Fall River County Herald-Star, Pioneer Museum collaborate to reprint ‘Early Hot Springs’ book

Thirty-nine years after its first printing and 21 years after its second, the book “Early Hot Springs” is back into circulation thanks to a collaborative effort between the Fall River County Herald-Star and the Pioneer Museum.


By Marcus Heerdt

HOT SPRINGS – The Fall River County Herald-Star and the Pioneer Museum worked together over the past couple of months to get the book “Early Hot Springs” back on the shelf and available to the public.

“Visitors to the museum have been asking for it but, there just weren’t any copies left that we could find,” said Pioneer Museum Manager Dawn Johnson.

“Early Hot Springs” covers the history of the city from 1874 to 1920 and includes hundreds of black and white photographs.

The book was published originally by the Hot Springs Star in 1983, with a second printing in 2001. Information for the book was compiled and edited by Hot Springs authors and local historians Katherine Twomey and Helen Magee.

Katherine Twomey (1905-2001) moved to Hot Springs from Iowa with her husband Charles in 1935. Charles was the publisher of the Hot Springs Star from 1935 to 1947. Katherine loved to write poetry and in addition to “Early Hot Springs,” she is the author of the 1973 book “A Gardener’s Year.”

Helen Magee (1915-1999) was known as the city’s “unofficial historian” and recognized the importance of collecting and preserving the area’s history. She was the original author of the 90 Years Ago column, which can still be found in the Herald-Star today. Additionally, Helen served on the Hot Springs Library Board for 14 years and volunteered her time at the Pioneer Museum.

A couple of months ago, the newspaper and the museum worked out a deal where the newspaper would still retain the copyright of “Early Hot Springs” and the museum would be allowed to reprint and sell the book.

Johnson took an original copy of “Early Hot Springs” to The Little Print Shop in Rapid City where employees carefully made high-resolution scans of each page and then printed the pages and bound the book.

“The museum is grateful to the Herald-Star for allowing us to reprint and sell ‘Early Hot Springs’ so that more people can enjoy the history of the town,” Johnson said.

Copies of “Early Hot Springs” are available at the Pioneer Museum for $35, which is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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