South Dakota is a U. S. state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who compose a large portion of the population and dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the fifth smallest by population and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States; as the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889 with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city. South Dakota is bordered by the states of North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Montana; the state is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and distinct halves, known to residents as "East River" and "West River". Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri, ranching is the predominant agricultural activity, the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending.
Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The Black Hills, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, are in the southwest part of the state. Mount Rushmore, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west; the state's ecology features species typical of a North American grassland biome. Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming.
While several Democratic senators have represented South Dakota for multiple terms at the federal level, the state government is controlled by the Republican Party, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13 presidential elections. Dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still influence the state's culture. South Dakota is in the north-central United States, is considered a part of the Midwest by the U. S. Census Bureau; the culture and geography of western South Dakota have more in common with the West than the Midwest. South Dakota has a total area of 77,116 square miles, making the state the 17th largest in the Union. Black Elk Peak named Harney Peak, with an elevation of 7,242 ft, is the state's highest point, while the shoreline of Big Stone Lake is the lowest, with an elevation of 966 ft. South Dakota is bordered to the north by North Dakota.
The geographical center of the U. S. is 17 miles west of Castle Rock in Butte County. The North American continental pole of inaccessibility is between Allen and Kyle, 1,024 mi from the nearest coastline; the Missouri River is the longest river in the state. Other major South Dakota rivers include the Cheyenne, Big Sioux, White Rivers. Eastern South Dakota has many natural lakes created by periods of glaciation. Additionally, dams on the Missouri River create four large reservoirs: Lake Oahe, Lake Sharpe, Lake Francis Case, Lewis and Clark Lake. South Dakota can be divided into three regions: eastern South Dakota, western South Dakota, the Black Hills; the Missouri River serves as a boundary in terms of geographic and political differences between eastern and western South Dakota. The geography of the Black Hills, long considered sacred by Native Americans, differs from its surroundings to such an extent it can be considered separate from the rest of western South Dakota. At times the Black Hills are combined with the rest of western South Dakota, people refer to the resulting two regions divided by the Missouri River as West River and East River.
Eastern South Dakota features higher precipitation and lower topography than the western part of the state. Smaller geographic regions of this area include the Coteau des Prairies, the Dissected Till Plains, the James River Valley; the Coteau des Prairies is a plateau bordered on the east by the Minnesota River Valley and on the west by the James River Basin. Further west, the James River Basin is low, flat eroded land, following the flow of the James River through South Dakota from north to south; the Dissected Till Plains, an area of rolling hills and fertile soil that covers much of Iowa and Nebraska, extends into the southeastern corner of South Dakota. Layers deposited during the Pleistocene epoch, starting around two million years ago, cover most of eastern South Dakota; these are the youngest rock and sediment layers in the state, the product of several successive periods of glaciation which deposited a large amount of rocks and soil, known as till, over the area. The Great Plains cover most of the western two-thirds of South Dakota.
West of the Missouri Rive
Homestake Mine (South Dakota)
The Homestake Mine was a deep underground gold mine located in Lead, South Dakota. Until it closed in 2002 it was the deepest gold mine in North America; the mine produced more than forty million troy ounces of gold during its lifetime. The Homestake Mine is famous in scientific circles because of the work of a deep underground laboratory was set up there in the mid-1960s; this was the site where the solar neutrino problem was first discovered, in what is known as the Homestake Experiment. Raymond Davis Jr. conducted this experiment in the mid-1960s, the first to observe solar neutrinos. On July 10, 2007, the mine was selected by the National Science Foundation as the location for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, it won including the Henderson Mine near Empire, Colorado. The Homestake deposit was discovered by Fred and Moses Manuel, Alex Engh, Hank Harney in April 1876, during the Black Hills Gold Rush, in what was made part of Dakota Territory. A trio of mining entrepreneurs, George Hearst, Lloyd Tevis, James Ben Ali Haggin, bought the claim from them for $70,000 in 1877.
