Deadwood, named for the dead trees found in its gulch, is a town in and the county seat of Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 1,380 as of the 2000 census. The town includes the Deadwood Historic District, a National Historic Landmark District, whose borders may be the town limits.
In 1961, the entire town was designated a National Historic Landmark, but the town continued to decline for the next two decades. Interstate 90 bypassed Deadwood in 1964 and its brothels were shut down after a 1980 raid. A fire in December 1987 destroyed the historic Syndicate Building and a neighboring structure. The fire fueled interest in the area and spurred the "Deadwood Experiment", in which gambling was tested as a means of revitalizing a city center. At the time, gambling was legal only in the state of Nevada and in Atlantic City. Deadwood was the first small community in the U.S. to seek legal gambling revenues as a way of maintaining local historic qualities. Gambling was legalized in Deadwood in 1989 and immediately brought significant new revenues and development.
Wyatt Earp, Seth Bullock, Wild Bill Hickok, and Calamity Jane are some of the legendary people of Deadwood. Seth Bullock (1849 – 1919) was a Canadian-American Western sheriff, hardware store owner, and U.S. Marshal. He was the first sheriff in what was then the lawless, rowdy camp of Deadwood. Wyatt Earp lived a restless life. He was at different times a constable, city policeman, county sheriff, Deputy U.S. Marshal, teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, gambler, brothel keeper, miner, and boxing referee. Wyatt Earp spent the winter of 1876–77 in Deadwood, interested in the sheriff's job, but was told by the appointed sheriff, Seth Bullock, that his services were not need and went back to Dodge City.
James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok (1837 – 1876), also "J. B. Hickok" for his signature name, was a folk hero of the American Old West, known for his work across the frontier as a drover, wagon master, soldier, spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. In 1876, Hickok was shot from behind and killed while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood. The hand of cards which he supposedly held at the time of his death (including the ace of spades, the ace of clubs, the eight of spades, and the eight of clubs) has become known as the dead man's hand. Martha Jane Canary or Cannary (1852 – 1903), better known as Calamity Jane, was an American frontierswoman and professional scout, known for her claims of being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok and fighting against Native Americans. Late in her life, she appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.
There are many great places to eat, gamble and shop in historic Deadwood. In this wild west town, you can be a player 24/7. Play the latest slots, live table games, roulette, craps and keno at a variety of casinos and resort hotels located on Historic Main Street and off the cobblestone strip. From daily re-enactments and sawdust on the floor to live music and karaoke, every Deadwood property has its own personality. You'll find historic buildings that still feature grand staircases, crystal chandeliers and Old West charm. The Old Style Saloon #10 is packed full of historic Deadwood memorabilia. See the chair where Wild Bill was shot will playing poker or the wall of famous and infamous Deadwood residents. In Deadwood you can ponder the truth at the foot of Wild Bill's grave in Mount Moriah Cemetery, tour the Adams House, pan for gold in the Broken Boot Mine, or take a self-guided walking tour into the past that puts the Wild West into perspective.
The Midnight Star casino in Deadwood is owned by American film actor Kevin Costner, who had directed and starred in the 1990 Academy Award-winning film Dances With Wolves, which was filmed mainly in South Dakota. International versions of many of his films' posters line its walls.
Two the most popular gambling destinations are Cadillac Jacks Casino and Silverado. At Cadillac Jacks Casino the infrastructure of the casino is world class. The Staff members are professional and friendly. The music makes the environment lively. Food and drinks are available throughout your tenure in the casino. Silverado is a hotel-cum-gaming complex. The place has a wild west theme, not unlike other places in Deadwood. You can play Blackjack and Poker and a wide variety of slot machines. They also offer a really great buffet.
This is Black Hills' oldest history museum. It was a gift to the town of Deadwood from its former mayor W. E. Adams. It is one of the most popular western museums. The exhibits are plenty and very interesting too. The artefacts from the past give you a taste of how regular life was back then in the legendary times. The museum has 3 floors, each laden with baffling information abouth the wild west. The display panels are detailed and the tour guides are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. If you are a western movie fan, this place will ensure you that those stories exist outside of fiction!