Deadwood  is a town in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is rivaled only by Tombstone, Arizona as America's most storied town from the wild frontier days.
Dead man's hand
In 1876 "Wild Bill" Hickok, a legendary gunfighter, was shot in the back of his head while he was playing poker. Legend has it that Hickok was unable to find a seat in the parlor where his back would be against a wall, thus preventing any sneak attacks from behind. As a result he sat with his back to the door and was later killed by Jack McCall. Legend has it that Wild Bill's hand when he was murdered was a pair of aces and eights, a hand that has become known as the Dead man's hand due to Hickok's unfortunate luck. The fifth card is a matter of debate, with some people claiming that it had not been dealt or that it was possibly a five or nine of diamonds.
In 1874, famed Army commander George Custer led an expedition into the area and announced that he and his men had discovered gold nearby, in what is today Custer, South Dakota. Two years later brothers Charlie and Steve Utter led a wagon train into Deadwood containing essential business supplies - prostitutes and cards - which led to a boost in industries such as booze, gambling parlors, and brothels. During this time notorious gunfighter "Wild Bill" Hickok helped the Utter brothers by scouting out any troubles the train might encounter. That same year "Wild Bill" was shot in the head while playing poker at the Saloon No. 10. His killer, "the coward Jack McCall", was captured, tried by a group of miners, freed, re-captured, re-tried by a court, and hanged. Legal proceedings have, thankfully, grown somewhat more standardized in the years since that famous crime.
Historical marker, Deadwood
Another legendary event was the Horsemeat March of 1876 where General Cook led an expedition pursuing a band of Sioux natives fleeing the site of Custer's last stand, the Battle of Little Big Horn. General Cook and his men set off in pursuit with reduced rations in order to give a quicker chase, but they did not predict that the Sioux would burn the grass behind them. As a result, both the horses and the men had no food and the men eventually were forced to shoot their own horses for food.
Two major fires struck the town in the late 19th century. In 1879, nearly the entire town burned to the ground, including the popular brothel known as the Gem Theater. The owner, Al Swearengen, rebuilt the Gem bigger and more extravagantly than its predecessor. The town lost many of its residents, itinerant miners whose only possessions were destroyed in the fire, but Deadwood eventually recovered. Swearengen's command of vice led him into conflict with Sheriff Seth Bullock, a stern Western lawman and another of the town's earliest residents. The town began to flourish again, but was devastated once more by fire in 1894. Sheriff Seth Bullock and some of the other residents stayed and rebuilt even stronger than before, but this time, Swearengen left town. He was last seen as a penniless drunk, killed while trying to catch a train to Colorado.
The town's storied history was the inspiration for the HBO hit TV series Deadwood, which centered around Bullock, Swearengen, and the struggles of Deadwood to rise from a lawless miners' camp to a community and a civilization. The show incorporates many of the town's early residents and events including the depiction of a man who survived for half-an-hour after being shot in the head by a prostitute.
In 1989, Deadwood legalized gambling, making it the third place in the United States to legalize gambling after Atlantic City and the state of Nevada, albeit at more limited stakes than its predecessors.
Keep in mind that despite its high aspirations, Deadwood is still a very small town (fewer than 2000 people) in a sparsely populated area.
Deadwood lies 42 miles northwest of Rapid City on US Route 14A. If you're driving from Rapid City you'll need to follow I-90 to Sturgis and merge onto US Route 14A West and drive for 12 miles before arriving in Deadwood.
If you're coming from Wyoming on I-90, take exit 17 towards Deadwood and drive for 8 miles to get into town.
Deadwood and the Black Hills area are best traveled by car (or horse), but Airport Express (605-399-9999), Discovery Tours (1-888-524-5655) and Dakota Taxi (605-920-2020) can provide transportation from the Rapid City airport.
Prairie Hills Transit offers 1 way and round trip transportation to and from Rapid City for 15$ 1 way and 22$ R/T.Rates (PDF File)
Most of the restaurants, hotels, shops and sights are located on Main Street, within easy reach of each other on foot (save for snowstorms). Free parking is available in the lot on Sherman Street which is a few blocks from main street, but there is metered parking scattered throughout most of the town as well. There is also a parking garage near main street. A trolley service runs Sunday-Thursday 7AM to 1:30AM and Friday & Saturday 7AM to 3AM for most of the year, but Sunday-Thursday hours are reduced to 8AM to 12:00 midnight during the winter. The cost is very cheap at $1 per ride.
