You are here

Scrap Sculptures, Dinosaurs and more: Grand River Museum


PIERRE, S.D. – Creative art and family fun await you at the Grand River Museum in Lemmon, S.D.

Founded in 1998, the Grand River Museum is a cultural and natural history institution working to preserve the past for the generations of tomorrow.

"Education is definitely a part of what we do here," said Stuart Schmidt, co-founder of the Grand River Museum. "Hands on activities, question and answer games and cultural diversity all contribute to what we have to offer."

The museum boasts a large number of scrap sculptures and bronzes by John Lopez, ranching and Native American culture displays, dinosaurs and fun activities for children. Families can go on scavenger hunts, learn about the history of the Wild West or even touch real dinosaur bones!

"People are always surprised at what they find when they arrive, like it’s more than they expected," continued Schmidt. "We’ve managed to establish a big city museum in a small town atmosphere. We’re very proud of that."

The Grand River Museum will open its doors for the season on May 1. Located on Highway 12 in Lemmon, the museum is hard to miss…and the giant scrap sculpture of a T-Rex out front doesn’t hurt either.

"John Lopez’s T-Rex sculpture is probably the biggest visitor draw we have at the museum," said Schmidt. "People come to a screeching halt when they see that sitting outside."

For more information on the Grand River Museum, contact Phyllis Schmidt at 605-374-7574 or visit

The In Your Own Backyard series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique areas and attractions all across South Dakota. Click on the special "In Your Own Backyard" link at to access the complete list of articles.

The In Your Own Backyard series is part of Goal 1 of the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota. The Office of Tourism serves under the direction of Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development.