Stepping into the Heritage Hall Archives in Freeman, South Dakota is like opening a forgotten box of treasures. You never know what you might find! The Archives serves as a repository for the greater Freeman community's historical records--the paper trail that proves our existence and gives evidence to the lives that have shaped this community.
We have an impressive collection of books that tell the stories of the Germans from Russia that settled this region, with a large selection relating specifically to the Mennonites and Hutterites. There are also songbooks, Bibles, and books about the towns, churches, schools, businesses, and other organizations represented in this area.
Some of the most popular books in our archives are the genealogies and biographies. We have resources representing over 100 different surnames from the greater Freeman area! We also have a large collection of obituaries.
For those who wish to dig deeper, there are also numerous one-of-a-kind resources such as diaries, record books, documents, unpublished papers and more, in addition to many maps, charts, directories, area newspapers and other publications. Some of these items have not been translated from their original German, their secrets still untold!
History comes to life as we peer into the faces of those who lived before us, and our collection includes many old photographs of local families, schools, churches, businesses, and community events. We also have a wall display featuring portraits of individuals who were born in Russia and immigrated to this area in the latter part of the 19th century.
The Archives are open to the public on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment. We welcome researchers and our archivist is available to assist you. Stop by and let us help you unlock YOUR history!
Heritage Hall Museum and Archives strives to preserve, educate and foster appreciation for the diverse natural and cultural history of the greater Freeman area, settled largely by Germans from Russia in the 1870s.
Heritage Hall Museum welcomes individuals and families, as well as school and tour groups. Large groups are encouraged to call ahead to arrange for guides as needed.
May through September
Monday - Friday 9 am-4 pm
Weekends 1-4 pm
October through April
Monday - Friday 12-4 pm
(Closed all weekends and holidays.)
The Archivist is available Monday-Friday or by appointment.
Heritage Hall Museum in Freeman is a South Dakota museum which tells the story of the German-Russian immigrants and others who settled in Southeastern Dakota territory in the 1870s.