History

Middle Border History…A Proud Heritage

The Middle Border Region

The Middle Border Region

It was called the Middle Border. It was a place where two halves of a young, expanding country met, a place of promise and opportunity – a place of challenge and hardship. Above all, it was a place where people came, led by their dreams, to carve out a new life.

In one way or another, everything that exists here today stands as a tribute to those people — a testament to their determination not just to survive in this rugged place, but to flourish. Their legacy to us is a proud heritage. The Friends of the Middle Border, Inc. which owns and operates the Dakota Discovery Museum, was founded in 1939.

Hamlin Garland

A Daughter of the Middle Border by Hamlin Garland

"A Daughter of the Middle Border" by Hamlin Garland

Author Hamlin Garland (1860-1940), whose family homesteaded in Dakota Territory, described life and the taming of the prairies in several of his novels including A Daughter of the Middle Border, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1921.

One of the museum’s incorporators in 1939, Garland provided the name that described the museum’s mission – the promotion and preservation of the art, history and culture of the peoples of the Middle Border region.