The Newell Museum is looking for shelving.  If you would like to donate please call 456-1310    

Doll & Toy Exhibit

The Museum has over 800 dolls and antique toys. The dolls come from various area doll collectors. The younger visitors like "That Kid" and have renamed him "Chuckie" after a popular character in a horror movie and never tire of viewing him. Playpal dolls, about the size of a four-year old child, are having a birthday party, hats and all. Other popular attractions are the bride dolls, Barbie's, Chatty-type, a Spanish dancer directly from Spain. Cabbage Patch, celluloid, rubber, sleepy babies in a brass crib and other too numerous to mention. The "toy room" is everyone's favorite: where old toy guns, games, cars trucks, scooter, a train, doll houses & doll buggies and even a peddle-driven fire truck are on display. Many male visitors perceive they are not interested in viewing a doll collection; however they are drawn into the overwhelming number of dolls and the clever displays but when they get to the toy room, they reminisce about the joys of the boyhood days.

    

Wetz School Exhibit

The "Riverside School" (Wetz School) was located in Meade County fifteen miles each of Vale along the Belle Fourche River. Here formal education began around 1887 in a log cabin known as the "Riverside School". Around 1900 a permanent school was built and it became known as the "Smith School" until 1943.

Volmer Wetz purchased the land where the school sat so it was renamed the "Wetz School". Children carried water until the 1920's when a cistern was dug and water was trucked in commercially; additional updates were made on the building over the years.

In 1983, the school was stripped of furnishing and moved to the back of the playground and a modern building was established with indoor plumbing. In 1993, due to a re organizational measure, the new school was closed and all furnishings moved to Sturgis. With urging from the Wetz family, in 1994 the school was donated to the Newell Museum. Classes were conducted for fifty years under the "Wetz School" name. Continuous attendance records beginning in 1896 until its retirement are available along with other information on the 128 year old historical wonder.

The Historic Flaigg Cabin

Johannes Flaigg immigrated to the US from Switzerland in 1866 and immediately enlisted in the infantry. He was sent to WY to fight Indian uprisings where he narrowly escaped death in the Battle of Goose Creek west of Ft. Reno (renamed Ft. Phil Kearney); he was among only ten soldiers escaping massacre and later was involved with the Hay Field Fight.

After his military discharge he married Martha Lorenze. They learned of the gold fields out west and decided to move their family to Deadwood. 1883; they homesteaded on Horse Creek. They built a one room cabin with hand-hewn logs transported from the Black Hills of dovetail construction. Here they lived and raised the children to adulthood until 1903 when they sold to Carl Gardner. The Gardner’s did not live in the cabin; they constructed a modern two-story house. Due to Mr. Gardner’s forge talents, the cabin became a blacksmith shop.

In 1986, the Flaigg Cabin was placed on the SD Register of Historical Places. It had many owners over the 127 years including Gardner and Viken families, became a storage shed and alas was in disrepair. In October 2004, new owners Glen and Sondra Boggess donated the cabin to the Museum. With a preservation grant in 2005, it has been fully restored and is now a great interpretive display.