Events in 2021 (scroll down to read more about each event)
Ongoing -- monthly member meetings We have been meeting by computer through Zoom during the pandemic. Check the schedule below or our Facebook page for meeting announcements. New members are welcome! If you're interested in joining us, pleaase send us your email address and ask to be included in the Zoom invitation.
January 2021 -- Annual Board Election was held via Zoom. February 2021 -- Member meeting held via Zoom. March 2021 -- Member meeting held via Zoom. *** Upcoming Events *** April 19, 2021 -- Member meeting scheduled for 7 pm via Zoom. April 20, 2021 -- HAHA volunteers to be honored as Hermosa Volunteers of the Year. Hermosa Town Office, 6 pm. August, 2021 -- Custer County Fair -- HAHA display booth. Dates and format to be announced. October 31, 2021 -- Trick-or-Treat and Jack-o-Lantern Invitational at the HAHA Museum front porch. December, 2021 -- HAHA Annual Christmas Carnival -- our gift to the community. Date and format to be announced.
HAHA Volunteers Honored April 20, 2021 Hermosa Town Office at 6 pm Every year the Town of Hermosa accepts nominations of citizens who have performed work or activities that are related to the Town of Hermosa or its citizens during the calendar year. (The person being nominated does not need to live within the town limits.)
Hermosa Volunteers of the Year are chosen based on the civic, volunteer, professional activities and accomplishments of the nominee, that show how this person has made a difference in the community.
HAHA is pleased and proud that two of our member volunteers have been chosen for this honor, two years in a row. Because of the pandemic, the 2020 Award was not formally presented at the time, so both the 2020 and the 2021 Awards will be presented on Tuesday, April 20th at 6 pm at the Hermosa Town Office.
Candice Leigh, Volunteer of the Year for 2020
The grant-writing and administration that Candice does behind the scenes is critical to many of HAHA's accomplishments over the years, keeping the HAHA Museum a living part of the Town of Hermosa. Candice not only finds and secures funding for our building restoration and collections preservation, but she oversees the grants to be sure we follow the rules in spending the money correctly.
A retired teacher, Candice is the driving force behind setting up the Hermosa 3rd Grade class programs about Laura Ingalls Wilder (presented by Linda Starbuck); the Hermosa 4th Grade owl pellet dissection (taught by Julie Brazell, owl pellets donated by Linda Hasselstrom); the Hermosa 8th Grade graduation class photos taken at the Museum porch each year; and the Rapid City Christian High School classes that have visited the HAHA Museum to learn about the Civil War (taught by Don Balyeat).
Candice also helps put together many of the displays of photos, text, and memorabilia that you see at our events-- with help from other HAHA volunteers, of course.
This photo of Candice was taken at a talk she (and Linda Hasselstrom and Rick Mills) gave at the Custer County Historical Society's monthly program in 2019, where the three HAHA members told about the past, present and future of HAHA, spreading the word about our community.
Lilah Pengra, Volunteer of the Year for 2021
Lilah is a member of the HAHA Publications Committee and Custer County Fair Committee, and contributes to a variety of activities conducted by both committees. In addition, she helped revise our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, drawing on years of experience with other non-profit organizations. Lilah writes monthly articles on Hermosa history for the Hermosa Newsletter, averaging ten to twelve per year. Each article is meticulously researched and usually includes quotes from newspapers of the day.
Lilah also created a consistent set of record-keeping forms for HAHA use, and as part of her work for the Publication Committee, she creates and compiles a booklet of history and humor, distributed free to the community, which she named the HOOT “Hermosa Oddities and Old-Timers.”
Despite her extensive research of the Civil War veterans who lived in eastern Custer County, Lilah also managed to complete a three-year research project into the origins and extent of the Battle River Cemetery at Hermosa. The book, titled A Hermosa Mystery: Battle River Cemetery 1880 – 1895, will be offered for sale through HAHA in the spring of 2021.
Other recent projects include writing a history of the Masonic Lodge in Hermosa as a contribution to the statewide Masonic Lodges of South Dakota book being assembled and compiling a short history of the 1890 volunteer militia raised from residents along Spring, Battle, Dry and Beaver creeks in Custer County just before the massacre at Wounded Knee. Lilah is just beginning work on a history of the vanished town of Phinney and the old settlement of Lame Johnny, and expects that her research on these places may well take three years.