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Things to do in Deadwood

  • Adams House Adams House Deadwood, South Dakota
    The Adams house was constructed in 1892 by early Deadwood pioneers Anna and Harris Franklin; and the local papers called it "the grandest house west of the Mississippi" and the elaborate Queen Anne style home denoted a rich and socially important new age for the city of Deadwood, which had been a very rough and tumble gold mining settlement. In 1905, their son, Nathan would buy the house for $1, and in 1920 sold it to W. E. and Alice Adams for $8500. During 1936, two years after W. E. passed on, his second wife, Mary, closed the house up and left it completely intact, with all the original furniture and furnishings. Then, in 1987, Mary Adams Balmat, now infirm, would sell the magnificent mansion to a couple that opened it as a bed and breakfast, after restoring it to its former glory. In 1992, they would sell the mansion to the city's historic preservation commission; who, in 1998, joined with the Adams Museum to renovated the home to become a museum. After spending $1.5 million to restore it, the city opened the house museum to the public in 2000. William Emery Adams was born in Bertrand, Michigan in 1854, and his parents moved to Faribault, Minnesota, and here Adams and his siblings would be raised. In 1877, William worked for the American Express Company in Minneapolis, but after his mother passed on in March of that year, he and his older brother, James, decided to join Major Whitehead's expedition to the Black Hills. Getting to Deadwood in later April of 1877, James purchased the Palace Restaurant, while William was prospecting and finally making a claim in Saw-Pit Gulch. During the summer, James purchased a lot on the lower west side of Main Street, and started the Banner Grocery Store; and later on, William joined him as a partner. The grocery store was doing a great business until 1879, when a fire swept through the business district and destroyed it. The local newspaper, the Black Hills Daily Times stated that they lost $2000. Determined to continue, they built a new store on Main Street, on the corner of Wall and Main in 1880, and William began building a new home for himself on Forest Hill, the residential area high on a hill overlooking Main Street. William proposed to a young lady from Fountain City and on December 22, 1880, he married Alice May Burnham.  The rest of the story is exciting and wonderful as William would lose not only his dear wife, Mary, but both of their daughters, one while in child birth, as well as losing his grandchild. He would marry again, later on, and live a good happy life, helping as much as he could, especially in Deadwood, and start the museum that is named after him. He was there when Wild Bill Hickok was murdered, as well as many other famous legends, including Teddy Roosevelt. Check out the story, which is excellent, when you go to Deadwood and visit the Adams House museum, as well as the Adams Museum.

  • Saloon No. 10
    The Saloon No. 10 is a living museum, perhaps the only one in the world with a full service bar, and more excitement than you can shake a stick at. The Old Style Saloon No. 10 is just the spot to look over many artifacts and relics that cover the past century in this wild west saloon, the exact one where Wild Bill Hickok was killed. They still serve sarsaparilla, so bring the kids and have a great time visiting this infamous bar, where Hickok held his famous dead man's hand of aces and eights. Besides the museum and all the relics that the saloon has collected for the last 50 years or so, there's gambling, dining, drinking and letting your hair hang down. They even have an online site where you can purchase great gifts for your family and friends; with non-stop action going on for the whole family. The month of June is full of great times, as well as the other months of the year, since this place rocks on no matter what the weather or time of year it is. Sadly, the original Nuttall and Mann's #10 saloon was at 624 Main Street, Deadwood, South Dakota, but that burned down in the great fire of 1879, with no known photographs of it anywhere. The original location is now the site of the Wild West casino, but in 1938, the "new" Old Style Saloon #10 was constructed right across the street at 657 Main Street and is still going strong today. The saloon was where Wild Bill Hickok was murdered by Jack McCall on August 2, 1876, with a winning hand of aces and eights. The night before, Hickok and McCall and others were playing poker, but Jack lost a lot of money, so Bill gave him enough to get a meal and told him to not play again until he could cover his losses. Evidently it must have made Jack really mad, because the next night, or really afternoon, Bill came in for a hand or two, but Charlie Rich was sitting in his seat; and after considering it, he went ahead and sat in the chair that had its back to the door; something Bill said he would never do, and should have meant it. Jack was drinking a lot at the bar and saw Bill come in and head to the table by the door in the corner. McCall slowly walked around to the corner of the bar where Bill sat, and from his coat, he pulled a double action .45 pistol and shouted "take that" and shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head, killing him dead. Bill had been holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights, so the legend of the dead man's hand began. After the fire a few years later, the building was replaced with a larger mall type of structure with a second floor above the many businesses that were located on the ground floor; while on the upper floors, many brothels were operating. The last one to close, was Pam's Purple Door, which was in 1980. What a town, and what a place to visit and see what it was like during the last decades of the 19th century in one of the most famous towns in the wild west or the country for that matter.

