Deadwood - Places in the Camp - Page 4
Mt. Moriah, 1888
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Union Theatre - Though the Bella Union did exist in
it was not a wild and wooly gambling hall, but actually
advertised itself as "Entertainment for ladies and families" and
"Entertainment without ordinary vulgarities of show." The
Bella Union was also not owned and operated by Cy Tolliver, but
rather a man named Tom Miller. Though more "upscale" than the other
entertainment venues in the camp, it did, however, offer liquor and a
few gambling tables.
Featuring stage performances, trapeze
acts, wrestling tournaments, sparring expeditions, and more, The Bella
Union Theatre, built by Tom Miller in 1876, was the
grandest place in
With 30' ceilings, 3 grand entrances, 17 private boxes, and stretching
some 120 feet in length, her grand private reception room became the
central meeting place for the town folks of Deadwood. However, the Bella Union's life was short as just two years after the
Bella Union was built, Miller went bankrupt and the theatre was
dismantled in November, 1878 and the scenery, properties, and
fixtures sold. The large lower floor became a grocery store and
storage facility, while the upper floor became a meeting room called
the Mechanics Hall. Perkins and Company attempted to resurrect
the theatre's once great popularity by producing a new play in the old
Mechanics Hall in January, 1879. However, as published in the
Black Hills Daily Times, the town couldn't support yet another
theater by that time.
Deadwood Bank -
There was obviously no bank owned an operated by Alma
Garrett, as she didn't exist. The first bank in Deadwood was actually
the Stebbins, Post & Co. Bank, which opened its doors in 1877. The next year, a reorganization resulted in the creation of the First
National Bank of Deadwood. There
is no mention in history that either
or Sol Star were affiliated with the First National Bank. However,
another bank was started in June, 1880, for which Seth Bullock
was named President. However, just seven years later, on February 17,
1887, the bank was closed. There is also no mention that Sol
Star was involved in this bank either.
Gem Saloon - Actually
called the Gem Variety Theater, much of
Deadwood's first season's action is portrayed at the
Gem Saloon. However, the year is 1876 and the
Gem Saloon didn't open until April of 1877. In 1876,
Al Swearengen owned a very
small tavern that was called the Cricket
When Swearengen did open Gem
Variety Theater in 1877 it became one of the city's most
infamous amusement houses. Swearengen
lured women from the East with promises of adventure in the West, but
those who accepted soon found themselves the victims of a white slave
trade. The Gem
and its debased women soon garnered a reputation as the vilest of the
vile in a city without law.
Central Hotel - This hotel did exist in Deadwood,
but was never owned by
E.B. Farnum, nor
George Hearst, and was obviously never attempted to be purchased by Alma
Garrett, since she didn't even exist. Built by Charles H. Wagner, it
was one of the first hotels to open in June, 1876. What is true in the
Series, is that
Lou" Marchbanks was the Kitchen Manager at the Grand Central, almost
from day one.
In no time, the hotel, which really
wasn’t so grand, was better known for its great food served in its
restaurant and Lucretia Marchbanks had become better known as "Aunt Lou.”
On July 4, 1876, the
Grand Central Hotel
first ball, where nine "proper" women showed up to enjoy a little dancing
great food. Nine "proper" women was probably close to all of them in the
camp at the time, as most of the "ladies" in the
early days, were of the "sporting" variety.
In September, General Crook visited
Deadwood and stayed
Grand Central. Two months later, yet another ball was thrown in
December to celebrate the coming of the Telegraph. Obviously successful,
another story and a new front were added to the hotel in July, 1877 and
shortly thereafter, Wagner retired and leased the hotel to W.H. Fanton.
got the first telephone exchange in the territory in March, 1878, a major
celebration was held at the hotel. However, two disasters would soon
strike the hotel. In April, a large thunderstorm caused major flooding of
the building and a fire in the rear of the building caused much damage the
After only two years of operation, the
Grand Central Hotel went on the auction block July 1878. With the
sale, portions of the building were leased for retail space and various
managers would run the remaining facilities as a boarding house up and
until the big fire of September 1879. The hotel was renovated into a 70
bed furnished lodging house and served as host to the many soldiers
visiting the area from Ft. Meade. The lodging house experienced a slow
decline over the years, suffering its final demise in 1892 when the
building is raised to make room for new development.
Homestake Mine - The
Homestake claim was discovered by
brothers, Moses and Fred
Manuel, and Hank Harney in April, 1876. In June, 1877, the
and another totaling 10 acres were purchased from the Manuels for $70,000
by a group of mining men, including
that year, in November, the
Mining Company is incorporated and over the next few years, Hearst
additional claims, obtained water rights on nearby Whitewood Creek, and
began to assemble the
empire. By the summer of 1879, the
operation consisted of ten major and several smaller mines, 540 stamps in
six mills, a huge assortment of buildings and over 500 employees.
would become the basis of the
financial empire and Deadwood's sister
city Lead's largest employer for 126 years. Before its closing in 2002
Homestake Gold Mine was the oldest, largest and deepest mine in the
Western Hemisphere, reaching more than 8000 feet below the town of Lead.
