D E A D W O O D
of Deadwood | Links about Deadwood
Gulch from Scribners monthly - 1877
is in the Black Hills, in western South Dakota, 30 miles east
of the Wyoming border. It was incorporated in 1876. The city is
set in a narrow canyon (Deadwood Gulch), with many streets built
up its steep sides. It currently is the county seat of Lawrence
County. The original camp was called Deadwood because of the vast
amount of dead and down timber in the region. An attempt to change
the name to Miles City, in honor of the General just then winning
his honors for the Indian wars, failed. The town was first populated
during the gold rush in the Black Hills.
oldest existing record of discovery of gold in the Black Hills
was in 1833, when a party of seven adventurers came into
the Hills from Laramie, remaining a year and discovering gold.
The party was destroyed by Indians near Spearfish (which is near
Deadwood) and all record of it lost for more than fifty years.
What is called the "Thoen
Stone" was found at Spearfish in 1887 by Louis and Ivan
Thoen. Reportedly written on a slab of rock was a message that
seven men, led by Ezra Kind, had come to the hills in 1833 hunting
gold, and that they were attacked by Indians. Apparently they
perished in 1833-34.
in June 1854,
Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden, a geologist of repute, visited Bear
Butte on the eastern border of the Hills, and in 1857 Lieut.
Governor K. Warren [see
photo] accompanied by Dr. Hayden and a military escort, passed
along the western side of the Black Hills, and crossed through
them, via Harney Peak, and along the eastern side as far as Bear
Butte. There was not further attempt at exploration until July
1874, when Gen. Custer with his regiment of cavalry and a
corps of scientists came down from Fort Abraham Lincoln, entering
the Hills from the west side, passing through them, scaling Harney
Peak en route and discovering gold upon French Creek, near the
city of Custer. A minute record of this exploration was kept and
the substance of it published in the "Report of a Reconnaisance
of the Black Hills of Dakota, made in the summer of 1874"
William Ludlow, chief engineer, Department of Dakota, U.S.
report of Custer's exploration created great excitement and a
rush of gold hunters was precipitated; but the government intervened
and attempted to keep the miners out until a treaty with the Indians
could be negotiated. Some, however, evaded the military and entered
the Black Hills in the autumn of 1874. In the spring of
1875 the government sent Dr.
Walter P. Jenney, under a military escort in command of Col.
Richard I. Dodge, to make a geological reconnaissance of the hills,
and he substantially verified the findings of Custer.
September 1875, the government assembled at Red Cloud agency
all of the Indians claiming rights in the Hills, for the purpose
of negotiating a treaty, but was unable to reach an agreement.
After that the military withdrew all active opposition to miners
entering the region and during the fall and winter following a
large number (said to exceed 15,000 assembled), chiefly in the
neighborhood of Custer.
There are TWO versions on who first discovered Deadwood:
Story #1: From
Pa-ha-sa-pah, Or, The Black Hills of South Dakota, by Peter Rosen,
published 1895: "According to some authorities Ed. Murphy
and others from Montana visited Deadwood gulch in the late autumn
of 1875 and were the first discoverers of gold. Murphy wrote to
John Hildebrand, who in April 1876, came on from Montana bringing
a considerable party with him. On the 13th day of November Frank
Bryant found gold in Deadwood while hunting deer, and on the 15th
of the same month, he with one of his party, commenced to prospect
Deadwood gulch, and on the 17th, the following notice was written
on a spruce tree by Bryant:--
'We the undersigned, claim three hundred (300) feet below this
notice for discovery, and nine hundred (900) feet or three claims
above this notice for mining purposes. [Signed] Frank S. Bryant,
William Cudney, W.H. Coder.'