The Visitors Bureau (767 Main Street, 1-800-999-1876) has maps and the usual array of tour brochures. They're also available at the History and Information Center on Sherman Street.
Driving in Deadwood is fairly easy, as the streets are lightly trafficked and all of the sights are either on Main Street or clearly marked. Deadwood winters can be very severe, however, so if you want to rent a car in the winter months (Late September-Late April, with snow still being possible as late as May and even June) be sure it can get around.
Recently, a company called Rushmore Segway has been offering guided, 90-minute Segway tours of the town. The tour office is located at the Days of '76 Rodeo grounds. (September 2013 these segway tours are NO LONGER OFFERED)
- Adams House Museum, 22 Van Buren Ave, ☎ 605.578.3724, . 9-5. Built by the Franklins, this Queen-Anne styled mansion is nearly perfectly preserved since being purchased by W.E. Adams. Tours are about half an hour. $5. edit
- Adams Museum, 54 Sherman Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1714, . Summer (May 1 - September 30): Daily: 9AM to 5PM Winter hours (October 1 - April 30): Tu-Sa: 10AM to 4PM During the winter the museum is closed Sundays, Mondays and winter holidays.. Free admission, however a $3 per adult, $2 per child is encouraged. edit
- Mount Moriah Cemetery, ☎ +1-(605)-578-2600. Overlooking the town from a steep hill to the north, Mount Moriah offers remarkable views of the area and the entire town, as well as the graves of Wild Bill, Calamity Jane and a few lesser-known luminaries from the Old West. (Seth Bullock's grave lies on a hill above the rest, a quiet ten minute climb away.) It is a well-kept cemetery with a beautiful cover of trees. Mount Moriah can be reached on foot from the town, although it's a steep climb. Maps are available at the gate. edit
- Nelson's Garage Car Museum, 629 Main Street (Located in the Celebrity Hotel & Casino), ☎ +1-(605)-578-1909, . This museum has collected some of the world's most recognized automobiles such as the jeep from TV's M*A*S*H, Magnum P.I.'s Ferrari and James Bond's Aston Martin. Free admission. edit
- David Young's Bronze Sculpture Gallery, 608 Main Street (Located in Wild West Winner's Club), ☎ +1-(605)-578-3990. edit
- Tatanka: Story of the Bison, Highway 85 (One mile north of Deadwood), ☎ +1-(605)-584-5678 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1-(605)-578-2070), . Hours: May 15th - September 30th 9AM - 5PM. Tatanka explores the history of the North American buffalo, which at one time had a population in excess of 30 million, but by the close of the 19th century the bison population was estimated at only 1,000. Admission: Daily Passes: Senior (65+): $6.50; Adult (12+ years): $7.50; Child (6-11 years): $5.50; Children (5 years and under): Free. edit
- Historic Ghost Tour (Historic Bullock Hotel), 633 Main Street. Participate in this famous historic Ghost Tour hosted by costumed reenactors portraying Sheriff Seth Bullock or his wife, Martha. $5. edit
- Madam Henrico Fortune Telling (Miss Kitty's Casino), 649 Main Street. Friday & Saturday Evenings. Experience an historical reenactment of Madam Henrico Livingstone, Deadwood Gulch's first female clairvoyant, card reader and fortune teller. Free. edit
Many of the hotels, bars and restaurants also offer gambling, although that may range from a row of slot machines to private poker and blackjack rooms, depending on the quality of the establishment. Most casinos also offer free food and drinks so long as you're gambling (Or at least looking like you are)
- First Gold Hotel & Gaming, 270 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-9777 (email@example.com, fax: +1-(605)-578-3979), . * Deadwood Gulch Gaming Resort, 304 Cliff on Hwy 85 South, ☎ 800-695-1876, . Tucked back in the trees, this in town resort/casino has an out of town feel. It's known for its hospitality, up to date gaming, and great food. edit edit
- Midnight Star, 677 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1555. One of Deadwood's casinos, but this one is notable for being owned by Kevin Costner, whose film memorabilia line the walls. edit
