Mining History Association

Annual Conference, June 6-10,2018

Deadwood-Lead, South Dakota

The 2018 Annual Conference of the Mining History Association (MHA) will be held in the towns of Deadwood and Lead, South Dakota, June 6-10, 2018.  The venues for conference program sessions will be the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC) and The Lodge at Deadwood.  The Organizing Committee has prepared a very full schedule with several excellent tours, meals, and receptions.  The Deadwood-Lead area has much to offer and the conference presents many opportunities to experience it.

 

Introduction to the Deadwood-Lead Area

Located in the beautiful Black Hills, Deadwood and Lead are among the most famous frontier gold mining towns.  The historic Homestake Mine, closed in 2001, was the largest gold mine in the US for many years.  The mine is now the location of Sanford Underground Research Facility, an underground physics research laboratory for studying neutrinos and deep-space science.  While many of the Homestake facilities have been reclaimed since the 1993 MHA Conference, the Homestake legacy is preserved in the area’s excellent museums and, of course, the Homestake Open Cut.  Black Hills gold is still produced by Coeur Mining at its Wharf Mine.  CLICK HERE for “A Brief History of Black Hills Gold Mining.”


The mineral wealth of the Black Hills was not limited to gold.  South Dakota is also famous for other mineral resources including those found in the pegmatite deposits near Custer and Keystone.  Overlooked by the early gold prospectors, the pegmatites were mined sporadically from the 1880s through World War II for mica, tin, lithium, beryllium, tantalum, and feldspar to name a few of the more “exotic,” critical, and strategic mineral products.  Both surface and underground mining were used to extract the ore from the pegmatite dikes and podiform deposits.

 

Another mining activity of historic proportions is the development of the Powder River Coal Basin located just west of the Black Hills in Wyoming and Montana.  In the 1920s, the mines initially supplied the Homestake operations. By the 1980s, the demand for low sulfur coal had greatly expanded production.  Powder River Basin coal is shipped via rail to customers in the Midwest and used by local power plants to generate electrical power transmitted by wire to consumers in nearby states.

 

Conference tours and field trips will visit historic and active sites in the Deadwood-Lead area, the pegmatite mining area, and the Powder River Coal Basin.

 

 

Accommodations

 

The principle accommodations for the conference will be The Lodge at Deadwood.

 It is a modern, full-service hotel that advertises “Midwestern hospitality and million dollar views…of the majestic Black Hills.”  Guests can enjoy a range of amenities including a fitness center, water playland, two restaurants, trolley service to the Deadwood attractions, a Las Vegas-style casino, and free parking.

 

The Lodge’s conference rates, plus taxes are:

Standard Double Queen Deluxe: $159.00

Standard King: $169.00

 

For reservations call 1-877-393-5634.  A block of rooms will be held until May 7, 2018.  Mention the Mining History Association when making reservations.  The Lodge is located ˝ mile north of Deadwood on U.S. 85 at 100 Pine Crest Ln.

 

Less expensive lodging is available at the Travelodge Deadwood Hotel. They have promised a block of rooms at $68 plus tax. Please call 605-717-7181 by May 7. This facility sits about ˝ mile down hill from The Lodge on U.S. 85 at 250 Main St., Deadwood.

Deadwood has many other motels. Black Hills Central Reservations is a good source for planning and booking reservations at 605-578-7702.

Other Deadwood motels include:

Bullock Hotel, 633 Main St., (downtown in a historic building).  605-578-1745

Cadillac Jacks, 360 Main St. (many newer rooms).  605-722-3719

Gold Dust, 25 Lee St. (downtown in a historic building).  605-559-1400

Franklin Hotel, 709 Main St. (downtown, “vintage” lodging).  605-578-3670

Martin & Mason, 33 Deadwood St. (restored historic building).  605-722-3456

Super 8, 196 Cliff St. (a distance from The Lodge).  605-578-2535

Deadwood Mountain Grand—Holiday Inn Resort (connected to the former Homestake Slime Plant)  605-559-0386

Several motels with some less expensive options are also available in Spearfish, about 10 miles from The Lodge. These include:

Baymont Inn (at Exit 14 on I-90).  866-238-4218

Fairfield Inn (at Exit 14 on I-90).  605-642-3500

Hampton Inn (at Exit 14 on I-90).  605-642-3003

Holiday Inn (at Exit 14 on I-90).  605-642-4683

Super 8 (near Exit 14 on I-90).  605-642-4721

Camping

The closest US Forest Service campgrounds, Strawberry and Roubaix Lake, are several miles south of Deadwood off of US 385. There are several commercial campgrounds around Deadwood, including:

Days of ’76 Campground (about one-half mile from The Lodge).  605-578-2872

Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort (at Exit 17 on I-90).  605-722-1800

KOA Deadwood Kampground (on Highway 14A, Central City).  605-578-3830

Whistler Gulch Campground (off US-85, 3 miles from The Lodge).  605-578-2092

Air and Rental Car Travel to Deadwood

The main gateway city for the Black Hills is Rapid City, SD which is about 45 miles southeast of Deadwood.  It is served by American, Delta, and United airlines out of Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, and Minneapolis.  Major car rental companies serve the Rapid City airport, including Enterprise, Avis, Budget, and Hertz.  Shuttle bus services to Deadwood are also available, such as Discovery Tours at 605-920-1020.

Some of the most popular tourist destinations accessed through Rapid City include Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Custer State Park.  The Devil’s Tower National Monument is located northwest of Deadwood.  Many visitors to the Black Hills choose to make them part of a much longer “loop” that includes Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, and the countless other historic and scenic locations along the way.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Mt. Rushmore is the iconic symbol of South Dakota. Although not an actual mining operation, 450,000 tons of granite were drilled, blasted, and otherwise removed during its construction.

 

Deadwood and Delaware Smelter operated from 1891 to 1903.  It became the Golden Reward Smelter.

 

View of Lower Deadwood, ca1901. (Left to right) Golden Reward Smelter, Golden Reward Cyanide Plant, and Imperial Cyanide Mill.  The Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Railroad tracks in the foreground.

 

The historic Adams House in Lead.

 

The Wharf Mine open pit is operated by Coeur Mining.

 

The Wyodak Coal Mine in the Powder River Basin near Gillette, WY, supplies the nearby power plants.

 

Coal from mines in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin fuels the Wygen Power Plant.

 

White Spar Pegmatite Mine near Custer, SD, ca1923.

 

The Yates Shaft of the famous Homestake Mine now provides access to the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

 

(Photos courtesy of David Wolff,  the  Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center, USGS, Black Hills Energy, and the Library of Congress unless otherwise attributed)

 

CONFERENCE PROGRAM  (CLICK HERE) (As of February 1, 2018)

 

 

REGISTRATION (CLICK HERE)

Everyone attending the conference must pay the registration fee.  All activities are selected and paid for individually by using the Registration Form. To make meal and tour reservations, your registration must be completed by May 30. In case we need to contact you, please include your complete contact information on the Registration Form.   You may fill out the Registration Form online; however it must be printed and mailed, along with your check, to David Wolff, the Conference Chair.  His address is shown on the form.

Paying with a Credit Card:

Process: For the first time, the MHA is accepting credit card payments. Unfortunately, as we make this transition for the 2018 Conference, you will not yet be able to register and pay directly on-line. That will hopefully be available for the 2019 conference.  For this conference, you need to enter your credit card information on the Registration Form and then mail it to David Wolff, the Conference Chair.  His address is on the form. (You may fill out the registration form online, but it still needs to be printed and mailed.) Once your form is received, your credit card information and total amount due will be entered into the MHA’s PayPal account. You will then receive an email message from PayPal acknowledging your payment to the Mining History Association, including the amount charged. If you do not wish to include your credit card information on the form, you may call David Wolff at (605) 644-0375 and provide it. (Please leave a message for a call back.) Or indicate on the form that you wish to be called.

Security Code: Make sure you include all the necessary credit card information, including the three or four-digit security code that appears on the back of the card. Without that information, PayPal cannot process your credit card.

Thanks for your patience during this transition.  While a little cumbersome this year, there are some advantages to this process. One is that the forms may be kept in order as received, ensuring a fair priority if events sell out.

Conference Registration Table Times and Locations:

Wednesday, June 6, 4:00pm-7:00pm, at The Lodge at Deadwood

Thursday, June 7, 7:00am-11:00am, at The Lodge at Deadwood

Thursday, June 7, 3:00pm-6:00pm, at the HARCC, 150 Sherman St., Deadwood

Friday, June 8, 7:00am-11:00am, at The Lodge at Deadwood

Saturday, June 9, registration as needed

SOCIAL EVENTS (Additional details will be added as available)

 

Reception, Buffet, and Opening Presentations, June 7, 2018, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center, 150 Sherman St., Deadwood.  Cost, $25.  A buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres is included.  Cash bar (beer and wine).

 

Lunch, June 8, 2018, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM, Days of ’76 Museum, with a tour of the carriage collection, 18 76th Dr., Deadwood.  Cost: $20. 

Awards Banquet, June 8, 2018, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM, Pine Crest Room, The Lodge at Deadwood, preceded by a Social Hour.  Cost: $30.  Full cash bar.

