Mead Cultural Education Center

Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Children & Youth
  • Community


82 Mickelson Dr.Yankton, SD 57078 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

The Yankton County Historical Society, through the Mead Cultural Education Center, provides an authentic historical experience of the Yankton area from pre-Dakota Territory to modern day.


In June 1936, Yankton’s first museum opened under the direction of the Daniel Newcomb Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1961, the Yankton County Historical Society (YCHS) was officially formed and took over care of the museum and collections. A new building was erected next to the old one in 1971 located in Riverside Park. That building served for thirty years. In 2012, the YCHS Board of Directors accepted the task of saving a building located on the north edge of Yankton that was part of the former Dakota Hospital for the Insane campus. The Board began the multi-million dollar venture of saving and rehabilitating the building for use as a museum and education center.

The Mead Building was constructed in 1909 under the direction of Dr. Leonard C. Mead. It was originally part of the women’s ward of the State Hospital. It was a grand facility utilized until the 1980’s, and re- opened to the public in December of 2018 as The Mead Cultural Education Center (MCEC). The MCEC is home to the Yankton County Historical Society, Dakota Territorial Museum Collection, and the Joseph and Sarah Wood Ward Alumni & Educational Center of Yankton College and Alumni offices (located on the 3rd floor of the Mead Building). The first two floors have completed exhibits and traveling exhibits space. The basement and east wing are still in the construction phase. We are also fundraising for Heritage Park and planning to move all our historic buildings in 2022.


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