Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Richard Franklin Pettigrew House and Museum in Sioux Falls

This beautiful house was built in 1889 in the growing city of Sioux Falls, SD and became the home of South Dakota Senator Richard Pettigrew in 1911. Pettigrew was a very interesting person and was a leader in the early Territory of Dakota and the creation of the new state of South Dakota in 1889.

Pettigrew frist came to Sioux Falls in 1869 at which time there were very few people in the upcoming town. He sensed the potential of the state and city and worked successfully to promote it and the state. Not surprisingly, he was a leader in the territorial legislature and later, in the US Senate.

Upon his death in 1926, he donated this remarkable house and his extensive collection of archeological artifacts he had collected during his life. Today, you can tour this period house for free -- and it is well worth it!

Here is one of Pettigrew's acquisitions -- a prayer rock. The Prayer Rock was carved to depict different items -- in this case the outline of a hand.

The hand imprint shown in the rock looked like it was there and the rock was poured around it. However, it was actually carved long ago. This rock was found about 17 miles from Sioux Falls and moved to this site by Senator Pettigrew.

Pettigrew also collected a large grouping of petrified wood and used some of it in a remodeling of his home. You can see the petrified wood on the right side of the house -- it looks like circular rocks. Shortly after he completed this, the collection of petrified wood was made illegal.

Here, Orinda pauses near the back entrance to the house and examines more of the petrified wood. The house is in magnificent condition and unfortunately, photography indoors is not permitted. Still, it was very well worth the time to tour the house and see the many items that the Senator owned and see what life was like (very nice, actually!) in the early 1900's in Sioux Falls.

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