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Headframe from an abandoned mine

This headframe over an abandoned mineshaft is a well-preserved example of Western-era structures still present in the Black Hills. Most, however, are more dilapidated and are unsafe to enter or be near. Those on US Forest Service managed land have been torn down or burned. Many of the best remaining examples are on private land and those interested in viewing them need to obtain land-owners permission for entry. Caution:  Abandoned mine sites may have poorly marked shafts or dangerous tunnels. Entry to such sites is strongly discouraged.

Western History

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     Most people think of the Black Hills Gold Rush of 1876 when they think of Western History of the Black Hills. Yes, this was the area made famous by such dime novel legends as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Deadwood Dick, of which there were dozens. 
But the Black Hills are also only minutes away from Wounded Knee, Bear Butte and other sites important to Native American History.

     For those wanting to know more there are several good museums that feature Western History, including the Adams Museum in Deadwood, the Journey Museum in Rapid City, The Custer Courthouse Museum in Custer, the High Plains Heritage Center in Spearfish, and the Crazy Horse Museum at the Crazy Horse Monument. 

     For the adventurous there's also more than 100 ghost towns in the Black Hills. Most, nowadays, are simply rubble in the forest, but several, such as Spokane near Keystone, are remarkably well preserved.  The Black Hills are also liberally sprinkled with hundreds of ghost mines (nearly 1,000 have been identified).  These mines may be partially intact or virtually impossible to find. Many offer great photo opportunities, and come with thier own historical stories.
     Another somewhat interesting stop for those interested in Western History is the Backyard at Wall Drug in Wall which features an extensive collection of early photos.  Finally, we have posted a couple of interesting stories right here. Look at our links for Hugh Glass and Poker Alice.

     More information is available at the Natioonal Forest Service Page about the Plains Indians  the  Deadwood History Page.

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