1881 Custer County Courthouse Museum

1881 Courthouse Museum

In the Moment ... February 12, 2018 Show 275 Hour 2

Gary Enright, director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer, tells the story of Valentine McGillycuddy for this week's Images of the Past.

In The Moment ... November 13, 2017 Show 218 Hour 2 

Gary Enright, director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer joins us for this week's Images of the Past. Today we learn the story of a teenage slave who came to Dakota Territory, found her freedom, and became one of the region's early entrepreneurs.


In The Moment ... May 8, 2017 Show 088 Hour 2

Dr. Dan Engebretson is chair of the biomedical engineering program at the University of South Dakota. He's also director of the GEAR center. He along with Eric Sandhurst and Yangxi Liu join us to talk about Biomaterials Day in Sioux Falls and how South Dakota scientists collaborate to solve problems and mentor the next generation of scientists.


In The Moment ... March 13, 2017 Show 048 Hour 2

As the number of suicides rise in Minnehaha County, we talk with Janet Kittams-Lalley, president of the Helpline Center, about he trends and resources to recognize and support those at risk for self-harm.

On this week's Images of the Past, Gary Enright returns, this time to discuss the lumber industry in the Black Hills and its role alongside mining and tourism to support the Black Hills economy. Gary Enright is director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer.

In The Moment...January 9 2017 Show 006 Hour 2

Guests: Dr. Matt Moen, author & Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota; Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst at gasbuddy.com; SDPB's Kent Osborne, director of digital; Gary Enright, director of 1881 Custer County Courthouse Museum

Gary Enright, director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer, joins the program to discuss the Gordon Stockade and how it has been used by miners, soldiers, and (today) tourists.

He's the most well-known western character you've probably never heard of. Captain Jack Crawford was a writer, a cowboy poet, a soldier, and a celebrity.

Gary Enright brings you the story on this week's Images of the Past.

As the first calves of the season are born in Custer State Park, Gary Enright, director of the 1881 Courthouse museum, joins Dakota Midday to talk about a creature with a 500,000 year history in North America. Revered, hunted, and nearly dashed  into extinction, the American Bison has a storied history of loss and renewal.

For more photos and videos of South Dakota history, visit our Images of the Past page.

George Armstrong was not the only man called Custer to fall at the Battle of Little Bighorn. General Custer was a man who kept his family close, and so, in 1876, the loss to the Custer family was monumental.

Gary Enright joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh with the story of a battle that had deeply political, as well as personal, losses.

In 1871, the Grand Duke Alexis, the fourth son of Tsar Alexander II, was sent by his father to help build friendship with America. Gary Enright, of the 1881 Courthouse Museum in Custer, shares the story of a young Russian nobleman taken with the charms of the American West.

Find more images and the full story on SDPB's Images of the Past page.

The summer of 1927 brought President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge to the Black Hills of South Dakota for a stay that extended throughout the summer.

From Grace Coolidge's walk in the woods that led her astray to President Coolidge's announcement that he would not seek reelection, Gary Enright, Director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum, details the highlights of the "Summer White House" in South Dakota.

photo courtesy of 1881 Courthouse Museum

Horatio Ross accompanied General George Custer on the 1874 Black Hills Expedition and discovered gold on French Creek near what is now the city of Custer. Although Ross staked his claim to several local sites and remained in the town for 30 years, he died a pauper at the age of 66. He is buried in Custer Cemetery.

Gary Enright, director of the 1881 Courthouse Museum, explains the legacy of Ross and the coincidence that links him to James Marshall, who discovered one of the richest gold fields in history, 25 years before Ross tried to strike it rich in the Black Hills.

In 1874, the U.S. Government sent General George Custer on an expedition into the Black Hills to find a location for a new army fort and investigate the area’s natural resources. The confirmation of gold drew thousands of whites into the Black Hills in violation of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie which granted ownership of the Black Hills to the Lakota people.

"Go-To Person For Custer County History" Dies

Sep 10, 2013

A memorial service took place today for the person known as "go-to person for Custer County history." Jessie Sundstrom was the former publisher of the Custer County Chronicle newspaper. She was also a member of the Custer County Historical Society for over 65 years, and is credited for preserving the historical landmark that is now the 1881 Custer County Courthouse Museum.

Sandra Ackman is the current director of the museum. She says Sundstrom was most known for her love of history.