Story #2: It was reported in the Deadwood News in
October, 1880, that the honor of discovering Deadwood Gulch probably
belongs to Dan Meckles, who with a party of seven were sluicing
on Castle Creek. This party had packed an old wagon box, in small
pieces, of which they had made a sluice box and had undergone
great hardships to reach Castle Creek, and after three days' hard
work had cleaned up $3-10. Discouraged, they were thinking of
returning, when Meckles came into camp and announced that he had
discovered a gulch where he could get 50 cents to the pan. The
party, loath to believe him, thought they would look it up, and
after several days of wandering brought up near the base of Bald
Mountain. Going up near the summit at Terraville, they got a view
of the surrounding country and going down Deadwood Gulch they
camped near where Gayville was to be.
Gay panned out the first panful of dirt and got 50 cents; others
tried it with equal success. Convinced that they had struck it,
they started in to build a cabin--the first ever built in the
gulch. They named it Deadwood Gulch on account of the immense
amount of dead timber which filled the gulch. The names of the
party were Dan Meckles, J.B. Pierson, Joe Ingoldsby, Wm. Gay,
Wm. Laudner, Ed McCay, James Mayer, Harry Gammage, and old man
Haggart. They had saddle and pack animals, some tools and a little
stock of provisions. Elk and deer were abundant and they had all
the meat they wanted.
arrived at Deadwood Gulch November 9, 1875, and the same
day staked off their claims, 300 feet long up and down the gulch,
and as wide as the gulch. In a few days they were joined by a
party from Montana, and had camped where Spearfish City stands.
Nearly all of them were delighted with the country and declared
that they had found the "Happy Land of Canaan," one
of whom, R.H. Evans, picked out a ranch and declared he would
quit mining and go farming. Mr. Evans kept his word, for after
mining and prospecting for many years, he located a ranch one
mile below Spearfish, and became one of the most successful grangers
in the country.
a freighter, brough in a whipsaw, and got out lumber which he
sold for $150 a thousand. Population increased rapidly, and in
December, at a meeting held on the 9th, the district was named
the Lost Mining District, and William Laudner was elected recorder.
In January, 1876, quartz locations were made. The first
one was called the Giant; and the quart district was named Whitewood.
January 1876 the Deadwood gulch was staked off in forty
placer-mining claims...The towns of Montana City, North and South
Deadwood, Fountain City, Chinatown and Cleveland grew up rapidly;
all these form now the busy city of Deadwood.
having been discovered in Deadwood Gulch, a stampede to the diggings
almost depopulated the town of Custer in the spring of 1876.
to the Pioneer, the town of Deadwood was laid out April
26th, 1876 by Craven Lee, Isaac Brown, J.J. Williams and others.
A provisional government was organized and E.B.
Farnum chosen mayor. Farnum was a merchant, and held his court
regularly, sitting on a sack of flour or a box of bacon, dispensing
justice with an impartial hand. The council was made up of Keller
Kurtz, Sol Star, Frank Philbrook, Joseph
Miller and James McCauly, with John A. Swift for city clerk, and
Colonel Stapleton city marshal.
of 1876 - Al Swearingen opens the Gem Saloon and Dance Hall
[in the Spring of 1877 it expanded to the Gem Theatre].
June 8th, 1876 the Pioneer became the first newspaper
published in the Black Hills. It was first owned by W.A. McLaughlin
and A.W. Merrick. It says in one
of its first issues: "Bustle and confusion was prevalent
everywhere. Each day and almost each hour witnessed the arrival
of greater or less parties of gold seekers who, finding some eligible
location to corral their wagons or pitch their tents, immediately
mixed with the throng and became one of us. Glowing reports filled
the air. Placers yielded fabulously, and quartz brilliant with
gold passed from hand to hand. Speculation in town lots amounted
to a furore of the wildest kind. Everyone wanted to buy real estate;
all did who could. Building was at its height, taxing to the utmost
Boughton and Berry's sawmill which stood on Sherman street and
was in continuous operation....Saloons multiplied astonishingly,
and gambling was carried on without limit and without regard to
hours--in fact all hours, day and night, were alike--and "always
open" the motto of all. C.H. Wagner opened the first resemblance
of a hotel--the Grand Central--and was speedily followed by Jimmy
Vandoniker with the IXL. Both houses did an immense business from
the start, it being considered a luxury to occupy a chair in the
office during the night. The first practicing physician was Dr.
