Friday, July 22, 2011

Diamond Reo/Oak Ridge Boys at the Deadwood Mountain Grand

Shalee & her Mom's 1983 t-shirt
Oak Ridge Boys signing on stage
The DMG reports . . . we wouldn't have guessed that the Oak Ridge Boys were avid tweeters. But they are! This  DMG blog post tells a neat story of how a fan connected with the band through Twitter, and got to go on DMG stage with them!

My Observation:
The DMG is looking for local talent too.  Won't it be ironic if Kevin Costner & Modern West Band qualified as local and professional?  See Kevin Costner Band

Famous Black Hills Gold Nuggets at the Deadwood Adams Museum

Select on images for larger view
Kathy Magda Wolff
showing famous gold nuggets

The Adams Museum will display the famous Potato Creek Johnny Gold Nugget (7.75 oz. of gold) along with the newly discovered Icebox Nugget (3.96 oz. of gold) on Sunday, July 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is the last time the two nuggets will be displayed together.  I believe that the Icebox nugget is privately owned so future viewing is unpredictable.  The Adams Museum owns the Potato Creek Johnny nugget and it is rarely on display.  

Here is a question for you, where is Potato Creek located in the Black Hills of SD? 

Potato Creek Johnny Nugget on right

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DAYS OF ’76 WINCHESTER MODEL 1892 .44-40 CALIBER ~ Days of '76 Museum Raffle

Drawing for a
20-Inch octagon barrel, hand carved in deep relief
by Master Carver Kirk Ratajesak
Includes oak display case and nickel silver plaque
Rifle donated by Dakota Plains Auctions, Rapid City, SD.
Proceeds to benefit the Days of ’76 Museum Capital Campaign
Drawing to be held Saturday, December 10 at the Museum Cowboy Christmas Ball
Tickets $5.00 each or 6 for $25.00
No. 1-500 Need not be present to win No. 1-500

Select Image Below to Link to Raffle Details

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deadwood Mountain Grand - Overview From 2008 to Present

Deadwood Mountain Grand
Web Cam
The Slime Plant, a historic building in Deadwood, SD, is being restored, remodeled, and renovated into the Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center and Casino. The $43 million project will ultimately feature a 100-room hotel, a creekside restaurant, an indoor-outdoor bar with a view of the downtown historic district, a multi-level parking structure, and a 2500-seat entertainment complex. The developers hope to open in July 2011.

This video shows the work that has been completed as of November 2008, including demolishing the previous interior offices, digging out the mountainside in the back to make room for the hotel, digging out the interior floor down one story to accommodate the casino, and removing the outside siding to prepare for a new exterior.

Investors in the project include Ken Alphin, better known as Big Kenny of country supergroup Big & Rich.

Ground was broken for The Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center & Casino, formerly known as the Slime Plant, on May 10, 2010 in Deadwood, SD. Big & Rich star Big Kenny Alphin, a partner in the project, was on hand to take part in the ceremony.

Big & Rich play the inaugural concert at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center & Casino on July 8, 2011. Here are some highlights of the parade that was held to celebrate the event, as well as an interview with John Rich, Big Kenny Alphin, South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard, and performer Cowboy Troy.

Videos Courtesy of realdeadwoodpodcast


Select Image
 To Link to DMG Web Site
Opening Day Video (excellent!!) and Gallery 
background music - Big and Rich "Deadwood Mountain"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Deadwood Days of '76 Rodeo Committee Induction into PRCA Hall of Fame

L-R is Terry Caudill, Pat Kinghorn, Dawn Burns, Marc Straub, Jon Mattson, Ron Burns, Tim Conrad, Greg Nelson, Joe Peterson, Jeanna Dewey (front), Chris Roberts (rear), Steve Olson, Mac Meyer, Jade Temple, Pat Roberts, Jim Mattson and Ted Thompson. Missing from the photo is Rich Turbiville and new member Don Gross
~~~~~Select Image for Large View~~~~~
This picture is taken at Deadwood Rodeo Grounds
Ferguson Field is left of center in background

On this coming July 16 the Deadwood Days of ’76 Rodeo Committee (above) will be inducted into the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) Hall of  Fame headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO.  This is a great honor to be recognized by the very heart of rodeos, the PRCA.

Select the following image for complete information

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Deadwood Days of '76 Museum Update

Museum Rendering
Backside, it faces the Rodeo Grounds 

Museum Seeks Donors

Days of ’76 Museum needs to raise an additional $500,000 to $600,000 to complete its exhibits showcasing decades of local history and memorabilia from the Days of ’76 event.

It has enough to open the $5.3 million project next summer, no matter what, but may have to hold off on some of the exhibits displays until fundraising is complete, museum director Deborah Gangloff and board president Jon Mattson said.

Of the remaining need, $350,000 is to complete a contract for exhibit installation with Condit Exhibits of Denver, which organized the collection into displays.

The balance of the need is for landscaping, furniture and fixtures.

“I’ve been with the rodeo community a long, long time, and it’s something that we’ve never had before,” Mattson said of the museum. “This is going to be just a wonderful attraction not only for Deadwood but also the entire Black Hills. But we need help."

For more information or to donate, call the museum at 605-578-1657 or fill out a donor form online at by selecting on the following web site image.

~~~~~~~~~~~ Also from Rapid City Journal ~~~~~~~~~
Days of ’76 Museum, under construction, raises money to complete exhibits
Front of Deadwood Days of '76 Museum
DEADWOOD -- When some tourists hear about the Days of ’76, they think 1776 and the events of 235 years ago last weekend, when the U.S. officially declared its independence.  But a new museum here will make it clear that down in Deadwood Gulch, it’s 1876 that matters -- the year miners and madams founded this once-lawless town in pursuit of the riches that flowed from the gold mines.