George Hearst reached Deadwood in October 1877, took active control of the mine property. Hearst had to arrange to haul in all the mining equipment by wagons from the nearest railhead in Sidney, Nebraska. Arthur De Wint Foote worked as an engineer. Despite the remote location, deep mines were dug and ore began to be brought out. An 80-stamp mill was built and began crushing Homestake ore by July 1878. In 1879 the partners sold shares in the Homestake Mining Company, listed it on the New York Stock Exchange; the Homestake would become one of the longest-listed stocks in the history of the NYSE, as Homestake operated the mine until 2001. Hearst enlarged the Homestake property by fair and foul means, he bought out some adjacent claims, secured others in the courts. A Hearst employee killed a man who refused to sell his claim, but was acquitted in court after all the witnesses disappeared. Hearst purchased newspapers in Deadwood to influence public opinion. An opposing newspaper editor was physically attacked on a Deadwood street.
Hearst realized that he might be on the receiving end of violence, wrote a letter to his partners asking them to provide for his family should he be murdered. But within three years, Hearst had established acquired significant claims. By the time Hearst left the Black Hills in March 1879, he had added the claims of Giant, Golden Star, May Booth, Golden Star No. 2, Crown Point and General Ellison to the original two claims of the Manuel Brothers, Golden Terra and Old Abe, totaling 30 acres. The ten-stamp mill had become 200, 500 employees worked in the mine, mills and shops. Hearst owned the Boulder Ditch and water rights to Whitewood Creek, his railroad, Black Hills & Fort Pierre Railroad, gave him access to eastern Dakota Territory. By 1900, Homestake owned 300 claims, on 2,000 acres, was worked by more than 2000 employees. In 1901, the mine started using compressed air locomotives replacing mules and horses by the 1920s. Charles Washington Merrill introduced cyanidization to augment mercury-amalgamation for gold recovery.
"Cyanide Charlie" achieved 94 per cent recovery. The gold was shipped to the Denver Mint. By 1906, the Ellison Shaft reached 1,550 feet, the B&M 1,250 feet, the Golden Star 1,100 feet, the Golden Prospect 900 feet, producing 1,500,000 short tons of ore. A disastrous fire struck on 25 March 1907, which took forty days to extinguish after the mine was flooded. Another disastrous fire struck in 1919. In 1927, company geologist Donald H. McLaughlin used a winze from the 2,000 level to demonstrate that ore reached the 3,500 foot level; the Ross shaft was started in 1934, a second winze from the 3,500-foot level reached 4,100 feet, a third winze from 4,100 feet was started in 1937. The Yates shaft was started in 1938. Production ceased during World War II from 1943 until 1945, due to Limitation Order L-208 from the War Production Board. By 1975, mining operations had reached the 6,800-foot level, two winzes were planned to 8,000 feet; the gold ore mined at Homestake was considered low grade, but the body of ore was large.
Through 2001, the mine produced 9,000,000 troy ounces of silver. In terms of total production, the Lead mining district, of which the Homestake mine is the only producer, was the second-largest gold producer in the United States, after the Carlin district in Nevada. Homestake was the longest continually operating mine in United States history; the Homestake mine ceased production at the end of 2001. Reasons included low gold prices, poor ore quality, high costs; the Barrick Gold Corporation agreed in early 2002 to keep dewatering the mine while owners were negotiating with the National Science Foundation over the mine as a potential site for a new deep underground laboratory. But progress was slow and maintaining the pumps and ventilation was costing $250,000 per month; the owners closed the mine completely. The Homestake Mine was selected in 2007 by NSF for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. In June 2009, researchers at University of California Ber
The American frontier comprises the geography, history and cultural expression of life in the forward wave of American expansion that began with English colonial settlements in the early 17th century and ended with the admission of the last mainland territories as states in 1912. A "frontier" is a zone of contact at the edge of a line of settlement; the leading theorist Frederick Jackson Turner went deeper, arguing that the frontier was the defining process of American civilization: "The frontier," he asserted, "promoted the formation of a composite nationality for the American people." He theorized it was a process of development: "This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward...furnish the forces dominating American character." Turner's ideas since 1893 have inspired generations of historians to explore multiple individual American frontiers, but the popular folk frontier concentrates on the conquest and settlement of Native American lands west of the Mississippi River, in what is now the Midwest, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Southwest, the West Coast.
