Five years ago the cities of Lead, Deadwood and Spearfish purchased the Fassbender photo collection. The 800,000 Black Hills photographs capture historic events such as presidential visits and the Spearfish Canyon Road grand opening as well as day-to-day life in the gold mines and on reservations. There are also wedding, graduation and family photos.
The collection is now housed at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center in Deadwood. Volunteers have cataloged more than 12,000 of the photographs. About 1,800 items have been digitized and are available online. 15 historic photos from Spearfish are on exhibit this month at the Matthews Opera House and Arts Center.
Former Spearfish mayor Jerry Krambeck serves on the Fassbender Collection’s board of directors. He was mayor when the city acquired the collection. He joined Dakota Midday to talk about the invaluable photographs.