2021 Summer Exhibits

OPen May 1 - August 31

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Graber Exhibit 2021.jpg
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Upcoming Fall Events

Tickets go on sale October 1st, 2021

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Brave enough to spend the night? 
Experience the mead Cultural Education Center after hours. Flashlight tour and more!

October 30, 2021 
Tickets go on sale October 1st

Additional details to be announced

Join us for an evening of the bizarre and unexplained as we explore the unsettling & Real history of Yankton, South Dakota

October 22 & 23, 2021 
Tickets go on sale October 1st

Additional details to be announced 

Museum Hours:


Monday-Friday 10am-4pm

Saturday-Sunday 12pm-4pm


Monday-Saturday 12pm-4pm


Adults $8

Seniors $5

Children (5-17) $5

Members get free admission


The Mead Building was constructed in 1909 under the direction of Dr. Leonard C. Mead. It was originally part of the women’s ward for the Dakota Hospital for the Insane, now named the Human Services Center.  It was a grand facility utilized until the 1980’s. 

In 2008 the Yankton County Historical Society voted in favor of saving and rehabilitating the building for use as a museum and education center. It opened to the public in December of 2018. 

The MCEC feature exhibits on local and region history, details

on those exhibits can be found in the Exhibitions tab.


We are located at 82 Mickelson Drive in Yankton, South Dakota and are open Monday - Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. 

Mission Statment:

The Yankton County Historical Society provides an authentic historical experience of the Yankton area from pre-Dakota Territory to modern day. 


Vision Statement:  Yankton County Historical Society will strive to enhance quality of life through cultural understanding.  

Our Story 

1936 to Present

In June, 1936 Yanktons first museum opened under the direction of the Daniel Newcomb Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. The Museum was located in the former Dakota Territorial Council Hall - which had been relocated in present-day Riverside Park.

Calendar of Events


13 - Feed Your Mind - North Alabama Steamboat with Doug Haar at 12pm

20-22 - Riverboat Days! Stop by our booth in Riverside Park. 


3 - Feed Your Mind - World War II Comes to South Dakota - Preserving the Story with Dr. Marilyn Aronson at 12pm

TBD - Historic Cooking Class


1 - Feed Your Mind - Wayne Fanebust

1 - Haunted History Tour tickets sales begin

9 - Story Time at the Mead Cultural Education Center

22-23 - Haunted History Tours

30 - Haunted History Tours Overnight Experience


1 - Feed Your Mind - Norm Hofer

13 - Story Time at the Mead Cultural Education Center

27 - Hall of Trees Opens


3 - Feed Your Mind


In 1953, the hall and museum were moved to West Side Park.

In 1961 the Yankton County Historical Society was officially formed and took over care of the Museum.

The 1971 a new and larger building was built next to the old council building. For more than 30 years the Museum has called this building home. The former Dakota Territorial Council building remained as extra exhibit space, and many additional outside buildings have been added, including the Gunderson Rural School House, Hovden Cabin and the Burlington Northern Caboose. 



Artifact of The month

Wreath made with human hair? This week’s #tuesdaystreasure is just that! This hair wreath made by Mrs. Clark West (sister of Mrs. A.L. Van Osdel). During the Victorian Era (1837-1901), hair wreaths were a common practice. Hair was woven around thin wire and formed into delicate designs of flowers, floral sprigs, and leaves. Wooden or glass beads and buttons were included in the final product. Most commonly the wreath was shaped into a horseshoe, as a symbol of luck. Many were made from the hair of a deceased loved one as an
honor or remembrance.


2012, the YCHS Board of Directors accepted the task of saving a building located on the north edge of Yankton that was part of the former Dakota Hospital for the Insane campus.


The Mead Building has been a multi-year, multi-million dollar venture that reopened in 2018 as the Mead Cultural Education Center (MCEC). The MCEC is home to the Yankton County Historical Society, Dakota Territorial Museum, and the future home of the Yankton College Alumni offices. Our new location is 82 Mickelson Drive in Yankton South Dakota.

And even though we are open, the task of restoring the Mead building is not complete! The first two floors have completed exhibits (see those in the exhibition tab) and traveling exhibits space. The basement, third floor, and east wing are still in the construction phase. We are also fundraising for Heritage Park and planning to move all our historic buildings in 2021.