In 19th- and early 20th-century media, enormous popular attention was focused on the Western United States in the second half of the 19th century, a period sometimes called the "Old West" or the "Wild West". Such media exaggerated the romance and chaotic violence of the period for greater dramatic effect; this inspired the Western genre of film, which spilled over into television shows and comic books, as well as children's toys and costumes. This era of massive migration and settlement was encouraged by President Thomas Jefferson following the Louisiana Purchase, giving rise to the expansionist philosophy known as "Manifest destiny"; as defined by Hine and Faragher, "frontier history tells the story of the creation and defense of communities, the use of the land, the development of markets, the formation of states." They explain, "It is a tale of conquest, but one of survival and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America." Through treaties with foreign nations and native tribes, political compromise, military conquest, establishment of law and order, the building of farms and towns, the marking of trails and digging of mines, the pulling in of great migrations of foreigners, the United States expanded from coast to coast, fulfilling the dreams of Manifest Destiny.
Turner, in his "Frontier Thesis", theorized that the frontier was a process that transformed Europeans into a new people, the Americans, whose values focused on equality and optimism, as well as individualism, self-reliance, violence. As the American frontier passed into history, the myths of the West in fiction and film took a firm hold in the imagination of Americans and foreigners alike. In David Murdoch's view, America is exceptional in choosing its iconic self-image: "No other nation has taken a time and place from its past and produced a construct of the imagination equal to America's creation of the West." The frontier line was the outer line of European-American settlement. It moved westward from the 1630s to the 1880s. Turner favored the Census Bureau definition of the "frontier line" as a settlement density of two people per square mile; the "West" was the settled area near that boundary. Thus, parts of the Midwest and American South, though no longer considered "western", have a frontier heritage along with the modern western states.
In the 21st century, the term "American West" is most used for the area west of the Great Plains. In the colonial era, before 1776, the west was of high priority for politicians; the American frontier began when Jamestown, Virginia was settled by the English in 1607. In the earliest days of European settlement of the Atlantic coast, until about 1680, the frontier was any part of the interior of the continent beyond the fringe of existing settlements along the Atlantic coast. English, French and Dutch patterns of expansion and settlement were quite different. Only a few thousand French migrated to Canada. Although French fur traders ranged through the Great Lakes and mid-west region they settled down. French settlement was limited to a few small villages such as Kaskaskia, Illinois as well as a larger settlement around New Orleans; the Dutch set up fur trading posts in the Hudson River valley, followed by large grants of land to rich landowning patroons who brought in tenant farmers who created compact, permanent villages.
They created a dense rural settlement in upstate New York. Areas in the north that were in the frontier stage by 1700 had poor transportation facilities, so the opportunity for commercial agriculture was low; these areas remained in subsistence agriculture, as a result by the 1760s these societies were egalitarian, as explained by historian Jackson Turner Main: The typical frontier society therefore was one in which class distinctions were minimized. The wealthy speculator, if one was involved remained at home, so that ordinarily no one of wealth was a resident; the class of landless poor was small. The great majority were landowners, most of whom were poor because they were starting with little property and had not yet cleared much land nor had they acquired the farm tools and animals which would one day ma
Horse theft is the crime of stealing horses. A person engaged in stealing horses is known as a horse thief. Horse theft was common throughout the world prior to widespread car ownership. Punishments were severe for horse theft, with several cultures pronouncing the sentence of death upon actual or presumed thieves. Several societies were formed in the US to prevent horse theft and apprehend horse thieves. However, horse theft continues to occur throughout the world, as horses are stolen for their meat, for ransom, or in disputes between their owners and other persons. Horse theft today is comparable to Automobile theft. Both horse and car are valuable commodities. Horse theft was a well-known crime in medieval and early modern times and was prosecuted in many areas. While many crimes were punished through ritualized shaming or banishment, horse theft brought severe punishment, including branding, torture and death. According to one 18th century treatise, the use of death as a punishment for horse theft stretches back as far as the first century AD, when the Germanic Chauci tribe would sentence horse thieves to death, while murderers would be sentenced to a fine.
