Fort Meade Pictorial History

Please click here to open PDF file of Ft. Meade photo chronology.

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Fort Meade:  From Frontier Post to High-Tech Military and Modern Medicine

Grade 11

Stephanie Kaufman

 

Unit Overview

Originally established as a “peace-keeping” post for the US Cavalry shortly after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Ft. Meade has endured for over a century and progressed to meet the current needs of the US military as a Veteran’s Hospital and training center for the South Dakota National Guard.  Frequently faced with the possibility of closure, the Sturgis community joined with South Dakota politicians to fight to keep the fort open time and again.  This required the fort to transform itself to fit the needs of the nation through various time periods.  This unit will examine the many roles of Ft. Meade in American history.  

 

I.        Essential Question: How did Ft. Meade’s progression from a frontier “peace-keeping” post to a modern medical center and training ground for high-tech military units keep it relevant in American history?

 

II.     Learning Objectives:

A.     Essential Understandings: Students will

1.      Analyze primary source documents, photos and artwork.

2.      Use Microsoft Office to create documents.

3.  Use primary sources to determine the lifestyle of individuals in the past

4.  Examine the process of historic preservation while visiting historic sites

B.       Essential Knowledge: Students will

1. Describe the context in which Ft. Meade was established.

2. Examine the selection criteria and procedures for the fort location.

3. Explain the ongoing relationship between Ft. Meade and the city of Sturgis.

4.  Explain the context of the transformation of Ft. Meade through historical eras.

5.  Describe the role of Ft. Meade in the US Government’s Federal Indian policies.

6.  Determine Ft. Meade’s role in American history. 

 

III. Standards Addressed:

A.     Historical Thinking Standards:

1.   Establish temporal order in constructing historical narratives.

2.   Interpret data presented in time lines.

3.   Identify the author or source of the historical document or narrative.

4.  Consider multiple perspectives of various peoples in the past by

demonstrating their differing motives, beliefs, interests, hopes and fears.

5.  Formulate historical questions.

6.  Interrogate historical data.

7.  Identify issues and problems in the past and analyze the interests, values, perspectives, and points of view of those involved in the situation.

8.  Evaluate the implementation of a decision. 

 

B.      South Dakota History Grade Level Standards:

                                                1.       Grade 9-12 Standards: US History 1.1.  Students are able to explain the cause-effect relationships and legacy that distinguish significant historical periods from Reconstruction to the present. 

                                                2.       US History 2.1.  Students are able to describe the causes and effects of interactions between the U.S. government and Native American cultures.

 

IV. Individual Lesson Activities:

A.  Location, Location, Location:  Fort Meade and Sturgis.  Students will examine the ongoing relationship between the fort and the city of Sturgis.

B.  Grandpa’s Attic on Lazelle St.  Students will determine how Ft. Meade and Sturgis grew together and participated in American history.

C.  Written in Stone?  The Graves of Ft. Meade.  Students will examine the history of America and Ft. Meade through a field trip to four gravesite locations within the original Ft. Meade Military Reserve.

 

V.    Unit Assessment: Students will choose from one of the following options:

A.    Design a float for the Cavalry Day’s Parade highlighting one of the historical features of Ft. Meade.

B.     Create a video documentary of a portion of Ft. Meade history using Movie Maker or a similar program.

C.    Write a magazine article relating to a specific topic of Ft. Meade history, including photos or illustrations. 

D.     Read Ft. Meade and the Black Hills and write a book review and questions for an Accelerated Reader test on the book. 

E.     Create a display on a specific topic related to Ft. Meade that could be placed at the Old Fort Meade Museum.

 

 

Lesson One: Location, Location, Location: Fort Meade & Sturgis

                                                 

I.                   Lesson Essential Question:  How did the location of Fort Meade and Sturgis commence a mutually beneficial relationship over the years?

 

II.                Learning Objectives

A.    Essential Understandings: Students will

1.  Describe the context in which Ft. Meade was established.

2.  Examine the selection criteria and procedures for the fort location.

3.  Explain the ongoing relationship between Ft. Meade and the city of Sturgis.

4.  Explain why Sturgis students are known as the “Scoopers.”

      B.  Essential Knowledge: Students will

1.  Analyze primary source documents, photos and artwork.

2.  Use Microsoft Office to create documents.

 

III.             Standards Addressed:

A.    Historical Thinking Standards:

1. Establish temporal order in constructing historical narratives.

2.  Formulate historical questions.

3.  Interrogate historical data.

4.  Identify issues and problems in the past and analyze the interests, values, perspectives, and points of view of those involved in the situation.

