Nebraska History reviews County Capitols

“Rusch’s County Capitols provides a useful and interesting survey of the courthouse in South Dakota. His clear writing, organization, and use of footnotes make the book an excellent starting point for people interested in the history of county seats and the development of courthouse design in the Great Plains. Readers from Nebraska, Minnesota, and other neighboring states should not overlook this book. The stories behind many of the courthouses are characteristic of broader patterns in the establishment of county seats across the region, and the architects who designed these buildings were often from nearby states, thereby granting the book regional application despite its focus solely on South Dakota.”—Nebraska History

NH Summer 2015 book reviews

“Not-So-Little Sales on the Prairie,” Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Pioneer Girl is still available at State Historical Society

Pioneer Girl The Annotated Autobiography Cover, illustration by Judy Thompson South Dakota Historical Society PressNow in its fourth week on the New York Times Best Sellers list, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography continues to defy expectations. The ground-breaking, original pioneering experience by Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, is published by the South Dakota State Historical Society, and has created quite a stir in the book world.

As the industry news source Publishers Weekly, stated in its story “Not-So-Little Sales on the Prairie,” on March 30 the book remains on top-selling lists throughout the nation.

Moreover, bookstores report that this popular item continues to drive people to their stores. The customers who especially appreciate Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography are those who prefer the physical book. “It’s this huge beautiful book, and it’s so much fun to spend time with and to hold,” said Sundance Books and Music employee Stephanie Lauer to Reno News & Review reporter D. Brian Burghart earlier this month.

The week-to-week unit sales of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography are analyzed by Publishers Weekly.

The week-to-week unit sales of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography are analyzed by Publishers Weekly.

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography does not stay out of the limelight for long,” says Nancy Tystad Koupal, director for the South Dakota Historical Society Press. “The book appears in news articles weekly, and the attention from the press drives demand.”

Links to these reports can be found on the Pioneer Girl Project Media Coverage page.

Copies of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography from the third printing continue to be available to individuals through the South Dakota Historical Society Press, as well as at retail locations throughout the United States. Distributors, online book sellers and book stores will receive more books from a fourth and a fifth print run, totaling 50,000 copies, that will be shipped at the end of April and beginning of May.

Contact the South Dakota Historical Society Press by visiting www.sdhspress.com or calling (605) 773-6009. The price of the book is $39.95. For more about the story behind the book, visit http://www.pioneergirlproject.org. To become a donor, please contact the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation at (605) 773-3458 or info@sdhsf.org.

The original press release can be found here.

Saints and Family: A Story of Irish Immigration for St. Patrick’s Day

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, read A Tale of Two Grandmothers: Immigration and Family on the Great Plains. This article from South Dakota History contains the experiences of author Dorothy Schwieder’s grandmothers who immigrated to Dakota Territory in the 1800s. Schwieder’s grandmother Margaret McBride Hubbard was from County Armagh, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) before she settled, with her husband, in the vicinity of Mitchell. Discover how family ties influenced the decision to emigrate from Ireland, and find the full article here: http://goo.gl/ffRxuu.

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Six of the ten Hubbard children circa 1902, Dorothy Schwieder Collection.

‪#‎IrishImmigration‬ ‪#‎DakotaTerritory‬ ‪#‎HappyStPattysDay‬

Call for Chapter Proposals

The editors of volume three in The Plains Political Tradition:
Essays on South Dakota Political Culture series are calling for chapter proposals. Proposals are due June 1, 2015, more information is below.

Cover with medallion

The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, Volume 2, $22.95, http://www.sdhspress.com

Writers in the fields of history, political science, geography, and related fields are invited to submit chapter proposals for volume three of The Plains Political Tradition: Essays in South Dakota Political Culture series, published by the South Dakota Historical Society Press.

Proposals must provide a detailed description of what will comprise the chapter, including descriptions of the sources to be used, the topics to be explored, and the contributions the chapter will make to the understanding of South Dakota political culture.

The selected chapters must be formatted to the Chicago Manual of Style, thoroughly documented with end notes, contain original research, and be appealing to both popular and scholarly audiences. Graphs, tables, charts, and photographic suggestions are welcome as attachments to the essay. Chapters on political actors, parties, pressure groups, organizations, legislation, outcomes, events, campaigns, the media, political socialization, ideas, rhetoric, social-economic-cultural transitions, and other elements of politics that help explain South Dakota’s political culture are invited. Comparative studies which place South Dakota within the broader purview of other states, the region, or the nation will be especially welcome, as will synthetic studies that place the material in the broadest possible context of place and time. Special attention should be paid to how the subject being discussed reflects or contributes to a deeper understanding of the political culture of South Dakota. For additional direction, prospective authors are

The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, Volume 1, $19.95, www.sdhspress.com

The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, Volume 1, $19.95, http://www.sdhspress.com

strongly encouraged to review the chapters in the previous two volumes of The Plains Political Tradition series, published in 2011 and 2014 by South Dakota Historical Society Press.

The editors for volume three will be Jon K. Lauck, John E. Miller, and Paula M. Nelson. Proposals for chapters are due on June 1, 2015, and they should be submitted by electronic mail to Paula Nelson at nelsonp1951@yahoo.com. If a proposal is accepted, the final chapter will be due March 1, 2016. Final chapters should range from 6,000 to 8,000 words (not counting notes), be double-spaced, and be submitted as a word document in 12 pt Bookman Old Style font. Authors who are selected for inclusion in the new volume will be invited to participate in a book release conference to be held in March 2018 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Photo Recap of the South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Every year tourism professionals gather in Pierre for the annual South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism. At the event, as marketing director, I get to meet with retail business professionals and avid readers alike. This year I learned about new advertising venues, gave away our celebrated book Love Letters from Mount Rushmore, and had an interesting conversation with some of Deadwood Alive’s most colorful characters about our amazing authors and illustrators.

The fabulous winner of South Dakota Historical Society Press book "Love Letters from Mount Rushmore".

The fabulous winner of South Dakota Historical Society Press book “Love Letters from Mount Rushmore”.

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The South Dakota Historical Society Press booth, featuring Chris Browne’s first children’s book “The Monster Who Ate the State.”

Wild Bill and Jack McCall check out the 'pretty pictures' in award-winning children's book "Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend," written and illustrated by Donald F. Montileaux

Wild Bill and Jack McCall check out the ‘pretty pictures’ in award-winning children’s book “Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend,” written and illustrated by Donald F. Montileaux

Visit #CelebrateSD for more!

—JMc

Midwest Book Review takes a look at “County Capitols”

Illustrated with black-and-white photography of historic courthouses throughout, County Capitols: The Courthouses of South Dakota is as much about the history of these storied edifices as their architecture. During the pioneer era, South Dakota communities competed fiercely for designation as a county seat (and access to railroad lines); such a distinction improved the odds that a town would flourish, and raised local land values. Land speculators especially had a vested interest in ensuring a courthouse would be established near their own property. This conflict of interest led to “courthouse fights” between rival communities, ranging from bidding wars to midnight excursions to steal county records, or even the destruction of nascent courthouses! County Capitols devotes two or more pages to each of dozens of courthouses, recounting the often colorful tales behind their creation and use, and makes an excellent addition to South Dakota state history shelves.—The Midwest Book Review

Rusch - County Capitols (small)