Poker Alice's "House"
|Distance||About 50 miles via US16 and I-90|
|Time Needed:||Mostly this is a drive-by. The house is now a Bed and Breakfast but the owners give tours during the summer months.|
|Best Time To Go:||During a trip
northern hills or Sturgis
|Directions:||US 16A east to US66 eest to I-90 west to Sturgis. The house is located just east of downtown at 1802 South Junction Avenue|
|Highlights:||A bungalow interesting for its story|
We put quotation marks around the word
house in the headline for this aritcle because -- to put
as old-timers used to say -- her house was not a home.
Alice was a
madam and her house was popular with soldiers from
nearby Ft. Meade
and, according to Alice, methodist ministers.
Oddly, the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce web site mentions nothing about Poker Alice. (9/20/06) Surely this must be an oversight.
Alice herself was a moderately famous Black Hills character who was well known as a cigar chomping, pistol-packing, big-stakes poker player in the saloons of Deadwood.
Alice was featured in a 1987 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and has been the subject of numerous articles and chapters in books about Western History. Note: The film version of Poker Alice's story is almost completely untrue. It's hard to understand why Hollywood script writers fake a story when the real history is so interesting. Alice died in 1930 in Rapid City and is buried at St. Aloysius Cemetery in the Black Hills.
Unless mommy and daddy want to explain something to little Billy, this probably isn't a place to visit with small children.
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