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Title: Through the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota
Author: Peterson, Purl Dewey
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              Through the
                              Black Hills
                               Bad Lands
                            of South Dakota

                             P. D. Peterson

                        J. Fred Olander Company
                             Pierre, S. D.

                            Copyright, 1929
                             P. D. Peterson

  To my mother who has been an inspiration and a guide for me throughout
  my early training, ever helping her family to see and acquire the
  highest ideals possible; and to my wife who has assisted me in the
  compilation and revision of this book, the following pages are
  affectionately dedicated.

                 [Illustration: THE SPIRIT OF THE WEST
                         By Edwin H. Blashfield
 This painting is in the Governor’s reception room in the S. D. Capitol
                          building at Pierre.]


This book is not a history, although it contains some historical
accounts where such are necessary to bring out the importance of the
scenery described. It makes no attempt at being a technical guide of any
sort, although the treatment of various animals, trees, flowers, and
minerals is as near accurate as a tourist could hope to obtain.

The main purpose of this book is to give a chronological or itinerary
account of what may be seen in the Black Hills. It should acquaint the
tourist with the things of interest to see on his trip. It should save
him the chagrin of passing a point of interest without having known he
did so. It should, further, give him a souvenir of the scenes and
experiences of the trip. But one of the central purposes of this
treatise is to give the school children and the grown-ups of South
Dakota a picture of their own Black Hills and Bad Lands.

                            [Illustration: ]

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Chapter                                                           Page
  I Introduction                                                       9
  II State Capitol                                                    13
  III The Badlands                                                    21
  IV Rapid City                                                       35
  V Cement Plant                                                      40
  VI Crystal Cave                                                     43
  VII Sturgis                                                         48
  VIII Belle Fourche                                                  52
  IX Spearfish                                                        60
  X Pine Crest Camp                                                   69
  XI Lead                                                             71
  XII Deadwood                                                        83
  XIII Pactola, Silver City, and Camp Wanzer                          90
  XIV Hill City and Keystone                                          93
  XV Needles Road, Sylvan Lake Harney Peak and the Gorge             101
  XVI Custer                                                         125
  XVII Hot Springs                                                   145
  Appendix                                                          Page
  I Mountains                                                        161
  II Elevations                                                      163
  III Industries                                                     165
  IV Fishing                                                         167
  V Streams                                                          169
  VI Camps and Camping                                               171
  VII New Developments                                               179
  VIII Shorter Routes                                                183

 [Illustration: Harney Peak above the clouds. This is the highest point
           in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.
                                                         Photo by Beard]

                               CHAPTER I

“The Wonderland of America” is not an overstatement of the scenic beauty
of the Black Hills of South Dakota. One cannot but marvel at the endless
new experiences that he has each day, whether it be on a three days’ or
a three weeks’ trip through the Black Hills. In the shorter trip he will
take in the more prominent points, scarcely departing from the main
arterial highways. On the longer tour he will drive a thousand to
fifteen hundred miles through deep canyons, up to the mines, and to many
other places which at first would seem almost impenetrable but which
upon inquiry will be found readily accessible. The more extensive trip
should be the one selected if at all possible, for it leaves an
impression on a person’s mind that cannot be erased by time or by any
amount of traveling in any part of the world.

              [Illustration: Birdseye view of Sylvan Lake
                                                             Rise Photo]

The vast, impressive grandeur of the whole, gained by the views from
mountain tops, from the floors of canyons, and from various other
vantage points cannot help but leave with one a feeling of awe, a
feeling that the Creator of these great magnificent sturdy formations,
towering toward the sky, penetrating the very clouds and fringed and
capped by element defying monarchs of the evergreen family is a powerful
Being. They leave with a person a feeling of safety under the protecting
guidance of a Being powerful enough to create what lies before him.

All through the “Hills” this feeling of the marvelous greatness of the
structures, and the intricate workmanship found in them grows upon a
person, until when he speeds eastward (or westward) at the close of the
trip with an occasional backward look, he cannot help feeling that his
mind has been broadened and expanded proportionate to the impressiveness
of what he has seen.

No attempt will be made in this volume at a systematic cataloging of the
various things of interest to be seen. The account will be strictly
chronological, in order, just as it was experienced on a trip through
the “Hills.” Preceding the Black Hills accounts will come an account of
a tour through the Great Badlands of South Dakota. A trip to the “Hills”
is not complete without a visit to the Badlands, and the impressiveness
of the latter is scarcely less than that of its neighbor. It is well to
plan for this part of the trip before entering the “Hills.” Then, if it
rains the Badlands must be postponed until the close, for the roads are
somewhat bad when wet.

                  [Illustration: A peak in Cedar Pass
                                                          O’Neill Photo]

  [Illustration: This Monument marks the center of the state of South
Dakota and the approximate center of North America. It stands along the
                        highway north of Pierre]

                [Illustration: Rotunda, Capitol, Pierre]

                               CHAPTER II
                             State Capitol

No matter whether the entrance to South Dakota is made from the north,
south, east, or west, all of the main roads are gravel surfaced. Many an
Eastener will complain of the driving on these roads, but one may drive
up to fifty or sixty miles per hour on them with comparative safety,
with the average car. This is far beyond the legal limit of the state.
Rain and other adverse weather conditions will not affect traveling.
This holds true for most of the main highways in the “Hills.”

 [Illustration: Corridor and Grand Stairway, Capitol Building, Pierre,
                                 S. D.]

Over these gravelled highways, probably U. S. 14 or U. S. 16 we speed
until we hit Pierre, the State capitol, located in the center of South
Dakota. Here it might be well to stop for a few hours or overnight. The
State welcomes everyone to a trip through the State Capitol. This trip
is interesting and in many ways highly enlightening.

[Illustration: Governor’s Reception Room, State Capitol, Pierre, S. D.]

    [Illustration: Supreme Court Room, State Capitol, Pierre, S. D.]

The Capitol, “up on the hill,” is probably the first building of Pierre
to catch the eye when entering the city from any direction. Its great
wings and massive dome cause it to stand out, and its height adds to its

Capitol Avenue, coming from the east runs true with the world. It leads
thus past the Governor’s residence to a beautiful arch bridge over the
outlet from what is known as Capitol Lake.

On this placid lake, surrounded by splendid lawn, swans float gracefully
and various other aquatic forms feed with varying degrees of industry.

From here Capitol Avenue turns in a north-westerly direction gradually
ascending to the Capitol, two blocks distant. The Capitol lies parallel
to the avenue, being on the north-east side, facing the south-west. It
is surrounded with beautiful trees, flowers, and an exceptionally
beautiful lawn.

After climbing the long flight of stone steps (the whole building is of
white stone), we enter the rotunda of the Capitol. There we are greeted
by a beautiful Carrara marble interior, set off by statues and pictures
of those responsible for the early progress of South Dakota. From the
exact center of the building we may look up into the gigantic dome
fringed with remarkable paintings above exquisite balconies and alcoves.

      [Illustration: Grand Stairway, State Capitol, Pierre, S. D.]

To the left of the entrance we step into the main reception room of the
Governor. There we see that famous oil painting “The Spirit of
Progress,” by Blashfield, covering the entire north-west wall. Into the
room, if our visit were in 1927 or 1928, would come Governor Bulow, who
greeted President Coolidge to his summer white house. Governor Bulow
never failed to extend a warm welcome to the visitors at the Capitol.
His words delivered at a high school track meet in 1928 are typical of
him. “We are all competitors in contest of life. Upon our sportsmanship,
fairness, and hard training depends our position at the finish.”

From the Governor’s suite we go to the office of the Secretary of State,
and thence through the offices of the Commissioner of Public Lands, and
that of the State Treasurer.

In the other wing we see the rooms of the Supreme Court of South Dakota,
the offices of the judges, and the great Supreme Court Law Library.

    [Illustration: Senate Chamber, Capitol Building, Pierre, S. D.]

   [Illustration: House of Representatives Chamber, Capitol Building,
                             Pierre, S. D.]

Now we descend the stairs to the lower floor. Here we find case after
case lining the entire basement, filled with Indian costumes, stone
instruments, arrow heads, war uniforms, and weapons of historical
importance, stuffed birds of S. D., bones of animals, present and past,
the first bag of sugar produced in South Dakota (encased in a silk bag)
and various other curios. On the walls are large framed pictures of many
of the early heroes and state officers of South Dakota.

On this floor are the offices of the state Railroad Commission, Attorney
General, Public Examiner, Superintendent of Schools, Rural Credits
Board, Library Commission, Historical Society, and State Sheriff. Under
the steps is a lunch counter and confectionery stand, and in front of it
an information desk. Last but not least, in the north-west end of the
wing stands the gigantic moose.

On the second floor we find the rooms of the state Senate and House of
Representatives, with adjoining lobbies and other rooms.

On the third floor are balconies to the legislative rooms, and various
offices, including the automobile license department, the state banking
department, state securities commission, and others.

From this floor a spiral stairway leads up, up, up, to the room above
the inner dome. From the dome room one can see the mighty turbulent
waters of the Missouri bubble and boil on their way. The great bridge is
in full view, with the railway bridge beyond. The scenes from the
“Capitol dome” are remarkable. A trip to Pierre would be incomplete
without this part.

From the Capitol our trip takes us through the city of Pierre over the
bridge to Fort Pierre where first evidences of white men in S. D. were
found. A high flagpole now stands where the Verendrye Plate, planted in
1743, was found.

                    [Illustration: Capital Building]

   [Illustration: The Verendrye Plate, found on the bluffs above Fort
  Pierre, February 16, 1913. It was buried by La Verendrye, March 30,
   1743, when he was exploring the land for France. This is the first
                 evidence of white men in South Dakota.

             See the plate in the corridor at the Capitol.]

                              CHAPTER III
                              The Badlands

We cross the Missouri River on the morning of June 29th and speed along
through comparatively new but highly productive agricultural land,
through Hayes, Midland and Philip to Cottonwood. In Philip we find one
of the most modern small cities of the state. It is worth stopping to
see. When we arrive at Cottonwood, about three hours from Pierre, or a
little less than one hundred ten miles, the weather seems favorable and
the roads good so we turn south off U. S. highway 14. Only a few miles
out of Cottonwood we look ahead and see the city-like elevations far in
the distance. As we draw nearer this great wall of clay takes on a more
artistic contour of multicolored towers, peaks, and walls, resembling
ruins of ancient cities.

                     [Illustration: Castle Turrets
                                                            Fuson Photo]

Countless theories and possibilities enter one’s mind to account for
these magnificent walls, rising directly from a few feet to several
hundred feet from level country. The level plains are grass covered, but
the walls are practically bare. They are of almost pure sandy clay, with
a little soft shale in a layer near the top. They average from a hundred
to five hundred feet in height and are composed of several colors each,
some containing yellow, pink, orange and blue, others having still
different colors. For the most part the colors are plain or washed, but
some are very pronounced.

Other sections of the Badlands are depressions from the grassy flats,
with enormous areas seemingly fallen straight down two to twenty feet,
with perpendicular sides. The beds of these great depressions are bare
yellow or white clay.

Theories of the formation of these structures include “sea bottom,”
“erosion,” “volcanic eruptions,” etc.

             [Illustration: Summit of Cedar Pass, Interior
                                                           Canedy Photo]

Seventeen miles from Cottonwood we drive through Cedar Pass into the
Badlands. The road winds around and around, through depressions and
through valleys between the great clay banks, ever leading upward. The
grandeur of the enormous colored banks and walls would impress even the
most barren minded person.

If one is coming over the C. B. H., (or A Y P.); (U. S. 16 to be
specific), he must leave for S. D. No. 40 about fifteen miles west of
Kadoka, and he will emerge at Cedar Pass the same as though he came from
the north. The view is magnificent.

Finally the road gets narrow and precipitous. The passes become more
crooked and the grades more steep. The road is bordered by profuse scrub
cedar trees. There is a thrill in that drive! At first it looks
dangerous, but the danger seems to minimize as we approach each more
steep and more crooked and more narrow section. By taking it slowly the
risk is small. (The road has since been improved.)

       [Illustration: Amphitheatre of the Wilds. In the Bad Lands
                                                           Canedy Photo]

  [Illustration: Vampire Peak in Cedar Pass, Interior. The entrance to
                           the Big Bad Lands
                                                           Canedy Photo]

                 [Illustration: Studying the Bad Lands]

                [Illustration: Another Bad Lands Scene]

We descend the south slope of the ridge, past the new Cedar Pass Camp,
and drive five miles or so over a good road into Interior. On the way,
however, we stop and walk for some distance among the hills. We find the
clay to be hard and firm, resembling baked mud in texture. Each rain
washes a little of the clay down, causing a gradual erosion through the
years. This process has gradually uncovered the remains of life of this
country at the time of its formation. We find a petrified tooth of some
great animal. The tooth is about four inches long and two wide. Some
distance farther we run across a mammoth rock formation embedded in the
clay. It resembles and may have been the remains of a turtle six or
seven feet in diameter, with head and feet protruding out of the bank.
From these same environs scientists have taken great petrified skeletons
of ancient mastodons, reptiles, birds and beasts of all shapes and
sizes. We can easily imagine how these beasts got bogged down in this
once soft, spongy ex-sea-bottom, there to remain through these

We spend more time than we had planned examining the place, so we find
ourselves in Interior for the night. We pitch camp, and during the night
receive our first rain on the trip. Our sympathy for the poor little
mouse who had appropriated a little of the tent roof for his nest is not
very pronounced.

The next morning we rise early. We hike to “Big Foot,” a high clay ridge
south of town, and climb it. It proves much higher and more difficult to
climb than first appearances indicate. The climb is a thriller,
especially as the clay is a bit slippery this morning.

           [Illustration: Manitou Mountain in the Bad Lands]

We return for breakfast, stopping in a field on the way to examine a
huge oil drilling rig which has been wrecked many years ago. It is made
almost entirely of oak, some timbers being two feet square and very
long. The main belt wheel is twelve feet in diameter, made also of wood.
To us this is a sight.

             [Illustration: Castle of Ancients, near Scenic
                                                           Canedy Photo]

The bacon and coffee are more than welcome when we return. After
breakfast we strike camp and drive into town. There Palmer’s Curio shop
attracts us for some time. We leave with several calcium silicate
crystals and specimens of the world’s only sand crystals.

The most interesting person met on our trip is found in Interior. He is
Mr. Henry Thompson, who runs a little souvenir stand called “The
Wonderland.” He wears long, flowing white hair and a great flowing
moustache of the same color. His acquaintance with the country dates
back many a year.

No one going through Interior should miss him. He tells some very
interesting tales of early days in the West. Recently a motion picture
company used him in the role of the Patriarch Moses in the mountains. He
gives us a rehearsal of the role he played and recounts the garb of
animal skins he wore, and other interesting features of the adventure.
We listen with open mouths, and find it difficult to tear ourselves away
for the continuance of our journey.

