Thanks to the help of one of our amazing donors another dream at the Ranch is coming true. Recently, we broke ground on a new 5,100 square foot visitor center. The McCrossan Center will feature a museum dedicated to displaying McCrossan’s ties to South Dakota history, featuring items like the South Dakota Bicentennial Wagon Train, displays on Melinda McCrossan’s contributions to the City of Sioux Falls and State of South Dakota and stories of our amazing history. The Ranch has a rich heritage and has been home to thousands of boys. Now they will have a place to bring their families and we will have a place to share their stories.
Over the years, numerous artifacts, pictures, and stories have been collected that together tell the story of the Ranch. Now these items will get to come out of storage and will be displayed properly for all to see. Increasingly McCrossan’s has become a tourist destination in the Sioux Falls region hosting about 50 tour groups each year. Visitors often request tours of the Ranch and want to learn about its history and current programs.
Approximately 100 alumni return each year to visit staff and connect with their McCrossan roots and family. The McCrossan Center will allow alumni to view and reflect on items from their unique time at the Ranch. McCrossan’s has embarked on a massive photo archiving project and soon all albums will be properly shelved and digitally archived as well. Boys will be able to search for pictures of their stay at the Ranch and take copies with them.
The new McCrossan Center will also feature a space to host groups. Service clubs, churches, bus tours and more will be able to stop for a meal, presentation and can check out the McCrossan Museum. The room will also be available to the community to use as well for special events, meetings and more. A gift shop will be featured and will sell McCrossan logo items, cookbooks, prints, refreshments and other fun pieces. It will give boys currently living at the Ranch an opportunity to create and sell items like post cards and other memorabilia. The gift shop will be staffed by volunteers as well as boys to give them the opportunity to welcome visitors while gaining on-campus job experience that will build future job skills.
We are especially grateful to Robert L. Nielsen of Highmore for making this project possible. The new Robert L. Nielsen McCrossan Center will be located right off Marion Road when you reach McCrossan Boys Ranch. It is near a beautiful grove of trees that will serve as a nature sanctuary for our guests. The beautiful McCrossan horses will also be nearby for all to enjoy. The McCrossan Center is expected to be open in early Summer 2019. Stay tuned!