2022 Guest Speakers

The CCHS hosts eight speakers per year who present on a variety of topics pertaining to Custer County history. Presentations are free and open to the public (donations welcome) and take place in the Pine Room at the Custer County Annex Building - just down the hall from the library on 447 Crook Street. 

Historic Programs begin at 2:30pm


brief update from historical society president at 2pm

If you would like to be a CCHS speaker, please contact us.

January 8Long-time Custer County resident Larry Fiala (assisted by his wife Teresa) will present on the history of Twelve Mile Ranch and their time working for Ed and Toots Schriner. (The Twelve Mile Ranch Cabin was donated to the 1881 Courthouse Museum in 2020.)

Larry has a rich history that includes his stint as a high school teacher and principal in the Custer school system; time as a horse racer; and always a cowboy and rancher.

February 5: Brad Bradfield presents the history of "The Crouch Line"  former Black Hills Railroad. 

Brad Bradfield is a native of Rapid City, and a retired electrical engineer, having spent over 30 years in Texas working in the defense industry. As a boy, he spent many days hunting and fishing along Rapid Creek between Rapid City and Pactola. It was here that he first became familiar with the Crouch line railroad. 

Twenty some odd years ago, he began tracking down sources of Black Hills maps showing the route of the Crouch Line. He has spent many hours doing research in the archives at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, the South Dakota state archives in Pierre, the Devereaux Library at the South Dakota School of Mines as well as other sources.

March 5: Mark Thompson presents The History of Outlaw Ranch - including the story behind its name

Mark Thompson recently retired after 35 years as the facility manager at Outlaw Ranch Bible Camp and retreat center.

Mark grew up in Langford, SD and graduated from Augustana University, Sioux Falls. He taught school in Salem for 5 years, while working summers at Outlaw and Atlantic Mountain Ranches. He and his wife Bonnie moved to Custer in 1974. Their three sons were born at the Custer Hospital and graduated from Custer High School.

April 2:  "The Life & Times of Seth Bullock."

Presentation by Les Nuckles

Les has lived in the Black Hills since 2013 and resides in both Custer and Deadwood. He has a passion for history and loves bringing the past to life as a historical reenactor.

His portrayals include Sheriff Seth Bullock of Deadwood fame, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, and Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy, one of the few white men Crazy Horse considered a friend. During the summer months, Les plays Sheriff Seth Bullock on the streets of Deadwood with the Deadwood Alive acting troupe and gives Lawman's tours as Sheriff Bullock. He participates in the gunfights, firearms presentations and appears nightly in the Trial of Jack McCall in various roles.

May 7: Road Trip to Dewey

2:30pm - Dewey Community Building

Once known as S&G Ranch, Dewey is rich in Black Hills & railroad history.

Limited seating on a free shuttle.  For shuttle: contact Finny Sechser at 673-3732 

Shuttle leaves Custer Library at 1pm

Fun opportunity to learn about the Burlington  Northern/Santa Fe trains that still grace the tracks of Dewey. JoAnn Boggs will share history about the community & Mike Decker will share information about train & railroad history.

June 4: TBA 

October 1: TBA

November 5: TBA

Old Time Country Fair
July 2-4, 2022

The Old Time Country Fair, held on the museum grounds at 447 Mt Rushmore Road in Custer. Numerous vendors with hand-crafted items, jewelry, photography, books, food items and more. 

If you're interested in reserving a booth at the fair, please call: 605-673-2443

Gold Discovery Days
July 15-17, 2022

Arts and Crafts Fair - Carnival - Kids Events - Car Show & More!


Custer’s first Gold Discovery commemoration was in July, 1921 when the community gathered to dedicate a native stone monument to H.N. Ross.  Ross was a member of the 1874 Custer Expedition who discovered gold in French Creek near the present city of Custer. The Custer County Chronicle reported the event this way: "One of the largest crowds, estimated at several thousand, attended the dedicatory services and celebration commemorating the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, called the “Richest Hundred Miles Square” and the “Diamond Stickpin on the Bosom of the Earth.” . . . The evening was filled with wrestling matches, picture shows, dances and other entertainment."