Monday, August 29, 2011

1920's Deadwood School Cannon Picture & 2011 Refurbishment

Courtesy Beshara Photos
The above 1920’s Chalk Wagner Collection photo shows an unidentified man and the Deadwood School Cannon.  In the background are the Masonic Temple, Wagner Garage, and the Deadwood City Hall Building.  Chalk Wagner sold Hudson automobiles in Deadwood for a number of years.  Then the cannon was aimed down Pine Street at a lower angle.  Also interesting is a sign board just below Brown Rocks/Mt. Moriah.  The sign appears to spell out M?????? Coal and may have been lighted by possible power pole to the right.

Select on image for large view

1912 Deadwood Hudson Automobile Show
Courtesy Beshara Photos
Another amazing picture above is the 1912 Hudson Automobile Show in the original Deadwood Auditorum (now the Rec Center) on Sherman Street.  Chalk Wagner is shown on the right and the other men are unnamed.  Wow look at the price of the Hudson 37s/54s and also the US Flags!

After over 100 years, the Deadwood School Cannon is being refurbished by City of Deadwood and the Deadwood Historical Preservation Commission.  Following are new pictures submitted by Beshara Photos.  They show the refurbished mount, base, and new cannon aim angle.  I understand there will also be an added interpretive plaque.  More pictures are expected in the near future.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A 1966 Oldie for the 2011 DHS Reunion ~ Slim Whitman - I Remember You

Whitman (87) is a self-taught left-handed guitarist, is right-handed, but he had lost almost all of the second finger on his left hand in an accident. He worked at a Tampa shipyard while developing a musical career, eventually performing with a band known as the Variety Rhythm Boys. Whitman's first big break came when talent manager "Colonel" Thomas Parker heard him singing on the radio and offered to represent him. Signed with RCA Records, he was billed as "the cowboy singer Slim Whitman" and released his first single in 1948. He toured and sang at a variety of venues, including on the radio show Louisiana Hayride.

At first, he was not able to make a living from music and kept a part-time job. That changed in the early 1950s after he recorded a version of the Bob Nolan hit "Love Song of the Waterfall," which made it into the country music top 10. His next single, "Indian Love Call," was even more successful, reaching number 2.

A yodeler, Whitman avoided the "down on yer luck buried in booze" songs, preferring instead to sing laid-back romantic melodies about simple life and love. Critics dubbed his style "countrypolitan," owing to its fusion of country music and a more sophisticated crooning vocal style. Although he has recorded many a western tune, love and romance songs figure prominently in his repertoire.

Whitman had a string of hits from the mid 1950s and into the 1970s and became known to a new generation of fans through TV marketing in the 1980s. Throughout the '90s and into the 21st century, he has continued to tour extensively around the world and release new material. In 2010 a new album, called Twilight on the Trail, was released, produced by his son Byron and featuring the single "Back in the Saddle Again" plus many traditional western favorites that have become standards.

