Monday, December 3, 2018

"Ft. Meade - Dakota Territory" presented by Randy Bender

Randy Bender presented "Ft. Meade - Dakota Territory" through songs, stories and interchanging costumes to approximately 110 people at the Spearfish Senior Citizens Center on Tues Dec 4, 2018.   

Randy's characters were real people who were buried at the Ft. Meade Cemetery (located at the top of the hill south-west of Ft Meade with a great view of Bear Butte).

Besides the great characters portrayed, there were tidbits of information about Ft. Meade soldiers who were also tasked to do carpentry work, care and shoe-ing for horses (a farrier), and just about anything.  Pay was $13.00 a month.  Sturgis was know as "Scoop Town" because it scooped up a soldier's pay. 

In 1901, Ft Meade forbid wine and beer sales at the Fort, so the sales soared in Sturgis.

Ft. Meade was known as the "Peace-keeper Post", making strides at keeping the peace in difficult times.

In 1892, Ft. Meade was instrumental in starting the ritual of standing and removing hats for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.  Soon, all U.S. Military Institutions were following that ritual.  In 1931, the song was made the U.S. National Anthem.  Randy led the audience to sing a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. 

Randy brought in antiques from the Fort and also a recent find to be placed at the Ft. Meade Museum.  It is a remnant of the U.S. Prigate Constitution ship keel made into a picture frame with a print picture of the ship.