Sunday, October 24, 2010

Black Hills History Discovered by Ann Stanton

Ann Haber Stanton
South Dakota Jewish Historian
Photo courtesy Ann Stanton

My dear friends and family,

My book is in the publisher's hands and my self-imposed solitary confinement of the past month or two has at last ended. Whew! Of course, now comes the editing.

Title: Jewish Pioneers of the
Black Hills Gold Rush; the First Fifty Years.

It'll be another year before it sees daylight.
Arcadia, the publisher, is doing quite well with this series of local histories (covers mostly the midwest and the west , I think); unfortunately, it's not so rewarding to the authors. At least the story will be out and people won't go around saying baloney like what I've seen on the web: "there was only one Jew in Deadwood and that was Sol Star." Bullfeathers!

I feel honored to be the one who finally gets to tell this story. It'll be an easy read, 'cause this is mostly pictures.

Think "JEWISH PIONEERS OF THE BLACK HILLS GOLD RUSH" and please wish me luck!


DickD Comment:

Ann’s long term vision, discovery, and planning is many years old. I have known of her book activity for several years. It is very exciting for me today that her efforts are now announced. Ann’s amazing historical and writing ability proves that fresh new history is always waiting to be discovered.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buffalo Gap SD ~~ Vista Views and Foliage by Lilah Pengra

Select on picture for slide show.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Glenrose Gravelle DHS58 Died Unexpectedly on October 3, 2010


"THE ROSE" by Nana Mouskouri

Glenrose Ann Gravelle
May 12 1940 - Oct 03 2010

Glenrose Ann Gravelle DHS58, 70, passed away unexpectedly October 3, 2010 at her home in Marco Island, Florida. Glenrose was born in Fairplay, Colorado on May 12, 1940, and later moved to Central City, South Dakota with her parents, the late Harvey Glenn Hill and Doris Allene Cole.

She attended grade school in Central City and graduated from Deadwood High School in 1958. During high school, Glenrose began work as a telephone operator, and remained employed with the Deadwood Telephone Company for 10 years. She later did administrative/office work for Carpenter Steel in Denver, Colorado, and for Moen Faucets and Ethan Allen Furniture in Lorain, Ohio.

Glenrose was a “late bloomer,” and at age 40 returned to school at Lorain Community College and graduated as a registered nurse in 1985. Afterward, she worked in the labor and delivery unit of Firelands Memorial Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio. During her retired years, Glenrose made it her mission to ensure her family, friends, and even complete strangers were recipients of her many unsolicited acts of generosity and love.

Glenrose was married to Vincent Gravelle on December 17, 1960, and he and their three loving daughters survive her. They are Vicki Anderson and her husband, Jerry; Laurie Young and her husband, Ron; and Cynthia Godwin and her husband, Lee. Glenrose was also blessed with eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Also surviving are her two sisters, Kathleen Stones of Platteville, Colorado, and Linda Miller of Cocoa Beach, Florida; a maternal aunt, Ruth Painter of Cedaredge, Colorado, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and lifetime friends.

Visitation will be from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Friday, October 8, 2010 at Kirk Funeral Home, 1051 East Minnesota St., Rapid City, SD 57701 and then for one hour before services. A celebration of Glenrose’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 9, 2010, at the funeral home with Fr. Bill Zandri officiating. Interment will follow at Rosehill Cemetery in Spearfish.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ALS TDI on behalf of “Friends of Bob” in memory of her nephew, Bob Beshara.

On-line condolences can be made at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trojan SD 1914 School House ~ the Last Building Standing has been Demolished!

Wharf Resources (USA) Inc. operates the Wharf open pit gold mine and heap-leach operation in the Bald Mountain Mining District of South Dakota. The property consists of several areas of adjoining gold mineralization amenable to open pit mining. Wharf resources holds title to the surface and mineral rights of the claims. All of the Wharf Mine’s total proven and probable mineral reserves are on patented claims. In 2009, gold production from the Wharf Mine amounted to 68,000 ounces of gold. Positive exploration results have extended the mine life to approximately 2014. This picture shows the major scope of this open pit mining activity near Terry Peak.

Trojan School House built in 1914

This recent picture shows the extent of how the Wharf Mine has nearly consumed the last building standing of what remained of the old skiing town of Trojan SD.

A valiant effort to save the 1914 School House was conducted by the Lawrence County Historic Society President Jerry Bryant, Mrs. Donna Watson along with many other concerned people.

