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.
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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. 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.
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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: 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.
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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 remarkable. 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.
I 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.
July 31, - Gem Saloon sold for back taxes. By July of there was over 75 saloons in Deadwood. Ike also opened a grocery store adjoining the saloon. 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.
Lines 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 A treaty relinquishing the Hills was negotiated that autumn and proclaimed on Feb. An description of Deadwood is as follows: The 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 universally 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 healthful.
Deadwood 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. At 2 o'clock in the morning of September 26, , the great mass of flammable material [reportedly starting in Mrs.
Ellsnera's Bakery on Sherman Street].
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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.
In the sheriff of Deadwood was a John. Manning, with his brother Thomas and cousin John acting as deputies. In April, , Antoinette Ogden described her recent trip to Deadwood, in a published article as follows: 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 with gold. 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: The wild days of the history of Deadwood are included between and , the days of "excitements," of "hurdy-gurdies," and the hazing of the "tenderfoot;" for, although the town was incorporated as a city in , its mining-camp character disappeared totally only several years after that time. From to 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.
She is buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery, next to "Wild Bill" Hickok. Oct 10, - Sol Star dies. September 23, - Seth Bullock dies. He is buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery. Deadwood Today [From Deadwood. Often denied equality in a dominantly Caucasian community, the members of Chinatown strived for recognition as citizens of Deadwood. All too often they were subjected to the suspicion and hostility of whites.
Deadwood gradually evolved from a wild frontier town to a prosperous commercial center, due, in part, to the construction of the railroad. Although the community primarily focused on its gold mining industry, Deadwood became the place where people traveled in the Black Hills to conduct their business. Despite an flood, and another fire in , Deadwood prevailed through many hardships. Dakota Territory became the states of North and South Dakota on November 2, Dakota Territory also included areas that encompassed present day Montana and most of Wyoming.
Deadwood moved forward into the twentieth century, but the image of the wild West town has lingered, due to past events and the individuals responsible for making the town into a legend. Hickok, a legendary figure even in his own lifetime, was shot in the back of the head by Jack McCall, while playing poker at the No. Calamity Jane was renowned for her excellent marksmanship, preference for men's clothing, and bawdy behavior. Although Deadwood had its tough individuals, others were gentler in nature, such as Rev.
Preacher Smith was the first Methodist minister to come to the Black Hills. Smith was mysteriously murdered on Sunday, August 20, , while walking to Crook City to deliver a sermon. These individuals are just a few of the many notables buried in Mt.
Moriah Cemetery , which was established in or As Deadwood settled into the twentieth century, the gambling and prostitution establishments were still considered legitimate businesses. The new century brought new beliefs and ideas, and the gambling and prostitution came under attack from reformers. The reformers believed that the two were partly responsible for causing social problems, such as drunkenness and poverty.
These reformers also supported the temperance movement that was sweeping the country. In , the U. During the roaring twenties, gaming became illegal but continued to operate behind closed doors. With the repeal of the Prohibition Act in , gambling once again flourished in Deadwood until , when it was officially closed.
Prostitution remained a business until the s when the state's attorney shut down many of the brothels. When firefighters arrive at the scene they discover that someone has stolen the hydrant wrenches. The Gem burns to the ground for the last time. Al Swearingen leaves Deadwood.
Deadwood businessmen build the Black Hills Mineral Palace to display the abundant geological specimens found in the northern Black Hills. On June 4, the four-story Franklin Hotel with 80 rooms and many amenities opens. It was named for Harris Franklin who was one of the principal supporters of the project. Soon after her arrival, she dies in the nearby mining town of Terry.
Seizing the opportunity to capitalize on her fame, Deadwood businessmen bury her next to Wild Bill at Mount Moriah Cemetery. Today, Wind Cave National Park is considered one of the longest caves in the world. He died of blunt trauma to the head. Marshal for South Dakota.
Bullock holds the position for nine years and becomes good friends with Roosevelt. The Homestake Slime Plant is constructed in Deadwood.
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Using a process developed by C. Merrill, the plant is built to extract gold from slime, a by-product of crushed ore that is suspended in water. The Deadwood Auditorium opens to the public. Over the years, the building will host automobile and home shows, retail fairs, concerts and dances. The building was converted into a recreation center during the s. President Theodore Roosevelt dies.
Upon the news of his death, Seth Bullock and the Society of Black Hills Pioneers build and dedicate a monument to the late president. It is the first monument in the country to be dedicated to Roosevelt and is known as the Friendship Tower. The United States Congress passes the Prohibition Act, which bans the sale and distribution of alcohol.
You can see this production every night April until October in Historic Deadwood. Perrett, known as Potato Creek Johnny, makes history when he reportedly finds one of the largest gold nuggets in the Black Hills. Badlands National Monument is established in southwestern South Dakota. The designation was changed to Badlands National Park in after the National Parks Service enters into an agreement with the Oglala Sioux Tribe to protect an additional , acres.
Merchant, mayor and philanthropist W. While the rest of the country is in a severe depression, the Lead-Deadwood areas prosper. Motorcycle enthusiasts begin the Sturgis Rally. The Sturgis Motorcycle Classic now attracts over , riders annually. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is declared complete a few months after the death of sculptor Gutzon Borglum.
Today, Mount Rushmore draws over three-million visitors a year from all around the world. Law enforcement officials raid Deadwood gambling establishments with the goal of shutting them down for good. The raid only served to move them underground. By , the brothels were back in business. Brothel attorney Roswell Bottum succeeds in getting the madams acquitted. Another raid occurs in but fails to close down the houses. The bust is located near the intersection of Sherman and Deadwood Streets. A fire starts one mile west of Deadwood and quickly burns out of control.
Residents in Deadwood are evacuated. The fire was brought under the following day but not before a total of 4, acres had burned.
A Trip to the Black Hills and Deadwood, 1876
The entire town of Deadwood is declared a National Historic Landmark. It is the first time an entire community receives this recognition. Federal and state authorities shut down the last four remaining Deadwood brothels. A group of Deadwood visionaries creates the You Bet Committee to help pass limited stakes gaming in Deadwood to fund restoration.
A fire destroys the historic Syndicate Block along Lee Street. The Deadwood You Bet committee uses film footage of the devastating fire to convince South Dakota voters of the need for legalized gaming as a means to restore the town. Legalized gaming kicks off in Deadwood on November 1. A portion of tax revenue from gaming is dedicated to the restoration of the historic community. The mile George S. Mickelson Trail is completed—connecting the northern Black Hills to the southern tip.
The trail, with trailheads in Deadwood, contains more than converted railroad bridges and four rock tunnels. Over 14, visitors tour the home annually. Remnants of part of the old Chinatown district are discovered as construction begins on a new parking garage. Barrick Gold Corporation officially closes down the Homestake Gold Mine— years after gold was first discovered.