McKinney; the first druggist Julius Deetkin; Joseph Miller and
William George the first attorneys at law; Furman & Brown
opened the first general stock of groceries; M.m. Gillette the
first jewelry establishment; Bear & McKinnis the first wholesale
first theatre was opened on July 22d, 1876. The building,
a frame, was inclosed around the four sides but had a canvas roof,
and the floor was of earth covered with sawdust. It is said that
during the first stage performance a heavy rain fell, drenching
the audience and the stage; but the play went on and the greater
part of the audience remained.
years 1876 and 1877 were characterized by much lawlessness and
a considerable number of men were killed in the frequent quarrels.
The town was full of gamblers and shooting was a common pastime.
About the First of August 1876, one Jerry McCarthy killed
Jack Hinch. Jerry made his escape to Fort Laramie but he was arrested
and brought back. The trial took place at Gayville. A S. Simmonton
acted as the court, John A. Smith was clerk, A.H. Chapline attorney
for the prosecution, and Joseph Miller for the defense. A guard
of twenty men took the place of the sheriff and posse. A jury
was drawn, witnesses were present, and the trail, which took place
in the open air, continued into the night. The jury rendered a
verdict of not guilty. The mob were in favor of lynching the jury,
but the guards leveled their weapons and stood them off. The prisoner
was taken out a back door, brought to Deadwood, given a horse
and gun, and directed to get out of the country as soon as possible.
He leaped into the saddle, put spurs to his horse, and with one
farewell whoop disappeared at full speed down the gulch.
2, 1876, Seth Bullock and his partner,
Sol Star, arrive in Deadwood with the intent
of setting up a mercantile shop.
August 2nd , the same day on which Wild Bill
was murdered, a Mexican came galloping up Main Street, with the
head of an Indian from which blood was still dripping, hanging
on the horn of his saddle...they made up a purse of sixty dollars
and presented it to the Mexican for his heroic deed. [per Pa-ha-sa-pah,
or the Black Hills of South Dakota, by Peter Rosen] "On the
first day of August 1876, a band of Indians dashed into Crook
City and stampeded all the horses that were running losse about
the place...every man in town...went in pursuit. Among the number
was one Felix Rooney from Potter Co., Pennsylvania, who...rode
up to the bluffs back of the town in time to see the Indians in
the distance but out of reach of their guns....Rooney dismounted
and laid on the grass...his horse..held by his lariat-rope. A
bull-whacker coming along, dismounted and stopped for a short
time with Rooney. Both men were well armed. Soon an Indian appeared
in full war dress, dashed up to Rooney's horse, apparently thinking
that the animal was picketed. On seeing Rooney he grabbed his
rifle but somehow the same was fast in some way; he then drew
a forty-five caliber Colt revolver and aimed it directly at Rooney...[who]
was taken by surprised...[and] felt flat to the ground the moment
the Indian fired his revolver. He afterwards said that he felt
as being shot. He soon discovered to his great delight that he
was alive and that the Indian was the dead man. At the moment
the Indian leveled his gun, the bullwhacker fired and killed him.
As the people of Deadwood had offered a reward of $200 for an
Indian scalp, the aforesaid Mexican finding the Indian soon after,
took his scalp and brought it to Deadwood expecting the reward.
He got sixty dollars, went on a spree and before it was over he
too was killed between Deadwood and Crook City."
Wild Bill Hickok was murdered in the
No. 10 in Deadwood on August 2, 1876 by Jack
McCall, during a poker game. He is buried in the original
old cemetery in Deadwood. His body is later moved to Mt. Moriah
5, 1876 - Seth Bullock and Sol Star announce they will open
an auction and storage house (Seth was an auctioneer in Montana)
[from "Black Hill's Pioneer," newspaper].
