Rapid City Society for Genealogical Research, Inc.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Mount Rushmore - South Dakota
Serving the Rapid City, Black Hills and Western South Dakota Genealogical Community
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Saturday, June 8
Galena Ghost Town & Cemetery Walk  (Other Interesting Events)
8:00 am
Galena, SD
Tours:  Galena Ghost Town Walk and Galena Cemetery (known as "Vinegar Hill Cemetery").  Our Society is planning an outing to Galena, South Dakota, a quiet and beautiful historic area in the Black Hills.  As this event gets closer, specific times, carpooling, and other information will become available.  See details below.
Galena is a ghost town and old mining camp located in the Black Hills of Lawrence County, about 11 miles southeast of Deadwood, off of U.S. Highway 385, on Galena Road.  In 1874 gold was discovered in the Black Hills, drawing prospectors to the region.  By 1875 several miners were looking for gold near Bear Butte Creek.  But instead of gold, they found veins of galena, a natural mineral found in lead and silver.  Ultimately, a mining camp sprang up which was called "Galena."  To meet growing demands for lumber, a sawmill was built behind one of the town's stores. In 1882 the town built a schoolhouse which still stands today.  Inside the schoolhouse you will get a sense of what was like as a student back then.  The school closed in 1942, but still remaining and left as they were are the old desks, books, blackboards, and pictures of past presidents, as well as the piano and organ.  Also interesting are the strict rules that teachers had to adhere to while teaching at the school.  As you wander around the ghost town, you will also find old buildings or remaining structures from Galena's past.  At its peak, about 2,000 residents lived in Galena.
Up the road from the schoolhouse is the "Vinegar Hill Cemetery."  It is very remote and has some rather interesting tombstones and graves sites that you will want to explore.  Some of the tombstones date back to the 1800s.  Sarah Campbell, also known as Aunt Sally, is also buried there.  She was an African American woman who came to the Black Hills with the Custer Expedition in 1874 and served as a cook.  She returned to the Hills in 1876 and most likely was the first non-native American woman in the Hills.
While at the cemetery, you will be able to learn about grave dowsing, also known as “grave witching.”  You may have heard of people “witching” for water.  This is technically the same idea, however, a “grave witcher” is a person who is searching for the location of buried remains using forked stick, rods, bent wires, or a pendulum.  Some investigators have used this method for searching for bodies that have been concealed or a significant amount of time has passed since death.  You won't want to miss out on this part of the tour.
Along the way, you will also learn about another most famous resident who appeared on the scene in about 1947--Tootsie, an orphaned coyote, who was adopted by Fred and Esther Borsch. Fred taught Tootsie how to howl along to songs, howl greetings and goodbyes to humans, and was in parades and other celebrations.
There is so much to see and learn.  You will want to mark your calendar for this exciting event.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS Take Highway 385 South from Deadwood. Turn East at Wild Bills Campground onto Galena Road, go approximately 3 miles. Parking is below and East of the Schoolhouse, watch for signs. Once you have arrived please register at the Historic 1882 Schoolhouse. 
**If you would like to ride with us as a group please contact Kelly Neis at President@rcgenealogy.com.  We have room in our vehicles for you.****

Thursday, June 20
Annual Potluck Picnic  (Monthly Program)
6:30 pm
Faith Lutheran Church, 17 Indiana Street, Rapid City, SD
6:30 p.m. Potluck begins.  Join us for our annual Potluck Picnic and enjoy conversation with friends while you eat.  The Society will supply the Meat and some door prizes.  We would love it if you would bring something in regard to your ancestors, or a historical item to share with us.  Even sharing a story about your family is fun for us all to hear.  We are all looking forward to gather as friends and enjoy the evening together.

Thursday, July 18
Black Hills Celtic Society  (Monthly Program)
7:00 pm
Faith Lutheran Church, 17 Indiana St, Rapid City, SD
6:30 p.m.:  Snacks; mix and mingle;
7:00 p.m.:  Short member meeting; and
7:15 p.m.:  Program - The Black Hills Celtic Society will be here to discuss their families Celtic Migration.  This is a joyful group!  As you watch a short video, you will learn about the different ways they migrated.  I am pleased that our knoweledgable presentor will expand on this with additional rich information. Our Celtic blood will be flowing with excitement.  Please feel free to ask questions or bring your Celtic ancestors with.  Guests are always welcome!

Thursday, August 15
Exploring DNA With David Boyles  (Monthly Program)
7:00 pm
Faith Lutheran Church, 17 Indiana Street, Rapid City, SD
6:30 p.m:  Snack time and mix and mingle;
7:00 p.m:  Short member meeting; and
7:15 p.m:  Program: Guest Speaker, David Boyles will be addressing your questions on DNA and how we can use it for our Genealogical research.   David is very interesting and knowledgeable about DNA, so you will really enjoy his presentation!  You will want to have your DNA results available.  If wish to get a DNA test, you will want to do this as soon as possible so you will get your results in time.  Guests are always welcome!

Sunday, September 8 through Sunday, September 15
Research Trip to Salt Lake City  (Special Events)
8:00 am
Interested in traveling to Salt Lake City to do research regarding your ancestors?  June Beason is leading a group that will be doing genealogy research at the Family History Library.  This library has a vast collection of genealogical information as well as translators available to assist you.  See information sheet below.  Deadline to register for hotel rooms is August 8, 2024.

Thursday, September 19
The Bower Family and their Musical Accomplishments  (Monthly Program)
7:15 pm
Faith Lutheran Church, 17 Indiana Street, Rapid City, SD
6:30 p.m.:  Snacks; mix and mingle;
7:00 p.m.:  Short member meeting; and
7:15 p.m.:  Program - We are so thrilled to have Frank and James from the Bower Family with us!  They will be adding a musical component to their Genealogical family story for us.  You may be familiar with their family band, The Bower Family.  Frank is a professor at the School of Mines and James, his brother, is an accomplished musician and Geneaologist for their family.  I love the idea of music and geneaology!   You do not want to miss this amazing event!  Guests are welcome!

Saturday, September 21
Fall Family Intergenerational Event  (Other Interesting Events)
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Community Room at The Rapid City Public Library, 610 Quincy St, Rapid city, SD
Our Society is hosting an open house.  We have invited local Societies to be available so we can learn more about who they are and how they can help us in our genealogy research.  Please join us for this special Rapid City Public Library event.

Thursday, October 17
Becoming a DAR Member  (Monthly Program)
7:15 pm
Faith Lutheran Church, 17 Indiana Street, Rapid City, SD
6:30 pm: Snacks; mix and mingle;
7:00 pm: Short member meeting
7:15 pm: Program - Are you a descendant of a Revolutionary War Ancestor?  You will want to come and meet our guest speaker this month:  Margie from their State Society, (DAR) Daughters of the American Revolution, will share with us the types of documentation you need to qualify for membership and more.  Come find out how your ancestor is a Patriot who helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States of America.
Guests are Welcome!

Thursday, November 21
1980 Federal Raid on Deadwood Brothels  (Monthly Program)
7:15 pm
Faith Lutheran Church, 17 Indiana Street, Rapid City, SD
6:30 p.m.:  Snacks; mix and mingle;
7:00 p.m.:  Short member meeting; and
7:15 p.m.:  Program -  This is a must see video from the Journey Mueseum featuring Judge Jeff Viken.  He is so interesting as he tells us about his part in the end of the Deadwood Brothels.  He is very engaging and has detailed historical information about our Brothels, Deadwood, and how he got involved. Guests are always Welcome!