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  • Broken Boot Gold MineBroken Boot Gold Mine Deadwood, South Dakota
    During the spring of 1876, the famous words that had changed the face of this nation was again heard from South Dakota, and brought a flood of miners, madams, muleskinners and merchants to the area around Deadwood, and the country's last great gold rush once more turned the lives of Americans into prospectors and adventurers. The Broken Boot Gold mine was one of those, starting out in 1878, and the rush was on. Today, over a century later, the mine is still operating, only now it is bringing visitors into to see what the whole affair looked like and how it might have felt, but you might have to use some of the marvelous imagination that you have. There are experienced guides now to assist you learn of the magic of that moment so many decades ago, when the first miners to enter here discovered what they were looking, praying, dreaming and hoping for; gold. The guides today will tell you stories about those days and the old-time mining techniques; and you can even try your own hand at panning for gold; plus will leave with a "share" of the stock that this mine still prints for your own souvenir. In 1878, Olaf Seim and James Nelson came here looking for the stuff dreams are made of, and arriving in the Black Hills, started digging a mine just on the outskirts of Deadwood. It was called, "Seim's Mine" and over the next 26 years would produce about 15,000 ounces of gold, which wasn't a whole lot, even back then. That breaks down to about 1.5 ounces of gold mined each and every day; which wasn't much then, but with today's gold prices, it would be a fantastic day's pay. Gold wasn't the only thing the two men discovered, finding a large amount of iron pyrite, otherwise known as "fool's gold". Lucky for the miners that iron pyrite was used to make sulfuric acid that was used to process real gold, so the miners were able to make some good money with that. In fact, they were able to make more money mining the iron pyrite than gold, although even that would eventually go down in price, and by 1904, the mine would close down. Then, in 1917, when the United States entered WWI, iron and sulfur was in high demand for making gunpowder, so the mine opened up again and started producing; until the next year when the war ended, also ending the opportunities for the mine owners. The mine would sit empty and lifeless for the next three and a half decades, and in 1954, a group of Deadwood businessmen got together and went to Olaf's daughter, Mrs. Seima Hebert and her husband, John, with a proposition to re-open the mine, clean it up and make it a tourist destination. Seima and John decided to lease the mine to the group, and while they were cleaning and clearing it up, they discovered an old boot among other relics in the mine's back chambers, so Seima saw a good opportunity to change the name of the mine to the Broken Boot. The mine has been giving tours ever since, and it now has operated more successfully as a tourist attraction than it ever did as a mine. Stop by and see how much gold you can find, and remember, gold is over 1200 dollars an ounce now and you might find enough to pay for your vacation! 

