History of the Moody County Historical Society and Museum
In 1956 a group of nine private residents founded the MCHS to ... "collect, preserve, exhibit and publish material for the study of history, particularly the history of Moody County and the adjacent areas... to acquire documents, letters, reports, newspapers, books pictures and relics pertaining to the said area and to obtain the narratives of pioneers... to promote in all the schools of said County of every type and kind, the study of the history of the County and the State of South Dakota."
Land on the east side of Flandreau was leased from the city for 99 years, funds raised and a museum building was opened on July 4, 1965. An annex (1968) was added to the west side of the museum building. The Jones Country School (1970), cupola from the old jail (1985), a windmill, gasoline pump and some bells from other Country schools were placed nearby to create the "museum complex".
Since 1984 major changes Include reroofing the museum and Jones School, new exterior siding to save deteriorating block walls, better lighting, new insulated drywall interior, remodeled restrooms, rejuvenated exhibits, improved display cases, room partitions, and re-landscaping for reduced upkeep.
In 1989 the City deeded the “leased land" and a large parcel of adjacent land to the Society so that two more historic buildings could be placed near the museum. Flandreau's Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul RR Depot built in 1880 and the Riverbend Indian Meeting House built in 1871 is oldest wood frame building in Moody County.
Until 1991 the complex was open to visitors from 2-5 on Sundays and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day and also by special appointment. It was staffed by volunteers and funded by membership dues, gifts, memorials, fundraisers. Our members are kept current through the Moody County Pioneer newsletter.
Today, the Moody County Historical Society’s museum is open 20 hours per week year-round with a part-time director and many volunteers. Events sponsored by the Society include a Dad’s Belgian Waffle Feed, 4th of July Summerfest, Christmas at the Museum, brown bag lunch programs, and other activities.