1894 Time Capsule to Be Reinterred

The Sturgis & Meade County Historical Society is updating the original 1894 Meade County Courthouse Time Capsule, prior to reinterment.

May 8, 2024: Sturgis, South Dakota – Twice now, Meade County has been surprised by the discovery of a time capsule from 1894! The first time, in 1964, was during the demolition of the original 1894 Meade County Courthouse while constructing a new courthouse. These materials were documented and then placed inside a handmade model of the original courthouse, only to be largely forgotten again, until discovered during cleaning of the model in 2016. The contents of the time capsule were publicly revealed at that time and include many interesting items from the early days of Meade County and Sturgis.

Many of the items display the diversity of business and civic organizations in 1894. The cache of information includes business cards from area business owners, civic leaders, and masonic members. There are letters from Sturgis churches, outlining their history, and from county and city officers, detailing the state of finances and projects. Additional items include polling results from 1889 elections, maps of Sturgis, and newspapers of that time.

Plans are now underway to re-inter the time capsule in Meade County’s Erskine Office Building. The Sturgis & Meade County Historical Society, in cooperation with the Sturgis Area Arts Council, is preparing the time capsule, and updating its contents with information from the more recent past. The time capsule will then be reinterred in the Erskine building in a reserved niche.

To update the contents, the Historical Society is seeking new information of Meade County and its communities. They are requesting the submission of short “histories” and status reports from area communities, churches, clubs, businesses, and even individuals. These histories will be included in the new time capsule, in both digital and paper form.

“An advantage of modern technology is the ability to save and share digital information without space concerns,” says Sturgis & Meade County Historical Society President Mark Rambow. “We hope to include as many reports from the area as possible, to give our future residents a glimpse of what the community looked like today and yesterday.”

Anyone person or group wishing to submit information, photos, or documents to the time capsule, are welcome to submit it to the Sturgis & Meade County Historical Society by June 3, 2024, at, or by mailing it to PO Box 221, Sturgis, SD 57785.

The Historical Society will be displaying all the items gathered for the time capsule, including the original contents, during their annual “History Days,” being held on June 14 and 15, at the Sturgis Community Center. A reception will be held on the early evening of Friday the 14th, with booths and discussion. Programs on the day of the 15th will include the booths in the morning, with programs from historian Donovin Sprague at 12 pm, and photographer Paul Horsted at 2pm.
More information on the date and time of the actual time capsule reinterment will be forthcoming.

Media Contact:

Mark Rambow
Sturgis & Meade County Historical Society
(605) 381-5395

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Saturday, March 12: 1:00 p.m. Scoop of History: The KKK of the Black Hills in the 1920s by historian, Charles Rambow
The Historical Society will hold a brief Annual Meeting for membership following the presentation.
Friday & Saturday, June 17-18: Sixth annual History Days. Theme will be “History: Lost and Found”. More details here.
Sunday, November 13: Scoop of History: The First United Methodist Church of Sturgis, Sunday, November 13 at 1:30 pm at the Methodist Church (1755 Ball Park Road). More details here.


Tuesday, April 21: 6:30 p.m., monthly meeting Sturgis & Meade County Historical Society Board of Directors, Sturgis Chamber of Commerce meeting room CANCELLED
Friday & Saturday, June 19-20: Sixth annual History Day celebrating Early Characters of Sturgis and Meade County, Sturgis City Auditorium CANCELLED


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