Friday, October 14, 2016

South Dakota Trip - Deadwood

I like Road Trips!  Especially when legally driving 80 MPH on the Interstates!  This is along I-90, heading west toward our next adventure at Deadwood, SD.  Yes, Deadwood is a REAL place, not just a dream spun by HBO writers.
Named for all the dead trees found in its gulch, Deadwood was originally on land granted to the Native Americans in 1868.  Once gold was found there, people didn't seem to care whose land it was. Prospectors, along with gamblers, prostitutes and gunmen arrived and an outlaw town began.  Well that was the 1870's and the Black Hills Gold Rush, triggered by General George Custer from gold found along French Creek, was fully and roughly underway.
I'm not a gambler, so my interest to go there was the downtown Adams Museum and the Midnight Star, Kevin Costner's bar, restaurant and gambling hall which also holds a collection of Costner's movie memorabilia.

Adams Museum
Adams Museum from US 85
Adams Museum was built in the 1930's donated by pioneer businessman WE Adams.  It was created to preserve the local history of Deadwood and has quite a few pieces of memorabilia.  It has free entry with a donation and all 3 floors have lots of interesting things to look at.  They include items like Potato Creek Johnny's gold nugget, a fossilized plesiosaur, and NC Wyeth's pencil sketch of legend Wild Bill Hickok.  Look for the bordello door and a B&W photo of Deadwood after a major fire.

Midnight Star
Midnight Star belongs to Kevin Costner and his brother.  Upstairs in the restaurant are collections of Costner's films preserved behind glass from Dances with Wolves to Waterworld, the Guardian, the Postman, Field of Dreams and more.  These costumes, props and affects tell some of the story of Costner's successful career in film, with over 57 films, TV shows and shorts and maybe more to come.  They show most of the memorabilia online but left out a couple bicyclists would know, like American Flyers...

Corner building on Sherman Street, love the hand cut stonework
Main Street looking north
I love these Ghost Signs
And this Ghost Sign across the street from Midnight Star
The Silverado Hotel and Gambling Hall
Funny, seeing Deadwood painted on the water tower

Afterward we walked around Deadwood, enjoying the older preserved buildings and architecture. We tried to find the historic Mount Moriah cemetery above town, but got lost on the very steep streets.
Our time was up.  From Deadwood, we drove west/south on US 85 through the Black Hills National Forest.  The clear view and steep drop from the forested mountains all the way down to the plains at Four Corners was awesome!  We drove through the big empty again all the way back to Lusk, where we turned west onto US 18.  One town we passed through was Shawnee, which except for one resident, was abandoned.
At I-25 we drove south back to Castle Rock, arriving around 9:30 PM.  There is one more chapter of this Road Trip coming next week.
Deadwood is located on US 85.  From Rapid City, go west on I-90 to exit 17 and go south on US 85 which becomes Main Street in town.

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