Twenty-four miles west of Interior, after traveling through the scenic
splendor of the Badlands we come upon a vast expanse of land covered
with a crust of once molten rock about an inch thick, now all broken
into fragments. The formation consists of two hardened layers of once
molten rock, probably of calcium silicate composition, smooth on the
outer edges and joined together by countless papilae, making the whole
look like two layers joined by a porous center. There is no doubt in
one’s mind, upon viewing it, that Satan must surely have had his
headquarters here at some time or other.

        [Illustration: Castle Rock in the Bad Lands, near Scenic
                                                           Canedy Photo]

We follow State Highway Number 40 through other Badland wonders five
miles farther. The road is very good. At Scenic we visit the widely
known Museum Filling Station. Here we see a beautiful and interesting
collection of stones from the Black Hills. In fact the entire building
is covered with rocks, fossils and other interesting things embedded in
concrete. Prehistoric animal bones and Indian relics from the Badlands
are within. The bones, the curious animals, the pictures, the petrified
eggs, the skeletons, Indian relics and numerous other curios are

        [Illustration: The Alter in the Castles of the Ancients
                                                           Canedy Photo]

They have attracted people from throughout the world, not for a hasty
examination but for extensive study. This place is one of the important
places to see in the Badlands. One cannot afford to miss it under any

The vicinity of Scenic is known to scientists as the greatest fossil
field in the United States. Scenic is also an Indian trading post.

South of Scenic are some of the most spectacular examples of erosion in
the United States. Some of the names assigned to them are: “Castle of
the Ancients,” “The Altar of the Gods,” “Castle Rock,” “Castle Turrets,”
“The Sphinx Twins,” “The Silent Sentinel,” “Amphitheater of the Wilds”
and “The Devil’s Golf Course.” These remarkable formations almost hold
us in reverent awe, so stupendous are they in their unusualness and

              [Illustration: LOWER ENTRANCE TO DILLON PASS
                                                           Canedy Photo]

“Hell’s Ten Thousand Acres,” from Scenic south are equal in some ways to
the Grand Canyon of Colorado in their ruggedness. “Hell’s Sunken
Gardens,” south also, surpasses in beauty and magnitude anything of its
kind in the world.

                [Illustration: Bad Lands Museum, Scenic]

Wounded Knee Battlefield, the last stand of the Sioux, is also south of
Scenic. Here hundreds of Indians, men, women and children, were
massacred by the soldiers when they stubbornly resisted the coming of
law and government to take from them their hunting grounds. These
Indians were all buried in one long grave, marked now with a tall marble
slab on which are chiseled the odd names of the Indian dead.

The management of the Museum Filling Station is very enthusiastic about
the “Great Badlands.” They will furnish any additional information
desired and will furnish guides at a reasonable cost to those who desire
such in visiting the wonders to the south.

From Scenic, trail 40 leads on to Rapid City. Some of the finer views of
the Badlands are found along this road.

On to Rapid City we drive, over an excellent dirt road. We stop on the
Cheyenne River to eat our lunch. These little picnic grounds all help to
make the trip a really enjoyable vacation. We must stop at the turn in
the road for a drink of Nature’s purest nectar flowing through a huge
fountain. This is just a few miles before we reach Rapid City.

                   [Illustration: A Bad Lands Scene]

             [Illustration: The Devil’s Golf Course, Scenic
                                                           Canedy Photo]

               [Illustration: The Silent Sentinel, Scenic
                                                           Canedy Photo]

From Scenic to Rapid City is about forty-five miles. After leaving
Scenic the silhouetted black mountains, soon come into view. They are
visible in their magnificent grandeur, fifty miles distant, growing more
distinct as they are approached. Upon nearing them, if one is familiar
with the various peaks, he can pick each out and call it by name.

We reach Rapid City in the eastern foothills, at four o’clock. The
School of Mines museum at the entrance to the city, also nationally and
internationally known, is our first point of interest in the “Hills.”

                    [Illustration: The route taken]

                               CHAPTER IV
                               Rapid City

The School of Mines Museum is not an enormous affair. It is contained in
one large room belonging to the School of Mines.

The bones of prehistoric animals are probably the best known and most
widely advertised part of the museum. This collection includes skulls,
jaw bones, teeth, leg bones, and in fact whole skeletons of the
prehistoric monsters. One cannot but wonder what life was like, and how
these animals acted in the days when they lived. The size and contour of
these skeletons are truly remarkable.

                    [Illustration: On the Cheyenne]

In cases throughout the room are displayed a vast variety of minerals,
ores, types of rock formations, replicas of famous diamonds, and
numerous other curios. On the south wall is an American flag, weighing
400 pounds, made of Black Hills minerals. On the east wall are two
excellent relief maps of gigantic proportions, showing relative heights
in the Black Hills. Guns and various other relics adorn the walls. No
visitor to the “Hills” can afford to miss this part of the trip. It may
take one half hour to a day, depending on one’s interest in the
displays, but the time is excellently spent.

                       [Illustration: Camp made]

From the School we drive into Rapid City, and after a bit of shopping,
on to the Municipal Tourist Camp. This camp is about four miles up Rapid
Canyon west of the city.

By the time the tent is pitched and camp made a dinner does not meet an
unwelcome reception. Why the camp stove should choose this time to balk
is a still unanswered question. Somehow these appliances know when they
can aggravate one the most.

Here in the Municipal Camp we receive a pleasant surprise. Instead of
the expected camp grounds we find a beautiful spot for pitching our
tent, “Old Swayback,” modern toilet facilities, a laundry with hot
water, stores, and best of all an honest to goodness “swimmin hole” in
Rapid Creek.

True to the spirit of the Black Hills, Rapid City Municipal Camp has its
neat log cabin, with reading table, fireplace, electric lights, and
other conveniences for its guests. Tourists are welcomed there at any
and all times. These log cabins are a decided thrill to the traveler who
is not familiar with them. Later in this account there will be a
description of the typical log cabin.

The camp cots, in which we have so much confidence at first, have begun
by this time to feel a bit hard, to seem a bit cold, and to afford a
rather meager sort of rest. But here Yankee ingenuity might come into
good play.

The desirability of light steel camp beds instead of the cots and the
need of light mattresses becomes evident.

Sunday morning proves an excellent time to get acquainted with the
habits of the Rapid Creek trout. Only three consent to being lured from
their swim, however. The fishing is rather slow but nevertheless
enjoyable. To a more experienced angler the luck is usually different.

                  [Illustration: Warren-Lamb Saw Mill
                                                             Rise Photo]

From fishing we turn to swimming. This proves to be a more lively sport.
The water is fine, just a least bit cool. The current is the feature of
this plunge. One no sooner gets out into it than he feels himself being
pulled very rapidly downstream. The sensation is not exactly reassuring.
In fact it frightens one. But it takes only a few strokes to get out of
the swift water into more placid pools. This learned, it becomes
pleasant to defy the current. Another surprise awaits. When one attempts
to swim back to the side from which he entered, the current carries him
past the precipitous rocks before he can pull himself out. No amount of
trying results otherwise. This is almost terrifying. Fortunately, at
this point a man happens along who is familiar with the pool. He shows
us where there is a small quiet spot where the swimmer can climb up on
the rocks without danger of being carried downstream. Again a precarious
situation develops into a pleasure.

We wish to attend church, but have no clothing along except our camping
equipment. This convinces us that we should have brought along some more
respectable clothing for it will not be amiss on several occasions
during the trip.

             [Illustration: Rapid Canyon, near Dark Canyon
                                                             Photo by V]

After lunch we drive up Rapid Canyon to Lockhart Inn. We go up the
mountainside to see the moss sculpturing by Mr. Lockhart called “A
Miner’s Dream.” Then we start the ascent up the Canyon on foot. This is
a climb that will pay one well. From Rapid Canyon we turn into Dark
Canyon ascending by rock ledge paths and canyon floor through beautiful
formations of nature’s handiwork. One cannot imagine the thrill, not
only of the scenery but also the thrill of accomplishment, a hundred per
cent pleasant that goes with this trip. Some of the sidelights of the
trip are “Sitting Bull’s Kitchen,” “Victoria Falls,” (a beautiful
waterfall), “Jungle of the Gods,” “Bridge of the Gods,” (a natural
bridge formerly over the canyon but now fallen in), and “Bear Cave.” The
picturesque grandeur of the panorama, the stupendous rocks, the great
precipices, the straight tall trees, the swift, cold, clear streams and
many other awe inspiring and pleasant experiences stamp themselves
indelibly upon our minds. The experiences include climbing precipitous
places, jumping and climbing over rocks, looking down over precipices
hundreds of feet below, continually discovering something new to enjoy.
The effect is invigorating, exhilarating, satisfying. The path is not
dangerous at any place, though filled with thrills, especially on the
paths built on ledges around the mountain. These are the rambles that
mean most to vacationists, and unfortunately they are too often left out
because of the time needed and the effort necessary to make them.

           [Illustration: Rim Rock Highway in the Black Hills
                                         Rise Studio, Rapid City, S. D.]

                               CHAPTER V
                              Cement Plant

Monday morning we strike camp at 9:00 a. m. We drive into Rapid City,
get our snapshots of the Badlands which had been finished there, again
shop a bit, and drive out to the cement plant.

First, however, a word about Rapid City. It is a thriving little city on
the eastern entrance to the Hills. The streets have a modern air to
them, with occasional reminders of the days of the “West.” During the
tourist season the city fairly teems with life. Prices are reasonable
and the people are courteous. The city resembles those farther east for
the most part, not being without the familiar Woolworth and Penny
stores. But the relics of cowboy days are still in evidence, and
specimens of fish and game, alive or mounted, are shown with no little

The high school, where President Coolidge had his summer Capitol in
1927, is a place worth stopping to see.

The State cement plant is run by the State of South Dakota. It employs
about 150 people. The plant consists of the quarries, the sheds for raw
rock, chutes, power house, crushers, the hydrating and baking plant, the
furnaces, the drying tanks, the sacking department, and the offices.
Each of the buildings is very large. The raw rock shed holds thousands
of tons of rock. Each of the ten storage or drying tanks holds 15,000
barrels of cement. The plant can turn out twenty car loads a day, with
eight hundred to a thousand sacks to each car.

The men work nine hours each day and sometimes ten. The plant closed
five months the first year, three the second, and this last year it
closed but one month. When we visit it, it has more orders than it can
fill. The South Dakota cement is a superior quality and is much in

To the person interested in machinery the huge turbines and generators
are very interesting. These powerful affairs taking up but little room,
generate enough electrical power to run the whole enormous plant.

In going through the plant one starts at the raw rock sheds. Here the
loading devices carry the stone over a conveyor into the crushers. From
there the material goes, by various processes to be soaked and made into
mud, mixed, dried in blast tubes by very intense heat and flame, crushed
again, run into drying tanks, and finally sacked and loaded into

There are two men, known as sackers who, with the use of machinery, can
fill 15,000 to 20,000 sacks a day. They receive the empty sacks, tied by
wire at the top, and only open in one toe. This open toe is slipped over
a nozzle through which the cement pours into the sack suspended upside
down, resting on a small scale. When the proper weight of cement has
entered, the scale lets the bag down upon a conveyor belt and at the
same time shuts off the cement in the nozzle.

      [Illustration: South Dakota State Cement Plant, Rapid City]

The flap inside the toe of the sack pulls across the hole closing the
sack. Each man has four sacks filling at once, and he has just barely
time to put on a sack and re-adjust his machinery before the next sack
is ready. The conveyor belts carry the filled bags to a chute which
deposits them in the box car, one on either side of the sacker. Each of
the many machines throughout the plant is driven by a small but powerful
electric motor.

      [Illustration: A visitor in the forests of the Black Hills]

The cement plant is not one of nature’s wonders, but one of the products
of God’s masterpiece, man. It and other mechanical achievements are
hardly less to be marvelled at than the natural wonders, themselves.

                               CHAPTER VI
                              Crystal Cave

From the cement plant we take U. S. Highway number 16 through Black Hawk
and Piedmont to Crystal Cave. On this road we encounter the second
notable man-made achievement. The car begins to register a few degrees
of added heat in the cooling system. Before we reach the top of the
great hill, (several miles long), we pass several cars which have not
been as effectively cooled as our own. The grade has been gradual and
even, clear from the bottom to the top of the mountain. The road winds
around vale and crag, often having had to be cut through solid rock or
cut into a niche on the steep side of the mountain. It is a feat of
engineering skill capable of firing the imagination of anyone.

                [Illustration: Entrance to Crystal Cave]

About sixteen miles out of Rapid City we come to the huge arrow and sign
pointing to Crystal Cave. The distance it was to be from the main road
is given us on the sign board; it seems twice as far. The road is no
longer smooth and surfaced or the grades regular or straight. These
“side” roads are fast being improved, and probably by another year this
one will be fairly smooth, and wide enough for two cars to pass
anywhere. We find it a bit rough, rutted, winding through dense
vegetation, and narrow. However, in dry weather the driving there is
safe, comparatively easy, and enjoyable. The scenery is quite
picturesque. To those interested in birds, trees, and flowers this will
be a splendid bit of road.

After some little time, a half hour or less, we arrive at the cave

               [Illustration: Bridal Veil, Crystal Cave]

The headquarters are located in a little log cabin with a wide veranda
where one can see specimens from the cave and where souvenirs may be
bought. The new cave entrance, pictured herewith is just above the

When a large enough party has gathered, a guide lights many gasoline
lanterns and we are told to file into the cave entrance. As we do so the
guide distributes the lights. After this he takes the lead.

We go into the cave in our regular clothing, without needing slickers or
other special equipment. It might be said, however, khaki clothing and
hobnailed boots are not so bad for a trip of this kind. The same holds
for mountain climbing. High heels are decidedly a detriment to progress,
and somewhat precarious as well, where the footing is moist or steep.

            [Illustration: The Butcher’s Face, Crystal Cave]

With our lanterns we file after the guide. He leads us down and forward
into the bowels of the earth, stopping occasionally to explain the
various formations which we are passing. His “line” is strongly based on
fact, and if one has a good imagination he can enjoy the trip, being
able to “see” the various animals, rooms, or formations which the guide
points out.

             [Illustration: The Frozen River, Crystal Cave
                                                          O’Neill Photo]

First, the cave has been formed in limestone, through erosion by water,
extending over many thousands of years. The mineral part of the water
has hardened in perfect crystals, looking as though they had been cut.
These crystals cling to the walls, creating a beautiful effect. They are
as hard as rock.

Some of the high lights of the trip are “Devil’s Ice Box,” “Moses’s Meat
Market,” with hams, bacon and a chicken hanging from the ceiling, “The
Butcher Himself” (pictured), in his parlor, “Poverty Flats,” “Corcham’s
Art Gallery,” which contained well hung walls, and even a goat. Then
came “Cathedral Cave,” with its crystalline rolling clouds. “The Polar
Bear,” “Diamond Rock,” made of pulverized mica, and “Santa Claus.”

There are stalactites hung from the tops of some of the caves and
stalagmites built up from the floors, each of which if it could talk
could tell stories that would be ancient history to Moses.

Going on, we come to “Old Man Cave” and “Black Hills Bakery.” In the
latter were buns (of solid rock), rolls and loaves of bread, natural
formations. From here we go into a room 300 feet below the surface and
put out the lights. It is very dark there, even in the daytime.

