Imagine turning the lights on for the very first time. In Power to the People: Electrifying rural South Dakota, visitors will discover how electricity changed life on the farm, especially for dairies and hatcheries. This exhibit integrates the history of how South Dakota farmers lived and worked before rural electric cooperatives provided electricity to farms, how we generate electricity today and the science behind it.
This exhibit explains how farms used wind turbines to produce electricity and the history of rural electric cooperatives. The farmhouse kitchen is open for the public to explore a 1949 kitchen. It also shows how electric washing machines changed how we do laundry. This exhibit teaches the science of electricity with an interactive circuit board and a pedal powered light meter sponsored by Basin Electric, East River Cooperative, Sioux Valley Energy, and H&D Cooperative.
Open - An opening reception was held on October 20 at 2 PM. Sioux Valley Energy Cooperative and South Dakota Rural Electric Association were on hand to provide safety demonstrations and other materials to the public.
REA Promotional Poster
Circa 1930's. The Rural Electric Administration developed posters to promote farmers to become members of the electric cooperatives.
Sioux Valley Energy Cooperative
The Science of Electricity
This exhibit has hands-on interactive kiosks where you can learn about electricity.
This exhibit was sponsored in part by Coral Bonnemann, a long supporter of the Agricultural Heritage Museum, Basin Electric, East River Cooperative, Sioux Valley Energy, and H&D Cooperative. This exhibit would not have been possible without the private collection of photographs and artifacts from South Dakota Rural Electric Association and William Lee of Colman, South Dakota.