The new Days of ’76 Museum building, under construction at the city’s north entrance, recalls the town’s pioneer days as well as the Days of ’76 event and later rodeo that began in 1923 to celebrate those early times. The building, now framed in, is changing the small city’s skyline and is expected to open next June.  It replaces an unheated pole barn that formerly housed the museum’s meandering collection of stagecoaches, clothing, photographs, Days relics, taxidermy, furniture, firearms and other items.

“When we started planning for this museum, we had eight decades of history, and none of it was organized,” museum director Deborah Gangloff said. “You could look at the stuff and see what it was, but it didn’t make sense.”  When the 32,000-square-foot museum opens, the collection will go from a jumbled display that was closed all winter to an organized, cohesive story that has been professionally curated and properly safeguarded from the elements.  There are four main collections: wagons and vehicles, clothing, rodeo and Deadwood collector Don Clowser’s Old West art and artifacts. Clowser, who died in 2004, had sold the collection to the city, which entrusted it to the museum, where it has been displayed since 1990.

A $3 million gift from the city in 2004 began the drive to build the new museum. The museum board hired a conservator to assess the collection, and it was clear the pole barn wasn’t adequate. The board hired Gangloff, who had overseen the restoration of the Historic Adams House, first as a consultant and now as director.  Now, the collection has been organized and is being stored on site in a different building, awaiting its new home.  “It’s a really good collection,” Gangloff said. “It’s uneven, but it has some things that are spectacular.”

The two-story museum will house the carriage collection on the ground floor, along with a programming room for community events.  The second floor will include the displays of art, rodeo history, costumes, firearms and artifacts, along with a research library for archives and a gift shop.

The Deadwood Days of ’76 event was the start an economic development tool to attract tourists, Gangloff said. Some locals thought it was a bad idea: Why look back on the city’s lawless days when trying to promote Deadwood as a modern home to industry?  But the event, modeled after Wild West shows and featuring costumes, a parade, and feats of shooting and riding, proved a success. It evolved into today’s popular rodeo, planned this year from July 26-30.  This museum, right at the rodeo grounds, should be another draw for visitors and another way to expand Deadwood’s economy, Gangloff said.  “It serves as an anchor to this part of town,” she said. “It gives people something else, when they’re coming into town, that says history is important here.”

The museum building is owned by the City of Deadwood. City historic preservation officer Kevin Kuchenbecker said that even with the recent focus on falling gambling revenue in Deadwood, the museum will be a reminder that historic preservation is the reason for all those slot machines.  “Without the gaming revenues, we wouldn’t be able to do the projects we’ve been talking about,” he said. “What this does is it keeps history and historic preservation to the forefront.”  Gambling is now available in so many more cities and states than in 1989, when it was legalized in Deadwood.  Deadwood’s focus on its past remains a draw that few other gaming capitals can offer.  “History is the main reason to visit Deadwood,” he said.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Recent DHS57 Classmate Gathering

Following is a picture series submitted by Bill Beshara. 

Select on images for large view

Don Gross, Ray Jones, & Jerry Pontius

Jerry Pontius, Jill Anfinson Pontius, & Sandy Gravelle Beshara 
Margaret Slack, Roberta Vandervorst, Jerry Perrett, &  Bill Beshara

Mr. Pringle, Lois Pringle, Mrs. Edmonson, & Chuck Edmonson

Jim Scott Salaska, Mrs. Salaska, & Jean Perrett

Jean Perrett, Helen Jones, & Jean Macki Burke

Jean Macki Burke, Kent Burke, Yvonne Hobbs Jones, & Bob Jones

Yvonne Hobbs Jones, Bob Jones, Margaret Slack & Roberta Vandervorst

Margaret Slack, Roberta Vandervorst, & Jerry Perrett

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Margaret Vancas McGrath DHS53 Obituary

Margaret R. McGrath
October 20, 1935 - July 3, 2011

DickD, Margaret , & Hugh
@ Recent DHS Reunion

Margaret R. McGrath, 75, passed away on Sunday, July 3rd at home in Lead, South Dakota, surrounded by her family.

Visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, Lead, SD, followed by a Vigil Service at 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 AM, Friday, July 8, 2011, at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church.

She was born in Deadwood, SD to Michael and Mary (Fillak) Vancas on October 20th, 1935. She attended Saint Ambrose Catholic Grade School and graduated from Deadwood High School in 1953. On June 16th, 1954, Margaret married the love of her life, Hubert McGrath. The couple celebrated their 57th anniversary this past June. Margaret will always be known for her love of life, her love of family, and her faith. She was well known for her wonderful cooking and she delighted in her friendships. Throughout her life she worked for the Lawrence County Auditor’s Office, Century 21 Real Estate, Lead High School and Black Hills Special Services Cooperative. She served on the Lawrence County Election Board for many years. She was a longtime member of the Laureate Iota Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and the St. Patrick’s Altar Society.

Margaret will be dearly missed by her husband Hubert. Four children were blessed to have her as their mother: John (Carol) of Brandon, SD, Mark (Rhonda) of Lead, SD, Michelle (Steve) Hovland of Nemo, SD, and Cindy (Richard) Ostert of Spearfish, SD. She cherished her 14 grandchildren: Laney McGrath, Heath Ostert, Dustin Ostert, Chase McGrath, Amy Fierro, Marc McGrath, Danielle McGrath, Roy Buchanan, Nikayla Hovland, Kristina Fierro, Chaz McGrath, Michelle Buchanan, Jon Hovland, and Chandler McGrath. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Joseph, Sylvester, Francis, Paul, and sister Agnes. 

Arrangements are under the care of Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel in Lead. An online guestbook is available at Margaret McGrath Guestbook