This two-story, wood-framed building was constructed sometime in the 1890s. The original owners, designers, and builders are unknown. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a substantial number of Czech immigrants settled in southeastern South Dakota, primarily in Bon Homme and Yankton counties. A Czech fraternal organization, ZCBJ (Zapadni Ceska Bratrska Jednota), purchased this building in 1908 for use as a meeting hall. The organization of Czech Americans was founded in 1897, and in the 1970s became known as the Western Fraternal Life Association.
Fraternal organizations were important to small communities during the early twentieth century. In addition to providing activities and places to socialize, they often provided welfare-like insurance and support to families who immigrated to the area and were in need of assistance. Most Tyndall residents were Czech, and the hall doubled as the town’s social center, where concerts, plays, and meetings were held. After a fire burned the Tyndall School in 1929, this building also served as temporary classroom space.
The building retains a high degree of historic integrity. It sits on a stone and concrete basement foundation, has its original wood siding, recessed panel doors, and many of its multipaned wood sash windows. The roof is now clad in metal. Much of the early interior is also intact and includes a stage, lunch room, upstairs meeting rooms, and the old furnace in the basement.
The building was used as the ZCBJ Hall until 1950, when it was sold to a private owner for storage. It has remained a warehouse ever since.
Stewart, James, and Gerlad Wolff, “ZCBJ Hall,” Bon Homme County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1985. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.