Discovering The Past Through Dental Fillings

Feb 28, 2014
Courtesy Deadwood City Archives

As we move further into the second decade of the new millennium, advances in science, technology and medicine seem to occur almost every day. But for as much as we move forward toward the next “great new world”, shadows of our past continue to arise reminding us of our “roots”. 

Identifying Deadwood Body

Feb 11, 2014

In 2012, the remains of a young man between the ages of 18-24 were uncovered during repair on a retaining wall behind a residential home.  The home was at the site of the original Deadwood cemetery which was later covered by houses and streets - the same cemetery where Wild Bill Hickok was first buried before being moved to Mount Moriah.  The young man was found with substantial dental work, unusual for the time, which may assist in identifying him and his ancestry.  Deadwood city archivist Mike Runge says the written records of those buried at the town's first cemetery may also shed light

Courtesy Deadwood City Archives

The town of Deadwood has developed a reputation in many areas over the years. It’s the place you go to find gambling in the Black Hills. It’s the place to go to find historical reenactments of the Old West. Many say it’s also the place to go to find the spirits of the dead. But it hasn’t been known as the place to go to find a skeleton in your backyard…until now. 

Today we visit the stomping grounds of Wild Bill Hickok and finds the remains of a former resident who – at the moment - has no name. 

"Deadwood Dead Men"

Jan 31, 2014

Bill Markley's novel "Deadwood Dead Men" is set in 1876 Deadwood. Legends like Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock, Charlie Utter, Sol Star and others come to life in the book, along with fictional characters, to recreate the mining camp's wild days. Jack Jones, a reporter for a Chicago newspaper, is assigned to write about the doings of Deadwood, an illegal gold camp that knows no law.

Verna Heaton Benham grew up on a small ranch in the Black Hills in the forties. Shortly after graduating from college in Spearfish, she joined the United States Foreign Service and traveled the world.  “Champagne In A Paper Cup: Memoir Of A Journey” is Benham’s account of her extraordinary journey from rural South Dakota to exotic places across the globe.

City Of Deadwood Pays It Forward

Dec 3, 2013

The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission is taking applications for the Outside-of-Deadwood Grant Program. The grant program began in 2002 and is designed to help non-profit organizations across South Dakota pay for preservation-related projects. The grant money comes from Deadwood’s gaming revenues.

Kevin Kuchenbecker is the Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Deadwood. He says citizens across the state helped legalize gaming and this is one way the City can pay it forward.

Searching For The Sundance Kid's Spirit

Oct 30, 2013
Courtesy Crook County Museum (WY)



The Black Hills town of Deadwood has a reputation for ghostly encounters at all times of the year – not just on Halloween. So many, in fact, that it’s almost hard to keep track of whose spirit is floating around Deadwood – and where. Today we go in search of a spirit whose presence no one has reported…yet.

Mount Moriah Cemetery…round midnight. The streets below are quiet after a weekend of Halloween revelry; an annual tradition in Deadwood.

JEOPARDY! Clue Crew Visits South Dakota

Oct 1, 2013

The long-running quiz show JEOPARDY! made its tour of the fifty states complete with a visit to South Dakota this week. The JEOPARDY! Clue Crew made stops in Lead and Deadwood.

If you’re familiar with the game-show JEOPARDY! you may have run across some familiar faces around the Northern Black Hills this week.

“So we’ve got a JEOPARDY! clue for you. The category is Deadwood. HBO’s Deadwood portrayed many real nineteenth century residents of the town including this ruthless character played by Ian McShane... Who is Al Swearengen?” says the Clue Crew.

"Wild Bill Hickok" Exhibit Displaying In Rapid City

Aug 20, 2013

The Journey Museum is hosting a traveling exhibit on Wild Bill Hickok, provided courtesy of the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission. The "Wild Bill Hickok: His Life and Times" exhibit is on display in the hallway leading from the museum lobby to the Wells Fargo Theatre. It runs through the month of August. The exhibit consists of framed photos and artifacts, supporting information, gathered in a series of 3-ring binders and a brochure with a timeline providing details about Hickok's life.

Young Pioneers Learn The Trail

Jun 24, 2013
Courtesy Deadwood History, Inc.

It’s one thing reading a book or watching a film about the life of the pioneers as they made their way across the country’s vast expanses. It’s quite another matter trying to duplicate that experience in the new millennium – especially when you’re a middle-school student. Today we spend some time with a group of young “would-be” pioneers near Deadwood – where they learn about guns, gold-panning and getting grades “back in the day”.

Presentation On Deadwood's Chinatown

Jun 20, 2013

Historians Bill Markley and Jerry Bryant are hosting a presentation on the unsolved murder of Di Lee with a brief discussion on the archaelogical dig on Lower Main Street's Chinatown district in Deadwood. Di Lee, known to many as Deadwood's China Doll, was a woman of mystery. She was rich, single and was purported to be the most beautiful woman in Deadwood. During the night of November 27, 1877, Di Lee was murdered after she answered a knock on her door. Bryant and Markley will delve into Deadwood's Chinese community and present the facts of this unsolved case.

Comedian To Portray Ghost At Wild Bill Days

Jun 13, 2013

Singer, songwriter and comedian Gordy Pratt portrays the ghost of frontiersman Seth Bullock during Wild Bill Days on June 14 and 15 at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., in the Pioneer Room at the Adams Museum in Deadwood. The event is open to the public and wheelchair accessible with admission by donation. Pratt brings history to life as he shares stories and songs about the colorful characters of early Deadwood. Pratt has carefully researched Bullock and portrays the grit, tenacity and glory of Deadwood in a vibrant context.

