A boomtown founded in the gold rush following Col. George Armstrong Custer’s 1874 expedition to the Black Hills and named for the stands of dead trees lining the mountain gulch, Deadwood
rapidly developed a reputation as a wild, lawless frontier town with it’s many saloons, gambling houses, and bawdy theaters. It was estimated that 9 out of 10 women living in Deadwood in 1876 was a prostitute, and prostitution continued openly until raids by the federal government in 1980. In August, 1876 Deadwood gained its greatest infamy with the murder of Wild Bill Hickok, now buried in the town’s Mt. Moriah Cemetery, along with Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock, and other early settlers.
The gold ran out after a few years, and with it went most of the rowdy population. In 1964 Deadwood became the only entire city in the United States to be named a National Historic Landmark. Continuing a hundred year tradition, in 1989 Deadwood became the third place in the United Stated to legalize gambling, and since then over $170 million has been invested in restoring the community which today is one of the largest ongoing historic preservation projects in the country.
Thanks to Jade Temple at the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce for all his support, and for the “History Blooms” line to make the “garden” connection. Much classier than what I was thinking of using: “Planted six feet deep on Boot Hill” or “Pushing up daisies on Mt. Moriah.”
Thanks to Mike Jacobs at Black Hills Aerial Adventures for the helicopter.
Thanks to Sheila Johnson for her location suggestions and navigation help.
And thanks to my loving wife Mary Ann for believing in me and my weird contraption.
For more information visit Deadwood.org
For awesome helicopter tours of Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore visit
Black Hills Aerial Adventures
For more aerial and ground level panoramas of the Black Hills, including Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood, Sturgis, and Rapid City, visit my website at BigEyeInTheSky.com