Whitman still lives at his home, Woodpecker Paradise, in Middleburg, Florida.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

~~~~UPDATE~~~~ 2011 DHS Runion September 9-10 2011

DMG Deck View
Bill Beshara Photo
Update:  Because we are now expecting over 52 DHS Grads to the dinner the Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino has had to make some changes due to the impact of so many on the kitchen and staff (see memo below).  Actually this change is in our favor, we get a much better area in which to get together for this dinner.  They are giving us a very good deal bottom line.  We have the best of the Casino that evening for this event.

We still will meet at 6PM at the Slime Plant Bar and Grill on the first level for "Happy Hour".  Then we will move to the deck area for the social dinner.  We look forward to a great evening together.  Your response to this event has been just awesome!  Thanks to everyone who is coming.

I will continue to keep all of you updated to those who have an email address.  If any of you can contact this change in the menu and dinner site to those who are not computer friendly I would appreciate it.

See you on the 9th and 10th.

Go Bears!

Morris "Top" Toppila


Hello Morris,

The increase in the number of people changes things a bit for us.  What we
can do, though, is offer a limited menu, so your guests can still have options.  With that, we would have to move the group as well.  We would be able to move you to the deck, and if there is inclement weather, we would host the party upstairs in the event center.

The following would be the menu options, and prices for the party: 

Marsala         $18
Lightly breaded and sautéed breast of chicken medallions topped with our homemade wild mushroom marsala sauce, and served with 

garlic roasted smashed potatoes

PRIME RIB       $19
 When we say Prime Rib we mean PRIME rib, slow roasted USDA Prime Rib
served with roasted garlic smashed potatoes Queen Cut 12 oz

Baked Cod       $16
Flakey Cod topped with parmesan bread crumbs and lemon dill. Baked to perfection and served with roasted baby potatoes

Everyone would still order their own, and pay for their own.

South Dakota State Postage Stamp Announced August 11, 2011

South Dakota featured on new stamp

KOTA Posted: Aug 11, 2011 2:07 PM PDT

The South Dakota state flag postage stamp was unveiled this morning at a ceremony at the State Capitol.  The stamp is part of a series that features the flags of all the U.S. states and territories.

Pierre Postmaster Tom Bishop and Jim Hagen, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism unveiled the new stamp at the ceremony.

The stamps are available at your post office, according to the South Dakota Department of Tourism.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Memories of a blond eight year old girl growing up in Trojan, South Dakota" by Elaine Fish Casteel DHS55

Elaine joins Yvonne Spaulding Hendrickson DHS53 as known DHS Classmate published authors.  The genre of Elaine’s book is history, youth, adventure, nature, mining, and inspirational.  It started as a canvas painting and then was followed by her written memory of early youth in Trojan SD.  The town of Trojan is now just a memory of a dot on the map of the Black Hills near Nevada Gluch. 

I found Elaine’s book poignantly written about her early school years at the Trojan School.  She writes about the times, her family, Trojan, and the Bald Mountain Mining Company (also gone).  Her memories capture those long ago times when kids were never bored.

Deadwood Archeologist and Lawrence County Historical Society (LCHS) President, Jerry Bryant, previewed Elaine’s book and is pleased with the historical references and the reminder of a youth’s view of life.  A number of other published historians are also reviewing her book. 



Trojan, the town Elaine Fish Casteel had lived in during her formative years would soon not exist! Museums and gift shops had no books or pictures of what it had been.  Her heritage was gone, leaving an emptiness inside!  From that emptiness, she created an oil painting and as she painted, memories flowed down the roads of the community and the stories formed in her heart.

That oil painting became the cover and the stories became the book:  
"Memories of a blond eight year old girl growing up in TROJAN SOUTH DAKOTA (which no longer exists except in memories)".

Elaine will be signing copies of the new book at the new Deadwood Grand Mountain during the Deadwood High School Reunion, September 10.  She and the books will be available between 5 and 6 pm.

Another book signing will be September 7, 2pm to 3pm, at the Prairie Edge Trading Company in Rapid City SD.

Elaine and her husband, Perry Casteel, graduated from Deadwood High School in 1955 and 1953 respectively.  They currently reside in Shelbyville Tennessee where they own and operate a vineyard and winery.

Elaine has her own web site under construction here and you can buy her book here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Important Update ~ 2011 DHS Reunion ~ September 10th Evening Event ~ Open & Easy Attendance

Select on Image to view DMG Menu

Dick:  How's it going?  Classmates should select image above to view menu from the Deadwood Mountain Grand (old Deadwood Slime Plant) for the dinner on the 10th of Sep.  They will not offer a buffet for less than 50 people.  We will not have 50.  But, we might see over 40 show up!  Good turnout on such a short notice event.  It is good that we can still get together for a dinner.  Shows how special and unique we Deadwood Grads still are.

The party at the Deadwood Mountain Grand will be at the Slime Plant Bar & Lounge area on the main level.  It will start about 6PM for Happy Hour and dinner around 7PM or whenever you get hungry.  Everyone will be ordering from a menu and will pay for his or her own order.  Any refreshments from the bar will also be on his or her own tab.  The menu's cost run from $4 to $51 (55 oz. Porterhouse Steak) plus tax and tip.   There is a wide selection so everyone should find what they want.  

We are open to any Deadwood High School Grad, there is no Class Year restriction.  So all are welcome to come.  If you can make it please let me know so I can advise the Deadwood Mountain Grand Sales Manager on the number of grads coming to the dinner.  See everyone in Deadwood on Sep 9 and 10.

During the DMG evening event Elaine Fish Casteel DHS55 will have a book signing of her new book;
"Memories of a blond eight year old girl growing up in
South Dakota . . ."
