“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rapid City in Pennington County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

The Journey of The Pap Madison Cabin

The Journey of The Pap Madison Cabin Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, February 16, 2020
1. The Journey of The Pap Madison Cabin Marker
Inscription.  This cabin, dating to Rapid City's is founding in early 1876, is the oldest known structure in the city and one of the oldest standing structures in the Black Hills. Rufus "Pap" Madison built it at the corner of Fifth and Rapid Street, the center of the original six-block town site.

The settlement was located within the Great Sioux Reservation and was a regular target of Lakota raiding parties. Lakota leaders had negotiated with the government for the land at the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty convention. By August 1876, stock had been run off and a number of residents had been killed. On August 25, most of the 200 or so settlers left for Ft. Pierre. The eighteen men and one woman who stayed, including Madison and town founder John Brennan, built a block house for protection just west of Madison's cabin.

Madison later homesteaded near Rapid City, and in 1892 he moved to Washington, selling his Rapid City property to John Brennan. The cabin was then used as a barn.

In 1926 the Fortnightly Club, a group of prominent women including Alice Gossage of the Rapid City Daily Journal, obtained approval from the City Commissioners to

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have the cabin moved to Halley Park. John Brennan's widow, Jenny donated the cabin to the city.

Extensive repairs were made, including a new roof and the addition of a fireplace. The original cabin, heated by a cook stove, had none. The Journal described the restored building as "a complete model of the early days" with a shake roof, homemade door with a latchstring, and a flat limestone fireplace. Teacher, historian, and writer Richard B. Hughes wrote the inscription memorialized in a plaque at the cabin's base.

The Madison cabin was the first historical museum in the area and displayed some of the artifacts of the Minnilusa Historical Association there now exhibited in The Journey Museum. In 1938 a stone structure was built in Halley Park by the Works Progress Administration with private support. It housed both the Minnilusa and Sioux Indian Museum Collections until The Journey Museum was completed in 1997. Pap Madison's cabin mostly stood empty, occasionally housing garden equipment for the park In 1965 it was repaired and rotting logs were replaced with timber from another structure.

The Madison cabin was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. On April 24, 2012, the cabin made one last journey, traveling past its original location on Fifth Street to his permanent location on The Journey campus. Once again it will help tell the stories

The Pap Madison Cabin image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, February 16, 2020
2. The Pap Madison Cabin
of Rapid City's early days.

Photo captions:
Original town site map. Can you find Rufas "Pap" Madison's Cabin?
The Fortnightly Club obtained approval to move the cabin to Halley Park in 1926.
The cabin was moved to the Journey Museum in 2012.

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Settlements & SettlersWars, US Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1876.
Location. 44° 5.216′ N, 103° 13.139′ W. Marker is in Rapid City, South Dakota, in Pennington County. Marker can be reached from North 3rd Street north of Philadephia Street, on the right when traveling north. Located at the Journey Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 222 New York St, Rapid City SD 57701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Historic Pap Madison Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Black Hills Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Berlin Wall Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Celebrating Victory (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Berlin Wall Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Tank Traps (approx. 0.4 miles away); Confrontation (approx. 0.4 miles away); A City Divided (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rapid City.

Cabin Interior image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, February 16, 2020
3. Cabin Interior
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2020, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 17, 2020, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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May. 29, 2023