State Historical Society journal features portable Army cottages

State Historical Society journal features portable Army cottages Cardboard houses � that was how soldiers described the portable cottages they used at Fort Pierre during the winter of 1855-56, according to the special historic preservation issue of South Dakota History, the official journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society.

The special issue also reveals that internationally known architect Frank Lloyd Wright was invited to design the Sylvan Lake Hotel and that early critics once threatened Wind Cave's status as a national park.

In his article, "From Fort Pierre to Fort Randall: The Army's First Use of Portable Cottages," Timothy R. Nowak describes the Army's experimental moveable structures. Designed for use in the desert southwest, the buildings proved inadequate in northern winters. Now Wyoming state archaeologist, Nowak formerly served as the Army Corps of Engineers field archaeologist for South Dakota's Missouri River region.

After fire destroyed the first Sylvan Lake Hotel in 1935, Frank Lloyd Wright visited the site in hopes of designing a replacement, according to Suzanne Barta Julin in "Art Meets Politics: Peter Norbeck, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Sylvan Lake Hotel Commission." However, the architect-selection process became politicized, dooming the possibility of a Wright-designed hotel that could have rivaled Mount Rushmore for bringing worldwide attention to the Black Hills. Julin, a Dante native, lives in Missoula, MT, where she works as a public historian.

In her article "Adapting to Endure: The Early History of Wind Cave National Park, 1903-1916," Kathy S. Mason says that critics questioned Wind Cave's national park status because the park lacked unique, monumental features. In 1916, when the newly established National Park Service clarified its missions to encourage recreation, education and wildlife preservation, Wind Cave's bison preserve helped to assure the park's place in the national system. Mason teaches United States history and gender studies and Southwest Missouri State University at Springfield.

A pioneer South Dakota archaeologist, Edythe Jones George helped excavate and study dozens of Arikara villages along the Missouri River. Christopher Leatherman, a graduate student at The University of South Dakota, reviews George's career in a brief "Dakota Images" profile.

South Dakota History is a benefit of membership in the South Dakota State Historical Society, a program of the state Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. Individual copies of the magazine and memberships may be purchased from the society at 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217; telephone, (605) 773-3458; Web site,

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