We light the lanterns, pass on, and come to the “Whale that Jonah
swallowed.” Next comes the “Mayflower,” and last the trip out. The
“Bridal Veil” and “Frozen River” were among the most picturesque of the
scenes, the exact position of which are not recalled.

Most of the rooms and passages are six to twelve feet in height. Some
are hundreds of feet deep and some are too close to the floor for the
unwary head. These rocks do not give very far when one’s head hits them.

Our guide is a decidedly congenial and unassuming young man. He wins the
favor of all of the party, keeping the spirits high through the whole

One half mile down, on the road from Crystal Cave is a sign pointing
toward Knife Blade Rock. This is a gigantic thin rock formation rising
600 feet out of the bed of the canyon. The origin of this phenomenon
also kindles one’s imagination.

When viewing Knife Blade Rock we stand on a high precipitous canyon wall
and look nearly straight down hundreds of feet into the Elk Creek
Canyon. This view is magnificent; the great deep canyon, the precipitous
cliff, Knife Blade, and the expansive opposite bank covered with heavy

                         [Illustration: Cabin]

From here we move on toward Sturgis about ten miles distant.

                              CHAPTER VII

The road to Sturgis is pretty well crowded with cars headed for the
Tri-State Roundup at Belle Fourche. We arrive about four o’clock. The
next hour is spent in getting boots repaired, getting haircuts and in
replenishing the food supply.

We still have a good supply of eggs, butter, bacon, fruit, and
vegetables which we packed up on the farm before starting the trip. At
each tourist camp we get plenty of fresh vegetables and milk. We
appreciate the vegetable and store service of the camps. It is
excellent. This, with the food stove, utensils and dishes we brought
with us on the trip, makes our food question simple and economical as
well as highly satisfactory. We enjoy every meal.

               [Illustration: Bear Butte in the Distance]

Sturgis has one of the best tourist parks we encountered on the trip.
The camp is equipped with excellent little cottages for those who prefer
them. It has a main camp building containing running spring water,
modern toilet facilities with hot and cold water, shower baths and a
laundry. Bear Butte Creek flows directly behind our tent. Above our
heads are electric lights. Beside the thrill and exhilaration of camping
the conveniences are almost equal to those enjoyed in a first class
hotel. The nice shady camp site, however, to the person enjoying the
out-of-doors makes a hotel feel like a dungeon. The tent takes but a few
minutes to set up and it adds tremendously to the pleasure of an outing.

                  [Illustration: Bear Butte, close up
                                                              O. A. Vik]

We get a good night’s rest in the Sturgis park and rise early the
following morning to partake of the nice hot flap-jacks, bacon, coffee
and oatmeal. (We will need it all before lunch time).

We start out bright and early to climb Bear Butte. We take trail No. 79
out to the northeast of Sturgis. We leave the highway a few miles out
and take the Bear Butte trail. What looked like a mile or two proves to
be seven or eight, and what looked like a small mound proves to be a
huge formation rising nearly a thousand feet above its base.

We had hoped to prance right up to the top on short notice. Our troubles
start when we cannot decide whether we are supposed to go up the east or
south slope. We find later that either is sufficiently difficult. We
finally flounder around to a farm house near the south slope, leave the
car and start up.

  [Illustration: Climbing Bear Butte. It is more steep than it looked]

The slope is steep and progress slow. The whole party of us begin the
climb. When we reach the shale slope and have to climb instead of walk,
only three of us are still going. Even our shoes show the effects of the
rocks. Well, we climb for an hour and finally find ourselves on the top
of this promontory which we have by this time learned to respect. The
pictures show the size of the rocks compared with the humans climbing

The view from here is excellent. We can see Mt. Roosevelt, Harney Peak,
White Rocks and other peaks with which we are acquainted standing out in
distant relief. The plains stretch out for miles and miles to the north
and east, and the picturesque mountains are spread in the other
directions. It seems almost as though this peak towers above the entire
surrounding country on all sides. The view is well worth the hard climb
necessary to attain it. The U. S. Geological Survey marker on the top
indicates that the height is 4439 feet above the sea level, 987 feet
above the city of Sturgis which, is 3452 feet. (See appendix.)

We descend in somewhat better time than it took us to go up, have lunch
and return to camp. From here we take trail 24 for about two miles out
to Ft. Meade, a military post. Here we watch a polo game and guard
mount. In the camp are stationed about 750 U. S. regular army artillery
men and cavalrymen.

While at Sturgis we should take the Boulder Canyon road to Deadwood but
we miss this scenery as well as Rim Rock Drive above Rapid Canyon.
Boulder Canyon is one of the most picturesque roads in the Hills, so
enormous are its perpendicular figured rock walls.

              [Illustration: The Shale Slope, Bear Butte]

                              CHAPTER VIII
                             Belle Fourche

We retire early on the night of the third and are on the road early the
next morning, headed for Belle Fourche over U. S. 16. At Whitewood we go
over another gigantic ridge of hills which taxes our heavily loaded car.
At Spearfish we take U. S. 85 and gradually leave the mountains for the
more level northern plains.

We arrive in a very busy Belle Fourche. The streets are lined with
people, refreshment stands, side shows and various other gala sights.
Parking room is scarce. The whole town reflects the western spirit. The
predominating costume is that of the cowboy dressed up. Broad rimmed,
high crowned hats and bright silk neckerchiefs are everywhere.

            [Illustration: President Coolidge at the Roundup
                                         Rise Studio, Rapid City, S. D.]

Probably a Scotch visitor would not exactly appreciate the reception.
The Roundup is a gala affair. The people come there to spend money.
Those running the various amusements and refreshment stands seem to
understand this perfectly and render all possible assistance. In the
West the celebrations are not marked with the conservatism of the East.

We enjoy the day after we get our bearings. We have lunch after a couple
of hours of “seeing Belle” and then go out to the Roundup. The road is
packed; we have started none too soon. True to the training of school
teachers, we try to conserve on costs as much as possible. We have paid
a dollar apiece for general admission and now we decide a fifty cent
seat will be nearly as good as one for a dollar or more.

                    [Illustration: An Exciting Ride
                       Bill Pawley on a high one.
                          Cody Stampede, 1921]

We get excellent bleacher seats, but somehow they get surprisingly hard
during the three hours and over that we sit there. The sun is
uncomfortably hot and the folks climbing up and down are none too
careful at whose expenses they get the dust brushed from their shoes. We
can not see the events very plainly in some cases, but we are not
cheated out of very much of the performance at that.

The clown car opens the day. Of course it is a Ford. But the clown has
done his duty and the affair brings forth more than forced smiles. The
Rapid City Bugle Corps, the Cavalry Band (mounted) from Fort Meade, and
the C. & N. W. Band from Chicago are outstanding attractions.

The cow pony race comes next, then roping and the cowboy relay. Those
cowboys can certainly change saddles from one pony to another in a hurry
and also ride. Following this comes exhibitions in horseback hurdling by
cavalrymen. Then comes a contest of cowboys riding steers. The man who
stays with his steer longest wins. Some of those fellows get pretty hard
spills. The broncho riding contest is just as lively. The horses try
hard enough to unseat their riders and many of them succeed. The clown,
in enormous red “Shaps,” rides a bucking steer upon which he is mounted

                      [Illustration: Steer riding]

The cowgirl race is a close one, the winner almost having to win by the
proverbial sticking out of the horse’s tongue.

After this comes stunt riding and trick riding. The men, and women, too,
ride at a gallop doing head stands on the saddle, standing upright, at
right angles to the horse, clinging beneath the horse’s neck, seated
backward and in various other ways. They do gymnastics on the horses in
full gallop. One juggles balls in the air while riding, standing on the
saddle at full gallop. One lies on his back whirling a rope while the
horse beneath him runs. The clown rides a bucking Missouri mule.

                     [Illustration: The Horse Wins
                      Dug Walker off Ripvanwinkle
                       White River Frontier Days
                                                          O’Neill Photo]

For deviation, songs are sung amplified so that the crowd can hear them.
One is “Black Hills Rosebud.” Governor Bulow gives a short talk, too.

Bulldogging steers, or riding up beside them, grasping them by the
horns, at full run, dismounting and throwing them upon their backs seems
to be the most popular sport. The record time is under nine seconds.

The cowgirl relay is another exciting event. A cowgirl then puts on a
highly applauded solo dance. After this comes the calf roping contest.
This calls for real action. Riders, mounted on two horses, one foot on
each, furnished the next race. One girl is entered.

                [Illustration: Orman Dam, Belle Fourche]

Mabel Strickland, famous woman rider, puts on a steer roping exhibition
and the bucking mule riding contest follows. Then comes the wild horse
race. During the whole performance Clyde Ice of the Rapid Transit Co. is
hovering over the fairgrounds with his tri-motored Ford passenger plane.

The last event is an exhibition by one of the girls riding a bucking
horse. The horse throws the young lady before leaving the corral shute.
Accidents occasionally occur in this rough play, though they are rarely
fatal. All in all, the performance is very good.

   [Illustration: U. and I. Sugar Plant, Belle Fourche, South Dakota
                                                           O’Neill Photo

 This is one of the large plants for making sugar from beets located in
the midwestern states. This plant is supplied with beets from the Belle
Fourche Valley, irrigated from the great irrigation project administered
  by the United States Government, and located north of Belle Fourche.
Needless to say this is one of the major industries of this part of the

After the program there are twenty thousand people trying to leave the
grounds at once and soon after the roads from Belle Fourche receive a
goodly share of these people. We follow the southbound stream as far as
the tourist camp, a mile or two out.

Belle Fourche has a modern camp, although it is just in the process of
construction and not yet as complete as some of the others. They have an
outdoor dance floor, which is very popular on the night of the Fourth.

The morning of the fifth we drive back through Belle Fourche and east
over U. S. Highway 212 to the “U. and I.” sugar plant. This is another
of the Black Hills industries. We are given a pamphlet telling us that:
the plant covers eight acres; the main building is five stories high;
the length of the factory and warehouse is 587 feet; the capacity is
fifteen hundred tons of beets each twenty-four hours, and the output
3600 hundred pound bags of sugar every day. Three hundred men are
employed during refining season.

A guide takes us through. We first see six 400 horsepower boilers and
two 1200 horsepower generators. These are enormous affairs. They develop
the power for the plant. We proceed to the place where the beets are
unloaded and conveyed through an open flume, through a trash catcher to
the washer.

                  [Illustration: Spillway, Orman Dam]

From here the beets are taken by an elevator to the top of the plant.
There knives cut them into small strings less than a half inch in
diameter. These chips or “spaghetti” are run into diffusion tanks. They
first go to a liming station, then through sulfur stoves, a bleaching
process and on into evaporating tanks. Here the solution is concentrated
from 12 per cent sugar to 65 per cent pure. Then the sugar is put
through a centrifugal crystalizer and through a hot air blast dryer. It
takes just twenty-four hours from beets to sugar. All machinery is

The factory produced 183,000 bags of sugar last year or over eighteen
million pounds. About one-fourth of this is in the warehouse when we
visit it. The beets were grown on 11,000 acres in 1927 and the total
crop was 35,000 tons of beets.

                  [Illustration: An Irrigation Canal]

We go further east on the highway 212 to the byroad leading north to
Orman Dam. The dam is a gigantic affair, holding back a tremendous
amount of water for use in irrigating land for sugar beets and other
crops. The water is so clear that we can see the fish swimming beneath
its surface.

The Belle Fourche Reclamation Project is one of the wonders of the
western part of South Dakota. It is not in the “Hills” proper, but is
well worth going to see. We drive on to Nisland, observing the effects
of irrigation as we go.

                               CHAPTER IX

      [Illustration: U. S. Government Fish Hatchery at Spearfish]

From Nisland we retrace our route through Belle Fourche to Spearfish.
There we find another splendid and modern camp. We enjoy staying at
these camps of which their cities are justly proud. The cost is the same
fifty cents per night as that of the less developed camps. But the
modern toilet facilities, running water, wood, stoves, lights, community
log cabins, dance floors, swimming pool, fishing and patrol system
create in the traveler’s heart a warm feeling toward those cities or
towns. In addition to this, the freedom with which people from all over
the United States meet and talk over experiences is a source of lasting
pleasure to the conversational type. The large cars of eastern
manufacturers and the Fords of vagabonds from any place in South Dakota
or the United States sleep side by side. Toward evening knots of people
gather here and there about the camp or in the community building and
the topic is likely to be anything from sheep raising in Perkins county
or mica mining at Keystone to the workings of the New York Stock
Exchange. Roads are discussed, scenery and experiences are swapped and
friendships are made. Everyone is congenial, all are neighbors and class
spirit does not exist. It would surprise one how he can broaden his
knowledge through these contacts.

No matter whether one’s interest is fishing, swimming, camping or
gossiping, he or she will naturally fit into a group in camp.

            [Illustration: Lookout Mountain near Spearfish]

The United States trout hatchery is located beside the Spearfish camp,
just across the bridge to the south. Here the United States government
maintains tanks in which they raise several varieties of trout. There is
a different size in each tank ranging from the frisky little baby trout
to the sedate monsters that give a person a certain longing for just one
chance at their like. These speckled and rainbow beauties are a sight to
behold. If one can get around there at feeding time he will behold a
still greater treat.

Across the road from the hatchery is a pretty decent little swimming
pool, formed by a dam in Spearfish Creek. A swim in one of these clear
mountain streams is a rare treat. The visitor in the “Hills” should plan
to indulge as often as possible.

              [Illustration: Spearfish Creek, Lead, S. D.]

              [Illustration: Maurice, In Spearfish Canyon
                                                              O. A. Vik]

                   [Illustration: Bridal Veil Falls]

The next morning, July 6th, we take a trip up Spearfish Canyon. The road
leads past the fish hatchery, plunging into the mountains and woods over
ground owned or leased by the Homestake Mine Company. The road is fairly
well worn but poorly marked. Nevertheless, this trip above all others is
not one to be abandoned. Word just arrives that the road will be
improved clear to Lead next summer. The road winds over gentle slopes
and makes sharp turns. One must drive under twenty miles per hour and
sound his horn often. But a person does not realize the marvelous beauty
that lies hidden in this valley until he actually penetrates, not a mile
or two, but clear up as far as cars will go. One must get out and press
through the timber until he comes to a place from which he can view a
great expanse of the valley and wall before he can fully appreciate
Spearfish Canyon.

                   [Illustration: Admiring the Falls]

Wildcat Cave is located a few miles up the valley. The car must be
parked beside the road and the ascent up the steep canyon wall continued
on foot. The cave lies a quarter of a mile or so up. The climb to it is
steep and part of the way is over rocks washed by springs.

The path leads through dense growths of timber and shrubs. At last we
come to a huge overhanging cliff, below which is the Wildcat Cave. Over
the top of the cliff clear cold spring water half drips, half runs
continually. At various places in its walls springs ooze out, too. The
one little waterfall over the center comes down through about fifty feet
of space. If a person is adventuresome and ambitious he might climb the
crags clear to the top of the mountain on the right.