  •  Adams Museum
    William E. Adams, former mayor and businessman of Deadwood, South Dakota, constructed the Adams Museum in 1930 as a tribute to the Black Hills and in loving memory of his first wife, Alice, their two daughters and one grandchild that died in childbirth. The museum was a gift to the city, and are still owned by it today; with a separate non-profit started to take care of the management of the museum and the house that is of great historical value to the city. The Adams Museum is the Black Hills' oldest history museum, with artifacts and relics from Deadwood's infamous past, describing the famous legends of the wild western town, including Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Jack McCall, Deadwood Dick, Colorado Charlie Utter, Preacher Smith, Sol Star, Seth Bullock and Poker Alice Tubbs. With a one-of-a-kind plesiosaur, W. E. Adams love letters, the Thoen Stone and a marvelous folk art collection, to Potato Creek Johnny's gold nugget, Lakota bread and quill work, the museum has collected the finest relics, the greatest stories, legends, and bawdy tales that ever came out of the west; as well as the dreams and hopes of the people that came here to discover the natural beauty and history of the Black Hills and the Native Americans that lived here for centuries. The Thoen Stone is a small slab of sandstone, that is believed to be the earliest evidence of miners in the region of the Black Hills; and named after the man who discovered it at the base of Lookout Mountain by Spearfish in 1887. Many scholars don't believe that the stone is authentic, but the late historian, Frank Thomson spent most of his life researching the history of the men whose names are etched on the stone; adding a lot of credibility to the stone's being genuine. Frank stated that a group of men left Independence, Missouri in 1833, hoping to find a route to Santa Fe, New Mexico, met a Crow Indian who told them about the gold in the Black Hills; and the Indian then led them to the hills to find the gold. The sole record of the men's fate is the Thoen Stone, that has an inscription etched on it by Ezra Kind, although what became of him is not known. But if they had made it out alright, then it would have written an entirely different scenario for this country, since it was a full decade before gold was discovered in California. In the years that followed, Frank was able to find the descendents of the men, who did in fact confirm that their ancestors headed west in 1833 to find a new trail to Santa Fe. They were never heard from again, and could have been the first European gold-seekers in the Black Hills and this country; but certainly not the last.  The museum and house has been ranked No. 2 on True West's list of the top western museums of 2010, and although there are many such museums, the Adams is likened to a gem. The museum and house has been a must see in the area for over three quarters of a century, and it has been said that this museum has everything that you would hope to find in a truly wonderful western museum. Besides the usual list of characters that made the town famous, there is quite a bit of information about the Jewish and Chinese immigrants that came here and helped build a great city.

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Local Restaurants in Deadwood
  • The Silverado-Franklin Historic Restaurant
    Prime rib buffet includes chef carved prime rib and ham, broasted chicken, roasted red potatoes, fresh veggies and other entrees and sides served Sunday through Thursday, 4:30 to 9 PM. Crab Festival is Friday and Saturday, 4:30 to 10 PM with all you care to eat snow crab, slow-roasted prime rib and 15 different salads and sides, and all lunch and dinner buffets include 12 foot soup and salad bar and dessert bar.

  • Deadwood Social Club
    All pastas and entrees served with hand baked sun-dried tomato pesto bread and fresh house made soups or a salad. Appetizers; artichoke au gratin is baked parmesan, asiago and herbed chevre cheeses; bruschetta is toasted sun-dried tomato bread with fresh tomatoes and basil; Chilean blue mussels steamed in white wine-garlic sauce & tossed with capellini pasta; portabella mushrooms are balsamic infused, arranged on fresh spinach with herbed chevre cheese; shrimp & sausage is marinated jumbo shrimp wrapped around reggiano-parmigano Italian sausage; South Dakota buffalo is tender steak bites brushed & grilled in sweet chili glaze. Pasta; chicken fettuccine Alfredo is herb-roasted chicken breast in garlic cream sauce; chicken tortellini is flash fried chicken breast in basil cream sauce with three cheese tortellini; penne & sausage is reggiano-parmigano Italian sausage sautéed with mushrooms, red peppers & Kalamato olives; penne primavera is seared fresh veggies in basil butter sauce with asiago cheese; seafood nest is sautéed shellfish in basil cream sauce nestled in fried capellini pasta; shrimp scampi is fresh tomatoes & spinach tossed in white wine-garlic sauce with capellini; trio of pork carbonara is prosciutto, pancetta and peppered bacon in rich butter cream sauce with fresh peas and penne; vodka salmon is creamy butter-vodka sauce with salmon, prosciutto, mushrooms over fettuccine. Entrees; buffalo tournadoes is hand cut tenderloin medallions glazed with huckleberry BBQ sauce; filet mignon is 6oz. choice Angus beef with peppered bacon; grilled Norwegian salmon glazed with lemon caper butter, over spinach & served with wild rice; Kobe NY strip is 8oz. American Kobe beef strip loin with wild mushroom merlot glaze; Kobe rib eye is 10oz. American Kobe beef, topped with Florentine butter; Kurabuta pork is 10oz. hand cut, 100% purebred Berkshire pork chop, glazed with rum raisin sauce; Mediterranean chicken is 6oz. grilled chicken breast smothered in tomatoes, artichokes and spinach with wild rice pilaf & fresh veggies; pork osso bucco is slowly braised pork shank served on wild rice, topped with Italian mirepoix; walleye is lightly dusted & pan seared , finished with white wine lemon butter, with wild rice & fresh veggies; yellowfin tuna is grilled 8oz steak over spinach topped with fresh mango salsa.