This practice derived from the wealth of the populace being in the form of livestock which ranged over large areas, meaning that the theft of animals could only be prevented through fear of the harsh punishment that would result. Horse theft was harshly punished in the French Bordeaux region in the 15th–18th centuries. Punishments ranged from whipping to a lifetime sentence of service on a galley ship; this latter punishment was given to perpetrators of incest and poisoning, showing the severity with which horse theft was viewed by the judiciary. For the rural English county of Berkshire in the 18th century, horse theft was considered a major property crime, along with stealing from dwellings or warehouses, sheep theft, highway robbery and other major thefts. In 19th-century Russia, horse theft made up 16 percent of thefts of peasant property; the offense of stealing a horse was the most punished of any theft on Russian estates, due to the importance of horses in day-to-day living. Flogging was the usual punishment for horse thieves, combined with the shaving of heads and beards, fines of up to three times the value of the horse if the animal had been sold.
The term horse thief came into great popularity in the United States during the 19th century. During that time the Great Plains states and other western states were sparsely populated and negligibly policed; as farmers tilled the land and migrants headed west through the Great Plains, their horses became subject to theft. Since these farmers and migrants depended on their horses, horse thieves garnered a pernicious reputation because they left their victims helpless or handicapped by the loss of their horses; the victims needed their horses for farming. Such depredation led to the use of the term horse thief as an insult, one that conveys the impression of the insulted person as one lacking any shred of moral decency. In the United States, the Anti Horse Thief Association, first organized in 1854 in Clark County, was an organization developed for the purposes of protecting property horses and other livestock, from theft, recovering such property if and when it was stolen. Conceived by farmers living in the area where Missouri and Iowa intersect, it soon spread, with the first charter organization in Oklahoma Territory being created in 1894.
By 1916 the associated numbered over 40,000 members in nine central and western US states, a drop in horse thefts had been noted. Between 1899 and 1909, members of the Oklahoma branch of the AHTA recovered $83,000 worth of livestock and saw the conviction of over 250 thieves. A similar group, which operated in Ohio, was the Bentonville Anti-Horse Thief Society. Men suspected of being thieves would be pursued by members of the organization, hanged without trial; the Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves was a third such organization that operated in the United States, this one in Dedham, Massachusetts. It is today "the oldest continually existing horse thief apprehending organization in the United States, one of Dedham’s most venerable social organizations." Most of these clubs became defunct or developed into social clubs with the decline of horse theft in the US. Horse theft is still common, with an estimated 40,000 horses a year being taken from their lawful owners by strangers or opponents in civil or legal disputes.
Stolen Horse International is one modern-day organization in the US that works to reconnect stolen horses with their owners. Horses are sometimes stolen for their meat, or sometimes for ransom. Punishment for horse theft can still be severe, as one woman in Arkansas was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the 2011 theft of five horses and equestrian equipment. Horse thefts today can in some cases be solved through the use of microchips, required in the European Union on horses born after 2009 and often seen in other countries. Cattle rustling Horse theft}}
Cheyenne is the capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Wyoming and the county seat of Laramie County. It is the principal city of the Cheyenne, Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Laramie County; the population was 59,466 at the 2010 census. Cheyenne is the northern terminus of the extensive and fast-growing Front Range Urban Corridor that stretches from Cheyenne to Pueblo, Colorado which has a population of 4,333,742 according to the 2010 United States Census. Cheyenne is situated on Dry Creek; the Cheyenne, Wyoming Metropolitan Area had a 2010 population of 91,738, making it the 354th-most populous metropolitan area in the United States. On July 5, 1867, General Grenville M. Dodge and his survey crew plotted the site now known as Cheyenne in Dakota Territory; this site was chosen as the point at which the Union Pacific Railroad crossed Crow Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River. The city was not named by Dodge, as his memoirs state, but rather by friends who accompanied him to the area Dodge called "Crow Creek Crossing".