                          [Illustration: Savoy
                                                           Canedy Photo]

Seven and a half miles up the canyon from Spearfish we come to Bridal
Veil Falls. This is a beautiful waterfall, with not much volume but a
great height. Probably it falls 200 feet and is twenty feet wide on the
average. The spectacle of this is really awe inspiring. The flimsy lace
like folds tumbling over the succeeding layers of rock make
unquestionably the most beautiful waterfall in the Black Hills. We stop
at its foot to eat our lunch while admiring its beauty.

                    [Illustration: Multiplex Falls]

From Bridal Veil Falls the road winds up the canyon to the Spearfish
hydro-electric water flume. Above that is Roughlock Falls and the
Homestake hydro-electric plant, and we must not forget Latchstring Inn.
Foolish is the visitor who turns back before seeing all of these, if
weather conditions permit.

After this the trail leads back to Spearfish and thence fifteen miles
over into Wyoming. We could go on west to Devil’s Tower, but that would
mean a long trip. So we just cross the State line and return. Here the
fun begins for us. The rain has begun, slowly at first and has kept ever
increasing. We have determined to make Pine Crest Park at Deadwood this
evening, and accordingly break camp and set out. We have gone a few
miles when the rain comes down in torrents. Fortunately the roads are
good, but we have to drive with the windshield cleaner working
constantly. We enjoy the beautiful scenery in spite of the rain.

We take U. S. 14 for eight miles or so, and then turn south on U. S. 85
for another five miles. On the way we come to Preacher Smith’s monument.
This has been erected in honor of Mr. Smith, Deadwood’s first minister.

The story is told how he came to Deadwood with the first settlers when
gold was discovered. He preached to whoever would listen to him. One day
he headed for the vicinity of Whitewood to deliver a sermon. He was
advised not to start out because the Indians were hostile. He insisted
that his Bible was all the weapon he needed. Today a monument stands
near where the Indians killed him. Several authors have told the story
of Preacher Smith. Anyone interested in the story should by all means
read it from some authentic source.

                               CHAPTER X
                            Pine Crest Camp

The road from Spearfish rises gradually. At the highest point on the
road, thirteen miles from Spearfish, the entrance to Pine Crest Camp
comes into view. This is a really beautiful camp. It is one hundred per
cent what its name implies.

A camp built over one of the tent floors is comfortable even in rainy
weather. However, if experience is any teacher, it might be said that
trying to sleep under a hole in the tent roof on a rainy night is a
pleasure only to the other fellow.

In the evening, after camp is built and dinner served, a walk to the
community house proves a worth while venture. Pine Crest gives us the
heartiest welcome of any place in the “Hills.” In the log community
house, (it is a masterpiece of masterpieces), a cheerful fire awaits.
The ample stone fireplace seems doubly welcome on a rainy night. Does it
feel good? Say!

In the cabin are gathered a group of high school girls from Lead, a
family from Kansas City, a Canadian, some Ohio people, Texans and
several others. And a jolly time we have. Stories starts the program.
Music follows and a lively community dance tops it off. The atmosphere
is that of one great big family gathered together after a long

Under the cabin, in a well finished basement are modern toilet rooms, a
laundry, and shower baths. There is both hot and cold water. The whole
is free to the tourists who are camped in the park. The initial fifty
cents a night covers the entire cost.

Our enjoyable evening draws to a close and we return to the tent for a
good night’s rest.

The experiences from now on are to be on historic ground.

     [Illustration: Community House—Pine Crest Park—Deadwood, S.D.]

                               CHAPTER XI

Pine Crest proves to be such a good camp that we decide to make it our
headquarters for a day or two. In the morning we put up a lunch and
drive over to Lead. Of course the first and foremost point of interest
in Lead is Homestake Mine. We stop at the Burlington Railway station and
register for the trip through the mine buildings. It is only a few
moments before we are ready to start.

We follow our young lady guide up a steep incline. Half way up she stops
us and asks us to face about. Clear across the gulch on the opposite
side of town is a huge cut, where the hill is virtually cut in two.
This, she tells us is the site of the first mine, a surface working. We
are told that $20,000,000 worth of gold came from this cut.

              [Illustration: Homestake Mills, Lead, S.D.]

We go on up the hill to the Ellison shaft, the one now being used most
extensively. There the ore is coming up from the 2300 foot level, by
hoists and seven ton cars. It is dumped into a conveyor belt, and passes
the pickers. We go next to see the giant air compressors for maintaining
circulation of air in the mines.

The hoist room contains large drums driven by 1400 horse power electric
motors working on direct current. These huge affairs bring the heavy
cars up from the mine in a very short time. Their speed and precision
are remarkable, considering their enormous size. The room is immaculate.

From the hoist room we go to the shop where diamond drills are
sharpened. These are tubular bars of hard iron, with hollow centers, and
sharp edges on one end in the form of a cross. They are used with the
electric drill down the mine, working on the plan of the electric
riveter. When dull these points are brought to the surface, pounded into
shape in a trip hammer, while white hot, and tempered very hard.

The motor generator which is driven by alternating current and delivers
direct current is a huge affair. It has to be in order to develop enough
direct current to drive the heavy machinery. Its flywheel alone weighs
thirty-five tons.

In the blacksmith shop all of the blacksmith work of the mine is done.
Repairs are made, castings are made, gears are cut, and iron is pounded
into shape. A pair of shears is cutting iron ¾ inch thick for a boiler.
The ease with which it goes through this mass is astounding. Lathes are
plaining blocks of iron or gears into shape. These lathes are cutting
shavings a half-inch thick. In the molding room molten iron is being
poured into casts, covered with sand, and allowed to cool.

Now comes the real gold mill. The first part we come to is the rock
crusher or rod mills. From the rod mills the material is taken to the
stamper, where it is mixed with water. The solution passes to dewatering
cones and cleaner troughs. Rod mills crush the ore to powder, which,
with water makes a mud. The mud passes through troughs containing
mercury. Most of the gold leaves the mud and clings to the mercury.

The remaining solution goes to sand slime separation cones and then to
cyanide tanks. The tanks are filled with mud. The water drains off.
Cyanide is poured over the mass. The cyanide sinks, carrying the
remaining gold of the crushed ore to the bottom with it. This is
reclaimed and the mud is washed out and sent down the gulch.

The trip is an interesting one. The guide now tells us that the gold is
molded into bricks worth twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars.
Approximately sixteen are made each month.

                     [Illustration: B & M. Shop #2
         One of the buildings of the Homestake Mining Company’s
                              Lead, S.D.]

Quoting from literature distributed by the mining company the following
might be of interest:

“The Black Hills are highly mineralized, containing practically every
known element to a greater or lesser degree. Lead is the home of the
Homestake mining company, the largest gold mining concern in the world.
The company has been running continuously since 1877 and has taken from
the ground approximately 56,000,000 tons of ore yielding $200,000,000 of
gold (now over $212,000,000.) In order to produce an annual output of
$6,000,000 about 2,000 men are steadily employed. The average daily
output is 43500 tons, or 1,750,000 tons annually. There is enough ore
blocked out to furnish the mills with this many tons a day for nine

“More than 1,554,117 pounds, or 3,108,234 sticks of 40% dynamite was
used in 1927, costing over $500 a day. In 1927, 3,816,724 feet or over
722 miles of fuse was used. If this were in one length it would take 971
days, 21 hours and 22 minutes and 8 seconds for the flame to traverse
it. More than a million blasts were set off during the year.

“The company has never undertaken to furnish houses. It has, however,
encouraged the building of homes by giving free permits to occupy
company ground and by advancing the purchase price and allowing the
employee to pay on the monthly payment plan with a low rate of interest
on deferred payments. After forty years of continuous operation as the
sole industry of the community there are few company owned houses in
Lead. Under this policy the town has grown from a typical mining camp
with its log cabins and board shacks, into a modern small city with
paved streets, sewer and water systems, electric lights and beautiful
homes, owned largely by their occupants. The grocer, the butcher, and
the hardware dealer, the clothier and the real estate men carry on their
business in this mining camp as in an ordinary town of equal size. Keen
competition keeps prices at a reasonable level.

“No part of the welfare work at the Homestake has met the needs of the
people more fully than the free library, originally a Christmas gift
from the late Phoebe H. Hearst in 1894, now carried on through the
generosity of her son William Randolph Hearst, with present quarters on
the second floor of the recreation building. Now the library contains
approximately 14,000 volumes. In the reading room are eighty
periodicals, of which two are foreign. The close proximity of the high
school enables the library to render valuable assistance to teachers and

“A smoking room is provided for the men, and the children have an alcove
for their particular use, provided with low tables and suitable chairs.
One end of the stack room is used for mineral exhibits, especially the
minerals of the Black Hills region.

“The Kindergarten, opened in 1900, is also maintained by the generosity
of the Hearst family.

“A small, but well kept park nearby provides a place for outdoor play
during the summer months. The kindergarten has been an inestimable aid
to the public school by giving the children of foreign birth a start in
the English language and teaching them something of American ways and
manners, thus relieving them of the handicap resulting from their
foreign parentage. It has also proved a large factor in Americanizing
the parents by both direct and indirect contact with the teachers.

“The Homestake company, supporting a liberal policy toward the schools,
feels that it is fully repaid by the stabilizing influence on its
working force, due to the fact that men with families are attracted to
Lead on account of its educational advantages. Many of the young men who
are now holding important positions in the shops, mills, assay and
engineering departments are graduates of the Lead High School.

                   [Illustration: Old Mine Entrances]

“The Homestake Recreation Building, built and equipped by the Homestake
Mining Company at a cost of $250,000 was opened to the public in 1914.
It is a three story brick and stone structure of the latest design and
well lighted, heated, and ventilated. No expense is spared to make this
the recreation place of the employes and their families, and all
residents of Lead are given the same privileges as employes, so that it
is a community house in the fullest sense. No membership fee is charged.
Everybody is welcome and all are treated as special guests by the
attendants. The only rules posted are those governing the length of time
one set of players may use the various tables and games, and specifying
the days when the men, women, and children may use the plunge. The
average monthly attendance is about 25,000.

“On the first floor of the building is a large rest room furnished with
easy chairs and lounges with tables for chess, cards, and other games,
and directly in the rear of this room is the billiard room, with two
regulation billiard and two pocket billiard tables. In alcoves of the
rest room are three tables for children between the ages of six and
sixteen. About 2,500 persons play on these tables during the month.

                         [Illustration: Mucking
                             April 21, 1933
                          Homestake Mining Co.
                   Working in the gold mines at Lead]

“Below the rest room is the gymnasium and a bowling alley of six alleys
equipped with automatic pin setters. Over 2,000 persons use these alleys
each month, including the ladies who have one day each week. The
gymnasium is well equipped, and is also used by two bands as a practice

“In the rear of the rest room, and with a separate street entrance is a
well furnished theatre with a seating capacity of 1,000. Moving pictures
are shown both afternoon and evening, with road shows and vaudeville
when available. The average monthly attendance is about 20,000.

 [Illustration: A view in the cyanide plant of the gold mining plant at

“Under the theatre auditorium and directly in the rear of the bowling
alley is a tank 25×75 feet with a depth of water ranging from 4 to 9
feet. The plunge and floor are lined with white tile. Change rooms,
shower baths, and hair driers are provided for the bathers. The water is
heated, filtered, disinfected, and changed frequently. The plunge is
patronized by approximately 1800 persons per month, about equally
divided among men, women, girls, and boys.

“A small room called the sun room, because of its particularly sunny
exposure, is used as a meeting place by various clubs, societies, and

“There is no charge for the use of any part of the building to Homestake
employees and their families, or to residents of Lead, except for the
theatre where a nominal charge is made to cover the cost of pictures and
other attractions.

“The company erected at a cost of more than $60,000 a thoroughly modern
brick hospital of thirty-five bed capacity which furnishes absolutely
free to its employees and their dependents every type of medical,
surgical and obstetric treatment. No charge is made for any hospital
care, operating fees, or for medicines.

“The employees and dependents make very great use of this service as
shown by the 1922 annual report. Forty-three thousand people were taken
care of in the dispensary, fourteen thousand visits were made at the
homes and one hundred forty-three confinements were handled.”

The Homestake Employees Aid association is an organization to help the
employees. Also:

“The company retires its old employees on account of old age, physical
disability, giving them 25% of last year’s full pay plus $10.00 per year
for each year’s service with the company, but in all not to exceed $600
per year.

“There were 64 men (1928) receiving pensions of from $350 to $600 per
year. The average age of those receiving pensions, at the time of
retirement was over 65 and the average years service is nearly

        [Illustration: Weighing Gold Bricks in the assay office]

“A pension is also paid to the widows of new men who lost their lives by
accident prior to the enactment of the state compensation law.

“Every effort is made, both in the mine and in the surface plants to
provide sanitary working conditions. Bubbling drinking fountains are
placed in convenient places both underground and in the mills and shops,
and provided with clear, cold, wholesome water. Clean, well heated and
ventilated change rooms are provided with hot and cold water and
individual lockers for clothes. A special underground latrine is used in
the mine. Ventilation of the underground workings is carefully

“Seventy-five per cent of the Homestake employees are English speaking
nationalities. In the other twenty-five Italians predominate.

“Many religious denominations are represented in Lead, and most of them
have an organization and a place of worship. The Homestake company makes
a yearly contribution of $200 to each church holding regular services,
and renders other material aid in various ways.”

                      [Illustration: Tourist Camp]

Thus we see that South Dakota, and more specifically Lead has an
industry not only of enormous size but with the most modern and
progressive practices known to civilization. A trip through it is enough
to stimulate the imagination rather decisively of anyone mechanically or
industrially inclined. Here is an organization whose social, industrial,
mechanical, and personnel organization is worked out and administered on
modern scientific principles, with the interests and safety of its
employees ever in the fore.

From the mine we go up the hill through Lead to “Mile High Camp,” where
we eat lunch. This camp is a very nice camp of little earlier date than
some of the others. Jubilee camp on the West branch of U. S. 85, just on
the edge of town is another good camp. It is situated on a very high
point, overlooking Lead on one side and beautiful tree covered
mountains, cliffs and valleys, on the other.

We follow U. S. 85 toward Cheyenne Crossing and Newcastle. The road
leads through Icebox Canyon. This canyon was properly named. Even on
this hot July day it is very decidedly cool. In addition, it is a
beautiful drive. The tall stately pines have almost a noble look to

The road leads over long gradual grades, up hills and through valleys.
There are camps and cabins along this route, and the trout fishing is
good. Icebox Springs, is a very cold spring six miles from Lead and 6270
feet above sea level. Here we get a drink of clear, cold water,
maintained as such without the aid of refrigeration. The spring pours
right out of the side of the canyon. Terry Peak, within 200 feet of the
same height as Harney, rises a short distance from the trail.

This again is historical ground. In the early days the Deadwood-Cheyenne
stage and treasure coaches traveled over this route. Here were the
scenes of the early hold-ups, fights with bandits, and murders of the
stage people.