- Silverado Casino, 709 Main Street, ☎ 800-584-7005, . The Silverado recently acquired the Franklin Hotel, making them one of the largest full-service gaming establishments in Deadwood. edit
- Old Style Saloon No. 10's The Utter Place, 657 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-3346, . Daily: 11AM - 1AM. Named for the establishment where Wild Bill was murdered. It's one block south of the actual location. There are signs noting where Wild Bill was actually shot and were they captured the hook-nosed assassin Jack McCall. edit
- Celebrity Casino, 629 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1909 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Daily: 24 hours. This Casino is popular for its displays of authentic movie props, celebrity instruments and famous automobiles. edit
- Gold Dust, 688 Main Street, ☎ +1-(6050-578-2100 or 800-456-0533, . Daily: 24 hours. The Gold Dust is one of the larger establishments in Deadwood, Spanning 8 rooms over two properties. The Gold Dust also operates the Holiday Inn Express. edit
- Deadwood Gift Shoppe, 666 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-722-4975 (email@example.com), . Sells clothing, jewelry, souveniors and other goods made in South Dakota. edit
- Black, 11810 Gilt Edge Road, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1553 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Sells outdoor decor, statues, and statuettes. edit
- Chubby Chipmunk Hand Dipped Chocolates, 420 Cliff Street, ☎ +1-(605)-722-2447, . Handmade chocolates by Mary "Chip" Tautkus who has been inventing and making truffles for years. edit
- Deadwood Tobacco Co, Basement of 828 Main, ☎ +1-(605)-722-1510, . 12 noon to 12 midnight, closed Tuesdays. A good selection of high quality tobacco products and a well stocked bar. The cigar humidor is the largest in South Dakota, with many hard to find cigars. They have live music most weekends and are the only bar in town without any gambling. edit
- Miners Den Steakhouse, 681 Main Street (At the end of Deadwood Main across the street from the Gold Dust), ☎ 605-578-3430. 4PM-10PM. The Miners Den Steakhouse offers great food, a relaxing atmosphere and a friendly and helpful staff. The menus items range from appetizers and salads to seafood and steak. There is a great childrens menu for kids,a 10% senior discount for people 55 and over, and cheap beer. The domestic bottles are 1.75, 12 oz drafts 1.50 and 22 oz drafts 2.50. Menu price ranges from 5.99-25.99. edit
- Best Western Hickok House, 137 Charles Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1611, . The Hickhok house offers amazing food. They have breakfast, lunch and dinner. They do however specialize in breakfast. They have an awesome country fried steak that comes with hashbrowns, toast and eggs for only $8.99! The staff is friendly and the place seems very clean. edit
- Bourbon Street Casino, 669-671 Main Street & 29 Lee Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1297. Celebrate Mardi Gras every day! Guests enjoy Free "dirty-rice" prepared with fresh onions, peppers, garlic, and sausage. 63 liberal slots! edit
- Deadwood Gulch Gaming Resort - Creekside Restaurant, Highway 85 South, ☎ +1-(605)-578-7740 (www.deadwoodgulch.com), . Award-winning creak-side resort, restaurant, casinos, and convention center, with plenty of parking edit
- Deadwood Social Club, 657 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1544, 1-800-9529398, . Deadwood's finest Italian Steakhouse specializing in handcrafted Mediterranean cuisine. edit
- Diamond Lil's, 677 Main Street. edit
- Four Aces Restaurant, 531 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-2323, . Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet every day, homemade salad and desserts. "Prime & Crab" Friday and Saturday nights edit
- Jake's Fine Dining, 677 Main Street, ☎ 16055783656, . 5PM-10PM. edit
- Mustang Sally's, 634 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-2025 (email@example.com). Open Late! Outdoor Main Street dining. Sports bar and grill. Best burgers in town. edit