Nuttall & Mann's #10 Saloon
Homestake Mine in 1889.
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It was here that
Wild Bill Hickok
was shot by
on August 2, 1876. The prior evening when Hickok was
playing poker with several men, including McCall,
generously gave him back enough money to buy something to eat, but advised
him not to play again until he could cover his losses. This
McCall who would take his revenge the next day.
afternoon when Wild Bill
Nuttall & Mann's Saloon he found Charlie Rich sitting in his preferred
seat. After some hesitation, Wild Bill
joined the game, reluctantly seating himself with his back to the door and
the bar---a fatal mistake.
drinking heavily at the bar, saw Hickok
enter the saloon,
taking a seat at his regular table in the corner near the door.
slowly walked around to the corner of the
was playing his game. From under his coat, McCall
pulled a double-action .45 pistol, shouted
"Take that!” and shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head, killing him instantly.
had been holding a pair of eights, and a pair of Aces, which has ever
since been known as the "dead man's hand."
The location of the original #10 Saloon was at
624 Main Street, which today is occupied by the Wild West Winners Casino. The
original Number Ten saloon burned down in Deadwood's tragic
fire of 1879 and then relocated across the street. In it's place was built
the second I.H. Chase Building in 1898, which housed a clothing store
until 1903. When Chase moved out, Frank X. Smith opened a beer hall,
which proudly advertised itself as a "metropolitan resort." Later it
housed the Eagle Inn, the sign of which still hangs on the upper portion
of the building. Downstairs in the Wild West Casino is an interpretive
site that tells visitors all about the curse of the dead man's hand, and
the man who made it famous.
The Wild West Winners Casino is the location of the original Number Ten
Saloon in Deadwood. No known photo of
the original saloon exists. Kathy Weiser, July, 2006.
In the basement of the Wild West Winners Casino is a interpretive display
of the what happened on the day that Wild Bill Hickok was
killed. Kathy Weiser, July, 2006.
The Wild West Winners Casino also encompasses
the Bullock-Clark Building which is the site of the original Bella Union
Theater as well as the Schwarzwald building,
which was long used as a furniture store. The Bullock-Clark building was
consumed by fire in 1894 and the two parties rebuilt a single structure on
their two lots. Later the combined building would be opened up on the
lower floor and utilized as an automobile showroom.
These buildings later served as part of
Green Door District. On the upper levels were the original location of
including Pam's Purple Door, one of the last to close in Deadwood in 1980. Today, the second story windows are decorated with scantily dressed
mannequins, who beckon to the street below, much the real painted ladies of
Deadwood's past once
The Bullock-Clark Building in 1925, photo courtesy
The Wild West Winners Casino is in the old Bullock-Clark Building. Up
until 1980, the upstairs rooms were used as an active brothel. Photo
Across the street at 657 Main Street is the recreated Old Style
Saloon #10. Here, you will not only find a real saloon,
restaurant, and gambling den, but also a "saloon museum" where historical
and mining camp artifacts, spanning over 100 years, are exhibited along
the walls. One display shows what is allegedly the original "death
was shot, but according to our sources, it is actually one that is
similar. The saloon also features a
and the other players recreating the shooting every day at 3:00 p.m.
The Old Style Saloon #10 Saloon today, photo
Saloon No. 10
Wild Bill Hickok's alleged
death chair in the Number 10
Saloon, July, 2006, Kathy Weiser.
Yet to Come?
There are other important events in
Deadwood's history that have not yet been
shown. We can only wait and watch to see how and if the series
handles these events.
In June 1877
George Hearst, who had earlier sent an agents to offer a bond to
owners of the
Homestake claim, buys the 4 ˝ acre claim for $70,000.
George Hearst and his partners incorporated
their holdings as The
Homestake Mining Company in California on November 5, 1877.
After losing the election in 1877 for
Justice of the Peace, he and his family stayed in Deadwood
only about one more year before relocating to Chicago, Illinois.
Obviously not satisfied with the current
state of law enforcement, vigilantes begin to take the law into their
own hands in 1878.
A new preacher, Father Mackin, comes to town
to replace the dead
Bullock introduces art and culture to the town.
Dan Doherty and Al Swearengen have a falling
out and Dan opens his own
The Bella Union shuts down in 1878, the building becomes a grocery store
and meeting room.
By 1878, Al Swearengen's brother, Winfield, is also living in
In 1879 a disastrous fire destroys 300
buildings in Deadwood including the
hardware store. Both businesses are rebuilt.
Sol Star becomes mayor of
Sol Star and Seth Bullock buy a
section of land, begin ranching and start a new town called Belle
Martha Bullock have two more children. (They already have a small
daughter, who has not appeared in the series.)
Seth Bullock meets
Theodore Roosevelt in 1884
On July 3, 1889, Al Swearengen marries Odelia Turgeon. However, by December of that same
year, she has obtained a warrant for his arrest after he repeated struck
and choked her, and threatened her life. Al skips town, but later
returns and the case against him is dropped. By July, of 1890, Al files
for divorce against his wife on the grounds of adultery.
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