5.  Evaluate the implementation of a decision. 

B.      South Dakota History Grade Level Standards:

1.      Grade 9-12 Standard: US History 1.1.  Students are able to explain the cause-effect relationships and legacy that distinguish significant historical periods from Reconstruction to the present. 

2.      US History 2.1.  Students are able to describe the causes and effects of interactions between the U.S. government and Native American cultures.

 

IV.             Learning Activities and Strategies:

A.    Estimated time:  120 minutes

B.      Necessary materials: index cards, pencils, NARA Document Analysis forms, computers

C.     Primary Sources

1.       Topographical Map of Fort Meade Reservation and Sturgis, SD

2.      “The Sentinel” August 27, 1881 edition of Seventh Cavalry newspaper

3.      “A Description of Meade County, S.Dak. and Sturgis” issued by the Sturgis Commercial Club, October 8, 1905

4.      “Ft. Meade in Black Hills Grew From a Custer Camp”, New York Times, August 26, 1928.

D.    Resources

1.       Photos of Bear Butte, Camp Sturgis, and “Scooptown” sites

2.      Fort Meade and the Black Hills, Robert Lee, 1991, University of Nebraska Press, for background information on the location of Fort Meade and instances of community involvement in keeping the fort open.

E.     On-going assessment: “Save the Last Word for Me” index cards and discussion, NARA Document Analysis form, and write a letter or create a pamphlet.

 

V.                Detailed Lesson Description:

A.     Introduction: Show photos of Bear Butte, the original Camp J.G. Sturgis and “Scooptown” sites.  As Fort Meade was established, enterprising individuals moved in nearby and a community known as “Scooptown” was born, named for “scooping” the money from the soldier’s pockets.  Although the reputation and character of “Scooptown” was questionable, the name stuck with the birth of Sturgis City.  Since their founding, Sturgis and Ft. Meade have had a close relationship.  Sturgis businesses and citizens that thrived from the military fort nearby repeatedly came together, along with state and national politicians, to keep the fort from being abandoned.  Even today, the VA Hospital at Ft. Meade is the largest employer in the Sturgis area.

B.      Students will individually examine the topographical map of the Fort Meade Reservation and Sturgis.  Ask: Why was the fort located here?

C.    Students will read the August 26, 1928 New York Times article “Ft. Meade in Black Hills Grew From a Custer Camp”, at http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30D14FF3E55167A93C4AB1783D85F4C8285F9  as homework using the “Save the Last Word for Me” strategy (Handout 1).  How many historical errors can you find?

D.    The next day students will participate in a class discussion using the “Save the Last Word for Me” index cards as the basis of their discussion about why Ft. Meade and Sturgis are located where they are and how the two have had a mutually beneficial relationship over the years. 

E.     In small groups, students will then examine “The Sentinel” 7th Cavalry newspaper and “A Description of Meade County, S.Dak. and Sturgis” using the National Archives Document Analysis sheet (see http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/written_document_analysis_worksheet.pdf )  and conclude with a discussion of how Sturgis has benefitted from Ft. Meade’s location. 

F.      The teacher will then explain how numerous times in the fort’s history, it was nearly abandoned and how various local citizens rallied to keep the fort open and petitioned the government at various levels (see Fort Meade and the Black Hills for information).

G.    Concluding Assessment:  Occasionally the federal government shuts down some of its facilities as we have recently observed with the BRAC decision at Ellsworth Air Force Base.  Much like earlier Sturgis residents who petitioned Congress, students will write a letter to a member of our South Dakota Congressional delegation detailing reasons why Ft. Meade should be retained within the VA system or create a pamphlet such as the Sturgis Commericial Club did in 1905.   

 

 

Lesson Two: Grandpa’s Attic on Lazelle St.