- Oyster Bay Restaurant, 626 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-2205 (firstname.lastname@example.org). As seen on HBO, the History Channel Discovery Channel and Travel Channel- the world famous Oyster Bay Bar. Italian seafood restaurant and casino, not Featuring a Japanese Sushi Kiosk edit
- Silverado Grand Buffet, 709 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-3670, . Stay, play and dine at Deadwood's best! Live poker, blackjack and large variety of slot machines. Prime and Crab on Friday and Saturday nights edit
- Taco Johns, 90 Charles Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-3975. edit
- Tin Lizzie Casino and Restaurant, 555 Main Street, ☎ 1-800-643-4490 (fax: +1-(605)-578-3168), . Enjoy out 1/2 pound Angus Lizzie Burger or any of the other menu items priced at $7.99 or below! edit
- Oggies Sports Bar and Emporium and the Deadwood Grille at the Lodge, 100 Pine Crest Lane, ☎ 18773935634. Oggies was designed for service and fun. They offer competitive spirits with pool tables and darts. For the sports nuts they have 10 large high-definition flat screen televisions always tuned in for non stop sports.The Deadwood Grille features contemporary casual with a chef-inspired Northern Black Hills cuisine, The Grille is open for breakfast and dinner, 7 days a week. More than just a restaurant, the Deadwood Grille is a celebration of intriguing food, thoughtful wine and cocktails, in inviting, yet elegant surroundings. Menu selections, daily features and private label wines available. Serving Breakfast and Dinner daily. edit</eat>
- Boondocks Diner & Amusement, 21559 US HWY 385, ☎ 605-578-1186, . Vintage diner, automobiles, rides, costumed photos, Studebaker museum all circa 1950's! 9 miles south of Deadwood on highway 385 edit
- Brown Rock Sports Cafe (Cadillac Jacks), 360 Main Street, ☎ 605-578-1500, . Brand new in 2009! Specialty pizzas and delicious American fare. Starbucks coffee. edit
- Buffalo Steakhouse (Buffalo-Bodega), 658 Main Street, ☎ 605-578-9993, . edit
- Bully's (Historic Bullock Hotel), 649 Main Street, ☎ 605-578-1745, . Intimate fireside dining with steak, seafood, and pasta specials. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. edit
- Aught Six Grille (Deadwood Mountain Grand), 1906 Deadwood Mountain Drive, ☎ 877-907-4726, . Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with creek side dining available. edit
- Gem Steakhouse & Saloon (Mineral Palace), 601 Main Street, ☎ 800-847-2522, . Specializing in hand-cut Angus Steak. Full service lounge. Open daily fr breakfast, lunch and dinner. edit
- Gold Dust Restaurant, 688 Historic Main Street, ☎ 800-456-0533, . Lunch and dinner buffet every day, homemade salads and desserts. "Prime and Crab" Friday and Saturday nights. edit
- Lee Street Station Cafe, 9 Lee Sreet (corner of Sherman and Lee St in the Wooden Nickel Casino), ☎ 605-578-1952, . The "best" breakfast and great lunches in Deadwood provided by Tami! Hamburgers, sandwiches, homemade soups and daily specials. Family and local favorite! Open daily from 7 to 2PM. edit
- The Pub N Grub, 21399 US HWY (SteelWheel Campground), ☎ 605-578-1260. Open breakfast, lunch and supper. Great food and great price. edit
- Super 8 Pizzeria, 196 Cliff Street, ☎ 605-578-2535, . Personal pan, medium, and large pizza made from scratch with fresh toppings. Burger deluxe, salads, fresh-baked cookies. edit
- Buffalo Bodega Complex, 658 Main St, . The Bodega has a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights, and usually has bands during special events. edit
- Old Style Saloon # 10, 657 Main St, ☎ 6055783346, . The Saloon number ten features a 40-foot long Brunswick bar. The walls are adorned with historical artifacts and oddities, and there is always fresh sawdust on the floor. edit
- The Deadwood Mountain Grand, 1906 Deadwood Street, ☎ 6055590386. The Deadwood Mountain Grand not only has regular concerts, but also has a nightclub that operates during special events. All casinos and most restaurants in Deadwood serve alcohol.
