Deadwood, SD

whatsitlikeIf we had played word association five years ago and said “Deadwood,” most people would have responded, “Wild Bill Hickok.” Thanks to HBO, though, more people know about the history of this Black Hills burg than ever before—even if it is all thanks to Jack McCall shooting down a legendary icon while he was playing poker in Saloon #10. Like any town most known for one person or event, there are a lot of hidden gems found in Deadwood that locals know best.

Favorite Local Cuisine: Buffalo. You can pretty much find this fare everywhere, but the only AAA four-diamond restaurant is Jake’s at Kevin Costner’s Midnight Star Casino (677 Main St., do you get the Silverado references?); ask for the Buffalo Carpaccio.

Best Cowboy Bars: Old Style Saloon #10 (657 Main St.), where Hickok bit the dust, and the 1879 Bodega Bar (662 Main St.).

Best Western Bookstore: Adams Bros. Bookstore on the first floor of the Adams Museum (54 Sherman St.).

Best Western Art Gallery: Blue Dog Framers and Studio Gallery (309 W. Main St. in nearby Lead).

Most Popular Local Event: Days of ’76 Rodeo, celebrating 85 years this July 24-29.

Best Spot to View Wildlife: The 114-mile George S. Mickelson Trail (right) through the Black Hills, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this September 14-16.

What attractions in Deadwood should not be missed?: The daily re-enactments of the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok on Main Street (above) and the Adams Museum—the Black Hills’ oldest history museum.

What historic site do most school-children visit?: Mount Moriah Cemetery (2 Mt. Moriah Rd.), originally established in 1877-78, where the bodies of Hickok, Calamity Jane and W.E. Adams are buried.

Old West Attractions: Days of ’76 Museum (17 Crescent St.), Broken Boot Gold Mine (1200 Main St.) and the 1892 Adams House (22 Van Buren St.).

What’s the latest story everyone’s gossiping about?: The potential restoration of the Homestake Mining Company’s early 1900s Slime Plant.

Who knows Deadwood’s history best?: Jerry Bryant, local archaeologist, or David Wolff, professor of history at Black Hills State University.

Best Route to Historic Downtown: Take 14A to historic Main Street.

Best Place to Buy Land: Anywhere in the Northern Black Hills.

Average House Cost: $155,000.

Restoration Plans for Historic Parts of the City: We recently restored Mount Moriah Cemetery and are in the process of restoring the St. Ambrose Cemetery (on Burnam Hill), where the earliest Catholic burials began in 1878.

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