On August 12, 1876, according to the "Black Hills
Daily Pioneer, smallpox broke out in the town (mild form). Seven
days later a "pest house" was set up for those afflicted.
On August 19, 1876, according to the "Black Hills
Daily Pioneer," Seth Bullock is elected commissioner and
August 20, 1876, Rev. H.W. Smith dies,
reportedly following an attack by Indians. He is buried in Mt.
Moriah Cemetery. [some records state this happened on August 2nd]
The Bella Union opens one month and a few days after Hickok's
death, namely September 10, 1876. Tom Miller is named as
the proprietor in the "Black Hills Daily Pioneer."
In 1876 General George Crook (1828-1890), Commander of
the Department of the Platte made his first visit to Dakota to
remove gold hunters from the Black Hills before a treaty legalized
their entry. In 1876 he fought Crazy Horse on the Rosebud River
and was defeated. Later that season, pursuing the hostiles with
the Third Cavalry and the Fifth Infantry, he found their provisions
exhausted and the praries burned off. Deadwood was the nearest
base and he started through the gumbo. It rained continuously
for eleven days and the men lived on horse meat. Enroute he fought
the battle of Slim Buttes. After great hardship he reached Deadwood
in 1876. The "Black Hills Daily Pioneer" of Sep 23
1876 announced his visit.
By resolution of the Deadwood
Council, a committee, consisting of the first mayor, Farnum, and
councilmen Kurtz, Dawson, and Philbrick, was sent out to meet
General Crook and extend to him and his officers the freedom of
the city....they...brought along with them a most acceptable present
of butter, eggs, and vegetables raised in the Hills."
surrounding knolls were thickly grassed; cold, clear water stood
in deep pools hemmed in by thick belts of timber; and there was
an abundance of juicy wild plums, grapes and bull berries, now
fully ripe, and adding a grateful finish to meals, which included
nearly everything that a man could desire, brought down in wagons
by the enterprising dealers of Deadwood, who reaped a golden harvest.
were somewhat bewildered at sitting down before a canvas upon
which were to be seen warm bread baked in ovens dug in the ground,
delicious coffee, to the aromas of which we had been for so long
a time strangers, groiled and stewed meat, fresh eggs, pickles,
preserves, and fresh vegetables.
the law of the community, a gold placer or ledge could be followed
anywhere, regardless of other property rights; in consequence
of this, the office of "The Pioneer" (newspaper) was
on stilts, being kept in countenance by a Chinese laundryman whose
establishment was in the same predicament. Miners were at work
under them, and it looked as if it would be come economical to
establish one's self in a balloon in the first place.
followed a reception in the "Deadwood Theatre and Academy
of Music," built one-half of boards and the other half of
canvas. After the reception, there was a performance by "Miller's
Grand Combination Troupe, with the Following Array of Stars."
It was the usual variety show of the mining towns and villages,
but much of it was quite good; one of the saddest interpolations
was the vocalization by Miss Viola de Montmorency, the Queen of
Song, prior to her departure for Europe to sing before the crowned
heads. Miss Viola was all right, but her voice might have had
stitches in it, and been one the worse...."
left...to walk along the main street and look upon the stores,
which were filled with all articles desirable in a mining district...Clothing,
heavy and light, hardware, tinware, mess-pans, camp-kettles, blankets,
saddlery, harness, rifles, cartridges, wagon-grease and blasting
powder, india-rubber boots and garden seeds, dried and canned
fruits, sardines, and yeast powders, loaded down the shelves;
the medium of exchange was gold dust; each counter displayed a
pair of delicate scales, and every miner carried a buckskin pouch
containing the golden grains required for daily use.
were not in circulation, and already commanded a premium of five
percent, on account of their portability. Gaming hells flourished,
and all kinds of games of chance were to be found--three card
monte, keno, faro, roulette and poker. Close by were the "hurdy-gurdies,"
where the music from asthmatic pianos timed the dancing of painted,
padded and leering Aspasias, too hideous to hope for a livelihood
in any village less remote from civilization."
general tone of the place was one of good order and law, to which
vice and immorality must bow.
