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Mead Museum

Mead Museum

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About Us

Built in 1909, the Mead Building was originally used as patient housing for women as part of the Yankton State Hospital operations until the 1980’s when patient numbers dropped. Dr. Leonard C. Mead was the architect behind the Mead Building and many others on the historic campus. The building was designed to provide a home for women where they could be cared for with compassion and dignity.

Between 2008 and 2018, the Yankton County Historical Society and Mead Building Restoration Committee restored the historic Mead Building and moved its operations to the newly created Mead Museum.

Today the Mead Museum houses over 45,000 historic artifacts. The museum features changing and traveling exhibits throughout the year and posts these scheduled exhibits on their website. Permanent exhibits include:
* Journeying Forward: Connecting Cultures features the history of the American Indian culture of the region through the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804-1806
* Yankton State Hospital Minds, Methods, and Medicine features four rooms dedicated to the architectural history of the historic South Dakota Human Services Center, medical practices in mental health, day in the life of a Yankton State Hospital patient, farm therapy and staff life
* Children's Transportation Museum provides hands-on history experiences for children of every age

The Mead Museum is also opening an outdoor history experience called Heritage Park.

We recommend repeat visits to the Mead Museum as permanent and changing exhibits are being developed and added every year.

Mead Mercantile Gift Shop available


  • Children's Transportation Museum
  • Yankton State Hospital Minds, Methods, and Medicine
  • Journeying Forward: Connecting Cultures
  • Mead Mercantile Gift Shop
  • Joseph and Sarah Wood Ward Alumni & Educational Center of Yankton College


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Rep/Contact Info

Crystal Nelson
Executive Director

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