BELLE FOURCHE | The Belle Fourche band shell recently received a matching grant from the South Dakota State Historical Society, as announced by Ted M. Spencer, State Historic Preservation Officer.
The Belle Fourche Band Shell, located at Hermann Park, was awarded a $15,000 Deadwood Fund Grant to assist with repair of the interior wood shell.
Built in 1954, band shells first became popular in the 1920s and 1930s and varied greatly in size, materials and architectural details. Although the Belle Fourche band shell was built later, its purpose and design are true to earlier band shells throughout the country, the State Historical Society said.
Vernacular in nature, the band shell exemplifies the half-dome shape and illustrates a local builder’s ability to engineer the structure, using local materials and developing tools when necessary.
The Belle Fourche band shell was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. It has served as a focal point for outdoor band concerts, speeches, performances and other gatherings since its construction.
Local resident Dr. John Chassell donated $4,000 towards the construction of the band shell. This, along with $1,200 from the park’s trust account, paid for its construction. Local contractor Carl Anderson and Son built the structure.
The grants are awarded through the State Historical Society’s Deadwood Fund grant program. Funding for the program is from Deadwood gaming revenue earmarked by state law for historic preservation projects throughout the state. The program is administered by the society’s State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
“This historic preservation grants program is designed to encourage restoration or rehabilitation of historic properties and is one more way we can promote and protect our history and culture,” said Spencer. “In 2020 we awarded $111,050 among seven projects which had matching funds of $374,441. The resulting total public-private investment is $485,491."
Deadwood Fund grants are awarded twice a year, with grant application deadlines of Feb. 1 and Oct. 1. They are reviewed at the spring and winter meetings of the State Historical Society’s board of trustees.
For more information on the Deadwood Fund grant program, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217; telephone 605-773-3458; or website history.sd.gov/Preservation.