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.
The Yankton County Historical Society, through the Dakota Territorial Museum, exists to preserve, protect, interpret, and educate the public about the heritage and development of the city and county of Yankton, and the Dakota Territory.
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.
The Paul & Carol Goettsch Toy Collection features 90 toys from 1902 - 2009 with a majority of the pieces dated around 1950. Paul Goettsch who is originally from Holstein Iowa and has been collecting toys for many years. Some of the toys on display, like his 1949 Farmall M tractor, are ones he received as a child. There is a small collection of "hands-on" toys that visitors can play with in the exhibit. Hand sanitizer stations are available. The Paul & Carol Goettsch Toy Collection will be on exhibit until April 1, 2021.
Calendar of Events
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.
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.
Artifact of The month
This months featured artifact is a dress made by Eva Vestina Matthews (pictured wearing the dress in 1928) during the winter of 1880. At that time, she was teaching at the Oakdale School near Wakonda, D.T. On April 27, 1880, she was married to Alexander MacGregor and lived on a farm near Volin in Yankton county. This dress was presented to the Yankton County Historical Society in loving memory of her mother by Helen MacGregor, March, 1971. The two-piece jacket is semi fitting in a single breast style with a matching skirt.