Mel And Nancy trip to Maritime Provences travel blog

story of homestake mine

community of early lead

open cut mine

reclaiming the earth after mining


clamanity jane and wild bill hickok

Today, we started on the northern edge of The Black Hills, Lead and Deadwood.

The town of Lead, {leed}, was the home of the infamous Homestake Gold Mine, which is home of the famous Black Hills Gold. It was founded by Fred and Moses Manuel. They named the mine Homestake because they wanted enough money to send a stake to their family at home. The towns name Lead comes from the term of a promising gold vein, called leads. They built a mill and mined $5,000 worth of gold in 1876. In 1877, they sold their land to George Hearst for $70,000.

The Homestake Mine became the longest continuously, operating gold mine in the country, operating more than 125 years. Prior to closing its door, the Homestake Mine had become a open pit mine which can be seen at the center of town. In 2002, the mine closed their doors in the name of science. Now, the Sanford Lab is studying neutrinos and “Darkmatter”, which relates to Black Holes in Space in the DUNE project, “Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment” at 4850ft down in the shut down mine. They will shoot particles from a similar site near Chicago to try to identify neutrinos from 808miles away. Lots of really smart people in the little town of Lead.

Deadwood, a neighboring town, was also a big Gold Mining Town. In 1876, miners came to the Black Hills and found dead trees, thus the name “Deadwood”. The mining town expanded due to the influence of the government and the treaty of 1879 with the Lokota Indians. As the town grew, it became very wild due to the amount of gold miners and the railroad. This is where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane each left their mark. As the mining declined, Deadwood has become known for its gambling centers. It has still kept its frontier historic charm.

All this at the expense of the Indians who were there first. The US did not honor the treaties that had been signed and agreed too. The Crazy Horse memorial will one day testify to their loss, it already does.

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