Here was the testing ground of civilization. To see the present Black
Hills one could hardly believe that less than fifty years ago it went
through the wild formative period of outlawry, Indian fighting, and the
gold rush. Cheyenne Crossing is but a couple of small cabins, a sort of
outpost. Here we turn about and return to “Pine Crest.”

From Lead we take the old mines road back to Deadwood. This leaves town
near Jubilee camp, making a loop to the north. Along the road, just out
of Lead are cabins variously named: “Travellers Rest,” “Tramp Inn,”
“Saloon,” “Bucket o’Blood,” “Haven of Rest,” etc.

Along this road we see remains of old placer mines, mining mills, and
various other remains of early mining. Most of them are now abandoned.
Nevertheless one can imagine the life that must have been enacted here a
few decades ago. Central City, and other former thriving cities are now
but vestiges of what was once the splendor of Deadwood Gulch. Now, only
an occasional inhabitant and a number of run down buildings remain.

It is almost marvelous to think that a country could pass from the
extreme of an outlaw West to the highly modern civilization that Lead
and Deadwood present today. No place on earth but the progressive
pioneer western community with its fertile and indomitable brains could
do it.

At the camp that night part of the crowd of the previous night is
present, and quite a number of new people. Another very enjoyable
evening is spent.

                         [Illustration: Cabin]

[Illustration: Deadwood, today. Located in Deadwood Gulch. Scene of the
                  most exciting of Gold Rush Episodes]

                              CHAPTER XII

In Deadwood, the next morning we take our way to the Franklin Hotel,
then south, over the railroad tracks to Mt. Moriah Cemetery. We are now,
indeed on historic ground. Probably it would be well to reiterate some
of the setting before going up to the cemetery to view the resting place
of the famous early characters.

Deadwood was settled in 1876. When gold was discovered here
approximately 25,000 people rushed for Deadwood. Rumor, brought to us
through the years, says that within twenty-four hours after the city of
Custer heard of the Deadwood gold discovery its population had decreased
from between six and ten thousand to less than a hundred people. They
left on horseback, on foot, by ox team, by stage, and by wagon, taking
camping and mining equipment with them, and stores of food.

        [Illustration: Richard Wm. Clark, and his original cabin
                                                             Bell Photo]

Deadwood was transformed from a gulch full of dead timber to a lawless
city. The one aim of everybody was gold. Some got it in the thousands of
industrious mining projects, most of them one man or a few men placer
mines. Some got it by selling food and supplies, some got it by
gambling, and some by robberies. Deadwood was in a state of wild chaos.

Preacher Smith, or Henry Weston Smith “drifted in” about this time. He
had come from the East with the Custer gold rush and had migrated north
to Deadwood, on foot, at the time of the discovery and boom there. He
preached in the street mostly. He was a Methodist, about forty years of
age, and of fine physique, quiet and unassuming.

                      [Illustration: Deadwood Dick
                                                             Bell Photo]

          [Illustration: The Roosevelt Monument near Deadwood]

On August 20, 1876, Smith started for Crook City to preach a sermon. He
left a note that he would be back at 3:00 P. M. if God were willing. But
God had planned otherwise. The Indians killed him on the way. His body
was discovered soon afterward and was brought to Deadwood. His remains
now rest in Mt. Moriah Cemetery above Deadwood, while his monument
stands near where he was killed.

Wild Bill came to Deadwood in June, 1876. He was not, as his name might
indicate, a desperado, but rather a refined enforcer of law and order.
His full name was James Butler Hicock. He had married a widow whose
husband had been shot while attempting to prevent some desperadoes from
forcing an entrance to his wagon show. Wild Bill travelled with the show
to protect it and finally married the widow. With the gold rush he was
drawn to Deadwood. His wife remained in Cheyenne.

Wild Bill earned his name by his expert pistol shooting. Before coming
to the Black Hills he had been employed as a government scout, as a
hunter of horse thieves, and as a gunman law enforcer. He had been hired
by Abilene, Kansas, at $1,000 a month to clean up the town, and later by
Ft. Hayes for the same purpose. His speed on the draw saved his life
many times.

      [Illustration: An Enjoyable drive along a Black Hills Creek]

The law respecting faction in Deadwood finally decided to organize some
form of local government. They did so and Wild Bill was suggested for
chief of police. The rougher lawless element notified him that he would
be shot if he did not leave town. His friends tried to get him to leave,
but he was determined to stay. A notorious outlaw stole quietly through
the side door of a saloon where Bill was playing cards, drew his gun,
and shot Bill through the back of the head, killing him instantly. The
assassin was tried by his friends, acquitted, and permitted to leave the
state. He was soon re-arrested, convicted, and hanged.

                       [Illustration: Wedge Rock]

Wild Bill is Deadwood’s idol. On his gun at the time of his death there
were thirty-six notches all alleged to have been in self defences and
law enforcement. His remains, too, are interred in Mt. Moriah Cemetery.
A Johnny Riordian chiseled statues of Preacher Smith and Wild Bill both
of which now stand at the head of their respective graves.

Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Cannary) was a woman whose life was
interwoven with the early history of the Black Hills. She was an army
scout with General Crook, and later a desperate and notorious character
as well as an idol of the region. Her life story is not that of a
self-respecting woman, and yet her ideals in her attitude toward her
fellow beings were very high. She was always ready to share her money
and provisions with those who needed it. She fought Indians and
desperadoes as unflinchingly as any man. Her aim saved many a man’s
life, especially from the Indians. Once she had to hold up a store to
obtain groceries for a family who were very ill and out of money. After
the family were nursed back to health Jane went on her way.

Calamity Jane had a deep reverence and respect for Wild Bill. Her dying
request was that she be buried beside him, and there, today, her grave
is to be found. Her funeral was the largest Deadwood has ever seen.

Not only Deadwood but thousands of visitors climb this hill to visit the
shrine of these three early idols.

Now we proceed up the hill to the cemetery. A good driver might pilot
his car up and down later with comparative safety, but the hill is very
steep, and ascent by foot might be more advisable.

The cemetery proper is located on the slope of a mountain, high up,
overlooking the city of Deadwood. From the cemetery a path takes us
higher and higher, to the very peak of the mountain, one mile and six
feet high. The peak is of bare white rocks, and is so named, “White
Rocks.” It is over 700 feet higher than the city. The view from here is
remarkable. Hills, valleys, mountains, and cities are visible from the
peak on clear days. Here is a worth while mountain climb, possible for

After descending from the cemetery we cross Deadwood Gulch right on main
street beside the Franklin hotel. We take a steep street on the opposite
(north) side, and follow a winding road up Mt. Roosevelt. The road is
steep and precipitous, winding and none too wide, though cars can pass
almost any place with a matter of inches to spare. The lower part of the
road is good, up to the foot-path. But from there up, if one wishes to
go by car the driver requires some skill, a good horn, and well adjusted
brakes. With a little patience, and a few hazardous looks down the steep
mountain sides we reach the summit. If the foot path is taken the trip
is shorter and less hazardous. These mountain paths are excellent for
exercise, believe it if you can, or try it.

The view from Mt. Roosevelt is probably as good or better than from any
other elevation in the Black Hills. With field glasses on a clear day
one may see four states from here. On the topmost peak of the mountain
stands a monument, the first ever erected in honor of Theodore
Roosevelt. It is, we are told, erected in the environment and among the
scenes that Roosevelt loved. Visitors are requested to leave their
autographs in a visitor’s book within the tower. One precaution, do not
pick a cold cloudy day to visit Mt. Roosevelt.

After the return to Deadwood we must by all means spend some time in
this metropolis of the interior of the “Hills.” The gold rush days are
not much in evidence. Deadwood is a modern city and a thriving business
center. The stores, curio shops, and souvenir sellers invite our
curiosity, and are likely to hold us for sometime. The remains of mines,
the slag heaps from smelting days, and the open mine shafts are indeed
curiosities. While in Deadwood we must not forget the fine municipal
bathing pool and park.

Here again we might take the Boulder Canyon road or leave it as an
unseen point of interest.

                              CHAPTER XIII
                  Pactola, Silver City and Camp Wanzer

The bed is a welcome place after the mountain climbing. Somehow the
meals and rest afterward add to the satisfaction of these invigorating
and inspirational tramps.

After three enjoyable nights at Pine Crest we leave for the central part
of the Hills. We take S. D. 85 to the left, just before entering
Deadwood. The road is an excellent, improved highway, bordered by
interesting scenery.

           [Illustration: Lights and Shadows Among the Pines
                                                           Canedy Photo]

We start the trip with an upward climb of six and a half miles. This has
a tendency somehow to warm up the motor a bit. Now we follow a mountain
top trail. The scenery is beautiful as we skim along over good roads
with gentle grades. In places the trees are thick, in other places thin.
There are pines, cottonwood, aspen, spruce, and others. In places forest
fires have left a devastated appearance. These sights leave with one a
feeling of sadness, that carelessness and destruction must claim these
great potentialities of usefulness and beauty. They leave with us a
deeper resolve to “Put out campfires before leaving them.”

It is thirty-one miles to Pactola on Rapid Creek. Just after we cross
the creek and before crossing the railroad we turn to the right,
following the creek, and drive up to Silver City. As near as we can find
out they do not mine silver here. The place is a group of log cabins and
is used for a summer resort. It is a beautiful little place.

                       [Illustration: A Log Cabin
                                                           Canedy Photo]

Going up the creek we take a winding road, almost a path. Along this
road are many church and other camps. We come to Camp Wanzer a few miles
beyond Silver City in Bear Canyon.

Camp Wanzer is not a tuberculosis camp. It is a camp for building up
physically run-down children. No one with tuberculosis or other
communicable disease is admitted. The plan is to have the children live
out here away from vices and irregularities of city life, where proper
hours, food, exercise and supervision may build up their run-down
bodies. The records show remarkable results. Children are required to
rise at a certain time, observe exercise periods, rest periods, to eat
wholesome meals at regular times and to sleep enough each night. They
have a nice swimming hole, too. The children enjoy the vacation. They
are kept for three to six weeks, and in practically every case leave
there stronger and happier than when they came. A person is highly
impressed with what this camp means to these children. There were
fifty-five there in 1928. Children come from all parts of the state.
Parents pay for it where they can and the Christmas seals sale pays for
the rest. After seeing where our Christmas seal proceeds go we are ever
so much more willing and even anxious to contribute to the fund.

We again follow a beautiful mountain stream, Spring Creek, through
Sheridan and down to Hill City. Along the road we find some real rock
cliffs running up several hundred feet and we can here see the plan of
the rock layers, thrown in, tilted on edge, the formation which is
general throughout the Black Hills. At Sheridan there is a good looking
tourist camp, including cabins.

                              CHAPTER XIV
                         Hill City and Keystone

We put up for the night in one of the Hill City cabins. These are not in
some ways as nice as some of the others, but are very comfortable
nevertheless. We must try the cabins by all means while in the Hills.
Most of them cost a dollar a night. In them, generally are a bed or two,
a cook stove, table and cooking utensils, with possibly other
conveniences including stove wood.

Hill City is in the heart of the Black Hills. It has excellent
connections with various cities, fishing grounds and places of scenic
interest. Sylvan Lake is nine miles distant, Rapid City 20, Deadwood 40,
Custer 15 and the Game Lodge 27. Hill City is only a small place, but it
is an “up and coming” progressive little town. They believe in
advertising, and a few of its citizens are rather farsighted in their
attitude toward visitors. The tourist park is not like some of the rest,
but it affords shelter and many conveniences. In a few years it will be
coming to the front.

We have not been in Hill City long before the “filling station
information bureau” tell us that no trip to the Hills is complete
without a visit to the Keystone mines and Rushmore Mountain. So, for
them we start. Keystone is about ten miles from Hill City. We leave town
at the north end, over the railroad tracks, headed due east. The road is
very, very winding. It follows the valley of Battle Creek, going up and
down over small hills, tributary springs and streams, and around rocks.
It crosses the railroad no less than sixteen times in the ten miles, two
times under the track.

Covering the entire road and surface of the hills is a layer of powdered
mica. One must pinch himself to see if he is actually living and awake
and not riding along over the streets of gold in the hereafter. Maybe
some of us had better take a good look, for our streets in the next life
may be of coal dust or cinders.

                    [Illustration: White Tail Buck]

We stop along the road to collect a few specimens of the rocks of this
vicinity. We hope that we may pick up some rose colored quartz, the rock
that is most popular for decorative purposes in the “Hills.” Here an
unexpected pleasure awaits us. A young fawn is standing across the
ravine watching us innocently. When we discover it we cannot help
turning to stare, rapt in wonder. Soon a doe, then another, and behind
them two bucks and more emerge from a thicket. One of the bucks raises
his front foot and points his muzzle toward us. The whole herd turn and
bound gracefully out of sight. It is a scene that will long remain in
our memories.

Trout fishing is good in Battle Creek and Slate Creek on the other side
of Hill City.

Just before reaching Keystone we turn up a side road to the right. We
come to two very impressive log houses. These, we decide, are just the
type we would like to build for ourselves. We drive in and ask the man
in the yard what a house like that would cost. Imagine our chagrin when
he tells us the houses belong to the millionaire owner of the Etta
Lithia Mine, one of the larger mines of the Hills. The large house is
the house in which the owner lives for two weeks each summer.

It cost $6,000, we are told. On the inside we find all sorts of fishing
and other sporting equipment. There is a beautiful hardwood floor in the
house, running spring water, soft rain water from a cistern, a fireplace
in each room, rustic furniture with bark still on, and even twin beds.

The other cabin is only slightly less in finish and equipment, it being
the residence of the manager of the mine. The owner lives in New Jersey.
The sight of these is highly inspirational to those who appreciate this
sort of life.

Upon invitation of the manager we go up into the hills to the mine. The
road is well improved; it must be to carry the great truck loads of ore
in all kinds of weather. After a little driving we round a bend in the
road and gaze upon a great ridge of white quartz, probably nearly a
hundred feet high. As one gazes at it he ponders upon the enormous
potential wealth of this heap, if it could be put to use. Rumor tells us
that a glass factory for the Black Hills is not out of reason and will
probably soon be a reality.

At present this quartz is an undesirable stuff which must be separated
from the mineral and piled into great scrap heaps. We climb the slope to
the top of the ridge where a tunnel leads to the open cut spodumene

But before going to the top we might look into the opening of the old
underground mine.

A narrow gauge railroad runs into the tunnel. A warning is posted
against the entrance. A gaze into the tunnel however, makes one think
the walls are lined with gold. But on closer examination the gold turns
out to be mica in very fine flakes.

On the top of the quartz pile, just outside the top tunnel or the one
from the open cut another narrow gauge railroad takes the quartz to the
end of the dump pile in small ore cars. Following the short tunnel
through a hill we come to the mine proper. It is just a huge hole in the
ground, not now worked, from which the ore was taken with dynamite,
picks, shovels and derricks. The useful ore, valued at about fifty
dollars a ton, stands in the layers of quartz and granite at a tipsy
angle, like huge tree trunks of pure white. The sight is really worth
seeing. Spodumene is a substance resembling grained rock embedded in
quartz and mica but soft enough to be crushed in the hand. It is raised
from the cut, emptied into cars and carried through the tunnel where it
is dumped into a long chute. When the chute gets filled up, trucks back
under the gate at the lower end, fill up with the mineral and take it to
the railroad cars at Keystone. From here it is shipped east, where
lithium oxide is made of it for storage batteries.