The historical town of Trojan has been torn down and no longer exists.  Trojan School, the last building standing, was torn down about a year ago.  Elaine poignantly writes about her first school years at the Trojan School.  She also writes about the times, her family, Trojan, and the Bald Mountain Mining Company (also gone).  There is not much published about Trojan.  Elaine’s book captures Trojan history and will provide researchers interesting references.   Also there are not many published DHS classmate authors.  Yvonne Spalding Hendrickson DHS53 is another known author.

Morris "Top" Toppila

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beverly Ruth Englehart DHS52 Obituary - Contributor Gay Kent Bossart

DickD Comment: There will be lead-in introduction from Beverly’s DHS Classmates. Due to the short time from death to burial, the lead-in will be added in the next few days

Please avail yourself to Beverly's obituary guest book link.


Beverly Ruth Engelhart (1934 - 2011)
   |   Visit Guest Book

Beverly Joan Engelhart

Ankeny IA

Beverly Joan Ruth Engelhart, 77, was born April 6, 1934, to Dorothy and Vern Edmunds. She was adopted on October 12, 1942, by Alice and Colbern Ruth. She died August 12, 2011, from colon cancer. In her early years, she was active in the Eastern Star and served as Worthy Matron of Minerva Chapter in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She was also Past Grand Marshall of the Grand Chapter and a 50 year member. She was named one of the most influential women of the year in 1964.

Since moving to Ankeny, she established an alterations business; The Finishing Touch from which she retired in April of 2011.

Survivors include her much loved husband, Denny; her son, Scott (Donita) Clark of Crawfordsville; her daughter, Kathi (Bill) Fox of Davenport; her son, Russ (Hyon) of Lenexa, KS; her step-son, Chris of Lake Elinsore, CA; her grandchildren, Brad, Haley, and Brandon Fox, Ali (Mike) Quinn, Laura and Sam Clark; her step-grandson, Cameron; her mother-in-law, Beatrice of Rochester, MN; her sister and brother-in-law, Joan (Neill) Hardina and Janice (Mark) Maloney; her friend, Doris Olmstead of Bellingham, WA; her sister, Shirley Bey of Deadwood, SD; her furry black friend, Cricket; and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 14, 2011, at Ankeny Memorial Chapel (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd). Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Monday, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Ankeny.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Resurrection Lutheran Church or to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa

DHS Class of 1961 Celebrates Their 50th Reunion ~ Contributors Carol and Margaret

Left to right, back row:  John Williams, sr. class advisor; Lance Lee, Ernest Moser, Jack Collins, Margaret Crary Sager, Bernie Roth, Larry Karns, Bob Maynard, Ken Greslin, Ralph Greslin Middle row:  L to R:  Dan Baggaley, Carol McCarroll Perry, Joann Marshall Thomson, Janet Rypkema Sibell, Nancy Wells Roth, Janice Robley Harrison Front: L to R:  Ron Dyvig, Tom Plummer, Buster Cleveland, Cheryl Arends Crandall ~ Missing Tom Martin & Dodie Willams
I communicated with Tom Martin and he said to use his favorite picture from his Facebook page, as follows:

Tom Martin
The group picture was taken on Friday (July 15th)  in the afternoon at Karns's at Central City. We spent most of the afternoon catching up and also had a delicious BBQ prepared right there.  Several members of the DHS band (now the Northern Hills Band, and included Randy Karns and Jerry Pontius) came and played the school song and we sang and cheered! We gathered on Saturday (July 16th) for a walk on Main Street to recall the businesses that in our day were in the various store fronts, which are now all casinos.  After that we had a gab session on the balcony of the Franklin Hotel.  Some had to leave but others stayed and we ate the evening dinner at the new Lodge on top of the hill coming in from Spearfish, where the old Pine Crest Park used to be and across from Kevin Costner's planned hotel and casino site. On the morning of the 17th we enjoyed a parting breakfast at The Lodge before saying our good-byes until the next time, perhaps in 5 years??????  Special thanks to Larry and Nancy for coordinating all this and making still another great reunion!   Margaret Crary Sager.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Historic Adams House in Deadwood is Getting New Exterior Splash of Color Paint Job

Pictures with captions courtesy of the Adams Museum and Historic Adams House via their public page on Facebook.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Matilda Champ Hill, Deadwood SD 1900-1954 (Mattie Hill) Revised by Susanna Harris 8-14-2011

Select on Mattie’s image for link to her tribute

Mattie Champ Hill relative, Suzanna Harris submitted the following:

“James A. Harris, parents are James W. & Lois Lee Harris all from Tacoma, WA, contact: Susanna Harris (James' wife) at

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Interesting Black Hills Picture Views

Photos courtesy of Dan Daly and Devils Tower Trading Post.

Top of Devils Tower see shadow

Monday, August 1, 2011

Deadwood High School Reunion to be held September 9-10, 2011 in Deadwood - Contributor Morris "Top" Toppila DSH51

Hello Deadwood HS Alumni:

Well, Vince Eilers came through.  Yes he did.  He just finished setting up the site for us to eat the evening of September 10, 2011.  Thank you for the time and effort spent on getting us a spot Vince.  

Now, before I give you the details of the dinner night, would those of you who have not responded with a YES or NO for your reservations for September 9 and 10 please do so by August 15.  We need to have the number of people coming in order to confirm the space for the dinner.

Friday Picnic:  Meet at the Deadwood Park (next to the swimming pool) at 5PM September 9th.  Bring your own food and drinks.  We can then scatter to downtown Deadwood as we please.

The dinner will be at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel & Casino.  The Hotel is  the former Homestake Slim Plant which has now been  completely refurbished.  It is one of the largest historic preservation projects in the U.S.  To read more about it just go to  The dinner will be on the concert level called Bills Backstage Bar.

Dinner Date:  Saturday, September 10, 2011.
Time:  6PM for Happy Hour and 7PM for a dinner.

Buffet Menu:

10 item salad bar
Chicken Marsala
Beef Tips & Wild Rice
2 Vegetables
Baby Roasted Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Non Alcoholic Beverages included
Cookies, assorted bars and mini cheesecakes for desserts

Cost Per Person:  $26.00 (includes tax and gratuities).

Casual Dress

That is about it for now.  Please don't forget to RSVP.  We need to know if you are coming or not.

Yours truly,

Morris "Top" Toppila