“founded by pioneer businessman W.E. Adams”
In 1930 pioneer businessman W.E. Adams founded the Adams Museum in downtown Deadwood with the purpose of preserving and displaying the history of the Black Hills. He donated the building to the City of Deadwood and placed the operation of the organization in the hands of a board of directors. The board oversaw the collecting of some of the Black Hills’ greatest treasures including Potato Creek Johnny’s gold nugget, beloved American illustrator N.C. Wyeth’s pencil sketch drawing of Western legend Wild Bill Hickok, the mysterious Thoen Stone record of the Ezra Kind party’s discovery of gold in the Hills in the 1830s and a one-of-a-kind plesiosaur (marine reptile). In 1989 South Dakotans gave Deadwood a second renaissance by voting to allow limited stakes gaming with tax proceeds benefiting historic preservation. This breathed new life into the Adams Museum, giving the City of Deadwood and the Adams Museum board the opportunity to hire a professionally trained museum staff with the goal of restoring the building, instituting professional collections management practices, creating engaging and educational exhibitions and developing community based public programming. In 2005, the Adams Museum underwent a major renovation of the then 75-year-old building to address safety issues, make the facility more accessible to people with disabilities and to improve public programming spaces. The Adams Museum is wheel-chair accessible. In addition to exhibits on all three levels, a western history bookstore is included on the main floor and restrooms and a meeting room are located on the lower level.
Quick museum with a lot of very interesting information about the people and history of Deadwood and the area. Only disappointment was that the Thoren Stone was on loan, so we were not able to see it.
No visit to Deadwood would be complete without a stop at the Adams Museum and House.
This museum is dedicated to the history of Deadwood and the Black Hills region. You’ll learn about the early days of the Gold Rush, as well as the founding of Deadwood itself. Among the treasures on display, visitors can gawk at a 7.346 troy ounce gold nugget. The largest gold nug ever found in Black Hill is credited to Potato Creek Johnny, and it currently resides in the museum.
For a pleasant surprise, don’t forget to stop by the plesiosaur exhibit on your way out. This ancient creature was a reptilian predator that lived in the oceans during the Mesozoic Era. A fossilized skeleton was discovered and donated to the museum by Charles Haas and his son. The rock containing the fossil is now on display for everybody to see.
We think a stop here is one of the best things to do in Deadwood, SD!
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- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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