Going from the Etta Mine up, over the next rise, we come to the Juga
Feldspar Mine. This, too, is an open cut mine in the top of a mountain.

The feldspar, used for enamel in lining bathtubs and making dishes, is
found, mined, loaded and shipped much as is the lithia. Valuable
by-products of the mine, mica, tourmaline and lepidolite and others are
found in small quantities.

Back through the valley we go and up the opposite slope to a mica mine.
This, too, is an open cut, the men working in the shade of a large
tarpaulin awning. Slabs of mica varying from small scraps to large
sheets are all loaded in the chute, hauled to Keystone and shipped east.

 [Illustration: Rushmore Mountain, near Keystone. Upon the abrupt face
   of this mountain Borglum, the sculptor, is carving the Statues of
              Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt
                                         Rise Studio, Rapid City, S. D.]

We go down from the mines and take a winding road up to Rushmore
Mountain. On the way we try fishing. Here one of the most exasperating
experiences of the trip takes place. I peered into the clear stream and
spied a beautiful speckled beauty of somewhat larger than average
proportion. Carefully I sent a fly up to him, but he was not interested.
I tried every fly I had with the same result. Then I sent him a nice,
fresh, green grasshopper, then a yellow one. Mr. Trout never batted an
eye. I then offered him a frog leg. He only wagged his tail as though
amused. The last resort was a nice juicy worm. I trailed it down the
stream until it bumped him on the nose. That dumb trout was too lazy to
even open his mouth. Possibly I misjudge him. He may have just had
lunch, but at any rate he should have shown some interest in an extra
bite. Well, I decided that if he was going to have his laugh on me, I’d
get even with him.

I took my fishing rod and gave him a real poke in the ribs. I had the
satisfaction of seeing him wake up rather hurriedly and disappear

On the way up to Rushmore we see a large leaning rock with a tree
growing out of the top of it. This is only one of the phenomena of the
“Hills” that fires the curiosity of the visitor.

The road up to Rushmore is on a mountain facing the one being carved. It
is steep and winding. Cars go up several miles, but it is quite a climb.
At the top is a long cable over which supplies are transported to the
top of Rushmore. The carving is just begun. It has been discontinued for
lack of funds, much to the regret of the people of the “Hills” and of
South Dakota. If the work is finished it will be a monument of no mean
calibre and a shrine for tourists. We did not take the footpath to the
top, though such can be done. By climbing the steep precipitous crags
facing it one gets a remarkable view of the grand and majestic bald

From Rushmore we go on to Keystone. On the road we see abandoned gold
mines and some still running. Within the town we come to the Keystone
Consolidated Mines. At present they operate three gold mines with the
main mill, the Columbia, the Keystone and the Holy Terror. Two stories
are told of the naming of the last. One is that its inaccessibility
clear up in the mountain top is responsible. The other is that the
discoverer’s wife insisted that he name the mine after her. The miner
went to take out his claim and when he returned he answered, to his
wife’s insistent queries, “yes, he had named the mine after her,” and he
showed her the papers.

Going on through Keystone we stop at a miner’s house, and he shows us
many kinds of ore including tin, tourmaline, spodumene, copper, topaz,
several kinds of quartz, gold, ruby studded rocks and so on. We cross
the creek then and pick up our own specimens of rubies.

Now we go back to Hill City and from there up a long gradual incline
into the most noted scenic spot of the Black Hills.

                   [Illustration: Rugged Formations]

                               CHAPTER XV
            Needles Road, Sylvan Lake, Harney and the Gorge

The road winds through the needle rocks, amid beautifully vegetated
valleys and mountains to Sylvan Lake.

   [Illustration: Cathedral Spires. Granite peaks in the Black Hills
                                                            Lease Photo]

These roads are the much talked of feats of engineering skill. We can
easily see why they are so considered. No barrier, no matter how
formidable has proved indominable. In some places the road is merely a
shelf on the side of a mountain. The rock is blasted out and the nice
wide road, the perfect replica of our modern prairie highways, surfaced,
is superimposed upon it. Slopes are gradual, the road wide enough for
safety anywhere, and every other means of convenience to motorists has
been considered. In one place there are possibly a half dozen
switchbacks making it possible for a person to ascend a high mountain by
gradual ascent on the shelf-like road, switchback and ascend more,
almost straight above the road over which he has just come. You can look
over the brink of the chasm and see several laps of the road up which
you have come, and can look above and see the shelves built up there,
over which you are to go before you reach the top. Marvelous, indeed,
are the means that man through the divine guidance of a higher Being, we
are forced to believe, has devised for overcoming the seemingly
impossible problems. And the view from the road is marvelous. The great
majestic stone mountains, the broad, deep, beautiful valleys, the swift
tumbling mountains streams, fed by mountain springs, the so-called
Needles, and last the sense of conquering all these, affords a feeling
almost beyond description to the soul of the traveler.

       [Illustration: The “Needles Highway” in Custer State Park]

           [Illustration: The Switchback on the Needles Road
             A highway among the Needles of the Black Hills
                                                             Rise Photo]

                [Illustration: Stop on Needles Highway]

               [Illustration: Through Iron Creek Tunnel]

           [Illustration: Sylvan Lake, as you round the turn]

             [Illustration: A Horseshoe Turn, Needles Road

We drive down through heavily wooded roads to the lake, the most widely
advertised place in the Black Hills. Sylvan Lake is about a half mile in
length, located right in the top of the mountains. It owes its size to
the fact that its north end is made up of a dam filling the gorge
through which the water tumbled in its course from its mountain streams,
through Sunday Gulch to Spring Creek.

              [Illustration: Sylvan Lake, and the Cliffs]

The lake is a beautiful one, bounded by tall, cold, gray stones,
majestically reaching for the sky, and fringed with luxuriant forest
trees. On one side of the lake is the Sylvan Lake Hotel and on the other
side is the camp grounds. The Indians have named the lake “Karanip” or
“Tear of the Mountain.” We go directly to the camp grounds and get
settled for the night. The camp is not overequipped with conveniences,
but is nevertheless a good camp, with a little store conveniently close.

                       [Illustration: The Swans]

We go to bed early so that we may get up early for the ascent of Harney
Peak. Even with the early retiring three A. M. comes rather soon. But we
are all life as soon as we awaken and we lose no time. Well shod we
begin the ascent. This is to be an event. The climb covers three miles
and a half. You’ll be ready to agree with me after making it, though
these Black Hills people are very generous in the size of their miles.
We start up the road marked “Harney Peak.” We could take our car part
way, but the short distance and rough road makes this a poor policy.

We soon come to the stables where burros and ponies can be hired by
those not wishing to make the trip on foot. These are not for the early
or the ambitious. We pass them by.

                [Illustration: Reflection at Sylvan Lake

The path soon begins to ascend. Progress becomes slower. The perfect
road narrows into a footpath cut through the timber.

           [Illustration: Cathedral Spires, from Harney Peak
                                                             Rise Photo]

       [Illustration: Harney Peak, Lookout Station, and Peak Inn
                                                           Canedy Photo]

Up, up we go. At places the timber clears, giving us a grand view of the
surrounding country. Then we plunge into the forest again and continue
up, up, up. At the end of a mile or so we top a ridge and are relieved
to begin descending into a shallow valley. This is a rest and
encouraging. At the bottom of the valley is a brooklet of clear spring
water. Here we take a drink before continuing our ascent.

                        [Illustration: Peak Inn
                                                            Beard Photo]

Now we begin a real climb. The path is easy and open and the slope is
gradual. But even at that it begins to tax one’s muscles. Squirrels and
chipmunks dart across the path and gaze at the intruders from a safe
perch in the trees. And some of these trees are giants, probably the
largest found in the Hills. Springs arise here and there along the way.
Beautiful flowers dot the path. Great gray rocks jut into the air at
intervals. The path is indeed interesting. The coolness of the forest
adds to its entrancing powers.

      [Illustration: Another View of Harney Peak Look-out Station
                                                         Photo by Beard]

By and by the path grows steeper and we begin to take a switchback
course up, up, up. Finally the vegetation thins out and the surface is
mostly rock. We climb the rocks and at last emerge at the foot of a
ladder leading up the crags where the fire lookout house is located. Up
the ladder we go, and over the rocks toward the top. We catch a glimpse
of the ranger giving us a dirty look as he hurriedly finishes his
breakfast and makes up his bed. We give him plenty of time, while we
gaze in four directions at the remarkable panorama extending a hundred
miles before us. The sun, which we had expected to see rising, is
smiling indulgently at us from far up in the sky. To the west we see
Sylvan Hotel, mountains and forests. Turning toward the south we find
ourselves looking at the historical Custer and on past into Wyoming.
Far, far, to the south is the border of the hills. Closer are the
Needles and Cathedral Spires and Mt. Coolidge. On to the east, fifty
miles away and more, are the Badlands. Closer Mt. Rushmore sticks up its
head as do various other bald heads. Away off to the northeast Bear
Butte stands alone and to his left are Roosevelt Peak, Terry Peak and
many of our other friends.

    [Illustration: The Cliffs, Below Harney Peak, Sylvan Lake, S.D.]

               [Illustration: One way of climbing Harney]

The view is nothing short of wonderful on a clear day, but is not as
good when the clouds float below us or when the air is filled with mist.
We go on up to the lookout station and register. Of course, we must ask
the ranger our share of foolish questions. We would not be human if we
did not display our ignorance up here. We just naturally feel that we
must ask some kind of a question to commemorate the fact that we are up

We are now on the highest point in the Black Hills. Not only this, it is
the highest point in the state and greater still, the highest point in
the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. We are 7,244 feet above
sea level and about a thousand feet above Sylvan Lake. This little house
away up on the top of a rock looks pretty frail beside the boulders upon
which it stands. One would think that a breeze would blow it over the
precipice hundreds of feet straight down. The house, though, is pretty
well established, with heavy steel cables firmly rooting it to its
place. Even at that, they’d better not hire a forest ranger up there who
walks in his sleep.

              [Illustration: Airplane View of Harney Peak
                                                             Rise Photo]

        [Illustration: Looking Down the Gorge below Sylvan Lake]

                 [Illustration: Farther down the Gorge]

We are given a card telling us that in the “Harney National Forest
20,000,000 board feet of lumber is harvested annually and through
reforestation about 1,587,667,000 board feet are maintained permanently.
12,000 horses and cattle and 4,000 sheep graze on the forest annually.
The area (net) is 508,000,057 acres. The annual revenue to the United
States is $80,000 and to local counties $20,000. Summer sites may be
secured from the Supervisor at Custer, S. D.”

The lookout away up here is for the purpose of spotting forest fires.

In the little house are instruments for seeing and exactly locating
fires. By getting the exact angle of fires from two different stations
and telephoning the results its location may be determined exactly by
drawing a line at these angles from their respective stations. The fire
would be where the lines crossed.

        [Illustration: Guardian of the Pools, Sylvan Lake, S.D.]

               [Illustration: A Canyon in the Black Hills

               [Illustration: Reception Room, Sylvan Lake
                                                          O’Neill Photo]

Well, we are the first up there this morning and now we prepare to
descend. We start down the rocks and meet several people coming up,
they, too, thinking they had been first up this morning. We must take a
few pictures before going down to convince the folks at home that we’ve
climbed Harney.

      [Illustration: Dining Room, Sylvan Lake Hotel, Custer, S.D.

               [Illustration: Sylvan Lake in the Winter]

Down we go, down the ladder and around the corner to Peak Inn. Here
refreshments and souvenirs may be procured. These have all been brought
up the mountain by burroes at some little expense. An interesting trip,
they tell us, is to make the return trip through Cathedral Spires. We,
however, do not do this.

The descent can be made in a little less time than the ascent. Some
short cuts can be made directly across where contours and cutbacks had
to be made going up. Going down is decidedly easier than going up. All
the way down we meet puffing folks; some fat, some tall, some carrying
babies, all asking the same question, “How much farther?” Many a good
natured joke is exchanged on the way. We meet troopers as well as
pedestrians. The former seem about as anxious to reach the top as those
walking. Perhaps those experienced in riding burros and trail ponies
understand the reason for this.

             [Illustration: You Tell ’em we are Traveling.
            Tobogganing. Winter Carnival, Sylvan Lake, S.D.

             [Illustration: Looking Down the Toboggan Slide
                   Winter Carnival, Sylvan Lake S.D.

Seven miles, at least, the round trip is quite a hike, but for those who
can stand it (and this includes most of us), it is by far the better
method of going up. Each one who makes it feels proud of the
accomplishment. One boy about seven years of age remarked, “By Gawsh, I
didn’t need to make it on any donkey. My own feet are good enough for
me.” Well, we finally come to the stables again. We have met possibly
fifty people going up and more are just starting. Some burros are all
saddled and bridled, sleepily waiting for the start. Temptation prompts
us to mount for a picture, even though our friends do insist on asking,
“Now which is which?”

[Illustration: The Needles Highway. This is indeed a feat of engineering]

We arrive back in camp about five hours after we had started up.
Pancakes, bacon and eggs are awaiting us. The question “are we hungry?”
is a mild way of putting it. Food seems to disappear like magic, not
just a little but great quantities of it. This little stroll seems to
make one ravenously hungry and we derive genuine satisfaction from this
meal. Somehow our fatigue seems to be appeased with our hunger.

 [Illustration: “The Switchback” along the “Needles Highway” in Custer
                              State Park]

Now we are ready for an inspection of the lake and its surroundings. The
swans are the first things that draw our attention. They are beautiful,
floating over the silvery surface.

Many are the fishermen trying for croppies and trout from the edge of
the lake. Some have substantial strings of fish, too.

                [Illustration: Custer State Park Highway
               A typical scene along the Needles Highway]

We take our leisurely way around the lake and find dozens of cars before
the hotel. We join the group who are inspecting the souvenir shop and
the hotel lobby. Both are interesting; both containing many curios from
the hills. The hotel is especially interesting, and we must by all means
take a meal with its charming host and hostess. We now go back through a
slit in a rock to the gorge behind the dam. The first thing we see and
hear is the water gurgling out of Gorge Springs and over the dam. From
here we pick our way over the great boulders to the precipice where the
water tumbles into the narrow gorge. What boy or girl or grownup is not
thrilled by the descent, sometimes on foot, sometimes dangling sometimes
crawling between huge rocks (the largest in the hills) sometimes leaping
chasms, through dark holes around seemingly blind bends, finally
emerging on the rocks far below, without having fallen off the rocks or
getting our feet wet. Oh boy! it’s certainly great. We are now in the
home of the elves. We can follow the stream down, down, until our view
opens out far to the north.

We pick our way back and take a new route far up through the crags,
towering above Sylvan Lake. Here again we get a marvelous view of the
surrounding territory. Reluctantly we descend again, only to climb the
crags on the opposite side of the gorge. Down again, we find our muscles
getting a trifle fatigued.

