2014 conference logo

Wayne Paanenen

Wayne Paanenen, Lead, SD

Registrations for the 22nd Annual West River History Conference – October 16-18, 2014 – are now open.  The theme of this year’s conference is Digging Deep for History’s Roots in the West. The topic can be interpreted literally – as in digging for gold or developing agricultural land, or figuratively – as in digging for information in archives or our own memories.

The conference will also be commemorating 125 years of statehood with a Thursday night program of video highlights of South Dakota’s first 125 years presented by film historian, Wayne Paananen of Lead, SD.

Gordy Pratt

Gordy Pratt, Spearfish, SD

Keynote speakers include well-known South Dakota performing artist, Gordy Pratt, at the Friday luncheon.  As Black Hills Pioneer, Seth Bullock, Gordy uses “first-hand” stories and original songs to weave a colorful tale of the Wild West.  His mix of humor, history and music richly bring to life such famous figures as Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane, and Bullock’s good friend, Theodore Roosevelt.

The speaker at the Saturday Westerners Breakfast is Hill City watercolorist Jon Crane, who is renowned for his ability to capture great detail in watercolor art and strives to reserve the historic places before they disappear.  His oversized nostalgic landscapes of rural America have become his trademark.

Jon Crane, Hill City, SD

Jon Crane, Hill City, SD

Deadwood Express will close out the conference with songs and lore of a traditional American music form, bluegrass music, at the traditional “Saturday Foozle”.

banjo Colorful characters, memorable and forgotten events and stories of the everydaay people who did extraordinary things in rugged hills and drought-stricken areas are remembered and given a place of recognition at the conference.

The West River History Conference is open to all individuals and the public. Paper titles are welcome from amateur and professional historians alike, and especially sought from students from middle school through graduate school.

The collected papers of the conference are published annually in a permanent bound volume available for purchase by schools, libraries, museums and other interested parties. Prizes for the best papers in adult and student categories will be awarded. 

View this year’s program

To join our mailing list contact: 

West River History Conference, Inc.
PO Box 9276
Rapid City, SD 57709


Published on July 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm  Comments Off  

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