Welcome to Heritage Hall Museum and Archives!

Three Groups - One Story

Three Groups,
One Museum’s Vision:

 Your chance to join us on this journey!

We have big news. Heritage Hall Museum and Archives is partnering with the South Dakota Humanities Council to create a full-length film featuring the “Three Groups, One Story” presentation that is being shared at Schmeckfest. Last fall, the Humanities Council gave us a $3,500 “stamp of approval” matching grant, setting the stage for this one-of-a-kind effort.

We are creating a professional video. The video will focus on the journeys of the Hutterite, Swiss and Low German Mennonite groups that settled in Southeast South Dakota (Dakota Territory) in the 1870s. We are excited to share this story in a 21st-century medium but we need your help. The more money we raise, the better product we will have to share this story far and wide.

This project is just the first step of our vision for this initiative. At the Heritage Hall Museum, our mission is “to preserve the natural and cultural history of the Freeman community and surrounding area”. We believe the greater Freeman area has a compelling story to tell, and this is just the beginning. We want to tell more stories about this region, but it starts here.

This film project will chronicle the unique stories of the three Mennonite ethnic groups that immigrated to America in the 1870s and settled in the area around what is now Freeman, South Dakota. Featuring local historians Robert Engbrecht, Norman Hofer and S. Roy Kaufman, the video celebrates the talent and commitment to story that is present in our community.  We hope to also include additional interviews conversations and footage from around the community and from Heritage Hall Museum & Archives.    


Interested in supporting this project?

Please feel free to give a donation today; every last dollar helps! If you would consider being a significant sponsor for this one-of-a-kind project, contact Marnette Hofer by email at heritagehallarchives@gmail.com.

To make it super easy for you to donate, we have launched a GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/threegroupsonestory but if you'd prefer, checks can be made payable to “Heritage Hall Museum” with “Three Groups Project” in the memo, and sent to the address below.

You can also follow our progress on the Heritage Hall Museum & Archives Facebook page!

Thanks so much for your support!

PO Box 693, Freeman, SD 57029