Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries
In 1972, Ray and Rita Hillenbrand purchased the Triple Seven Ranch, a cattle ranch located between the Badlands of South Dakota and Rapid City. In 1985, the Hillenbrands decided to convert the ranch to a more environmentally friendly place and started ranching buffalo instead of cattle. Buffalo is much more suited to the plains weather and ecology than cattle. Today there are over 1,500 head of buffalo on the ranch.
The Hillenbrands expanded their interest in the plains and plains culture and decided that they would also like to preserve the heritage and culture of the Northern Plains tribes and to present that heritage to the general public. Equally important to them was a mission to create an outlet for the finest in Native American fine arts and crafts. The successful end result was the Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries (606 Main St., 605/342-3086 or 800/541-2388, www.prairieedge.com, year-round Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.).
The store presents the best in traditional and contemporary Native American art, as well as work by local and regional non-native artists. From drums to dresses and artifacts, to jewelry, beadwork, glassware, pottery, quilts, fine art, clothing, beads and other art supplies, and unique gift items, this store has it all. The beautiful displays are a pleasure to view, and if you fall in love with a piece, you can take it home with you.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition