Still Lively After 140 Years
From its start as a rough-and-tumble mining camp in 1876, Deadwood is a story of resilience and reinvention. In its current iteration, Deadwood is a gaming and vacation destination that proudly preserves its history.
The entire city is a National Historic Landmark, and its Mount Moriah Cemetery, where Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock are buried, is a popular tourism destination.
In 1989, Deadwood became the first jurisdiction outside Nevada and Atlantic City, N.J., to legalize games such a slot machines, poker and blackjack. To serve the influx of visitors, a number of casinos, restaurants and hotels have been established – under the strict guidelines of local historic preservation officials.
Revenue from gaming has allowed the city to offer its citizens amenities such as a top-notch recreation center, low property taxes and generous assistance programs for residents who want to restore or preserve their homes.
In addition, Deadwood hosts a series of popular events such as Mardi Gras, Wild Bill Days, Kool Deadwood Nites, the Deadwood Jam and the Deadweird celebration. Its Days of ’76 Rodeo has been named by PRCA the best medium-sized rodeo in the nation for more than a dozen years in a row.
In recent years, Deadwood has expanded into the live entertainment with the construction of the Deadwood Mountain Grand, a 1,200-seat music and entertainment venue in the former Homestake Slime Plant building.
Serious history buffs have found a welcome reception in Deadwood. New facilities such as the Days of ’76 Museum and the Homestake Adams Research & Cultural Center made great strides in the interpretation, collection and study of historical artifacts, photographs and papers.