Day 7-9 Deadwood, S.D.   Leave a comment

Deadwood is the town where Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed. Saloon Number 10 was the name of the saloon and it was located where we are standing, but when it burned down in a fire, they relocated further up and across the street.

James Butler Hickok, known as “Wild Bill” born May 27, 1834 and died in Deadwood on August 2, 1876. He is buried at Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Calamity Jane was said to be distraught over his death and had herself buried next to him when she died in 1903 at the age of 53.

The flag never goes down on Mt. Moriah Cemetery, as Deadwood was granted permission by the U.S. Congress during World War I to fly the flag 24 hours a day to honor all veterans who have served our country. Before we left the cemetery, we got a great overall view of Deadwood.

Up until the 1980s the area where Saloon Number 10 was located was considered the “Red Light District.” Today, as you can see below, there are mannequins in the windows, dressing it up as it was in the past.

We went into the Celebrity Casino/Hotel to see all the movie memorabilia they have displayed. There was so much. Below are pictured “Married With Children” Peg Bundy’s top, Robin Williams “Hook”, Beatles drums, and Tom Hank’s 1974 Senior Yearbook Picture.

Other items included Harry Potter’s want, Disney’s “Herby’s” VW, Evil Kneival’s & Peter Fonda’s motorcycle, Elvis’ outfit, Jackie Gleason’s outfit from “Smokey and the Bandit”, Jeep from “Mash,” Guitars of Mick Jagger, Garth Brooks, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Sheryl Crow. The list just keeps going on.

The bus ride to tour Kevin Costner’s Tatanka, Story of the Bison, proved more than entertaining. We had a great tour guide, who kept our group very entertained.

The sculptures on the grounds of Tatanka were amazing. Every time I see a place where they would call “head smash buffalo” I’m amazed. The herders would run the buffalo over the side of a steep hill so that they could “easily” get their kill.

Adams Museum is a collection of some of the Black Hills’ greatest treasurers, including Potato Creek Johnny’s gold nuggets. Photography was not permitted in the museum, so if you are ever in Deadwood, it is a worthwhile site to see.

The Adams House, 1892 Queen Anne-style house, also did not allow photography and is something you should definitely take the time to see. The house was built by Harris and Anna Franklin and known as the finest residence in Deadwood, the finest residence in the Black Hills, and the finest residence west of the Mississippi. Franklin sold the home to his son Nathan for $1 in 1905. Nathan sold the home to the Adams’ a year later for $8,500.

Following the death of W.E. Adams in 1934, his second wife Mary Adams closed the house, leaving everything intact from the sheet music in the piano bench, the books in the library and the china in the pantry to the patent medicines in the bathroom, the gilded settee in the parlor and even the cookies in a cookie jar.

The oak interiors, beautifully hand-painted canvas wall coverings, stained glass windows, stained glass windows, modern 19th century plumbing, electricity and telephone service and original furnishings sat untouched for almost 60 years. In 1987, the elderly Mary Adams Balmat sold the home to a couple who operated the house as a bed-and-breakfast for a short period of time before selling the house and contents to the City of Deadwood in 1992. The beautifully restored historic Adams House opened as a museum in 2000.

The neighbors of the Adams’ house have a very good sense of humor as demonstrated on this tree is someone’s front yard.

The Spearfish Hatchery

The motorcycle ride up to Spearfish, S.D., was just as beautiful as it was last year.

The hatchery looks almost the same today as it did when it was completed in 1899. When the hatchery was active, eggs were hatched and fingerlings were reared on the ground floor. It was kinda fun to throw fish food into the water and watch the fish swarm.

At the hatchery, we learned that there are roughly 32,000 different kinds of fish in the world, they are slimy because it is a protective covering to guard against infections, parasites, bacteria, and viruses; fish can smell, trout grows about half an inch a month, they swim in groups because it is a protective behavior, and the fish who have hooked lower jaws are males.

The fish car era 1873-1947 was when the railroad cars moved fish. Each year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would transport over 200 million fishing from National Fish Hatcheries I tanker trucks filled with refrigerated, oxygen-aerated and constantly circulated and cleansed water. In the 1980s the science of fish culture was still young. Fish culture pioneers soon devised a way to safely carry fish for long distances by using railcars that were remodeled or specifically constructed for this work. In 1881, following several successful transportations of fish by rail, the U.S. Fish Commission decided to construct a “fish car” that was specifically designed to carry fish. This railroad car was reinforced so that it could carry 20,000 pounds of fish, water, and equipment at passenger car speeds.

Fishcars, similar to the replica in the photo below, were used as the fastest, most efficient means of transporting fish eggs and young fish to their final destinations across the country.

Cars usually operated from April to November with the winter months set aside for maintenance and repairs. The U.S. Fish commission operated eleven cars, and many states also owned their own cars. Fish Car #3 was constructed in 1884 and used until 1929. In the early days of hauling fish, milk cans were used. Milk cans weighed 22.5 pounds, empty. Five pails fit in the space occupied by three milk cans, increasing carrying capacity by almost 65% and weighing less. The fish traveled better as well. Fish Car #3 could carry about 150 10 gallon cans which contained approximately 15,000 3 inch fish. Cars could haul fish as long as ten days with only 1% loss.

By the 1940s, with the invention of internal combustion engine and the development of highway road systems, fish cars were replaced by modern tank trucks which were more efficient to operate. By the early 1920s, the fish cars had carried over 72 billion fish across more than 2 million miles of track.

In the museum, there was a photo of an amusing tombstone, if you can call a tombstone amusing….It read “Gone But Not Forgotten Death: Overwork At Fishhatchery.

We topped off Deadwood with a taste of wonderful truffles at “Chubby Chipmunk’s”

They have 49 different flavors and they are mmmmm mmmmm good.


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