Often thought of as the “mini Vegas” of the midwest, Deadwood is home to countless casinos, multiple taverns, and an endless amount of history. Located in the heart of the Black Hills, this historic town was once home to Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and still celebrates its roots while also becoming a destination for events, concerts, family-friendly attractions, and the latest in food and drinks.
DEADWOOD IS A NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK.
The 605 team began our self-guided tour of the town at the Adams Museum. Opened in 1930 by W.E. Adams in hopes of preserving the history of the Black Hills, this museum is full of exhibits that do just that. Communications director Rose Speirs and exhibits director Darrel Nelson delved into the world of Deadwood history.
“Most exhibits include activities of one kind or another, such as a photo op in front of the tallest human ever recorded, working on a two-sided puzzle of 40 square feet on each side, or a touchscreen that guides the viewer into legal complexities of old Deadwood,” said Nelson.
This donation-run museum is open year round, and offers various specials throughout the year to promote community involvement with the local history that contributed to modern-day Deadwood.
“We offer free admission for military families from Memorial Day to Labor Day through the Blue Star Museums program,” explained Speirs.
“Not a lot of people would expect to find national-class exhibit experiences in a small town 10 miles off the interstate, but that is exactly what we offer,” said Nelson. “Our target is the imagination of the traveling visitor.”
OCTOBER – APRIL // 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. // TUESDAY – SATURDAY
LIMITED-WAGE GAMBLING WAS LEGALIZED IN 1989.
And traveling visitors we were. After learning about the other museums in the Deadwood History family, we drove the three minutes to Broken Boot Gold Mine. This seasonal attraction was opened in 1954 and offers the only underground mine tour in the northern Black Hills.
“The underground tour is 30 minutes long, about a quarter mile walk,” said manager Kerry Ruth. “It’s just long enough to entertain children and inform adults.”
“We give tours every 30 minutes, and our guides are all local high school and college students, even some teachers,” said Ruth. “The mine is truly a part of our community.”
BROKEN BOOT CANDELIGHT TOUR
EVERY EVENING AT 5:30 P.M. // AGES 12+ // MEMORIAL DAY THROUGH LABOR DAY
DEADWOOD WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1876.
In need of a thirst quencher, we decided to end our day at the Deadwood Social Club. Previously known as Aunt Sally’s Speakeasy, this Deadwood staple was opened in 1993 and offers “classic cocktails and elevated food.”
“People know that we do our best to use local resources from places like Gillette (Wyo.) and Pierre,” said Venner. “We’re trying to stay in the farm-to-table movement while sticking to our steak-and-potatoes roots.”
Whether you want to try one of the 84 martinis on the upper outdoor patio, or one of the 180 different whiskey, scotch, or bourbon choices in the private dining area, this destination caters to everyone.
“Our options are becoming more seasonal in relation to our local farms,” said Venner. “We want to push a little bit of new American experimentation with new foods—something that can appeal to the next generation.”