Bullock Hotel in Deadwood
1876 saw the arrival of
and Sol Star
South Dakota. Moving their hardware store from Helena,
they came in a an ox-drawn wagon piled high with mining equipment, dutch
ovens, frying pans and chamber pots. On the very night they arrived
in the camp, Bullock began to auction equipment and supplies to the highest bidder.
That was the beginning of their successful
hardware store business. Soon they bought a lot on the corner of
Main and Wall Street (the current site of the
Bullock Hotel) and within a year the partners built a new store and
had been sheriff in Lewis and Clark County,
before his arrival in Deadwood. After the death of
Hickok in August, 1876 the camp began to demand law and order, which
Bullock’s appointment as the first Sheriff of Deadwood a
few months later.
with steely gray eyes, Bullock
had an imposing appearance that commanded instant respect. His
grandson would say of him later, "He could outstare a mad cobra or a
Bullock Hotel today, July, 2006, Kathy Weiser.
was undaunted by Deadwood's
lawless and dangerous nature and wasted no time appointing several
fearless deputies to help him "clean up” the town. Before long,
order had been established in the former hell-raising camp.
In the meantime, the hardware store
continued to thrive. The rear east side of the building was
utilized as a warehouse and the front part of the building as a the
hardware store. In 1879 the building survived Deadwood's
devastating fire and the hardware store continued to prosper. However, in 1894 the building was again struck by fire, this time
entirely destroying the hardware store and leaving only the brick warehouse standing at the rear of the building.
tactics, Bullock, along with his partner, Sol Star,
then decided to build Deadwood's
finest hotel over the original store and warehouse. Hauling in native
pink and white sandstone from Andrew's Quarry in Boulder Canyon, the
work of building the Italianate style hotel began. When it was
complete it boasted a restaurant that could seat 100 people and offered such delicacies as
pheasant and lobster. The large lobby featured red velvet
carpeting, brass chandeliers, oak trim and a Steinway grand piano. Upstairs, the 63 rooms were furnished with oak dressers and brass
beds, each floor had a bathroom, and a library and parlor were located
off the balcony. In no
time at all, the hotel was the most sought after luxury hotel of its
time. In 1900 a
small building that
adjoined the hotel on the South was obtained by
which served as the Gentlemen's Bar.
died of cancer on September 23, 1919 at his ranch near Belle Fourche,
He was buried on the high trail to White Rocks above Mount Moriah
Cemetery. The gravesite, facing toward Mount Roosevelt across the
gulch, was selected for its view of Friendship Tower, a view since
obscured by a half-century growth of ponderosa pines.
However, according to dozens of reports,
continues to play host at his beloved hotel. All manner of strange
occurrences have happened at the historic hotel according to both staff
and guests. Reports include feelings of a strong paranormal presence
inside several of the rooms and in the hallways of the second and third
floors, as well as in Bully’s restaurant, and in Seth's Cellar.
The side of the
Bullock Hotel still shows the advertising
used by the Star & Bullock Store, July, 2006, Kathy Weiser.
Others have reported actually seeing the tall ghostly figure of Bullock
in various areas of the hotel, including the restaurant and the basement. Apparently
Seth's ghost wants to ensure that the staff is working hard, as
paranormal events tend to increase when staff members stand idle, whistle
or hum a tune. Plates and glasses have been known to shake and take
flight in the restaurant, lights and appliances turn on and off by
themselves, items are inexplicably moved by unseen hands, and showers turn
on, seemingly, of their own accord.
Many guests have reported hearing their name called out by a male voice
when no one is present, or have been tapped on the shoulder by unseen
hands. Others have heard whistling and many report the sounds of
footsteps in the hallways when no one is there.
both the second and third floor rooms, guests have reported a number of
strange occurrences including photographs that produce strange anomalies,
alarm clocks that go off, even when they are unplugged, televisions that
seemingly operate with unseen hands, cloudy figures seen in rooms and
hallways, and even an antique clock, that hasn't functioned in years, that
chimes of its own accord.
The Bullock Hotel has been the subject of the once popular TV show Unsolved
Over the years the
historic Bullock Hotel has undergone several renovations to upgrade the hotel
with modern amenities; however, it loyally maintains its historic
appearance and grandeur.
Today the hotel is the most photographed
and still provides the most luxurious historical accommodations in the
area. The Historic Bullock Hotel & Casino offers
historic deluxe accommodations, 24-hour gaming action, the Gentlemen's
Bar, fine dining at Bully's Restaurant, and
Cellar for weddings, meetings, banquets and more.
Bullock Hotel also offers a ghost tour for those that want to hear
more of the story and see the places where paranormal activity has
633 Main St
of America, updated September, 2016.
cowboy figure in silhouette has often been spied in Seth's Cellar, July,
2006, Kathy Weiser.
If the orbs in this hallway are of a paranormal nature,
this hotel is very haunted. Click on picture to see a larger version.
July, 2006, Kathy Weiser.
Hills Historic Characters & Tales
Rough & Tumble Mining Camp
HBO's Deadwood - Facts & Fiction
Bullock - A Pillar of Deadwood Society
Seth Bullock - Finest Type of Frontiersman
Solomon Star - A
Natural Deadwood Leader
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