In Oct 1876, Sol Star becomes Deadwood City Councilman
["The Black Hills Pioneer'].
In 1877, in an article entitled, "A Trip to the Black
Hills," Leander P. Richardson describes Deadwood as follows:
"Buildings, known as 'ranches'abound
along the lines of all the stage and freight roads in the Black
Hills, forming a peculiar phase of frontier life. They are hotels,
bar-rooms, and stores for general merchandise, all combined in
one, and the whole business is usually transacted in a single
room. In fact, but few of them can boast of more than one apartment.
At any of these places, a traveler can purchase almost anything,
from a glass of whisky to a four-horse team, but the former article
is usually the staple of demand.
the side of a steep hill the road wound its way into the lower
end of Deadwood Gulch. The gulch is about ten miles long, and
very winding in its course. Through its bottom stretches a long
line of shanties and tents, forming in all, four towns. At the
lower end is Montana City, then come Elizabeth Town, Deadwood
City, and Gayeville (or Gaye City). Our train finally halted in
Deadwood City, and we were immediately surrounded by a crowd of
miners, gamblers and other citizens, all anxious to hear from
the outer world. It was Sunday afternoon, and all the miners in
the surrounding neighborhoods were spending the day in town. The
long street was crowded with men in every conceivable garb. Taken
as a whole, I never in my life saw so many hardened and brutal-looking
men together, although of course there were a few better faces
among them. Every alternate house was a gambling saloon, and each
of them was carrying on a brisk business. In the middle of the
street a little knot of men had gathered, and were holding a prayer-meeting,
which showed in sharp contrast to the bustling activity of wickedness
surrounding it. [He goes on to describe meeting
Charley Utter and Wild Bill Hickock].
My stay in the Deadwood region was of five days' duration.
The mines now in operation are all gluch, or sluice mines, although
prospecting for quartz mining is constantly going on. Five or
six, possibly ten, mines in the whole region pay from $200 to
$2,000 per day. The largest amount I saw taken from any one excavation
in a single day was $1,085, which was the result of the work of
seven men employed by the owner. The average Deadwood gluch mine
will just about pay "grub," and those that pay good
living wages are rare. Seven out of every ten men in the whole
region have no money and no means of getting any. The Deadwood
ground is all taken up, and men do not dare to go out prospecting
away from the main body, on account of the Indians. Summed up
briefly, the condition of mining affairs is this: placer mines
all taken up; quartz mines the only resource left. In order to
work these, capital, machinery and mills for the crushing of ore
must be introduced. Men of wealth will hesitate about sending
capital into a country so far from a railroad, communication,
and about which so little is definitely known. Most of the men
now in the Black Hills are laboring men, inexperienced as miners.
Their chances for employment in the mines, then, are small, and
their prospects in quartz mining are even poorer. The mineral
riches of the Black Hills cannot be developed for fully twenty-five
years to come. So far no great success has followed the best efforts;
what future work will bring forth is a matter of uncertainty,
of course, but there seems little reason for prophesying anything
Farming there is out of the question.
Throughout a great part of the district heavy frosts begin in
September; snow-storms did not cease last spring until the eleventh
day of June. Every farmer will see what a country where winter
reigns from September to June cannot support its inhabitants upon
its agricultural products. It follows, then, that the necessaries
of life must always be imported at immense cost. There is to be
considered the collateral fact that during a greater part of this
long season of ice and snow, placer-miners cannot work. Men can
earn enough money in two months of labor to subsist with profit
through ten months of idleness? It is asserted by miners and engineers,
grown gray in experience, that a region where mining cannot be
carried on at least seven months out of every twelve, can never
be of any permanent value to its operators.
have no hesitation in saying that i think the Black Hills will
eventually prove a failure. The trip thence would be a severe
trial for most men, even if the danger of being murdered were
removed. At present the journey is exceedingly dangerous, and
if by good fortune the gold-hunter succeeeds in surviving his
hardships and getting through alive, his chances for success are
few and his expenses necessarily will be large."
to the "Black Hills Daily Pioneer" of Mar 17, 1877,
Seth Bullock was appointed Sheriff.