                                                 

I.          Lesson Essential Question:  How did Ft. Meade and Sturgis grow together and play a role in American history?

 

II.       Learning Objectives:

      A.  Essential Understandings: Students will

1.  explain the context of the transformation of Ft. Meade through various historical eras

2.  describe the role of Ft. Meade in the US Government’s Federal Indian  policies

      B.  Essential Knowledge: Students will

1.  examine primary source photographs and documents and

2.  determine the placement of documents and photos on a timeline

 

III.    Standards Addressed:

A.    Historical Thinking Standards:

1.  Establish temporal order in constructing historical narratives.

2.  Interpret data presented in time lines.

3.  Formulate historical questions.

4.  Interrogate historical data.

5.  Identify issues and problems in the past and analyze the interests, values, perspectives, and points of view of those involved in the situation.

B.      South Dakota History Grade Level Standards:

1.      Grade 9-12 Standard: US History 1.1.  Students are able to explain the cause-effect relationships and legacy that distinguish significant historical periods from Reconstruction to the present. 

2.      US History 2.1.  Students are able to describe the causes and effects of interactions between the U.S. government and Native American cultures.

 

VI.     Learning Activities and Strategies:

A.     Estimated time: 90 minute block

B.      Necessary materials: smallest Post-It Notes, NARA Photo Analysis form, pencils, journals, computer and projector for teacher PowerPoint.

C.    Primary Sources:  A Selective Pictorial History of Ft. Meade & Sturgis

D.    Resources:  Timeline of Ft. Meade and Sturgis History

E.     On-going assessment:  Student participation in group activity, completed NARA photo analysis form and journal writing

 

VII.          Detailed Lesson Description:

A.    In this lesson, students will imagine they have discovered a trunk full of pictures and other materials related to Sturgis and Ft. Meade in Grandpa’s attic on Lazelle St. in Sturgis. 

B.     Individual students will be given a picture and complete an NARA Photo Analysis form for that picture (see http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/photo_analysis_worksheet.pdf ).   

C.    Students will then be grouped (3-4 students each) and given a Ft. Meade Photo Chronology Activity (Handout 2) and a picture packet (available online at http://sk087.k12.sd.us/fort_meade_pictorial_history.htm ).  They will be given 40 minutes to number each picture, using Post-It Notes, with its corresponding description from the timeline. 

D.    The teacher will then show the pictures in order on a PowerPoint and have student groups compare their results with the descriptions and discuss the roles that Ft. Meade and Sturgis have played in American history.

E.      Conclusion:  3-2-1 Journal.  Students will write 3 things they learned about Sturgis and Ft. Meade that they did not know before, 2 things that most surprised them and 1 question that remains unanswered.

 

                         

Lesson Three: Written in Stone?  The Graves of Fort Meade

                                               

I.                Lesson Essential Question:  What can we learn about Ft. Meade and American history from the graves at Ft. Meade?

 

II.             Learning Objectives

A.     Essential Understandings: Students will

1.  Determine the lifestyle of individuals at Ft. Meade over the years.

2.  Determine how Ft. Meade’s role in American history.

B.      Essential Knowledge:

1.  Use primary sources to determine the lifestyle of individuals in the past.

2.  Examine the process of historic preservation while visiting historic sites.

 

III.          Standards Addressed:

A.    Historical Thinking Standards:

1.  Consider multiple perspectives of various peoples in the past by

demonstrating their differing motives, beliefs, interests, hopes and fears.

2.  Formulate historical questions.

3.  Interrogate historical data.

4.  Identify issues and problems in the past and analyze the interests, values, perspectives, and points of view of those involved in the situation.

B.     South Dakota History Grade Level Standards:

1.      Grade 9-12 Standards: US History 1.1.  Students are able to explain the cause-effect relationships and legacy that distinguish significant historical periods from Reconstruction to the present. 

2.       US History 2.1.  Students are able to describe the causes and effects of interactions between the U.S. government and Native American cultures.

 

IV.          Learning Activities and Strategies:

A.    Estimated time: 90 minutes for field trip on day one, 90 minute block on day two.

B.     Necessary materials: pencils, Cemetery Information Organizer, digital camera, computer lab, bus

C.    Primary Sources: included in Old Post Cemetery: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, Medical History of Post, Fort Meade, Dakota Territory,  News article excerpts from the Sturgis Weekly Record, Sturgis Tribune, Black Hills Press, Sturgis Advertiser, Lawrence and Meade County Vital Statistics

D.    Resources:  Old Post Cemetery, Old Fort Meade Museum and Historic Research Association, 1989 (available at Fort Meade Museum).