CETUP And PPC Events

Jun 7, 2013

Scientists from around the world will come to Lead and Deadwood later this summer for the CETUP and PPC science events.  They'll use the opportunity to discuss their fields of study.  Russell Franques and Barbara Szczerbinska detailed the functions on Friday's Innovation.

Days Of '76 Museum Celebrating Grand Opening

May 22, 2013

Deadwood’s Days of ’76 Museum is celebrating its grand opening this weekend.  The new facility offers expanded and updated exhibits.  Deadwood began its Days of ’76 rodeo eighty-nine years ago in 1924. Along with rodeo memorabilia the museum houses rare Native American artifacts from the Black Hills and across South Dakota.  It also is home to an extensive collection of carriages, wagons, stagecoaches, and firearms.

Johnny Rivers In South Dakota

Apr 17, 2013

Singer/songwriter Johnny Rivers is in concert Friday at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center and Sunday at the Watertown Event Center.  Rivers enjoyed a succession of pop hits in the 60s and 70s including "Memphis," "Mountain of Love," "Secret Agent Man," "Poor Side of Town," and "Summer Rain." 

"Henry's Adventure At The Franklin Hotel"

Apr 2, 2013

On June 4, 1903, the Franklin Hotel opened to the public with an elaborate reception and ball.  But what happened in the days leading up to the event?  "Henry's Adventure at the Franklin Hotel" brings to life the time, manners, and cultural roles of everyday life in the gold boomtown of Deadwood.  The book by authors Joanna Jones and Nancy Cartwright is on the 2013-14 South Dakota Prairie Pasque book list from the South Dakota Librarians.

Historic Trail Ride Registration Opens

Feb 5, 2013
Photo by James Odermann

Registration is now open for the second leg of the Deadwood to Medora Trail Ride, which takes place this summer. 

The historic event drew 200 participants last year and is expected to include a similar number come August.

When reports of gold spread around the world in the late 1800s, the Marquis de Mores established his own stagecoach line from Medora, North Dakota to the Black Hills mining town of Deadwood.

The cost was 10 cents per mile.                                                    

SnoCross Shootout Comes To Deadwood

Jan 31, 2013

Several inches of new snow fell just in time for Deadwood’s first SnoCross Shootout. The event is a snowmobile race with performers hitting big jumps at top speeds on a challenging track.

The International Series of Champions, better known as the ISOC, is an organization that brings snowmobile races to fans in snowy locations across the nation. Deadwood is the latest in the series where more than one-hundred-fifty professional racers will showcase high-speed racing at what's called the SnoCross Shootout.

Deadwood Named Best Town For Historic Entertainment

Dec 14, 2012

Officials in Deadwood hope an upcoming mention in a national magazine will send more visitors to the Northern Black Hills.

Geri Jewell teaches success by example

Oct 24, 2012
Photo by Jim Kent

There’s a common misconception among people that having a disability makes it difficult – if not impossible – for someone to succeed in their chosen profession. In fact, the very idea of a disabled person having a chosen profession is often viewed as unrealistic. Today we visit a woman who shows us that living with a disability can actually inspire someone to rise to the top of their field.

Okay, how’s your Hollywood trivia? What do George Burns, Nancy McKeon, Johnny Depp and Ian McShane have in common?

Paranormal Tours at Adams House

Oct 19, 2012
Courtesy Deadwood History, Inc.

If you’re looking for ghosts, you just may be able to find one – or more – at Deadwood’s Adams House.

Tours of the historic home with a “professional” paranormal team are being offered to the public.

Staff at The Adams House have been reporting….unusual activity – like creaking floors and things that go bump in the night - for years, says Deadwood History spokesperson Rose Speirs.

Empty Bowls Project Helps The Hungry

Oct 14, 2012

Local high-school art students in the Northern Hills and Black Hills State University students are making pottery soup bowls and donating them to help a community project.  “Empty Bowls” is a soup-kitchen type project designed to address the issue of hunger.  At the Empty Bowls get-together community members buy the bowls and fill them with soup.  Proceeds are used to help local food banks.

Jerry Rawlings started Empty Bowls.  He says the project helps a very basic need.

Wild West Songwriters Festival

Oct 9, 2012

More than twenty big-time songwriters are traveling from Nashville to Deadwood this weekend.  The writers are coming for Deadwood’s first Wild West Songwriters Festival. 

Deadwoods Wild West Songwriters festival is a gathering of writers that have penned songs for well-known country and rock artists like Kenny Chesney, Eric Clapton, and Taylor Swift.  The festival is a four-day-long event that gives attendees an opportunity to interact with the writers through panels, in-the-rounds, and live performances.

Kids, Art, and the Black Hills Plein Air Paint Out

Sep 27, 2012

The First Step Daycare in Deadwood is collaborating with the Historic Deadwood/Lead Arts Council.  The children that attend the daycare completed art projects for the Plein Air Paint Out in the Northern Hills.  Local artists come from all over the state to paint landscapes in the Black Hills. The artworks are then auctioned off in a wet sale.

Kayla Klein is the Executive Director of the daycare.  She says the kids gain valuable experience with this project by getting the opportunity to mix business with creativity.