1877 - Seth Bullock and Sol Star are County Commissions [from
"Black Hills Pioneer," newspaper]
31, 1887 - Gem Saloon sold for back taxes.
Isaac "Ike" Brown Brown and his partner, Craven Lee
opened the first saloon in Deadwood. By July of 1877 there
was over 75 saloons in Deadwood. Ike also opened a grocery store
adjoining the saloon. Over the door of his Store/Saloon was conspicuously
painted a crescent shaped sign " Zion's Cooperative Mercantile
Institution." Again, reportedly Isaac Brown was the man who
followed Jack McCall up Main Street, after he killed "Wild
Bill Hickok," and took the him in custody. Ike took Jack
to a cabin behind the saloon and locked him up to sleep off his
alcohol. According to one web site, Judge Kuykendall who was asked
to preside over the trial knew and trusted Isaac Brown. A web
site states he appointed Ike as the first sheriff of Deadwood
to guard Jack McCall and protect the Judge during the trial. [Note:
actually this is not true, since according to local papers, Seth
Bullock was appointed sheriff in March of the same year, 4 months
of transportation were established from Laramie, Sidney, Fort
Pierre and Bismark [mostly by stage coach and bull trains] and
the population grew rapidly, despite the protest of the Indians
and the war of that summer (1876). A treaty relinquishing the
Hills was negotiated that autumn and proclaimed on Feb. 27,
1877, giving legal status to the white population and establishing
courts and orderly government.
September 28, 1877 - Seth Bullock loses when he runs for
sheriff [from "Black Hills Pioneer," newspaper] John
Manning wins (see below).
1878 description of Deadwood is as follows:
city of Deadwood is located at the northern extremity of the Black
Hills, at the confluence of Deadwood and Whitewood Creeks, and
about eight miles in the interior--or from the foothills where
the latter stream enters the prarie. The position, while not at
all eligible for a settlement of any kind, much less for a city
of the pretensions of Deadwood, has been so improved by artificial
means, that not only are a surprisingly large number of people
housed within its limits, but the tout ensemble is very pleasing
to the eye. Originally the narrow gulch admitted of but one strees,
but excavations and cribbing have gradually added one after another
until the entire north hill is now cut up into avenues, like steps,
appropriately named, and lined with pretty little cottages and
dwellings of more elaborate designs. The southern hill, owing
to its abruptness, is valueless for building sites, and, with
the exception of one or two crudely constructed log cabins, regular
"old timers," which threaten to wreck themselves and
residences below at any moment, its breast is bare and ininviting.
The city proper, as generally understood (there is no legally
defined limits), is about one mile long, and contains at the present
time about six thousand inhabitants, the male portion being engaged
almost exclusively in mercantile and other legitimate business
pursuits. Deadwood, although not immediately at the mines, is
considered the metropolis of the Hills, being the county seat
of Lawrence county, and having the land office, courts, banks,
express offices, stage headquarters, signal service station, and
commission houses--conveniences found nowhere else in the hills--and
in addition contains many large jobbing houses, retail stores
of every description; two excellent hotels; two daily, one weekly,
and one semi-monthly papers; two churches--Congregational and
Catholic schools; the telegraph; a fire department; efficient
constabulary force; a large and most excellent society that is
daily increasing; and all the concomitants of a well regulated
and prosperous community. Three daily mails, a money order post
office, the telegraph and banks, present facilities for conducting
business, equal with those elsewhere enjoyed. Comfortable dwellings,
marts of trade of all kinds, keeping stocks of graded qualities
to suit the tastes and purses of every one, the poor as well as
the rich; a charming climate, plenty of vigorous exercise and
universal prosperity, makes life in the Hills both pleasant and
as originally constructed was chiefly composed of buildings of
pine logs or flimsy board structures common to mining camps. A
great population had crowded into the narrow gulch and there was
a large accumulation of personal property.