A few weeks ago, the building could no longer be protected nor enough money raised to move it to possible donated sites. Sadly, the Trojan School was demolished and the town of Trojan ceased to exist except as a dot on the map close the Nevada Gulch.

This fate of destruction is all too often the end of many old buildings and structures in the Black Hills. Jerry Bryant’s quest to save old buildings and structures is also supplemented by his archeological vision to discover and protect historical artifacts buried in the remains of long forgotten structures. Bryant observed that Donna Watson is tirelessly pursing many conservation and preservation activities. Between her and her brother, they are the emotional ground movers for many issues in the Black Hills.

Jon Crane, a Hill City artist, founded the Black Hills Historic Preservation Trust. The Trust is actively preserving the Meeker Ranch and Gold Mountain Mine. The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission recently made a strategic grant to the Meeker Ranch reroofing effort.

South Dakota Historic Preservation Advocacy Day - Last January 21, Preservation advocates took to the South Dakota State Capitol for Historic Preservation Advocacy Day organized by the Black Hills Historic Preservation Trust, Preserve South Dakota and National Trust. Supporters of historic preservation visited with legislators about historic preservation issues and benefits in communities across South Dakota.
Advocacy Day will become an annual event and is open to participants dedicated to building a voice at the State Legislature for historic preservation in South Dakota. Please join them in 2011.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Deadwood and the Black Hills Region Grew and Prospered with 125 Years of Railroading Which Then Faded Away ~ Contributor Rick W. Mills

Select on the logo below for link to South Dakota State Railroading Museum

Rick Mills writes:

I am pleased to welcome you to the Museum’s web site. I feel fortunate to be in this position at the Museum, as I have always had a passion for trains and their history. I ask that you keep this Museum, our Board, and myself in your thoughts, prayers, and hopefully your giving and support of our mission.

The South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Ltd. (SDSRM) is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization established for the purposes of preservation, education, promotion, and interactive interpretation of railroad equipment, memorabilia, and the ever-changing historical material specific to South Dakota and related American railroads. It is a destination designed for all ages and levels of interest. After 16 years of planning the the museum finally opened its doors for the first time on May 1, 2010!

Whether you are a die-hard railroad or history buff, the member of a railroad family, or a lover of cross-country train travel, the South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Ltd. is a statewide project that you will be proud to support.

South Dakota State Railroading Video

Western South Dakota Railroading Video

Before 1879 - 2004

The South Dakota State Railroad Museum brings to life the financial and political intrigue, the machinery, the people, the mythology, and the pure joy of perhaps the most romantic mode of transportation ever built.

Museums like this connect us to everything we know— and to what we have yet to learn— reminding us of times, places and things, and of innovations that have shaped our past and present, and will shape our future.

Americans have always had a love for railroads — there is nothing else like them. The building of the American railroads was a special combination of steel, timber, and sweat which linked our nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific. As explorers, entrepreneurs, and immigrants from across the world sought freedom and opportunity, the railroads and our nation grew up together.

South Dakota’s unique landscape spawned one of the most unusual and complex railroad histories in our nation; a history that has helped define us as a people and as a state. The rails have carried our hopes, our dreams, our riches, our bounty, our cultural treasures, and our families from past to present.

By the time the Dakota Territory was carved into North and South in 1889, the railroad and the High Plains were intertwined. Agriculture on the plains relied on the railroads, as did mining and timbering in the Black Hills. South Dakota was realized, in large part, thanks to the men, women, investment, and machines of the railroad.

Automobiles, Interstate highways, and aircraft, however, shook the railroad system to its core. By 1969, one hundred years after the completion of the transcontinental railroad, South Dakota had lost it’s last passenger service.

In the next two decades, corporate mergers helped to bolster railroad operations. The times had changed, our needs had changed, but the value and importance of the South Dakota railroads had not.

. . . continued on SDSRM web site. Also note the October 16, 2010 SDSRM Gala Event held at Sylvan Lake Lodge. Be sure to contact Rick Mills at SDSRM web site!

~~~ DickD Addition: ~~~

Rick has written several railroading books. "Making the Grade - A Century of Black Hills Railroading" was published in 1985. In 2004, Rick published "125 Years of Black Hills Railroading" which included most of the older book and updated with more text, more photos and more illustrations and covered before 1879 through 2004.

I have a copy of Rick's last book and find it exceedingly interesting and use it frequently for reference. It is out of print and a few copies can be found. I recommend the 125 Years book to anyone who loves those lost days of railroading.