Deadwood has housed a small Days of ‘76 museum for ages, but recently unveiled an expanded facility to tell the story of this important Black Hills history.
Deadwood was a rowdy mining town in 1876. Legendary figures like Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane called it home. In 1924, the town launched a yearly event to celebrate and remember those days and drew inspiration from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The annual Days of ‘76 celebration has steadily grown in size and scope (an award-winning PRCA rodeo is a major part of the festivities).
The new 32,000-square-foot museum is adjacent to the Days of ‘76 rodeo arena on the edge of downtown Deadwood. Two floors of exhibits outline the early history of the town and the people who later shaped the Days of ‘76. Displays focus on the parade and rodeo and highlight a large collection of horse-drawn vehicles and carriages, many of which appear in the parade each year. The Don Clowser Collection includes Old West, pioneer and American Indian artifacts, archives and firearms, plus a room detailing the region’s Native American history.
The Days of ‘76 Museum is part of a jointly operated grouping of Deadwood sites including the Adams Museum, Historic Adams House and Mount Moriah Cemetery. Adult admission is $7; hours vary by season.