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Deadwood, South Dakota

Dear Travel Diary,
If there exists a city that holds my curiosity within its grasp, Deadwood is one of them.
Named for the dead trees found strewn throughout its gulch, this old 3.83-square mile mining town tells many a tale of intrigue, mystery and legend. Gold was discovered in them hills in 1874, and as we drove, we found gold seekers panning in the creek in search of their fortune.
As Deadwood preserves it's history, its Gold Rush-era architecture seems to follow suit. When you consider the infamous outlaws and notorious visitors who passed through, it's easy to see why there exists such an appeal to explore.
In fact, the entire town is listed as a National Historic Landmark District.

And like the gunslingers a century before us, we were also just passing through. We were on our way to Lead, a town founded to work its massive open pit gold mine.

It's downtown is a mix of the historic and the modern, which clashed as we drove up the main street.

I look at this picture, and feel that cars do not belong here.

Deadwood's most famous story focuses on 'Wild Bill' Hickok. Within these city limits, this Old West lawman and gunslinger met his demise while playing poker at one of the saloons. There were quite a few signs pointing the way towards Mt Moriah Cemetery, where he is buried.

Long before the Gold Rush and its fortune seekers, Deadwood began as an illegal settlement on land that had been granted to the Lakota people. In fact, many of our nation's main tourism draws in South Dakota are located on sacred Lakota land.

That very brief introduction will become ever more important in the near future, when I talk about the Crazy Horse Monument in a future post.

In total, we probably spent 10 minutes in Deadwood. It was a brief introduction, but still a conversation I hope to continue soon.

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