Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Downtown Deadwood



Today's picture shows Downtown Deadwood in 1888. There is some sort of parade going on, and you can get a real sense of the hustle and bustle of this mining boom town. Some people commented yesterday that Deadwood today has become a casino town. That is really sad to me. I had visited a mining boom town outside Reno, Nevada. I think the town was Virginia City, and it was the same things. All the historic old hotels and everything had been turned into casinos.

11 comments:

  1. Looks better than when I saw it several years ago. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gambling casinos are sad things. Our state has yet another casino approval on the ballots. It is the usual excuse, funding for the public schools.
    Well the money never gets to the schools, which, by the way have tons of money and do a lousy job educating kids, but ends up in the general fund where politicians spend it on more votes.
    The gambling industry here is strong and I suspect it owns lots of politicians.
    Nobody wants the casinos nearby because of all the crime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more. Back in the early 60's, here in Texas, They started charging a one percent sales tax supposely to help the teachers. Tax is now 8%+ and they are asking teachers to take early retirement or letting them go.

      Delete
  3. We recently spent 2 days there, we do not gamble, but there is still so much wonderful stuff to do that has nothing to do with gambling. Great shopping and lots of history. We stayed in the Very Old Bullock Hotel, which is said to be haunted. We did not see any ghosts, but it was wonderful and the staff were so nice. Very authentic place.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a fantastic pictiure. Just 12 years after Wild Bill Hickok was gunned down in a saloon. I have to think that more of the original town would have been preserved if not for a number of fires over the years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victorian architecture was often wood, hence the many fires. Denver has only a few original Queen Anne houses, a style which followed Victorian. These also burned up like crazy until the architects got smart and started building them out of brick. We have quite a few Victorians and Queen Annes in Denver but most of them are brick.

      Delete
  5. One more observation... Have you noticed that all the women seem to be grouped together, bottom left. They don't apear to be intermingled through the men on the sidewalk. Given the number of flags flying I'd say this is a 4th of July parade or maybe Decoration Day parade which became Memorial Day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That entire area has been in a several decades long evolution. It was dominated by mining, with a 19th Century mining culture that featured a lot of drinking and gambling. For much of the 20th Century all the towns in the Black Hills were mining centered, with tourism, logging and agriculture also playing a role. The Army had a presence at Ft. Mead as well. By the 1980s mining was dead or dieing, and tourism was carrying the ball, but not adequately. Now mining is dead, but the legalization of gambling has made all the towns major casino towns. Tourism remains a big deal. Deadwood and Lead were sort of depressed towns when I first saw them in the 70s and 80s, and now their hopping, but I don't care for gambling myself and there's a certain element of cheesiness what with the gambling and tourism industries being so prominent. Sort of an artificial culture all the way around, so to speak. Having said that, the overall Black Hills are very pretty, if rather touristy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Casinos bring money but not much class.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a photograph of a street parade celebrating the completion of a stretch of railroad in Deadwood taken by John C. H. Grabill in 1888. The narrow-gauge railroad, the Deadwood Central Railroad, was founded by Deadwood resident J.K.P. Miller and his associates in 1888, in order to serve their mining interests in the Black Hills. When I visited Deadwood a few years ago, I too was struck by the cheesiness of the casinos. But a climb up to the Mount Moriah Cemetery to see the graves of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane was a reminder that there is still real history here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was just in Virginia City NV over the weekend and I have to disagree with you. A few slot machines does not a casino make. Or you could say that all the grocery stores in Las Vegas are casinos because they have a few slots in the front. There is an abundant amount of history in Virginia City NV, and one can easily pass the few slot machines in a couple of the clubs. My wife and I rode the V&T train and took the town tour, as well as the mine tour and we walked up the hill and looked at the historic courthouse.

    ReplyDelete