July 1, 1879 - Sol Star becomes postmaster of Deadwood
[from "Black Hills Pioneer" newspaper]
2 o'clock in the morning of September 26, 1879, the great
mass of flammable material [reportedly starting in Mrs. Ellsnera's
Bakery on Sherman Street]. Reportedly the fire spread to a nearby
hardware store, and eight kegs of gunpowder blew up turning the
town into a furnace. The fire apparatus was destroyed before the
firemen could reach it and the city was left utterly at the mercy
of the flames. There was little insurance.
Three hundred buildings were destroyed and two thousand people
were left homeless. Fortunately there was no loss of life. With
the courage of pioneers the citizens at once rebuilt, laying the
foundation of the Deadwood that endures. (Note: the new houses
were built from brick or stone, rather than wood, to help prevent
further devastating fires).
1880 the sheriff of Deadwood was a John. J. Manning, with
his brother Thomas and cousin John acting as deputies.
1880 United States Federal Census > Dakota Territory >
Lawrence > Deadwood Township (District 120)
John J. W M 36 Sheriff, Ireland, SC, NY
Manning, Frankie W F 18 wife Keeping House, Colorado, Ohio, --
Manning, Frankie W F 2 daughter, Dakota
Manning, Mary J. W F 25 sister, Wisconsin -- --
Manning, Thomas W M 45 brother, deputy sheriff, Ireland -- --
Manning, John P. W M 25 cousin, deputy sheriff, Wisconsin, Ireland,
Manning, Pat W M 22 cousin, Wisconsin, Ireland, Ire
1884 - Sol Star wins election, and
becomes Mayor of Deadwood [From "Black Hills Pioneer,"
1885 - Sol Star badly crippled with rheumatism [From "Black
Hills Pioneer," newspaper]
Chicago and Northwestern railroad reached the Black Hills, via
Northern Nebraska in 1886 and was completed into Deadwood in
In April, 1892, Antoinette Ogden described her recent trip
to Deadwood, in a published article as follows:
"We traverse into another geological zone. We are gradually
losing the pines too. Within some twenty miles of Deadwood the
Hills are entirely bare, shorn to supply the great reduction works
with fuel. The streams that come tumbling toward us are all of
a reddish-brown, like liquid elay. They have been interrupted
in their course, and this is the way they have returned to their
beds, after a whirl through the great mills and a close contact
Deadwood, the great mining centre of the Hills, lies in the deep
gulches of the Whitewood and the Deadwood creeks. It has been
twice destroyed: once by fire in 1879, when property to the extent
of a million and a half is said to have evaporated in pine smoke;
then again in 1883, when abnormal snows and rains
sent the mountain streams down the gulches in torrents; and strange
to say, it was both times rebuilt upon its original site, with
the main street running down the gulch, and the cross-streets
scrambling up the hillsides, over the very ground where the minders
of 1876 staked their claims and panned out their gold. The wild
days of the history of Deadwood are included between 1877 and
1885, the days of "excitements," of "hurdy-gurdies,"
and the hazing of the "tenderfoot;" for, although the
town was incorporated as a city in 1880, its mining-camp character
disappeared totally only several years after that time.
From 1876 to 1877 the pioneers may have said to have fought the
grizzly and the elements. The striking feature of Deadwood today
is its decorousness, at least its outward decorousness. It is,
perhaps, that of the blase, who has had his fill of the kind of
excitement which finds a vent in noise and thrills. Be this as
it may, the streets of this town of men, and of men more or less
bent on the same pursuit, and breathing an atmosphere avowedly
intoxicating, are as quiet by night as they are by day. The advent
of two railroads, with their narrow gauges to Lead City and Bald
Mountains, their spurs up every gluch and to the very dumps of
nearly every mind, absorbing all the traffic formerly done by
ox-teams, drays, and stages, has cleared the streets of much noise
and incumbrance, but also of much local color. In such towns as
this the typical disappears with the lawless.
