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Historical information by Mary Kopco, former Executive Director of Deadwood History, Inc.
Crystal Cavern -
Wind Cave was so named in the 1880s by Thomas Bingham because the cave appeared to breathe in and out. Crystal formations are found throughout this elaborate cave system that underlies the Black Hills.
Magpies Race - According to
Cheyenne legend, the race track inside the ridge that surrounds the Black Hills was formed when the four-leggeds (the animals) raced the two-leggeds (the people and the birds). The slow but steady magpie won the race for the people, who were then entitled to eat the four-leggeds.
Black Hills Fairy Gold - Prospectors who feared they might be robbed were rumored to have buried their gold in the Black Hills. Many modern-day prospectors continue to search for this fairy gold.
Hay Camp - During the 1870s, wagon trains stopped at the Hay Camp, the gateway to the Black Hills, to buy hay and other supplies for mining towns. The name Hay Camp was later changed to
Prairie Violet - Native American children played games with these
flowers, found in beautiful blue-purple abundance throughout the tallgrass prairie.
The Needles - In the Rushmore district of the Harney range are about 1000 towering granite spires known collectively as
According to architect Frank Lloyd Wright, The Needles is an endless supernatural world more spiritual than Earth but created out of it.
Days of 76 - During the summer of 1876, thousands of prospectors flooded the Black Hills of the Dakotah Territory in search of gold. Many staked claims in the gulch with dead wood.
The Days of 76 were filled with excitement, hardship, and anticipation.
Sea of Grass - Pioneers who visited the Black Hills described the 4500-square-mile area as an island in a sea of grass. To the
Lakota, the area is known as Paha Sapa (Black Mountains).
Last Wolf - A lone female wolf outsmarted and eluded wolf bounty hunter Harry P. Williams for six months in 1922. She was the last wolf seen in
Custer, South Dakota.
Baba's Golden Eagle - The golden eagle is found throughout the Black Hills. The female, who generally nests on cliffs or in large trees, is fed by the male until her young develop feathers.
Bear Mountain -
(Mato Paha) is considered a sacred place to both the Cheyenne and the Lakota tribes. Many Native Americans believe
General George Armstrong Custer was doomed to die when he climbed the sacred mountain in 1874. Custer was killed two years later at
Little Big Horn.
All contents ©1996-2017 Paul Dennis Kopco. All music ©1995 pdk music (BMI). All rights reserved.