Wednesday, April 12, 2017


In our years of travel I had often seen the signs forDeadwood and thought of the Old West history tied to it.  For various reasons we had never made it to Deadwood, so we were determined to go this trip, and so we did.

Quite frankly, after all my preconceived  thoughts on this historical town, I was disappointed.  As you have already figured out we are big on history and love visiting historical sites.  The more that is preserved the better we like it.  Unfortunately Deadwood did not have a whole lot preserved. It had more gambling establishments than anything.  I know saloons and gambling were a big part of the history of Deadwood, but these were not saloons of old, they were modern equipment casinos

Maybe part of my disappointment was we happened to be there during the Mustang Rally, baaad mistake if you are looking for wild west history. We did see some pretty nice Mustangs though.

In fact we were told there are all sorts of car shows, rallys and the such all summer long in Deadwood.

There were markers showing where historical buildings like the Saloon #10, AKA: Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon, where Wild Wild Bill Hickock was murdered, but there were two #10’s on the same, but opposite sides, of the street.  One claimed to be the original location---not the original saloon, but the other one was where the street shows took place.

Most of the “historical markers” throughout Deadwood were of more modern times.  We saw only one statue of Wild Bill Hickock .  It was at one end of the strip at the end of a very modern hotel and casino. There was a small sign stating who he was and that was it.

On the opposite end of the main street was a statue of a rodeo rider with far more information on his sign than had been on the Hickok statue.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some lovely old buildings to be seen as we walked the historic district.  It is just they were barely marked by over hanging signs scattered here and there that basically said this is “name the building, date”.  Nothing about the history of the building .  They were also very hard to locate.

The visitor center has a map of these locations, but we ran into more than one family trying to find the various signs per the map that were very frustrated that they were unable to find most of the signs.
At the visitor center there was a brief video on the history of the town and a lot of brochures on the area. 

One of the brochures was on the area was about the tour buses going to the Moriah Cemetery, where many of Hickock’s peers.  They were handing out discount tickets for this tour, but it was too late in the day for us to catch the last bus.  So we didn’t despite the fact we really enjoy looking through old cemeteries.  You can learn so much about an area by visiting the cemeteries of the area.

We had planned on just driving to the cemetery ourselves, but we ended up walking much further than we had planned in the heat due to construction that had blocked the marked walkways back to our parking spot at the far end of town.  The hike took us up through the hills and several blocks past our truck.  To say we were exhausted by the time we got back to the truck was an understatement. 

Even with that we considered trying to go to the cemetery, but it was closing by then. 

Maybe another trip we will visit the cemetery. We would both like to visit the cemetery where so many wild west celebrities are buried.

Would I recommend visiting Deadwood, yes and no.  No if there is a rally of any sort going on, the crowds and the loud music take away the history of the town.

Yes, because the history is there and it is worth digging for. We plan on going back some day to visit Mount Marriah Cemetery for certain. 

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