Sunday, August 30, 2009

South Dakota: Deadwood

On one of our last days in South Dakota we went to Deadwood, a town infamous for its brothels and bars and famous as the death site of Wild Bill. In fact, I think there was an HBO series loosely-based on this place. It's quite small now, but in its heyday had a population of about 5,000. For comparison, that's even more people than are in my small hometown!

We took a tour of a beautiful mansion that had been built in the town around 1880. All of the furniture is original to the house, and they restored the wallpaper and window treatments to as they were when it was first built. It was really interesting to see how the rich lived back at the turn of the century.
As I noted, this is were Wild Bill died, and his final resting place is in the cemetery on the hill above town. We took a little side trip to see it.

Calamity Jane, at one point apparently his girlfriend, is buried beside him, per her dying wish.

I actually don't know my history well enough to really know why they are famous, and I'm too lazy to go to Wikipedia and figure it out myself. I was always interested in pioneer history, but somehow managed to completely ignore the cowboys and Indians sort of history that often excites others.

1 comment:

  1. For a (completely accurate and factual, of course) account of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock, you can watch the 1960's musical "Calamity Jane" with Doris Day. When I read this post the music was running through my head. Oh, hey, there might be squirrels in it (well, ok, no, there aren't but I thought it would be an added incentive).