E.     On-going assessment:  Completion of “Cemetery Information Organizer”, journal question, participation in class discussion and reaction/reflection paper.

 

V.             Detailed Lesson Description:

A.    Introduction:  This lesson will include a field trip to four gravesite locations within the original Ft. Meade Reservation. 

B.     Day One:  Ask students: What can we learn about Ft. Meade and American history through its gravesites?  Briefly explain the four sites we will visit on the field trip in the order that we will travel.

-Ft. Meade National Cemetery: the Old Post cemetery with burials from 1878-1943

-Curley Grimes gravesite

-Ute Indian burial grounds on hillside above VFW Chapel

-Black Hills National Cemetery: military burials from 1948-today also known as the “Arlington of the West”

C.    Students will each be given a “Cemetery Information Organizer” form (Handout 3) to complete, a Ft. Meade Cemetery map and the names of two individuals in the Ft. Meade National Cemetery.  Give cemetery orientation and protocol while on 10 minute bus ride from Sturgis Brown High School.

D.    Upon arrival at Ft. Meade National Cemetery students will find their two individual’s gravestones and complete the “Cemetery Information Organizer” form for each.  Prior to leaving walk all students to the headstone of Medal of Honor winner, Albert Knaak and tell his story (see: http://www.homeofheroes.com/gravesites/states/south_dakota.html).  Then drive 5 minutes to next site.

E.     Next stop: Curley Grimes’ gravesite.  Students will read the epitaph on his headstone.  We will discuss the unusual headstone and speculate on the reasons for it. Then, tell the story of outlaw Curley Grimes see: http://www.rosyinn.com/more007.html and http://www.bar-w.com/boonemay.html .  Drive 2 minutes to next site.

F.     Next stop:  VFW Chapel to point out the Ute gravesite area on the hillside.  Local amateur archeologist, Don Ericson, will guide this portion.  Ask students to speculate the reasons why there are unmarked Ute graves here, especially given the fact that this is not the Ute’s homeland.  Don Ericson will explain the current work with the Ute Tribe related to this site.  Drive 2 minutes to next site.

G.    Last stop: Black Hills National Cemetery:  Includes soldiers from Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars.  Orientation by Cemetery staff as we drive through ending at the headstone of Medal of Honor winner, Charles Windolph.  What questions does this headstone raise?  (Charles Windoph was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in the Indian Wars see: http://www.homeofheroes.com/gravesites/states/south_dakota.html .)  Other notable individuals include Senator Francis H. Case and Brigadier General Richard E. Ellsworth, Commander of Rapid City Air Force Base (which was renamed Ellsworth Air Force Base in his honor).  Drive 10 minutes back to high school. 

H.    Day Two:  Debrief Field Trip:  Discuss: What surprised you about the field trip? 

I.    Distribute newspaper excerpts from the Old Post Cemetery booklet to each student for the individuals they found in the Ft. Meade Cemetery and have them read the information and finish the Cemetery Information Organizer and tell the class about their individuals.

J.      Discuss the Ute gravesites.  Have students read background information from http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/american_indians/theutetrektosouthdakotain1906.html .   Discuss:  Why did the Utes come to Ft. Meade? Where did they go from here?  Why did they return to Utah?  How does this incident tie into the larger US Government Federal Indian Policy? What should be done with the Ute gravesites at Ft. Meade? (Repatriation to Utah? Historical marker at VFW Chapel site? Leave as a wilderness area?)  Who should decide what should be done? 

K.    Conclusion:  Assign Reaction/Reflection paper titled: “A Grave Undertaking” to include student’s answer to the Lesson Essential Question:  What can we learn about Ft. Meade and American history from the graves at Ft. Meade?

 

                       

Bibliography

 

“A Description of Meade County, S.Dak. and Sturgis.” Sturgis Commercial Club. Sturgis, SD: October 8, 1905.

