble Staircase: The grand marble staircase has been the topic of much discussion. 1954, fire destroyed the second administration building, taking with it any documentation that may have existed regarding the marble and its source.

STENCIL WORK: If you look up in the foyer and parlor rooms, you will see stencil work on the ceilings. The designs were hidden under several layers of paint. The patterns are common art deco designs and were done using pounce patterns. Each room has a unique design. There is one patch of original stencil work on the second floor above the foyer. The stencils in the rest of the building have been recreated by hand.

Heritage Park: The children's museum is expanding into Heritage Park! The museum's collection of historic buildings has been relocated to the west side of the Mead Building. The new park will include wind energy, a botanical garden of native plants, walking paths and open green space. Our goal is to have a fully interactive experience for all generations. The museum is currently fundraising to make repairs to all of the buildings, starting with the great northern railroad depot. Visit the information booth to make a contribution to this project.

Humanities Preservation & Training Laboratory: The Mead Cultural Education Center, as it name implies, is intended to be an educational institute for Dakota territorial humanities, cultures, and long-term preservation of historic collections both within MCEC and surrounding areas.

The laboratory in the basement will bring resources to smaller museums that house Dakota Territorial collections. This laboratory will help these collections remain in their communities to continue to teach future generations about their local history and culture.

Yankton College: The newly named Joseph and Sherwood Ward Alumni & Educational Center of Yankton College has moved into the third floor of the Mead building with their collections and staff offices. Established in 1881 by the Reverend Joseph Ward, Yankton College was the first of higher education institutions to receive students in the Dakota Territory. For just over 100 years, Yankton college was nationally known and respected. The school held their final commencement in June 1985.

Living on campus: The third floor of the meat building previously had rooms for nurses to live in. This allowed staff to be readily available anytime of day or night. Many employees, like patient attendants, worked 15 hours per day for an average of $24 per month or less and many were unskilled. Many staff members continued to live on campus until the 1970's when legislation made changes to assist with off-campus staff living.

After finishing our tour of the Mead building, we went out for lunch at a Mexican joint. Food would rate about three stars. Then back to the house and finished out the day relaxing outside and had the fire pit going in the evening.

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