Carved Prime Rib Silverado-Franklin Historic Restaurant Deadwood, South Dakota


 Chilean Blue Mussels Deadwood Social Club Deadwood, South Dakota

Grilled Norwegian Salmon Deadwood Social Club Deadwood, South Dakota

Braised Pork Shank Deadwood Social Club Deadwood, South Dakota

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  • Nelson's Garage Car & Motorcycle Museum Nelson's Garage Car & Motorcycle Museum Deadwood, South Dakota
    Nelson's Garage Car and motorcycle museum houses many of Hollywood's most famous vehicles, that include the Aston Martin that James Bond drove in "The Living Daylights", the Ferrari in Magnum, PI, the Pontiac Trans Am that Burt Reynolds drove in "Smoky and the Bandit" movies; Herbie the "Love Bug" Volkswagen, Evel Knievel's stunt-jumping motorcycle, a jeep from the hit TV series, "M.A.S.H.", the Batmobile from Batman Returns and a pickup truck that was driven by John Wayne. There are many costumes and props that were used in more than 80 motion pictures and television shows exhibited here; and you should consider using 30 minutes to an hour to look over this movie memorabilia, depending on how much you enjoyed the vehicles in the show and the famous people that drove them. It is an exciting place to enjoy, and the marvelous displays will help you enjoy your trip to Deadwood, South Dakota even more. The museum is located in downtown Deadwood, at the Celebrity Hotel on Main Street. Sylvester Stallone's Ducati is shown here, with other memorabilia from his movies, and this Ducati was given to him by Ducati. Dan Hagerty, of Grizzly Adams fame custom built a nitrous oxide Harley Davidson motorcycle for Ann Margaret's Las Vegas stage show and this bad boy will really rock your world, as will the Trans Am that Clint Eastwood used in the movie, "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" that starred Clint and Jeff Bridges. By the way, Clint continued to use this beauty for seven years before letting it go. Peter Fonda's 1990 Harley is also housed here, and the fatboy is proudly pictured in his autobiography. Recall the recent movie, "2 Fast 2 Furious", well that 1969 Yenko Camaro that Paul Walker used and drove is also sitting here for your perusal and admiration. The Trans Am that Burt Reynolds used in "Smoky and the Bandit II" became his personal car for ten years and it is also sitting here ready for all you good folks to come on down and see the most famous cars in the world!