It was named for the American Indian Cheyenne tribe, one of the most famous and prominent Great Plains tribes allied with the Arapaho. The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad brought hopes of prosperity to the region when it reached Cheyenne on November 13, 1867; the population at the time numbered over 4,000, grew rapidly. This rapid growth earned the city the nickname "Magic City of the Plains". In 1867, Fort D. A. Russell was established, three miles west of the city; the fort was renamed Francis E. Warren Air Force Base; the Wyoming State Capitol was constructed between 1886 and 1890, with further improvements being completed in 1917. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association met at The Cheyenne Club, which acted as an interim government for the territory. Many of the WSGA's rules and regulations became state laws; the Cheyenne Regional Airport was opened in 1920 serving as a stop for airmail. It soon developed into a civil-military airport, serving various military craft. During World War II, hundreds of B-17s, B-24s, PBYs were outfitted and upgraded at the airfield.
Today, it serves a number of military functions, as well as a high-altitude testbed for civilian craft. Lying near the southeast corner of the state, Cheyenne is one of the least centrally located state capitals in the nation. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.63 square miles, of which 24.52 square miles is land and 0.11 square miles is water. Cheyenne, like most of the rest of Wyoming, has a cool semi-arid climate, is part of USDA Hardiness zone 5b, with the suburbs falling in zone 5a. Winters are cold and moderately long, but dry, with a December average of 28.8 °F, highs that fail to breach freezing occur 35 days per year, lows dip to the 0 °F mark on 9.2 mornings. However, the cold is interrupted, with chinook winds blowing downslope from the Rockies that can bring warm conditions, bringing the high above 50 °F on twenty days from December to February. Snowfall is greatest in March and April, seasonally averaging 60 inches ranging from 13.1 inches between July 1965 and June 1966 up to 121.5 inches between July 1979 and June 1980, yet thick snow cover stays.
Summers are warm, with a high diurnal temperature range. Spring and autumn are quick transitions, with the average window for freezing temperatures being September 29 thru May 14, allowing a growing season of 106 days. Official record temperatures range from −38 °F on January 9, 1875, up to 100 °F on June 23, 1954, the last of four occurrences; the annual precipitation of 15.9 inches tends to be concentrated from May to August and is low during fall and winter. The city averages below 60% daily relative humidity in each month and receives an average 2,980 hours of sunshine annually. On July 16, 1979 an F3 tornado struck Cheyenne causing 40 injuries, it was the most destructive tornado in Wyoming history. At the 2005–2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, the city's population was 87.2% White or European American, 12.7% Hispanic or Latino, 4.5% Black or African American, 2.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.1% Asian and 6.4% from some other race. 22.5 % of the total population had higher.
As of the census of 2010, there were 59,467 people, 25,558 households, 15,270 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,425.2 inhabitants per square mile. There were 27,284 housing units at an average density of 1,112.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 77.44% European American, 2.88% African American, 0.96% Native American, 1.24% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 4.0% from other races, 3.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.45% of the population. There were 25,558 households of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 40.3% were non-families. 33.5%
Deadwood, South Dakota
Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, the county seat of Lawrence County. It was named by early settlers after the dead trees found in its gulch; the city had its heyday from 1876 to 1879, after gold deposits had been discovered there, leading to the Black Hills Gold Rush. At its height, the city had a population of 5,000, attracted larger-than-life Old West figures including Wyatt Earp, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. In 2010, the population was 1,270 according to the 2010 census; the entire city has been designated as a National Historic Landmark District, for its well-preserved Gold Rush-era architecture. The settlement of Deadwood began illegally in the 1870s on land, granted to the Lakota people in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie; the treaty had guaranteed ownership of the Black Hills to the Lakota people, who considered this area to be sacred. The squatters led to numerous land disputes, several of which reached the United States Supreme Court. Everything changed after Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills and announced the discovery of gold in 1874 on French Creek near present-day Custer, South Dakota.
