Deadwood, South Dakota, is one of the West’s most famous cities. During the 1876 Gold Rush, the town sprang up from the banks of Whitewood Creek and exploded into a wild-and-wooly camp of prospectors, gamblers and fortune-seekers.
The action in Deadwood drew the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Wild Bill’s stay, however was short. He was shot in the head while playing poker at the Saloon No. 10. He died holding two pair aces and eights, forever known as the Dead Man’s Hand.
Both Wild Bill and Calamity Jane are buried in Deadwood’s Mount Moriah Cemetery.
Those lawless early years later became fodder for “Deadwood,” the gritty and graphic HBO series. Today’s Deadwood sports a different kind of excitement. In 1989: Deadwood became the first city outside of Nevada and Atlantic City to legalize gambling.
Today Deadwood’s historic Main Street is now famous for its nightlife — blackjack, poker and slot machines – as well as fine restaurants, museums and old-fashioned saloons. Kevin Costner, while filming “Dances With Wolves,” fell in love with Deadwood. He still owns the Midnight Star Casino on Main Street.