A slow day today in Deadwood.
This was early in the day before the bikers rolled in by the hundreds. This is the final week of the 79th Sturgis Black Hills bike rally, the world's largest, and there are probably over half a million bikers here this weekend. I've seen some absolutely gorgeous bikes, but I gave mine and me the day off.
Today I went back to Wild Bill's Bar, the former Saloon Number 10, where Wild Bill Hickok was murdered.
Hickok was a stagecoach driver, a cattle drover, a law man, a scout, a soldier, a spy, a gambler, and a gunfighter. He was involved in several shootouts and is said to have killed at least seven men. He was a legend in his own time and a sort of folk hero. His likeness is everywhere around here. I'm staying in the Hickok hotel.
This is the inside of the saloon, Wild Bill's bar.
Downstairs is the original saloon at the former street-level. Deadwood was destroyed by fire and floods, so they diverted the river and used the debris from the fire to build up parts of the city, so now there is a sort of "underground" Deadwood that is the real city. Most of the buildings on Main Street date from around 1900. This original saloon was here in 1876. The far table in the back of the picture is where Wild Bill was sitting playing cards. It was a very rough town, with a good many tents and other ramshackle forms of buildings. This saloon was actually pretty substantial, being built from stone and wood.
The table in this picture is where Wild Bill was sitting. He normally sat in a corner or with his back to the wall. For some unknown reason, on this day, he did not. Jack McCall, a drunkard and unsuccessful gambler who had lost to Wild Bill at cards the night prior, walked in on August 2nd, 1876, put a .45 caliber pistol to the back of Wild Bill's head, and pulled the trigger with the words "Take that!" Bill was killed instantly. Bill had two pair in his hand, the now infamous aces and eights, "The Dead Man's Hand."
The rough-hewn furniture and bar are typical of the day.
A replica set of Wild Bill's famous pistols are on display in the bar. The real ones are owned separately. One is in the Gene Autry museum and one is owned by a private collector in Oklahoma. They are each worth an estimated six million dollars. If they were to be reunited as a set, there's no telling how much they'd be worth.
The upstairs saloon. A nice place with friendly folks. No shootings these days.
Tomorrow, weather depending, I may get to Mount Rushmore. Stay tuned.