This announcement was a catalyst for the Black Hills Gold Rush, miners and entrepreneurs swept into the area. They created the new and lawless town of Deadwood, which reached a population of around 5,000. In early 1876, frontiersman Charlie Utter and his brother Steve led a wagon train to Deadwood containing what they believed were needed commodities to bolster business; the numerous gamblers and prostitutes staffed several profitable ventures. Madame Mustache and Dirty Em were on the wagon train and set up shop in what was referred to as Deadwood Gulch. Demand for women was high by the miners and the business of prostitution proved to have a good market. Madam Dora DuFran became the most profitable brothel owner in Deadwood followed by Madam Mollie Johnson. Deadwood became known for its lawlessness; the town attained further notoriety when gunman Wild Bill Hickok was killed on August 2, 1876. Both he and Calamity Jane were buried at Mount Moriah Cemetery, as were less notable figures such as Seth Bullock.
Hickok's murderer, Jack McCall, was prosecuted twice, despite the U. S. Constitution's prohibition against double jeopardy; because Deadwood was an illegal town in Indian Territory, non-native civil authorities lacked the jurisdiction to prosecute McCall. McCall's trial was moved to a Dakota Territory court, where he was found guilty of murder and hanged; as the economy changed from gold panning to deep mining, the individual miners went elsewhere or began to work in other fields. Deadwood lost some of its rough and rowdy character, began to develop into a prosperous town, but beginning August 12, 1876, a smallpox epidemic swept through. So many persons fell ill. In 1876, General George Crook pursued the Sioux Indians from the Battle of Little Big Horn on an expedition that ended in Deadwood in early September and is known as the Horsemeat March; the same month, businessman Tom Miller opened the Bella Union Saloon. Al Swearengen, who controlled the opium trade, opened a saloon called the Gem Variety Theater on April 7, 1877.
The saloon burned down and was rebuilt in 1879. When it burned down again in 1899, Swearengen left town; the Homestake Mine in nearby Lead was established in October 1877. It operated for more than a century, becoming the longest continuously operating gold mine in the United States. Gold mining operations did not cease until 2002; the mine has been open for visiting by tourists. On September 26, 1879, a fire devastated Deadwood, destroying more than three hundred buildings and consuming the belongings of many inhabitants. Many of the newly impoverished left town to start again elsewere. Thomas Edison demonstrated the incandescent lamp in New Jersey in 1879. Judge Squire P. Romans took a gamble and founded the "Pilcher Electric Light Company of Deadwood" on September 17, 1883, he ordered an Edison wiring and 15 incandescent lights with globes. After delays the equipment arrived without the globes. Romans had been advertising an event to show off the new lights, decided to continue with the lighting, a success.
His company grew. Deadwood had electricity service fewer than four years after Edison invented it, less than a year after commercial service was started in Roselle, New Jersey, around the same time that many larger cities around the country established the service. A narrow-gauge railroad, the Deadwood Central Railroad, was founded by resident J. K. P. Miller and his associates in 1888, in order to serve their mining interests; the railroad was purchased by the Chicago and Quincy Railroad in 1893. A portion of the railroad between Deadwood and Lead was electrified in 1902 for operation as an interurban passenger system, which operated until 1924; the railroad was abandoned in 1930, apart from a portion from Kirk to Fantail Junction, converted to standard gauge. The remaining section was abandoned by the successor Burlington Northern Railroad in 1984; some of the other early town residents and frequent visitors included E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, Sol Star, Martha Bullock, A. W. Merrick, Samuel Fields, Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy, the Reverend Henry Weston Smith, Aaron Dunn.