                     [Illustration: A Needles Scene
                                                           Canedy Photo]

We go back to camp near evening, having eaten lunch in the gorge. Now we
get our dinner. Needless to say we are ready for it. We have packed
several days’ experiences into a day. And it has been a memorable day.
We spend the night and then start over that world’s renowned Needles
Highway. The entrance is made through a gigantic gateway of towering
rocks. A huge tunnel is blasted through one rock.

We must drive back to the wide ledge and park our car while we gaze over
the edge of the precipice and past the great valleys to the high
mountains of stone Needles in all directions. The view is indeed one to
remember. The feeling of the grandeur of nature that this leaves with us
is something that lives with us forever.

We pass on over this remarkable road cut through the mountain tops. The
Needles Highway is all it is reputed to be. But one must take it slowly
and stop to admire it to fully appreciate it.

                    [Illustration: A Pleasant Drive]

                              CHAPTER XVI

We go off to the left a few miles to the State Game Lodge. This is the
famous Summer White House of President Coolidge. Before we reach it we
see a fine group of elk along the road and another of deer. The latter
bound gracefully into a thicket when we stop to watch them. Along this
road are several tourist camps. Galena and the Game Lodge are the larger

           [Illustration: The Switchback on the Needles Road
                                                             Rise Photo]

                   [Illustration: One of the Tunnels]

We will leave the game lodge and zoo, however, and take them in our
return from Hot Springs. Accordingly we take trail 36 back to Custer,
about twenty miles. A few miles before we come to Custer we find a tall
stone shaft rising beside the road. A bronze plate attached to it tells
us that this is a monument erected to the memory of Mrs. Anna D.
Tallent, the first white woman in the Hills. To the right, down a lane a
few rods is a reconstructed replica of the old Gordon Stockade. The
saplings are driven into the ground, spiked on top, just as the old fort
had been. Within the inclosure are a couple of buildings, one where the
Tallents lived and one where other folks of the party had lived. French
Creek flows just south of the stockade.

Just when gold was discovered in the Hills is a question. Probably it
was before 1850, or shortly thereafter. One tale runs that a party of
sixteen left the California Trail at Fort Laramie in 1852 because
friendly Indians reported gold in the Black Hills.

 [Illustration: Restoration of the old Gordon Stockade built to protect
                      the people from the Indians]

       [Illustration: Deer in the Forest Reserve in South Dakota]

                        [Illustration: Buffalo]

The men journeyed north, trying several places to mine for gold. They
got small quantities until they finally ended up near Deadwood. There
the quantity became greater, and the men were elated. Three of the men
started back to tell the people at Salt Lake City of their good fortune.
The remainder kept on prospecting. One day one of those remaining went
out to shoot a deer for meat. Upon his return the camp was in flames and
the scalps of his comrades dangled at the ends of poles carried by the
Indians. The man made sure that none of the party remained but himself,
and he started out for the trail to the south. After terrible hardships,
out of matches, with no ammunition left, living off berries and roots,
he arrived at the trail too late for the last train of the season. His
boots were soleless and his clothing in tatters. He hobbled on, and
finally came almost at death’s door to a Mormon hunting party. They
brought him slowly back to life and strength and he told them his story.

      [Illustration: Record of early gold seekers in Black Hills,
   1833-34—forty years before Custer’s expedition to the Hills. Stone
 found near Spearfish in 1887 and now in possession of State Historical
                     Society, Pierre, South Dakota]

The story of Ezra Kind is probably true. His Sandstone Carved with a
jack-knife was found hidden among some rocks on Lookout Mountain. Indian
traditions bear out the story. Much gold was taken by the Indians when
the men were killed.

The Gordon Stockade party, however, was the party that started the rush
to the Hills. One of General Custer’s mining engineers Horatio N. Ross
found gold along French Creek near the present city of Custer, on July
27, 1874. William T. McKay shares honors with Ross. As soon as Custer’s
report came out the government issued orders that no white people would
be permitted to enter the Black Hills until a treaty could be made with
the Indians, for this was guaranteed a hunting ground for them when the
eastern land was wrested from them.

        [Illustration: The first cabin built in the Black Hills
                     Now standing in Custer, S.D.]

The Gordon party like many others decided to try to break through the
troops and start mining gold. The party consisted of twenty-six men, one
woman, and her son. They left Sioux City in October of 1874. They
suffered many hardships in the trip, crossing the Badlands, swimming the
Cheyenne River, and overcoming innumerable difficulties. They kept ever
on, confident that they would all become millionaires as a result of the
expedition. They met Indians to whom they had to give much of their
food. They finally struck the Hills near Sturgis and from there took
General Custer’s trail south to Custer City. They arrived on French
Creek December 23, built the stockade, and began panning for gold. They
found paying quantities. In the meantime the government troops were
trying in vain to follow the complicated trail that the party had
purposely planned to lead them astray. A blizzard set in, finally,
obliterating the trail. The party got together enough gold and on
February 6, 1875 Gordon and one of the other men started for Sioux City
with it on horseback. Sioux City went wild upon the arrival of the men
with the bag of gold tied on a saddle horn. They immediately sent
another expedition to the Hills. This party, however, was taken by
government troops and their property was confiscated.

                     [Illustration: Museum, Custer
                                                          O’Neill Photo]

The Indians reported to the military authorities the presence of the
white people in the Hills, and on April 4, 1875, the troops found the
settlers, and gave them 24 hours to get ready to leave as prisoners for
Fort Laramie, Wyoming.

Three times parts of the expedition tried to escape and go back to the
stockade, but each time they were rearrested and brought back. The third
time, however, they escaped while being brought back and succeeded in
reaching the stockade. Mrs. Tallent, herself, finally, the next year
succeeded in returning to Custer, later going to Deadwood and Rapid
City. There she became County Superintendent of Schools.

Miners found their way into Custer from all directions in 1875 in spite
of the government troops. Mining in the Black Hills had come to stay.

Thus runs the story of the Gordon Stockade and Tallent monument, and
their significance in the early life in the Hills. Their principals
started Black Hills History.

            [Illustration: The expedition camped in a valley
                            Courtesy of South Dakota Historical Society]

We proceed to the municipal camp upon the hill past the town, and there
pitch our tent. A storm is brewing. We hurry along, getting dinner over
early. Then we go into the fine community building to get acquainted.
There we meet a young man who has just graduated from the School of
Mines and has accepted a position in the deserts of California where he
is to develop certain mineral deposits owned by a large corporation of

              [Illustration: Placer Mining—Deadwood Gulch
                Mining gold in the Black Hills in 1876]

           [Illustration: A Custer street in the Early Days]

This young man shows us a case containing 205 minerals. They include
practically all of the world’s minerals except some of the valuable ones
such as diamonds and radium. He proceeds to tell us the story of the
formation of the Hills. He tells us that in eons past there was a
terrific granite upheaval. The layers were higher than they now are.
Gradually they eroded and mineral bearing ores washed down between the
crevices of granite. This left the great sloping layers of granite and
minerals that we now find.

                  [Illustration: A Typical Log Cabin]

After an interesting evening we retire, just before the storm breaks. It
rains, while we sleep on.

The next morning having heard that log summer cabins could be built upon
land leased from the government, we proceeded to the offices of the
Harney National Forest Service Supervisor to learn the details. He tells
us that the United States has surveyed sites along several streams, and
South Dakota has done the same in the State Park. These sites are in the
more desirable parts of the Hills, readily accessible from main roads.
The government surveys the land and stakes out a group of plots in a
line. These are leased to those desiring summer home sites at ten
dollars a year, or fifteen if the site is to be sublet. The forest
service marks certain trees which may be cut and used for making log
cabins. These trees, used for building are sold to the lessee at 2½ to 3
cents per lineal foot, depending upon the size. Thus a cabin amounts to
a comparatively few dollars, and the annual fee is but few more.

              [Illustration: General Custer’s camp in 1874
            Photo by Illinworth, official photographer on the expedition
                            Courtesy of South Dakota Historical Society]

The supervisor shows us maps which are made of the sites surveyed.
Several fine sites are available on Rapid Creek, Spring Creek, French
Creek, Battle Creek, Sunday Gulch, Sunday Creek, Chinaman’s Gulch, St.
Elmo, and Balser Gulch. They are close to Custer, Hill City, Rapid City,
the Game Lodge, and Sylvan Lake. Other sites, he informs us, are
available at Spearfish through the Black Hills National Forest Service’s

                     [Illustration: Custer Enroute
                            Courtesy of South Dakota Historical Society]

Cabins have been built on many such sites. They are made of logs
interlocked at the corners and chinked with oakum or filled with
concrete, reinforced with barbed wire. One cannot help “falling for”
them with their rustic construction, beautiful stone fireplaces, and
attractive sites. We cannot help determining to come back to build a
cabin for summer and for hunting season. Rustic furniture may be built
for equipment and other features to suit the fancy of the occupant.

               [Illustration: The Expedition in Formation
                            Courtesy of South Dakota Historical Society]

We leave the office filled with inspiration and wend our way toward the
old museum cabin. On the way we pass a cabin built of Black Hills stone
mounted in concrete with a beautiful fireplace of rose quartz, crystals,
petrified wood, petrified moss, mica and tourmaline extending clear to
the ceiling. The effect is really one of splendor. Within the house are
souvenirs of all kinds made of Black Hills stones, set in concrete. The
place is one that should not be passed up. The Rose Quartz Soda Fountain
is another rare sight. The whole town is filled with these beautiful
mounted stones, even to the bridge lamp posts.

We reach the little cabin for which we have started and see the date
1875 on its gable.

Outside the door is a sluice box or pan used in the early days to pan
gold. This is quite a curio. The gold, after going through a screen made
of copper filled with nail holes, was supposed to stick on the sloping
canvas bottom and let the water on through.

                  [Illustration: Camp on French Creek
                            Courtesy of South Dakota Historical Society]

Within the house is a great collection of early weapons, seats,
pictures, an old wooden tombstone, saddles, implements, an ox yoke,
rocks, horns, stuffed birds and beasts of that region and on the wall
newspaper clippings of the early days. These relics are worth much time
and thought. The newspaper clippings are colorful accounts of early
shootings, hangings, holdups and gold discoveries. Interesting? Say,
just start on them and try to tear yourself away.

                      [Illustration: A camp scene
                            Courtesy of South Dakota Historical Society]

One placard reads in part as follows: “This cabin, the oldest in the
Black Hills, was built by the U. S. troops under General Crook in 1875.
Visitors to the Black Hills were not welcomed here in those days. The
Indians, who then owned the land, did their best to discourage them from
coming and removed the scalps of such of them as fell into their hands
to mark their disapproval of their presence here. The U. S. Army, when
they caught any gold seekers attempting to enter the Hills, burned their
wagons and outfits and escorted them to Fort Laramie as prisoners.

[Illustration: What the Black Hills looked like to Custer’s Expedition]

“In spite of all efforts to keep miners from entering the Hills, many,
in less than a year from the time that the discovery of gold on French
Creek had been made by General Custer’s expedition, had reached Custer
city and were busy prospecting the country in all directions.

“Then came General Crook with troops and ordered all the miners who were
in the Hills to vacate the country by August 10, 1875. While the troops
were here they built this cabin, etc., etc., etc.”

We leave the cabin and saunter over to the gold discovery monument just
west of it. This is a beautiful thing of Black Hills rocks and cement,
with a bronze plate upon it denoting its significance.

                [Illustration: Community Cabin, Custer]

North of Main Street is the huge log community house, probably the
largest in the Black Hills. It is a gigantic thing and very impressive.
We strike camp at noon and leave town by the west road. We are taking 85
to Minnekahta and U. S. 18 from there on to Edgemont. Possibly this is
an ill-advised trip, but we make it nevertheless, hoping to see the
petrified forest. In this we are not altogether successful.

We pass the state tuberculosis sanitarium composed of many pure white
buildings. The place is very impressive, but we do not stop.

                  [Illustration: Sawdust Pile, Custer]

                [Illustration: Petrified Log, Edgemont]

Our next point of interest is the large sawmill beside the road. The
huge blower and sawdust pile seen in the picture give us some idea of
its size. The main rip saws are in gangs of three cutting boards one and
two inches in thickness. Cross cut blades cut boards into the longest
possible sizes. The bark and refuse slabs are fed into the fire to make
steam to run the plant. We do not see any fine work or finishing here.

We pass on through Pringle. A short distance from here we find some
interesting specimens which look like petrified acorns or small nuts
embedded in limestone. But the next is the most peculiar specimen of
all. As we cross the railroad well on the way from Pringle to
Minnekahta, there stands, west of the track, in a pasture, a peculiar
beast. It is made up of a log, with four prongs (branches) resembling
legs. Another log is attached for a head and two root systems attached
for horns. The result, with the addition of a little paint resembles
very much a grotesque elk.

In Edgemont we see huge specimens from the petrified forest, one tree of
solid rock weight 14,370 pounds. The specimens are remarkable, but we
are not destined to see the petrified forest itself. In Hot Springs
later we are to find all the petrified wood we care to carry home,
however. We will speed back to Minnekahta and thence over U. S. 18 to
Hot Springs.

               [Illustration: Gray Rocks, Custer, S. D.]

      [Illustration: Battle Mountain Sanitarium for Old Soldiers]

                              CHAPTER XVII
                              Hot Springs

We arrive in Hot Springs late in the afternoon and look for a cabin for
the night. All of them are filled up, so we look for a camp site. Evans
Heights is too steep for our heavily loaded car, and we drive down to
the Municipal Camp. After pitching camp we attempt to find out what
there is in Hot Springs to see. We find that there is much and
accordingly lay our plans for a big day.

After breakfast the first thing we do is to cross the railroad track on
foot looking for petrified moss and wood. From the stream bed we get
several particularly fine specimens of the moss. These we cache while we
go into a pasture up the slope across S. D. 79 looking for petrified
wood. Our search is soon rewarded. We find many fine specimens and
return to camp well loaded with stone. The phenomenon of the mineral
water turning vegetation into stone is a peculiar one.

We next take the twelve mile road down past the camp toward Cascade
Springs. Ten miles from Hot Springs we come upon what at one time
promised to be a fine modern city. Modern buildings were built,
including brick business buildings with glass fronts. The hope was that
“Cascade” was to be the center of medical baths instead of Hot Springs.
At the head of the would-be town is a great warm spring, or we might say
a geyser boiling out of a large hole in the ground. The water is highly
medicated. Other similar springs are in close proximity.

We take the road on through the town and two miles farther on. We pass
through a gate to the right and almost at once hear the rumble of
Cascade Falls just below us. We drive over to the brink of the hill,
dismount, and descend. A beautiful waterfall is before us. The water
falls only about eight or ten feet, but it is impressive in its speed
and volume. Vegetation of various kinds, petrified by the minerals in
the water or just in the process of petrification fills the channel
above. Moss, waving to and fro in the water is like sand when we feel of
it. It has a cool clammy mineral feeling rather than the soft sensation
we had expected to find in moss. The bank high up, is lined with
petrified moss of a coarse texture.