  • Days of 76 Museum
    At the Days of 76 museum in downtown Deadwood, South Dakota, the Clowser collection is one of the most interesting and unique collections in the world and is enjoyed today by the many people that head to Deadwood to discover the history and legend of this famous town. Don Clowser was considered a "self-made man", and while he was on this earth for 89 years, he had many different jobs, as many of us do these days; but he is most known for his position as historian, owner of the Deadwood Trading Post and an avid collector of art and relics that came from the western frontier. Don's longevity and long time connection with the city, started in the summer of 1926, when he was just 12 years old. As his family traveled through the South Dakota badlands during that year, he saw many American Indians traveling in covered wagons, going to the Days of '76 Celebration being held in Deadwood, and thus began his 35 year membership in the organization that he would leave his house and collection to after he passed on. The visitors that come here and view the Clowser collection seem to wonder out loud if one man could possibly collect all of the memorabilia and artifacts that Don did; and they are answered with a resounding yes. Don would collect things wherever his curiosity and relationships carried him, some acquired through his second hand goods trading stores or trading post; some bought at auctions; some found and some saved from the Deadwood dump; and still others given to him for posterity. Don considered every item as something worthwhile and each item was sure to have some kind of story associated with it. Whether it was an old gun, piece of rope or photograph found in the dump, it intrigued him, it piqued his curiosity and he would try and discover the record or history of the item, so that he could pass that information on, after he was gone and couldn't tell it to anyone anymore. He never seemed to care about the value of an item, just at the work of the Sioux; especially their amazing ability to use every part of an animal, and the time it would take to create something out of a bone, a feather or hide; many blossoming into a thing of beauty. You see, Don was one of those rare American breeds that is many things rolled up into one man; a philosopher, searcher, teacher, poet, friend, husband, father and author. His collection is an uneven one to the casual visitor, rare gems to everyday junk; but learn it now if you haven't; one man's junk is another man's treasure. To Don, the quintessence American pioneer, everything had a value and interest, and hopefully you will also.

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  • Silverado Franklin Historic Hotel and Gaming ComplexFranklin Hotel Deadwood, South Dakota
    The historic Franklin hotel has been doing business in downtown Deadwood, South Dakota since 1902, and the luxurious hotel is still going strong as part of the Silverado Franklin Historic hotel and gaming complex, serving delicious authentic meals in their dining room, and the elaborate gaming facilities downstairs. Celebrities have been coming here since the beginning, with magnificent suites full of  furnishings and the best service in the Black Hills. Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, as well as movie stars like Kevin Costner, John Wayne and the latest celebrity to venture into the hotel is Big & Rich, country music sensations. There is always something going on in the hotel, but there are many other attractions to entice you out of that marvelous room. Before thinking about going there, make sure to call ahead and make a reservation as the suites and rooms can fill up quickly. The lobby has just lately been restored with high gorgeous vaulted ceilings, vintage furnishings and an atmosphere of pure elegance. The site of the Silverado gaming establishment has been an important aspect of the city of Deadwood ever since gold was discovered here in 1875. Back then, the site was the junction of City Creek and Whitewood Creek, and it was here, just feet away where the first discovery of gold was made by Frank Bryant in what was then called Deadwood Gulch. Frank was out hunting when he found the sparkling gold nugget shining in the bright sunshine and it didn't take him long to realize what he'd just found. After the city became laid out and the developing stages going strong, this structure was built by W. E. Adams for the Hills Chevrolet Company in 1933 and later renamed the Franklin Garage. Montgomery Ward was one of the tenants in the large structure, and when the residents of the state legalized gambling in 1989, the Silverado bought and renovated the building. A much bigger addition, built to complement the historical brickwork of the original Franklin garage was then built in 1995. It would contain a big players center, open gaming floor, spacious restaurant and the largest poker room in the town. Some of the business leaders had envisioned a large hotel for downtown for a long time, but funding had always been the biggest obstacle. One developer had built a foundation for the structure before giving up, and a large underground spring eventually turned the hole into a temporary swimming pool for the local kids. Then, in 1902, Harris Franklin said he would match any dollar donated for construction of the hotel, with Harris becoming the chief shareholder and an officer of the Deadwood Hotel Company; with the completed product named in his honor. The grand opening was in 1903, and had a banquet for 250 people, who were amazed at the many modern conveniences of the new hotel. There was a lobby fountain, newsstand, two private parlors for ladies, steam heat, cigar store, barber shop, elevator, masseuse, buffet, restaurant, telephone service in all the rooms, and electric lights. Half of the hotel's 80 rooms had private baths, a new idea in those days, and the Pioneer-Times stated that the musicians that played that night were almost completely hidden by the potted palms in the ballroom. During its heyday, the hotel entertained presidents Teddy Roosevelt, William Taft, famous folks like John Wayne, Buffalo Bill Cody, Babe Ruth and heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan. The stock market crash of 1929 would be the end for the famous hotel; which was then transformed into residential apartments, and when the town legalized gambling, it would return to being a hotel, but it wasn't until the owners of the Silverado Gaming Establishment bought the hotel and put $7 million into its restoration in 2005. The first floor opened in 2007, with refurbished tin ceiling, fluted columns, restored woodwork, elegant chandeliers, gilded fixtures and colored glass.

