Landmark Video Project Explores Community History

"In 2016, a project was conceived by Heritage Hall Museum & Archives to create a professional-grade video that would explore the immigration journeys of the area's three ethnic Mennonite groups that ultimately came together to help create the City of Freeman alongside their Lutheran and Reformed neighbors. 

The video traces the Hutterite, Swiss and Low German Mennonite groups from their Anabaptist origins in western Europe in the early 1500s, through years of persecution and searching for a place to live in peace, to finally ending up in relative proximity in Russia during the early 1800s, only to be propelled onward again in the 1870s. 

That final move brought all three groups to Dakota Territory and the area that is today the community of Freeman. It is the only place in the world where this unique configuration of Mennonites settled together and formed such a unique inter-working relationship.

Later that year, the project received a $3500 matching grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council and the project was jump-started into reality. FiveCore Media from Goshen, Indiana was commissioned to take on the project and in the summer of 2017 the video was shot in a several day process.

Fundraising is ongoing, so if you would like to contribute or just find out more about the project, head to their GoFundMe page at:


or contact the Heritage Hall Museum and Archives at:

605.925.7545 or museum@freemaninfo.com