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BHSU summer camp offers look into Deadwood’s history and the people behind the famous mining town

 
 Pictured here is the Spearfish-Deadwood Stagecoach with driver Harvey Fellows. Fellows drove the coach from Deadwood to Spearfish every day for 25 years.
Deadwood is one of the most famous names in Western history with many myths and legends spurred from its storied past. Black Hills State University is offering a summer camp that will look at Deadwood’s place in Western history and the true stories behind the myth and legends.

Romance and Reality of Deadwood is one of several academic camps BHSU will hold this summer. The history of Deadwood camp is May 30-31 and is open to middle and high school students as well as their parents.

“Part of what we hope comes out of this camp is an understanding of how Deadwood was established, and why it did not disappear like many other Western boomtowns,” according to Dr. David Wolff, BHSU professor of history and dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Wolff and Kelly Kirk, BHSU instructor of history, will teach the two-day camp.

“Deadwood survives today as a modern tourist/gambling town, and part of our discussion will be how Deadwood changed over time and what role historic preservation plays in Deadwood today,” Wolff said.

One cannot thoroughly grasp the history of Deadwood without a look at the surrounding areas so visits will also be made to other mining camps in the northern Black Hills where the broader stories of the Black Hills gold rush and gold camp evolution will be explored, Wolff said.

The camp will also include walks to Mt. Moriah Cemetery, burial spot of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, Mt. Roosevelt, and along Deadwood’s Main Street.

Wolff said by learning about the local history a larger meaning of Western and American history will be uncovered including the boom and bust of gold camps, the evolving social fabric on the mining frontier, and the economic realities of the American West.

BHSU will be offering additional summer camps for middle and high school students on the following topics: business, art, drafting, photography, science, and creativity and critical thinking.

For more information or to sign up for any of the academic summer camps go to www.BHSU.edu/summercamps or contact Hasina Ahmad at 605.642.6427 or Hasina.Ahmad@BHSU.edu

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