  • Preacher Smith Museum
    In 1874, when gold was discovered by Custer's troops in the Dakota territory's Black Hills, the mining camps sprang up like flowers, bringing the hopefuls, the dregs, the speculators, and even a Methodist preacher, Henry Weston Smith. Henry began his ministry at the age of 23, and in 1861, enlisted in the 52nd Massachusetts Infantry, fought gallantly and then after the war, became a doctor. He would move to Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Lydia Ann Joslin and their four kids. In the early months of 1876, Henry left his family and home, joining others in a party of gold hunters, on their way to the Black Hills. He was desiring to bring his ministry to the mines, and was the first preacher to head there, and came to Deadwood in May that year. When Henry arrived, there were enough shanties and cabins to house some three to four thousand people, and he started constructing his own cabin, cutting timbers, and helping others to build their homes to help support himself. He also took a job as a fireman in the local sawmill, and preached on Sundays, on the only street in the new town, Main Street; as well as traveling to other camps to preach the word. One Sunday morning, after his service, on August 20, 1876, he went home and put a note on his door, saying he would be gone to Crook City and be back by 2PM. He never made it back, because he would be murdered on the 10 mile walk. His body was discovered, with his Bible, and the notes he would use for his sermon that day; bloodstained. Henry could have been murdered by any number of white men that were in the area, and the possibility of a marauding Sioux party could have came upon him, alone on the road to Crook City; since the battle at the Little Big Horn had just happened weeks before. Henry hadn't been sent to the town of Deadwood by any church group, but had gone there on his own, and in 1878, the Methodist Episcopal church sent a representative, James Williams to the town. James would organize a Methodist Society and on March 4, 1883, the first church, Deadwood, the Mother Church of the Black Hills, was dedicated and opened. Within a few months, the new church would be destroyed by a flood, although some of the furnishings would be saved. A new site was chosen, higher than before, and on May 12, 1885, it would be dedicated, and although it has been restored numerous times, it still stands there today. There is some discrepancy about his death, as nothing was taken, nor was his body disturbed in any way; just a single bullet through the heart. Sheriff, at the time, Seth Bullock, stated that he believed some rowdy Indians had done the dirty deed, but no one was ever arrested for the crime. Sheriff Bullock conducted the funeral services himself, using a borrowed book of Common Prayer, where he read the Burial Office for Henry. The city's residents put up a monument at or near the exact spot of his demise, to commemorate his worthy and useful life, and many wanted to hold a memorial service to him each year.