 

"Ft. Meade in Black Hills Grew From a Custer Camp." New York Times, August 26, 1928,

 

Hockett, William. "Boone May: Gunfighter of the Black Hills." 2002. http://www.bar-w.com/boonemay.html (accessed June 11, 2007).

 

Lee, Robert. Fort Meade and the Black Hills. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1991.

 

Library of Congress, "Grabill Photographs: Subject Index." December 21, 2005. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/grabillhtml/grabillsubjindex1.html (accessed June 11, 2007).

 

Mato Paha Land of the Pioneers: Northwest Meade County. Alkali Community Club. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing, 1969.

 

National Archives, "Teaching With Documents: Lesson Plans." http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/ (accessed June 19, 2007).

 

Nichols, Jeffrey. "The Ute Trek to South Dakota in 1906 Ended in Disappointment." June 1995.http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/american_indians/theutetrektosouthdakotain1906.html, (accessed June 11, 2007).

 

Old Post Cemetery: Fort Meade, South Dakota. Old Fort Meade Museum and Historic Research Association. Fort Meade, SD: 1989.

 

Sterner, C. Douglas. "Medal of Honor Recipient Gravesites in the State of South Dakota." 1999-2007.http://www.homeofheroes.com/gravesites/states/south_dakota.html (accessed June 11, 2007).

 

"The Gravesite of Famous Outlaw Curley Grimes." 2004. http://www.rosyinn.com/more007.html (accessed June 11, 2007).

 

The Sentinel. Seventh Cavalry. Fort Abraham Lincoln: August 27, 1881.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Teacher Handout 1

 

ASCD “Save the Last Word for Me” Strategy Instructions

 

 

This is a good strategy to keep a class discussion focused.

 

1.  Distribute five index cards to each student and assign a text to read.

 

2.  Have students select and record five statements that they find interesting, agree with, disagree with or want to say something about.  They should write each statement on a separate card.

 

3.  On the reverse side of each card, have the students write their comments about each statement.

 

4.  Divide the class into groups of four or five members.

 

5.  Have students take turns reading a statement, allowing others to react to it, and then sharing their own comments about the statement with the group.


 

Student Handout 2

 

Ft. Meade Photo Chronology Activity

Examine the photos and documents provided and label the photos with the corresponding number from this selected chronology of Ft. Meade.  The photos can also be accessed at http://sk087.k12.sd.us/fort_meade_pictorial_history.htm .

 

1.       Mato Paha has been a spiritual landmark and gathering point for Native people for centuries.

 

2.      1874- Custer Expedition to the Black Hills: Custer’s Expedition finds gold in the Black Hills and it is only a matter of time before thousands of miners illegally enter the hills, which are part of the Great Sioux Reservation.

 

3.       1876- Deadwood Gold Rush brings a call for military protection.

 

4.      1878 -Camp J.G. Sturgis, named for “Jack” Sturgis who was killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, is established near the Deadwood-Bismarck Trail by Bear Butte to protect travelers on their way to the Hills.  Scooptown is located close to the military camp to serve their needs and “scoop” the soldier’s pay.

 

5.      1878- Col. Samuel D. Sturgis, of the 7th Cavalry, is sent to command the newly created Ft. Meade.  General Order No. 27, issued at Department of Dakota Headquarters, announced that the Secretary of War had designated the post “Fort Meade” in honor of Major General George G. Meade, of Civil War fame.

 

6.      1879 -“Comanche” arrives with the 7th Cavalry troops from Fort Lincoln.  Severely wounded, Comanche was the only “living creature found on the Custer Battlefield after the fight”.  Col. Sturgis issued General Order No. 7 retiring “Comanche” from active service.

 

7.      By 1879- Sturgis City serves soldiers, miners, and cattlemen but can’t shake the “Scooptown” image, thanks to places like the “Big Bonanza Saloon”.   In 1878, Sturgis City had been laid out by Jeremiah Wilcox, a cousin of Col. Sturgis’s wife.  Major Lazelle and Col. Sturgis invested in several blocks of lots.

 

8.      1880 -The 25th Infantry Regiment arrived at Ft. Meade, being one of two infantry regiments whose enlisted ranks were composed solely of blacks.  The Black Hills Daily Times reported, “Times are lively again for they brought money with them.”