The gold rush attracted Chinese immigrants to the area. Their population peaked at 250. A few engaged in mining. A Chinese quarter arose on Main Street, as there were no restrictions on foreign property ownership in Dakota Territory, a high level of tolerance of differen
The Black Hills are a small and isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States. Black Elk Peak, which rises to 7,244 feet, is the range's highest summit; the Black Hills encompass the Black Hills National Forest. The name "Black Hills" is a translation of the Lakota Pahá Sápa; the hills were so-called because of their dark appearance from a distance, as they were covered in trees. Native Americans have a long history in the Black Hills. After conquering the Cheyenne in 1776, the Lakota took over the territory of the Black Hills, which became central to their culture. In 1868, the U. S. government signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, establishing the Great Sioux Reservation west of the Missouri River, exempting the Black Hills from all white settlement forever. However, when settlers discovered gold there in 1874, as a result of George Armstrong Custer's Black Hills Expedition, miners swept into the area in a gold rush.
The US government took back the Black Hills and in 1889 reassigned the Lakota, against their wishes, to five smaller reservations in western South Dakota, selling off 9 million acres of their former land. Unlike most of South Dakota, the Black Hills were settled by European Americans from population centers to the west and south of the region, as miners flocked there from earlier gold boom locations in Colorado and Montana; as the economy of the Black Hills has shifted from natural resources since the late 20th century, the hospitality and tourism industries have grown to take its place. Locals tend to divide the Black Hills into two areas: "The Southern Hills" and "The Northern Hills"; the Southern Hills is home to Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Black Elk Peak, Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, the world's largest mammoth research facility. Attractions in the Northern Hills include Spearfish Canyon, historic Deadwood, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held each August.
The first Rally was held on August 14, 1938 and the 75th Rally in 2015 saw more than 1 million bikers visit the Black Hills. Devils Tower National Monument, located in the Wyoming Black Hills, is an important nearby attraction and was the United States' first national monument. Although written history of the region begins with the Sioux domination of the land over the native Arikara tribes, researchers have carbon-dating and stratigraphic records to analyze the early history of the area. Scientists have been able to utilize carbon-dating to evaluate the age of tools found in the area, which indicate a human presence that dates as far back as 11,500 BC with the Clovis culture. Stratigraphic records indicate environmental changes in the land, such as flood and drought patterns. For example, large-scale flooding of the Black Hill basins occurs at a probability rate of 0.01, making such floods occur once in every 100 years. However, during The Medieval Climate Anomaly, or the Medieval Warm Period, flooding increased in the basins.
A stratigraphic record of the area shows that during this 400-year period, thirteen 100-year floods occurred in four of the region's basins, while the same four basins from the previous 800 years only experienced nine floods. The Arikara arrived by AD 1500, followed by the Cheyenne, Crow and Pawnee; the Lakota arrived from Minnesota in the 18th century and drove out the other tribes, who moved west. They claimed the land; the mountains became known as the Black Hills. François and Louis de La Vérendrye travelled near the Black Hills in 1743. Fur trappers and traders had some dealings with the Native Americans. European Americans encroached on Lakota territory. After defeating the Lakota Sioux, the United States government made peace under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, establishing the Great Sioux Reservation west of the Missouri River and acknowledging their control of the Teton range. In this treaty, they protected the Black Hills "forever" from European-American settlement. Both the Sioux and Cheyenne claimed rights to the land, saying that in their cultures, it was considered the axis mundi, or sacred center of the world.
Although rumors of gold in the Black Hills had circulated for decades, it was not until 1874 that Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer of the 7th US Cavalry led an expedition there and discovered gold in French Creek. An official announcement of gold was made by the newspaper reporters accompanying the expedition; the following year, the Newton-Jenney Party conducted the first detailed survey of the Black Hills. The surveyor for the party, Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy, was the first European American to ascend to the top of Black Elk Peak; this highest point in the Black Hills is 7,242 feet above sea level. During the 1875–1878 gold rush, thousands of miners went to the Black Hills. Three large towns developed in the Northern Hills: Deadwood, Central City, Lead. Around these were groups of smaller gold camps and villages. Hill City and Custer City sprang up in the Southern Hills. Railroads were constructed to the remote area. From 1880 on, the gold mines yielded about $4,000,000 annually, the silver mines about $3,000,000 annually.
The conflict over control of the region sparked the Black Hills War known as the Great Sioux