1892 - Sol Star leaves Deadwood to visit Minneapolis, MN where
he will attend the Republican National Convention.
1, 1903 - "Calamity Jane" Cannary Burk dies in nearby
Terry, S.D. She is buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery, next to "Wild
10, 1917 - Sol Star dies. He is buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery.
23, 1919 - Seth Bullock dies. He is buried in Mount Moriah
[From Deadwood.org] In the late 1980s, visitors to the town
of Deadwood discovered boarded-up storefronts, crumbling facades
and a community with a once proud past that was slowly suffering
from the ravages of time. That was before an unlikely benefactor--
limited stakes gaming - gave Deadwood a new lease on life and
fueled the transformation of an entire town.
than a decade and $150 million later, Deadwood ranks as the largest
restoration and preservation project ever undertaken in the U.S.
This is the community of 1,300 residents that decided to save
itself. Today, Victorian facades, brick streets, period lighting
and colorful trolleys greet visitors to this, one of the few communities
in America listed as a National Historic Landmark.
average summer temperature is 68° F; the average winter
temperature is 24° F. A
short car-trip away from Deadwood is Mount Rushmore, the Crazy
Horse Monument, Badlands National Park, Devil's Tower, and Harney
Peak, the highest mountain east of the Rockies. Nearby Rapid City,
also founded in 1876, is the county seat and home to Ellsworth
Air Force Base. It's the second-largest city in South Dakota,
and its major economic activities include mining, lumber, and
agriculture. The cost of living in Deadwood is low while good
jobs in the gaming and tourism industry are plentiful.
City of Deadwood Web Site
of Deadwood - from Mapquest
SEE Photographs of Deadwood, old and current
WEB CAM of Deadwood
Chamber of Commerce
The Black Hills are an isolated mass of elevations, about one hundred
and twenty miles in extent, from northwest to southwest, with an
average width of fifty miles, their area being not less than 6,000
square miles. They are so called from the sombre aspect they present
from a distant view, caused by the vast evergreen forests of pine
with which they are generally clothed. Many are still ignorant of
their geographical position, often confounding them with the two
mountain districts of the same designation south of the Platte river,
in Southeastern Wyoming. According to the latitudinal lines, they
are about sixty miles noth and a little over eight hundred miles
west of Chicago, and are situated between two forks of the Cheyenne
river, which surround them so completely that both these streams
have their origin in the same locality, and their head waters interlock.
The north current is called the Belle Fourche, or Beautiful Fork.
The highest peaks are from 5,600 to 8,000 feet high.
The golden Northwest by Goldsmith B. West, Chicago, Rollins
Publishing Co., 1878, page 99-100.
"Deadwood" (main web site)
Link - the History of Deadwood
South Dakota - Wikipedia
Fascinating Facts about HBO's Deadwood
History of the Dakota Territory, by George W. Kingsbury; Chicago,
The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company; 1915, Page 929
Doane Robinson's encyclopedia of South Dakota; Pierre: The author,
1925, page 74, 158, 1009
The golden Northwest : a historical, statistical and descriptive
account of northern by Goldsmith B. West; Illinois, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Iowa, Dakota, Montana and Manitoba; Chicago: Rollins
Pub. Co., 1878, 131 pgs.
4. "A Trip to the Black Hills," by Leander P. Richardson:
pp. 748-756; Scribners monthly, an illustrated magazine for the
people; Volume 13, Issue 6; publisher, Scribner and son, published
April 1877; New York
6. "A Drive through the Black Hills" by Antionette Ogden:
pp. 449-462, The Atlantic monthly. Volume 69, Issue 414, published
by Atlantic Monthly Co. in April 1892
Pa-ha-sa-pah, Or, The Black Hills of South Dakota, by Peter Rosen,