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Rededicated Fort Pierre To Deadwood Trail

Fort Pierre Development Corporation

The beginning of the Fort Pierre to Deadwood Trail is getting a new sign.

A rededication ceremony July 26th  in Fort Pierre is recognizing the beginning of the 200 mile route that guided travels to Deadwood in the late 1800s.

After gold was discovered in the Black Hills, settlers and gold prospectors came to Fort Pierre by train or riverboat and then followed the Fort Pierre to Deadwood Trail out west.

The trail is part of Deb Schiefelbien’s family history. In 1975 her grandparents, Roy and Edith Norman, put up 52 signs marking the old buffalo trail used by wagon trains headed for Deadwood.

“They rode horses over them, wagons went over them and so they knew where these trails were at so it just a matter of getting out to do a surveying and to make these were the actual trails. And he never put a sign up without being absolutely sure that’s where that sign should go,” says Schiefelbein.

Schiefelbein says many of the signs marking the route have fallen down. But thanks to a grant, some of the signs are getting restored.

“We were involved in doing research for these signs in the early 1970s and we helped go find the trails, and we helped paint them, and we had hired Native Americans who had actually helped us do them. So it’s a big part of our lives and I think now as we reach our golden years, we know we’d like to have these historical signs and the history carried forward,” says Schiefelbein.

Schiefelbein says her grandparents also put up signs marking trails used by Lakota people, mail routes, and army routes across the state.