The 25th Annual West River History Conference will be held October 12-14, 2017, at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City. The theme for this year's conference is
Commerce on the Frontier.
South Dakota and the Northern Plains were settled relatively late in our country's long history of westward expansion. But once pioneers made their way here, merchants, newspapers, government officials (to file all those land claims), bull trains, and then railroads were not far behind.
Commerce of course, takes many forms: Native Americans had developed a very complex trade network across North America long before Lewis & Clark came this way. Mormons financed their cross country migration by building bridges, ferries and sometimes entire communities to house emigrants awaiting spring. Teamsters provided the means to transfer merchandise.
Do you have a story to tell about this expansive time in our region? We'd love to hear it!
Make plans now to attend the 2017 West River History Conference in October.