Presidential Luncheon, June 9, 2018, 12:30 PM – 2:00PM, The Lodge at Deadwood.  Cost: $25.

 

Opera House Reception and Lead Tour, June 9, 2018, 3:30 PM – 8:00 PM.  Cost, $35 (includes the tour, reception, and Opera House performance)

The ticketed tour portion of this combined event will start at the Sanford Visitor Center at 3:30 PM, 160 W. Main St., Lead.  There is plenty of free parking in front.  It will include stops at the Homestake’s Yates Hoist House, with a “walk-through” of the Yates Tunnel, and tours of the Black Hills Mining Museum and the Homestake Opera House.  Transportation between these stops will be available.

The tour of the Opera House will be followed at approximately 6:00 PM by the ticketed reception with light hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and a presentation. 

At 7:30, the Opera House will have a special public performance, and all MHA tour participants are encouraged to attend.  South Dakota composer Jesse Dunaway will be conducting 20 Black Hills vocalists and musicians in performing “The Homestake Mine” – a musical composition of sounds, speaking voices, and melody woven together to depict the 125 year history of the Homestake Gold Mine and its transformation into an underground science laboratory.

TOURS AND FIELD TRIPS (Additional tour details will be added as available)

Early Bird Pre-Conference, “Homestake Fanatic” Tour, June 6, 2018, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM.  Capacity: 22.  Cost $20.

Meet at the Sanford Visitor Center (in front of the Open Cut), 160 W. Main Street, Lead. (There is free parking in front of the Visitor Center.) Vans will be used to tour sites related to the Homestake operations. Former Homestake geologist and MHA member Bob Otto will lead the tour, with stops in Lead, Central City, Terraville, and Deadwood. The tour will not go underground because of the Sanford Lab operations, and the Yates Hoist House is part of our Saturday afternoon tour in Lead.

 

Please eat lunch beforehand and bring water and snacks. We plan on having hardhats. If you have steel toed boots please wear them. One stop may require them to exit the vans.

 

Early Bird Pre-Conference, Deadwood Walking Tour, June 6, 2018, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Capacity: 25.  Cost $25.

 

Meet at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman St, Deadwood. (There is free parking next to the HARCC.)  MHA Member and Deadwood Historian David Wolff will lead the tour. He will highlight six aspects of Deadwood’s past, such as the discovery of gold and boomtown development.

 

Please eat lunch beforehand and bring water. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat. The tour is not strenuous, but you need to be able to walk at least 2 miles, with half of it a slight uphill incline.

 

 Pre-Conference, Wyodak (Powder River Basin) Tour, June 7, 2018, 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Capacity: 33. Cost $50.

This tour leaves from The Lodge at Deadwood and will head to the Powder River Coal Basin near Gillette, WY. Black Hills Energy will be taking the group into the Wyodak open pit coal mine and through the Wygen power station. Acquired by the Homestake Mining Co. in 1921, the Wyodak mine is the oldest open pit operation in the Powder River Basin. Not only will this tour offer a close up look at Black Hills Energy’s operations, but it also offers over-and-back opportunities for train watching and a glimpse of Devil’s Tower.

 

A box lunch is provided. You need to wear closed-toe shoes. This tour is recommended for people who are attending the council meeting. That meeting will start at 2pm, just as the bus returns.

 

Pre-Conference, Southern Black Hills Tour, June 7, 2018, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.  Capacity: 53.  Cost, $50.

 

This tour leaves from The Lodge at Deadwood and heads to the Southern Black Hills and Pegmatite Country. This tour will include a visit to the Keystone gold belt, stops at historic sites, and a hike around the Tip Top pegmatite mine. Bob Otto and Tom Loomis of Dakota Matrix Minerals in Rapid City will serve as guides. This trip will also offer views of Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.

 

A box lunch is provided. Since the tour includes a hike that will cross a waste rock pile, proper footwear is essential.

  

Homestake Adams House Research and Cultural Center (HARCC) Tour, June 7, 2018, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM.  No cost.

 

This tour will meet at the HARCC at 150 Sherman St., Deadwood. The HARCC holds the records of the Homestake Mining Co.’s Lead operations. They were donated to Deadwood History, Inc. at the time of the mine’s closing. It also houses other Black Hills’ collections, including the archives of the Adams Museum. Carolyn Weber, Director of Deadwood History, Inc. and her staff will provide tours.

 

Spouses’ and Partners’ Tour, June 8, 2018, 9:00 AM - Noon.  Capacity 30. Cost $20.