 

9.      1888- City Ordinance No. 8 prohibited houses of ill repute in Sturgis and in 1889 St. Martin’s Academy was established by Benedictine Sisters from Switzerland.  Sturgis settles down, just a bit.

 

10.  1888-8th Cavalry and 3rd Infantry replace the 7th Cavalry and 25th Infantry at Ft. Meade.

 

11.  1890-Wounded Knee- Ft. Meade’s 8th Cavalry camp near Pine Ridge is replaced by troops of the 7th Cavalry from Ft. Riley prior to the Wounded Knee Massacre.  

 

12.  1891-Sioux Soldiers primarily from the Cheyenne River Reservation enlist in large numbers into Co. I and Troop L of the 3rd Cavalry at Ft. Meade as a result of General Order No. 28 which authorized an experiment to speed the assimilation of Indians as regular Army soldiers.

 

13.  1892-“It Started Here” when Ft. Meade Commander Caleb Carlton began the custom of playing the “Star Spangled Banner” at military ceremonies and requested that all people rise and pay it proper respect long before it became the National Anthem.

 

14.  1898- “Grigsby’s Cowboys”, the 3rd US Volunteer Cavalry’s Black Hills battalion were staged at Ft. Meade awaiting entry into the Spanish-American War.  Seth Bullock led Troop A from Lead, although the war ended before they could embark for Cuba.

 

15.  1900-1911 $1 million spent on Ft. Meade as the residents of Sturgis anxiously lobbied for improvements.  As the fort grew, so did Sturgis.

 

16.  1906-Over 400 Ute Indians arrive at Ft. Meade after leaving their reservation in Utah in hopes of finding a better home in Montana or Canada.  They were intercepted by the military and held at Ft. Meade until they were able to lease some land on the Cheyenne River Reservation.  Dissatisfied with their new South Dakota home, they returned to Utah in 1908.

 

17.  1907-Secretary of War William Howard Taft made an official visit to Ft. Meade as the citizens of Sturgis “rolled out the red carpet” to lobby him for an enlargement of the post.  Taft told the Sturgis Weekly Record, “I think Ft. Meade is a beautiful place.  It has a magnificent setting and is designed by nature for an army post.”  June 21, 1907

 

18.  By 1913- The 13th Cavalry, which was created at Ft. Meade in 1901, had been sent to the Mexican border, along with the 4th Cavalry which had arrived in 1907 and the 12th Cavalry replaced them.

 

19.  1913-Poker Alice fatally shot a sergeant of Troop K, 12th Cavalry involved in a dispute at her “house” in Sturgis.  She was charged only with keeping a house of “ill fame” and was fined.  Scooptown was still alive in Sturgis. 

 

20.  1917- WWI leaves Ft. Meade nearly abandoned, however it did serve as a recruiting station, a temporary post for SD National Guardsmen and a training school for small detachments of Signal Corps troops. 

 

21.  1924-26 The Ku Klux Klan grew in membership in the Black Hills during the mid-1920s who were mostly anti-Catholic.  On August 6, 1924 troops from the 4th Cavalry at Ft. Meade set up two Browning automatic rifles and fired across a hill to a burning cross, pouring a heavy barrage of bullets showing their disdain for the Klan. 

 

22.  1927- President Coolidge Vacations in the Black Hills with 4th Cavalry troops from Ft. Meade assigned to the Presidential Guard.  Among the presidential guard were a number of Indian soldiers.  The Sturgis Tribune observed “Now the Indians are sent to protect the President of the United States from the whites.”  It was during this visit that President Coolidge presented Gutzon Borglum with the drills for the carving of Mt. Rushmore and President Coolidge also told the press that summer that he would not seek another term from his office at the Rapid City School Administration building.

 

23.  1933- The Civilian Conservation Corps Black Hills Headquarters were located at Camp Fechner on the grounds of Ft. Meade.  The Depression-era workers were sent out to various sites in the Black Hills to do forestry work.

 

24.  1934-35-Stratobowl was a joint venture between the National Geographic Society and the US Army Air Corps to set a new altitude record with Ft. Meade soldiers of the Fourth Cavalry involved in flight preparations and tracking the balloon’s flight until it descended near White Lake, SD.

 

25.  1936-President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the Hills to dedicate the Jefferson head on Mt. Rushmore with 4th Cavalry troops once again providing a Presidential guard.

