Childrens Transportation Museum
Before the invention of the cars and planes we see today, traveling long ago was difficult. It often took days, weeks, or sometimes months to get where you wanted to go. Every mode of transportation had its benefits and problems that travelers encountered on their journeys.
In this gallery, we explore how people traveled between Yankton and Sioux City, a journey of about 70 miles, during the 1800s and early 1900s. Here you will learn about different types of transportation during this time.
Think about how you travel today. How many miles a day do you travel? How far away is your soccer practice from home? Could you walk to school every day? What do you take with you on a road trip?
This experience will leave you asking…
Are we there yet?
Throughout the museum, kids of all ages can climb in and experience what it was like for each mode of transportation.
Before you start your journey you will want
to first stop in our Kid's Closet. Here you
will find period clothing that kids can
welcome to wear while they visit the
Our next stop is the Mackinaw Boat.
These boats were used by the fur traders to
navigate down river. The boat in our
museum was originally part of the
American River's Corps of Discovery
Exhibit that traveled the country.
Next on your journey is the covered
wagon. Here you can climb inside, see
what it was like to prepare a meal over
an open flame, and hear the sounds of
hooves on the prairie. Our covered
wagon is actually a wagon constructed of
many wagons from the late 1800s. In the
1960s, for the Centennial, the wagon was
constructed. In 2017-2018, participants
from the Yankton Federal Prison Camp's
Community Service Program (CSP),
worked hard to rehabilitate the wagon for
Next up is the WNAX Gas Station and
Model TT. Climb inside and "hit the
road." The exhibit features an exterior replica of the Fair Price Gas Station that still stands in downtown Yankton. The truck was acquired from David and Bubbles Mensch of Menno. Our CSP did a great job rehabilitating this vintage mode of travel. Big thanks to Stan Hoffart for his design and help with the gas station.
Coming soon to the exhibit is the Steam Engine and airplane cockpit. These pieces of the museum will be on exhibit in the coming weeks.
Our Exhibit Design team has worked hard to make the Children's Transportation Museum a must-see experience at the Dakota Territorial Museum. There is something for kids of all ages (yes even adults) to enjoy. Members of the team are: Crystal Nelson, Joan Neubaurer, Stan Hoffart, Bill Nelson, Jane Bobzin, and Carol Ryan.
Thank you them for everything they have done. Also THANK YOU to Cheryl Halsey for painting the beautiful mural in the background, to Dave Fickbohm for getting us set up with sounds, the Yankton Model Train Association for their help with the steam engine, and everyone else that had a hand in the museum.