 

This year there will be a tour for spouses and partners who may not be interested in attending the conference presentations. This tour will start in front of The Lodge and will visit Deadwood locations, including the Historic Adams House, the Adams Museum, and the graves of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. The tour will end in time for those registered for the Friday lunch to attend that gathering at the Days of '76 Museum. Transportation will be available from the museum to The Lodge.

 

Lead Tour and Opera House Reception, June 9, 2018, 3:30 PM – 8:00 PM.  Cost, $35 (includes the tour, reception and Opera House performance).

 

This tour will start at the Sanford Visitor Center, 160 W. Main St., Lead.  There is plenty of free parking in front.  It will include stops at the Homestake’s Yates Hoist House, with a “walk-through” of the Yates Tunnel, and tours of the Black Hills Mining Museum and the Homestake Opera House. The tour of the Opera House will be followed at approximately 6:00 PM by the reception with light hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and a presentation.  Transportation between these stops will be available.

 

At 7:30 PM, the Opera House will have a special public performance, and all MHA tour participants are encouraged to attend.  South Dakota composer Jesse Dunaway will be conducting 20 Black Hills vocalists and musicians in performing “The Homestake Mine” – a musical composition of sounds, speaking voices, and melody woven together to depict the 125 year history of the Homestake Gold Mine and its transformation into an underground science laboratory.

 

 Northern Black Hills Tour, June 10, 2018, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.  Capacity: 55.  Cost, $50.

 

This tour will leave from The Lodge and make stops at mining related locations in Deadwood and Central City. From there it will go into the historic Bald Mountain and Ruby Basin mining districts. A stop will be made at the Coeur-Wharf gold mine to tour an active open pit operation. From there the tour will go through Kirk Canyon (the backside of the Homestake) and then to the Gilt Edge mine for a look at this Superfund site. The tour will wrap up in the historic silver camp of Galena. A box lunch is provided. Since the tour includes visits to active and historic mine sites, proper footwear is essential (closed toe shoes, no sandals or flip-flops).

VISITOR INFORMATION (Accessed, 18 September 2017)

South Dakota Tourism

 

Black Hills Tourism

 

Deadwood Tourism

 

The Lodge at Deadwood

 

Deadwood History, Inc.

 

Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center

 

Sanford Lab Homestake Visitors Center

 

Black Hills Mining Museum

 

Coeur Mining Facts Sheet

 

Coeur Mining, Wharf Mine

 

Black Hills Energy, Wyodak Coal Mine, Gillette, WY

Rock Pile Museum (Gillette, WY)

Rapid City Tourism

South Dakota School of Mines

South Dakota Geological Survey Program

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Devil’s Tower National Monument

 


READINGS AND REFERENCES

Homestake References:

 

Cash, Joseph H., Working the Homestake, 1973.

 

Fielder, Mildred, The Treasure of Homestake Gold, 1970.

 

Mitchell, Steven T., Nuggets to Neutrinos: the Homestake Story, 2009.

 

Smith, Duane A., Staking a Claim in History: The Evolution of Homestake Mining Company, 2001.

 

General Black Hills Mining References:

 

Allsman, Paul T., Reconnaissance of Gold-Mining Districts in the Black Hills, S. Dak., US Bureau of Mines. Bulletin 427, 1940.

 

Baldwin, George P., The Black Hills Illustrated, 1904.

 

Black Hills Mineral Atlas, South Dakota: Part 1 and Part 2, US Bureau of Mines Information Circulars 7688 and 7707, 1954.

 

Clow, Richmond L., Chasing the Glitter: Black Hills Milling, 1874-1959., 2002.

 

Fielder, Mildred, Silver is the Fortune, 1978.

 

Irving, J. D., Economic Resources of the Northern Black Hills, US Geological Survey, Professional Paper 24, 1904.

 

Parker, Watson., Gold in the Black Hills, 1966.

 

Waterland, Joel K., Gold & Silver or Sweat & Tears, 1988.

 

Waterland, Joel K., The Mines Around & Beyond, 1991.

 

Waterland, Joel K., The Spawn & the Mother Lode, 1987.

 

General Black Hills References:

 

Bennett, Estelline, Old Deadwood Days, 1982.

 

Hughes, Richard B., Pioneer Years in the Black Hills, 1957.

 

Lee, Bob, Gold, Gals, Guns, Guts: A History of Deadwood, Lead and Spearfish, 1874-1976, 1976

 

Parker, Watson, Deadwood: the Golden Years, 1981.

 

Tallent, Annie D., The Black Hills or Last Hunting Grounds of the Dakotahs, reprint, 1974.

  

 

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Bob Otto, Mining Historian

Carolyn Weber, Director, Deadwood History, Inc.

David Wolff, Committee Chair




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