No exhibit can compete with the experience of walking into a historic building and being able to see how a people lived, learned, and worshiped. Heritage Hall Museum is fortunate to offer visitors the opportunity to tour a number of restored and furnished historic buildings.
The Bethel Mennonite Church was established in 1892 east of Dolton. Built in 1920 and originally located 8 miles north and 4 miles east of Freeman, this building served the congregation until they disbanded in 1992. It incorporates many architectural elements unique to Prussian/Russian Mennonite houses of worship.
Ludwig Deckert built this frame home in 1879 northeast of Freeman. The house was moved to the museum site and restored in 1979. Many household items are original furnishings. A unique feature of this interesting home is the grass-burning oven, "black kitchen" and large smokehouse chimney built in the center of the house. The 1879 Deckert House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Built in 1902 just seven miles west of Freeman, this small building served the Johannesthal congregation from 1902 until 1967, when the church closed. The building also contains a display of other churches in the community.
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.