==Sleep== * *Cadillac Jack's, 360 Main Street, Deadwood, SD, ☎ 605.578.1500, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. All rooms include in-room coffee, microwaves, refrigerators, safes, HBO, and High Speed Wireless Internet access. Enjoy the indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, guest laundry, and free parking during your stay. Brown Rock Sports Cafe offers a breakfast buffet, lunch, and dinner daily. edit *Cadillac Jack's, 360 Main Street, Deadwood, SD, ☎ 605.578.1500, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. All rooms include in-room coffee, microwaves, refrigerators, safes, HBO, and High Speed Wireless Internet access. Enjoy the indoor pool, hot tub, steam room, guest laundry, and free parking during your stay. Brown Rock Sports Cafe offers a breakfast buffet, lunch, and dinner daily. edit * Cedar Wood Inn, 103 Charles Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-2725 (email@example.com), . edit *Deadwood Gulch Gaming Resort, 304 Cliff on Hwy 85 South, ☎ 1-800-695-1876. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Nessled in the pines beside Whitewood Creek, just one mile from Main Street. Deadwood Trolley service from our front door. Convention facilities available. Range from $39 to $169, depending on the season and room. edit *Holiday Inn Express, 22 Lee Street, ☎ 605-578-3330. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Located right in the middle of Main Street, within easy walking distance of all the other locations on Main. Anywhere from $59 to $169, depending on the season. edit *Lodge at Deadwood, 100 Pine Crest, ☎ 1-866-290-2403, . The Lodge at Deadwood is one of the newer hotel and casinos. It offers 270 different slot machines, 12 card tables on the main floor and the Rounders Poker Room. It is recommended casino participants take part in the Club 76 priority membership. Random drawings and rewards are only given to those who are using their rewards cards. They also offer a variety of packages throughout the year to those wanting more than just a hotel room. edit *Celebrity Hotel, 629 Main St, Deadwood, ☎ (888) 399-1886, . Stay at our Hollywood themed Hotel and Casino and enjoy Celebrity status. Has affordable luxury with a very attentive staff, heated towels, fine soaps, spotless rooms, and timeless elegance. starting at $100. edit ===Budget=== * Black Hills Inn & Suites, 206 Mountain Shadow Lane (Highway 385 South), ☎ +1-(605)-578-7791, . $39.95 - $109.95 per night depending on time of the year. edit * First Gold Hotel & Gaming, 270 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-9777 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1-(605)-578-3979), . checkin: 4PM; checkout: Noon. $49 - $129 per night depending on day and time of the year. edit ===Mid-range=== * Bullock Hotel, 633 Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-1745 (email@example.com), . This sandstone giant was built in 1895. Legend has it the ghost of Deadwood's legendary sheriff haunts the hotel, possibly annoyed at the rooms of slot machines on the first floor. $110 per night. edit * Iron Horse Inn, 27 Deadwood Street, ☎ (605) 717-7530 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (605) 722-6258), . Located in the Railroad district,it is one block from the center of downtown, but far enough away from the larger noisy casinos on mainstreet. Located next to the historic railroad station. $90 per night. edit * Cole's Cabin, 21357 US 385 (Located five miles south of Deadwood on Highway 385), ☎ +1-(513)-578-2800, . One bedroom cabin: $125 per night + tax. Two bedroom cabin: $165 per night + tax. edit ===Splurge=== * Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid, 57 Sherman Street, ☎ +1-(605)-343-8126 (email@example.com, fax: +1-(605)-555-5555), . $100 - $250 per night. edit * Historic Franklin Hotel, 700 Main Street, ☎ +1-(800)-688-1876, . $100 - $250 per night. edit Many notable guests have stayed at the Franklin, from Babe Ruth to Theodore Roosevelt. * Martin & Mason Hotel, 33 Deadwood St. (Located above the Wooden Nickel Casino), ☎ 605-722-3456 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 605-578-3250), . Beautiful historically renovated hotel decorated with period antiques and exquisite king beds. Very centrally located, an easy walk to everything in downtown Deadwood. $109-$375 per night. edit * Mineral Palace, 601 Historic Main Street, ☎ +1-(605)-578-2036 (email@example.com), . May, October - December: $89 - $209 per night. June- September: $ 139 - $259 per night. edit ==Get out== * Black Hills National Forest * Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a short drive away, and so is the even larger Crazy Horse Memorial . * Rapid City is a transportation hub for the region. It has a few museums, and plenty of cheap hotels and restaurants (chain and local). * Sturgis, roughly 12 miles to the East of Deadwood, is the home of the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August. * Wall (South Dakota) has Wall Drug, whose ubiquitous signs will be more than familiar to any visitor driving on Interstate 90. * Yellowstone National Park is just under 500 miles from Deadwood and 10 1/2 hour non-stop drive.
Mannequins above the Wild Bill Bar
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