 

26.  1940- WPA Work As a result of a contentious 1940 mayoral race in Sturgis, all WPA employees allotted to Sturgis were used on post improvement projects at Ft. Meade, including building a swimming pool.  It had long been a successful policy to get the government to spend more money on the fort whenever its continued existence was threatened.

 

27.  1942-The Horses Go as the Sturgis Tribune reported on April 16, 1942 “Many a tough trooper had a lump in his throat as he turned his horse into the stable for the last time.” Troops A & B were issued M-5 light tanks. The horse troop gave its last Black Hills public appearance in a 4th of July parade in Rapid City in 1942.

 

28.  1943-The 88th Glider Infantry Regiment trained at Ft. Meade and the 620th Engineer General Service Company occupied part of Camp Fechner and was activated at Ft. Meade.  Aside from its officers, the 620th was filled entirely with men who were suspected of subversive activity or disloyalty.  They made camouflage, planted trees, painted barracks, collected garbage, and performed other menial duties while at Ft. Meade during WWII. 

 

29.  1943-Women’s Army Corps volunteers were assigned as truck drivers, chauffeurs, radio repairers, and did clerical and stenographic work at Ft. Meade.

 

30.  1944- Veteran’s Administration - After the 620th left Ft. Meade, the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce hired R.B (Dick) Williams, a local teacher, to appeal to the SD Congressional delegation to keep the post garrisoned.  This time the War Department suggested that Fort Meade be turned over to the Veteran’s Administration for a hospital.  The Sturgis Tribune reported on February 10, 1944, “This change would be very beneficial to Sturgis.  It would assure permanent operation of Ft. Meade.”  $300,000 was appropriated to convert Ft. Meade into a 725-bed hospital.

 

31.  1944- German Prisoners of War were sent to Ft. Meade from Ft. Robinson to work on the hospital conversion construction project and to work in Belle Fourche beet fields until 1946.

 

32.  1948-Black Hills National Cemetery, also known as the “Arlington of the West” opened after the Old Post Cemetery closed in 1944 (now the Ft. Meade National Cemetery).

 

33.  1971- The National Registry of Historic Places listed Ft. Meade as a site to be preserved.

 

34.  1979- Sturgis Brown High School graduated its first class of “Scoopers” from its new building on surplus land purchased for $1 from the Ft. Meade Veteran’s facility. 

 

35.  1986- The South Dakota Military Academy is established at Ft. Meade for training National Guard members.  Since then, Ft. Meade has become a base camp for the annual Operation Joint Thunder training in the Black Hills.

 

36.   Still Scooptown- each year as hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts make their trek to Sturgis for the annual motorcycle rally. 

 

37.  Cavalry Days- Each summer, Sturgis remembers its heritage during Cavalry Days. 

 

Who would’ve guessed that this all happened right here?

 


 

 

 

Student Handout 3

 

Cemetery Information Organizer

Think about it as a giant jigsaw puzzle with each gravestone being one of the pieces of the puzzle that holds clues to the history of our community. Look closely at individual gravestones and at groups of stones. Use this worksheet to collect information about each stone.

Student's Name:

Name of Cemetery:
Location of Cemetery:

Complete the following information for each gravestone you investigate.

1.       Full name of the deceased:
________________________________________
Birth Date:
________________________________________
Death Date:
________________________________________
Age at death:
________________________________________
Husband/Wife of:
________________________________________
Son/Daughter of:
________________________________________
Other facts:
________________________________________

       

2.       Sketch the gravestone's shape and any motifs or decorative carvings.

3.      Copy the inscription and epitaph exactly as you see it.

 

 

 

  

4.      Describe and/or draw any other interesting or unusual features of this gravestone.

5.      Is this person related to others buried nearby? If yes, who are they and what is their relationship to this person?

 

 

6.      What questions does this gravestone raise in your mind?

 

 

 

7.      Debrief:  Read the newspaper articles related to your individual.  Describe their life and death.

 

 

 

8.      What does this information tell you about life at Ft. Meade at this time?

 

 

 

 

9.      How does this individual “fit” into the larger view of American history?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adapted from:
http://www.history.org/history/teaching/organiz2.cfm