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Early History of the Homestake Mine


Among those who read newspaper articles about the Custer Expedition’s discovery of gold in the Black Hills were Moses and Fred Manuel. They arrived in the area in late 1875 and after a winter of prospecting, found gold in an outcropping of rock, three miles “over the hill” from Deadwood.

The next year mining mogul George Hearst bought the Manuel brothers' claim and established the Homestake Mining Company in Lead. It became the largest and deepest gold mine in North America, producing around 40 million ounces of gold before it closed in 2002. Throughout those 126 years, the history of the Black Hills and western South Dakota was closely interwoven with the Homestake Mine. Its impact is still felt in the Lead/Deadwood community today.

Carolyn Weber, assistant director of Deadwood History, joined Dakota Midday with some the early history of the Homestake Mine.