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Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota Veterans Home to Celebrate 130th Anniversary

FOR RELEASE:  Friday, August 23, 2019


For more information, contact: Audry Ricketts at 605-773-8242 or audry.ricketts@state.sd.us (South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs)


Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota State Veterans Home to Celebrate 130th Anniversary


PIERRE, S.D. The Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota State Veterans Home in Hot Springs will host its 130th Anniversary celebration on Friday, September 20, 2019.


The celebration kicks off with a community parade at 9:30 am (MT). The parade, coordinated by American Legion Post 71, will start at Centennial Park in downtown Hot Springs and travel up North River Street and on to Minnekahta Avenue, with the procession arriving at MJFSVH around 10:30 am (MT). Parade entry forms can be obtained at Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce office in the Mueller Civic Center.  


The anniversary celebration will continue with presentations at 11:00 am at the front entry at the Home (2500 Minnekahta Avenue).


Immediately following, VFW Post 3442 will provide a free-will lunch with entertainment provided. Tours of the campus will be provided starting at 1:00 pm


“Our entire campus, along with our community partners, are excited to host this celebration,” said Superintendent Brad Richardson.  “This 130th anniversary is truly a celebration of every South Dakota family who has supported our US military over the past decades. It underscores South Dakota’s rich legacy and commitment, over the past 130 years, to take care of our heroes and our allegiance to carry that mission into the next century.”    


Originally intended to serve as a home for disabled veterans of the Civil War, Hot Springs was selected as the location for the Home by the Dakota Territory legislature. Thanks to lobbying by members of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Civil War-era veterans, whose leaders found the naturally warm mineral springs and mild weather of the Hot Springs area to be conducive to health.


The Home’s original construction began with the placing of the cornerstone on November 5, 1889, and the Home opened a year later with its first resident registering on November 25, 1890. The Home’s historic original building, known informally as “Building Two,” was made from locally quarried sandstone and is still utilized on campus.


The current Home opened in 2016, and is a 133,000-square-foot, two story facility with living spaces broken into eight neighborhoods that provide a home-like environment to the residents.


Since 1889, the staff and volunteers have carried out the mission “to honor and serve our South Dakota military veterans, their spouses, widows, or widowers, now and for generations to come.”


More information about the Home and the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs can be found online at: https://vetaffairs.sd.gov/veteranshome/Features.aspx and https://vetaffairs.sd.gov