Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Towns of Deadwood & Lead, South Dakota


We took a trip to the towns of Deadwood and Lead, which we had only driven through to this point. Deadwood is a famous (or infamous, whichever you prefer) western town, as this is the place where James “Wild Bill” Hickok was killed while holding the Dead Man’s Hand (two-pairs: aces & eights ~ and rumor has it that they were all clubs & spades) playing poker. We stopped first at the Visitor’s Center to get acquainted with the town, and we were told that the Actor Kevin Costner has a restaurant here. Well, Brad’s a big Costner fan (Suzanne is not), but in the idea that all marriages have some compromise, we went to the Costner’s restaurant (Midnight Star) for lunch. The food and service was good, prices reasonable, and there was a lot of Costner film memorabilia around. Unfortunately, the lighting and casings were not very good, so we were not able to get a good picture of the many movies (think: Water World and about a dozen – at least it seems like a dozen – baseball movies). Tatonka.

We continued to meander around Deadwood (lots of saloons, bars, gambling, and restaurants), and as it’s the week before the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, there were a few additional signs posted:

(More on that next week, as we’ll be heading to Sturgis……………)
We also decided to take a tour of the Adams House, as it cost only $1 under our VIP card. The Adams House is an historic 1892 Queen Anne where the furnishings, plates, flatware, etc… are exactly as they were left when the owner of the house left in 1936, closed it up, and did not return for 51 years. Although it changed hands starting in 1987 when sold to a couple who wanted to establish the house as a B&B, they knew what they were getting and took photos as well as saved all of the items lefts (including the cookies in the cookie jar). Now owned by the City of Deadwood, it was restored and is quite interesting given that there are no replicas and everything is original – including the toothbrush and hairbrush of the former owners. Normally a tour for adults costs $7 and is, quite honestly, worth it. The tour and the tour guide were friendly and interesting. Unfortunately, there is no photography allowed inside the house, so no photos………


Just up the road from the Adams House is Mt. Moriah Cemetery - this is where Wild Bill Hickok & Calkamity Jane are buried. The admission pice is $1per adult, and it somewhat interesting. Ironically, we were there on the anniversary of Calamity Jane's death (August 1st) and one day away from the anniversary of Wild Bills' death (August 2nd).


~Lead ~

Lead is just 3 miles down the road from Deadwood, and we went to experience The Mining Museum, which is sponsered by the Homestake Gold Mine. Good news & bad news ~ good news: it was free using our VIP card (normally $6 per adult) since the bad news is that it wasn't a great tour. Although the concept of the museum was very good - comparing the miners lives from the 1800's to current day, the tour guide was monotone, and spoke at a level that the typical person visiting a mining museum wouldn't undertsand. Basically, he needed to "dummy down" his talk, as it was way above everyone's understanding of geology adn mining. Perhpas if we had a differernt tour guide, our experience would have been better.

Easy and affordable - no matter where you are! 
Escapees RV Club Commercial Member #693

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