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  • Black Hills Mining MuseumBlack Hills Mining Museum Deadwood, South Dakota
    The Black Hills Mining Museum can be found in the city of Lead, South Dakota, another mile high city, where the museum is devoted to the preservation of the magnificent endeavors and heritage of the gold mining industry of the Black Hills. There are many wonderful displays and activities to help you learn more about this important industry that lasted for more than a century and brought many people to the area. There are informative and knowledgeable guides available to take you through a simulated gold mine, offering both an early and modern example of an underground gold mine in the Black Hills that was created to reflect the realistic appearance of a mine, with the input coming from more than 140 miners and employees that worked in the gold mines. The tours take about 45 minutes, and will help you to understand the hazards and problems of mining during those early days and the changes that have been made. One of the most exciting moments of the museum will happen when you are able to pan for gold yourself and feel, rather than imagine the extreme excitement of finding gold in your pan. Gold is guaranteed to be found, and the find is yours to keep as a memento of this once in a lifetime experience. The Black Hills mining region extends some 4500 square miles on the west central area of South Dakota and the eastern edge of Wyoming; and archaeological evidence has been discovered that shows these marvelous hills were inhabited over 4000 years ago. In 1742, the first documented white European men to travel here were the French-Canadian Verendye brothers, looking of the sea of the west. These early explorers were led by Mandan Indians from the Missouri River area and as they traveled around the region met various tribes like the Crow, Cheyenne and Kiowa scattered throughout the Black Hills.  During the 1800s, many white men traveled around the Black Hills area on their way to Oregon, as well as fur trappers on their route to the Yellowstone region. In 1887, a sandstone slab was discovered by Spearfish, South Dakota, with a crude etched message from Ezra Kind telling about the loss of his group of prospectors in 1833, when he and his seven fellow members were attacked by Indians after mining all the gold that their mules could carry. A treaty between the US and the Sioux Indian nation was signed in 1868, that stated all the military forts in the Indian nation would be left, with all the nation getting the lands west of the Missouri River for their use and occupation. The government was then responsible for keeping the white men out of that territory. In 1874, Custer's expedition would lead to the final withdrawal of all Indians in the region, and the opening of the territory to white settlement. Custer spent two months surveying the area in and around the Black Hills, and during this survey, gold was found in the French Creek area in the southern hills by the town known as Custer today. This discovery would change the course of events for both the white men of the nation and the Indian tribes that live in the Black Hills region forever. You can find all this information at the museum and much more, giving you the exciting details of how the state was started and the boom and bust periods it would endure. 

  • The Mammoth Site
    The Mammoth Site is actually a museum and paleontological site by Hot Springs, South Dakota, with the remains of flora and fauna preserved in a karst sinkhole during the Pleistocene age. In 1974, mammoth bones were discovered at the site, and a building and museum were constructed to enclose the site. This resulting museum houses many significant wooly mammoth remains, and excavations and research still continues in this area. Around 24,000 years BC, the cavern that was here would somehow collapse, and the steep sided hole that was left, was some 65 feet deep, and 120 by 150 feet wide at the surface. As the warm artesian-fed spring waters filled the depression, a pond appeared which would attract wildlife to the region. Discoveries at the site have unearthed the remains of shrub oxen, wolves, llama, coyotes, giant short-faced bears, American camel, minks, birds, moles, ferrets, voles and prairie dogs. Invertebrate examples include slugs, clams and snails. During the following 350 to 700 years, the pond would be filled with all kinds of sediment and mammoth remains, and although they are technically not fossils, because they weren't mineralized, they were preserved by the clay and coarse sand that had accumulated in the pond's site. By 2009, there were at the least, 55 individual mammoths discovered, with the majority of those identified as Columbian mammoths, with the remains of three wooly mammoths also found. Once the mammoths fell into the pond, they found it almost impossible to extricate themselves, and scientists measuring the pelvic bones found that the majority of these were young males. During 1974, a construction worker named George Hanson unearthed some strange bones in an area that was being developed for a subdivision, and his son recognized one of the bones as a mammoth tooth. The owner of the land gave his permission to search for more remains, and in 1975, a complete tusk and skull were found. Local residences made some donations, as well as work completed by amateur and professional excavators led to the formation of a museum, and it became a National Natural Landmark in 1980. Originally, the discoveries were mapped on a string grid, but now the mapping is done by computer. Each year, in July, Earthwatch volunteers take part in an excavation, with visiting scientists coming here from Germany, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico and Great Britain.

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