Freeman Museum offers free admission to teachers | Community


FREEMAN – Heritage Hall Museum & Archives invites all area teachers to visit as guests this summer

“We are offering free admission to teachers from the wider community this summer to give them a taste of what we have to offer,” said Marnette D. (Ortman) Hofer, executive director and archivist of the Freeman Museum.

“We want to be a partner in education for young people in our region,” she said. “A visit here can help ‘unlock history’ for students in the 2022-23 school year. We’ll be happy to provide a personalized tour for any teacher who wants to learn more this summer.

The museum has 25,000 square feet of galleries containing a wide range of interesting artifacts and exhibits. Exhibits tell the story of the immigration of German settlers from Russia, and others, who arrived in southeastern Dakota Territory in the 1870s, persevered and helped build the Freeman community.

“With over 20,000 artifacts, our exhibits are an excellent resource for studies of South Dakota and Native American history,” Hofer noted. Galleries include a Native American Winter Count, the Steven R. Riggs Collection, and the Standing Bear exhibit.

Other exhibits include a 1927 biplane, horse-drawn hearse, general store, municipal jail, summer kitchen, print shop, gas station, vintage cars and motorcycles, and farm equipment.

“Our updated natural world exhibit, featuring flora, fauna, geology and a mosasaur fossil, is scheduled to open by the start of the school year,” she said.

“We also have four historic buildings that bring history to life, including a one-room country schoolhouse that can provide a unique ‘historic’ classroom experience for up to 25 students. We also have two churches and a recently restored 1887 pioneer house.

“Although the museum is designed as a self-guided experience, we can arrange guided tours,” Hofer said. “We also have staff available to work with you on developing an experience specifically tailored to your class. We have created activities for our younger guests all year round which can be tailored to specific groups.

The museum offers group rates and will try to accommodate your schedule,” Hofer said. “Although our public hours of operation from October to April are 12 noon to 4 p.m., we will be happy to open our doors to accommodate school hours.”

“The history of this part of South Dakota is rich and diverse. We believe that students and educators will be fascinated by what they can discover in our museum. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Call 605-925-7545 or email [email protected] You can also learn more online at

The museum is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.


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