THE JOURNEY MUSEUM & LEARNING CENTER
The Journey Museum & Learning Center is a word class museum that brings together four major institutions’ collections to tell the complete history of the Black Hills region. The Journey Museum & Learning Center connects the history, culture and environment of the Black Hills area through exhibits, programs and events year round.
Begin your journey in the abyss, a star-studded darkness representing billions of years of unrecorded time. Emerge from this vast emptiness to discover a monumental geologic cross section of the Black Hills that shows how this region was formed over the course of 2.5 billion years. Touch the bone of a dinosaur that once roamed this region.
Next, you will discover the earth's deepest secrets... fossils that document the dinosaurs and rock formations that guard the gold. The Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology provides artifacts and interpretation for this portion of The Journey Museum & Learning Center.
Then, examine the lives of our early ancestors, from ancient hunters who lived in the Black Hills at the end of the Ice Age to the mining settlements of the nineteenth century. Visit an archaeological dig. See and touch artifacts from the last 10,000 years. Try your hand at solving the mysteries of the past in the interactive dig pit exhibit. The South Dakota Archeological Research Center provided artifacts and interpretations for this portion of The Journey Museum & Learning Center.
Afterwards, enter the Sioux Indian Museum’s exhibits which provide the public with an introduction to Sioux culture and artistry, both traditional and contemporary. The collection is composed of materials of high aesthetic quality and includes numerous items of rare historic value acquired from notable Sioux individuals, artists, and artisans. Today’s Sioux artwork incorporates a diversity of native and trade materials including glass beadwork, porcupine quillwork, hide painting, feather working, wood and pipestone carving and metalworking. In addition to the Permanent Exhibits, the museum features a series of rotating promotional exhibits featuring contemporary American Indian artists and craftspeople.
Finally, your journey leads you to the not-so-distant past of the Minnilusa Historical Association’s Pioneer Collection when mountain men, military expeditions and miners first set foot in the Black Hills.
Illuminated story walls guide you from the European settlers first encounter of the Black Hills to the historic Battle of Little Big Horn and ultimately to the modern-day reconciliation with Wounded Knee and other historical events.
See how the discovery of gold captured a young America's imagination.
Encounter Jim Bridger, General George Armstrong Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, as well as the great Sioux leaders, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Red Cloud - they all made their mark on history here, and they will leave an unforgettable impression on you.