The whirl-pools just below the falls are deep enough for swimming but a
few feet farther down the stream is just right for wading. This warm
mineral water lives up to its reputation derived through long years as
Indian medicine. One just seems to feel that this is something that
tones him up ever so much. It reminds one of Ponce De Leon and his
Fountain of Youth. Many people are out here today.

    [Illustration: Battle Mountain Sanitarium, a National Hospital.
U. S. Veterans Bureau Hospital for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors at Hot
                                                          Stevens Photo]

We decide that no prettier or more inspiring place can be found for our
lunch, so we eat in the valley beside the falls. After lunch we inspect
the aqueduct, for irrigation, I believe, that crosses just above the

But we must be on our way. Some of us who are not accustomed to it
wonder at the composition of the red soil in the Hills region. We see
crops, good crops, growing on brick red soil. We can hardly credit our
senses, but it must be true.

Back at camp we climb Catholican Hill, just above and to the south of
us. From there we get an excellent view of Fall River, Cheyenne River,
Harney Peak, The Soldiers Home, The Country Club, the city, and
surrounding country.

We drive on into Hot Springs. This is one of the larger cities of the
Hills. It is one of the most beautiful, as well. Probably the medicated
springs and the hospital service are the things for which the city is
best known. Many sick people come here to be cured.

The great Evans Plunge is a large indoor swimming pool. Into it the
water at 90 degrees Fahr. pours in great volume. The mineral content
makes it pleasant feeling and restful. Hundreds of people swim here
daily in the busy season. This is a real swim.

Next we visit Minnekahta Plunge, the old original Indian spring. We are
told that each gallon of its water contains approximately 62.55 grains
residue consisting of Sodium Sulphate 16.07, Mica 2.46, Potassium
Sulphate 16.51, Magnesium Sulphate 4.32, Calcium Sulphate 16.33, Sodium
Chloride 13.79. Iron Sesqui oxide Trace.

The temperature is 96 degrees Fahr. This plunge is used as a medical
plunge, largely, with tub service as well as the swimming pool. There is
a hotel in connection with the baths.

               [Illustration: S. D. State Soldier’s Home

   [Illustration: Battle Mountain Sanitarium, a National Hospital For
             Disabled Soldiers and Sailors, at Hot Springs
                                                          Stevens Photo]

          [Illustration: Cascade Falls, near Hot Springs, S.D.
                                                          Stevens Photo]

We spend another night in Hot Springs and leave early the next morning
for Wind Cave over S. D. 85. We arrive just in time for the first trip
through, register, pay our fee, and start.

Wind Cave is a series of passages under ground formed by the erosive
action of water. Not all of the passages have been explored, but three
main routes are well marked. Above the ground there is no indication of
a cave, nothing but a low broad hill. There is a souvenir shop and
refreshment place above the entrance, and government buildings across
the road. The cave is a part of the Wind Cave National Park, owned and
operated by the United States Government.

       [Illustration: Wind Cave National Park, Hot Springs, S.D.
    Wind Cave Entrance. We enter through the little building in the
                                                          Stevens Photo]

Tradition tells us that the place was discovered by a cow-boy who was
riding by when a strong current of air carried his hat down through a
crevice in the earth. We wonder if he ever recovered his hat? Why is it
these stories leave out the one question our curiosity prompts us to
ask. Possibly his hat, though, was not as important as the discovery of
the cave. They are still looking for the other end of that current of

Now we are ready to descend. We might profit by putting on clothes that
will not be harmed when soiled, tho this is not necessary.

To the right of the entrance is a stone carving of Alvin McDonald, the
first guide through the cave. As we enter, with gasoline lanterns, we
feel a strong downward draft. This disappears as we proceed. We go down
two long flights of stairs to start with. Down, down, down, we go,
emerging in the Bridal Chamber, 212 feet below the surface.

Our guide tells us quite confidentially that a certain young lady wished
to marry the young man of her choice, but she had promised her mother
that she would not marry anyone on the face of the earth. To keep her
word and still satisfy her love she was married down here below the face
of the earth. When the Government took over the cave, however, they
forbade the continuance of this, for it was running matrimony into the

                  [Illustration: The Sheep, Wind Cave
                                                            Lease Photo]

Farther on we see petrified prairie dogs, on a petrified mound. We hope
our guide is strictly truthful, tho he tells us that even he cannot
vouch for the accuracy of all he tells us. Then comes the Milky Way with
petrified stars in a petrified sky, and after this the Snowball Chamber.
The Post Office 240 feet down is filled with box work crystals in a sort
of cobweb pattern, each box having some depth. We are shown the foreign
department and the great Sears Roebuck mail chute. These formations are
beautiful and remarkable formations of water, heat, minerals, and
natural phenomena.

Room number 23 is Nellie’s room and the Beauty Parlor follows it. Rouge,
here is free. The petrified zoo confronts us; very interesting indeed if
our imaginations are up to par. The Bleeding Rock is colored with iron
oxide giving it a blood color, and sure enough the Liberty Bell is
cracked. In the rookery is a petrified bird on a petrified nest (believe
it if you can.)

                        [Illustration: Wind Cave
                       Frost Work, Garden of Eden
                                                            Lease Photo]

Again, quite confidentially the guide tells us that one guide went over
lovers leap the day before and six old maids followed. After the
petrified whirlwind, imagine it, we see a map of South America, and then
enter Opera Hall. From it we pass to Grant’s tomb on the Hudson and be
hanged if there isn’t an Alligator going up to see it.

The Devil’s Lookout is 80 feet high, with his Dinner Gong close by. The
Furnace Room, Hen and Chickens, Hanging Bridge and Bridal Veil Falls are
very realistic. Sure enough, there sits a water spaniel dog begging
for—daylight. Now we see some Swiss scenery, a mountain goat, cheese,
bread and beer. Only the beer is not there, it was drunk by the last
party through.

We next come to the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is the custom to bow
as you enter the low door and also bow going out. We are especially
requested not to spit on the altar. Bishop Fowler’s Cathedral is 190
feet across.

We can just see the appetizing popcorn in Popcorn Alley, and then we
pass on to the Hanging Rock. We carefully avoid going beneath it. Three
hundred feet down and half a mile in we come to Odd Fellow’s Hall. There
is the all-seeing eye and the three links—Friendship, Love, and Truth,
with the third slightly stretched. There also is the road to Jericho and
the Goat.

We pass Samson’s Palace, The Queen’s Drawing Room, Capitol Hall, and
Turtle Pass. Here the trail divides, the short route going to the Garden
of Eden, the medium route to the Fair Grounds, and the long route to the
Pearly Gates. We take the medium.

In order we pass Scalping Grounds, Masonic Temple, Elks Room, with an
elk head within and an American Eagle alighting on a rock, then the
Grand Canyon with its great clefts hundreds of feet underground.

Monte Cristo Palace is 390 feet down. Old Maid’s Glasses follows and Dog
Tooth, made of five points spar crystals. McKinley’s memorial is next,
and then Assembly Hall. Here, again is much artistic boxwork formation.
Next is A. O. U. W. Hall. In it is a stone book which, our guide tells
us, is the only Natural History of Wind Cave. From here we go to the
Giant’s Punch Bowl and on to Johnston’s Camp Grounds.

In the Bachelor’s apartments everything is upside down and all dusty. In
his cupboard is a loaf of bread with a mouse gnawing at it. This leads
us at last to the ticket office to the Fair Grounds. The Fair Grounds is
a beautiful large room with a white ceiling, the whole covering about
three acres. The first attraction is the South Dakota Teacher’s School
Room with its calcite crystal wall. The Elephant’s Foot has fallen
through the ceiling farther on. Then come S. D. Federation of Women’s
Clubs Room, Ice Gorge, and The Northwestern Hotel Men’s assembly
chamber. In the Farm Yard are a guinea hen, a little red rooster, a
polar bear, the little red hen drinking, a guinea pig, a rabbit and a
hen fighting, and a donkey. Last comes the jaw bone of a monster.

In the Meat Market hangs a ham, a goose, and some beef. Over high steps
and under a low ceiling we pass into the Coliseum. The seats are of
white rock. In Rambler’s Hall is a knife through the ceiling. Next are
the Catacombs. Here we go down a rocky precipitous descent. Last comes
the Elk’s Room, and then the return to the entrance. Everything we have
seen is made of rock and our imagination.

          [Illustration: “Buffalo,” the Monarch of the Plains
                        Bison in the State Park]

           [Illustration: Traffic Cop, on a turn in the road

This has been an eventful trip.

We drive on north over 85 and 81 to the South Dakota State Game
Preserve. Here we see elk, deer, and buffalo. On the way we find some
specimens of rose quartz. At the Game Lodge we stop to see the zoo. In
it are deer, mountain sheep, coyotes, foxes, bears, eagles, owls,
badgers, raccoons, porcupines, bobcats, prairie dogs, spotted rabbits,
and elk, all alive. These are particularly interesting to lovers of

                    [Illustration: Bear in the Zoo]

                       [Illustration: In the Zoo]

The Game Lodge Hotel, which is the structure used by President Coolidge
as the Summer White House of 1927, is a large well furnished affair, not
altogether unsuited to the purpose for which it was used. Now, in the
reception room on opposite sides of the comfortable fireplace are large
oil paintings of President Coolidge and Grace Coolidge. Here this first
lady of the land and her distinguished husband will, in the spirit of
the paintings, receive guests in behalf of the nation and the State of
South Dakota for years to come. Elk and deer heads also adorn the walls,
while huge fur rugs cover the floor. Great leather rocking chairs and
davenports add to the comforts of the room.

        [Illustration: The State Game Lodge in Custer State Park
                                                             Rise Photo]

So popular is the Game Lodge as a summer resort hotel that any one
wishing to secure a room here must do so several days or weeks in
advance. During the various hunting and fishing seasons of the year this
place is frequented by hunters from many other states of the Union as
well as South Dakota.

Special hunting licenses may be procured providing lodging here during
the hunt.

We, at last, must tear away our mooring to the Hills and head for home.
We still have a few things to see, but we have the feeling that it is
all over, and the total addition to our beings has been tremendous, too
great for measurement, and as time rolls by it grows still greater.

We miss one of the interesting spots of the Hills, Buffalo Gap. In
Calico Canyon three miles west of town are located the most beautiful
colored sandstone in the Hills and a great natural bridge of rock.

             [Illustration: Natural Bridge at Buffalo Gap]

At Hermosa is a neat little tourist park, but we cannot partake of it.
In Hermosa also we see the church which won so much publicity during
President Coolidge’s stay. Its picture does it justice. Hermosa Crystal
Cave is ten miles west of Hermosa. At last, we speed back to Rapid City.
Hidden City is on the way. This is the probable vestiges of what was
once an ancient building or buildings. We spend another night in that
inviting municipal park; and reluctantly with many a backward look, we
head for home. Long after we leave the Hills we can look back and see
those hazy black peaks rearing their majestic tops to the clouds. We
can’t help recalling Morse’s old phrase, “What hath God wrought.” He
indeed develops wonders here on earth at his almighty command.

                  [Illustration: Hermosa Crystal Cave]

We have been pretty much concerned about the sights, now we look around
and see what our car looks like. The food is gone. The containers now
house quartz, mica, granite, tourmaline, lithia, copper, gold ore,
pictures, pine cones, and various other souvenirs. The car glides
swiftly over the excellent roads, but nevertheless we feel it is heavily
loaded. We weigh the car, and consternation; it weighs 4,285 pounds, or
1500 pounds more than it does empty. We may as well look at the
speedometer too. It was 12,114 and now it is 13,584. We have gone 1470
miles. 250 of these might be subtracted as our trip inland from Pierre.

We have had our vacation, and now we go home to ponder. It has been a
glorious trip.

                [Illustration: CUSTER STATE PARK HIGHWAY
                           BLACK HILLS, S.D.]

                [Illustration: Moonlight on the Missouri
                              Pierre, S.D.
                                                         Miller Foto 39]

                               APPENDIX I

The following are some of the more important peaks of the Black Hills.

  Mountain                Where located         Height, ft.

  Battle Mountain         Hot Springs                  4431
  Bear Butte              Sturgis                      4422
  Crook’s Tower           Rochford                     7140
  Crow Peak               Spearfish                    5787
  Custer Peak             Deadwood-Pactola             6794
  Deer Sars                                            3500
  Devil’s Tower           Sundance, Wyo.               5117
  Flag Mountain                                        6900
  Harney Peak             Hill City-Custer             7244
  Lookout Peak            Spearfish                    4485
  Missouri Buttes                                      5372
  Mt. Coolidge            Custer                       6000
  Mt. Pisgah                                           6400
  Ragged Top                                           6207
  Roosevelt Mountain      Deadwood                     5676
  Sheep Mountain          In Badlands                  3500
  Terry Peak              Lead                         7070
  Tow Top                                              3732
  White Rocks             Deadwood                     5286

 [Illustration: Large Horseshoe Curve, a long way around to get a short
                            distance ahead]

                              APPENDIX II
              Elevation of cities and places of interest.

  Belle Fourche           3011
  Buffalo Gap             3258
  Camp Crook              3200
  Cascade                 3406
  Crystal Cave            4242
  Custer                  5301
  Deadwood                4543
  Deerfield               5900
  Edgemont                3449
  Fairburn                3310
  Ft. Meade               3300
  Galena                  4832
  Hermosa                 3300
  Hill City               4976
  Hot Springs             3443
  Interior                2381
  Jewel Cave              5090
  Keystone                4340
  Lead                    5119
  Minnekahta              4159
  Mystic                  4835
  Pactola                 4459
  Philip                  2159
  Piedmont                3463
  Pine Ridge              3250
  Pringle                 4879
  Rapid City              3229
  Rockford                5299
  Savoy                   4956
  Scenic                  3812
  Silver City             4592
  Spearfish               3637
  State Game Lodge        4400
  Sturgis                 3452
  Sylvan Lake             6250
  Terry                   6165
  Wall                    2813
  Whitewood               3644
  Wind Cave               4100
  Pierre                  1457

             [Illustration: Railroad track beside a stream]

                              APPENDIX III
                       Industries of Black Hills

  Fruit Raising
  Cement Plant
  Sugar Factory
  Flower Mills
  Brick Making
  Pickle Making
  Souvenir Making
  Generation of Electricity
    150,000 H. P. estimated potential
  Gov. fish and game raising
  Health Resorts

                      [Illustration: River valley]

                              APPENDIX IV

Originally there were no trout in the Black Hills. Now nearly every
stream in the Hills is stocked with trout. The U. S. hatchery at
Spearfish and the S. D. hatchery at Rapid City keep the streams well
supplied. Approximately two million trout are thus put out each year.
They are chiefly of four varieties: Loch Leven, Black spotted, Brook,
and Rainbow. During our visit to the Hills we see fishermen practically
in every part of every stream from the interior of the tourist camps to
the headwaters in almost jungles. They use anything from the bargain one
dollar complete angling outfit to the best outfit made. For bait they
use anything from worms to flies. The local fishermen are better
authorities on the subject than the author. However, many fine specimens
are seen, and many large messes of trout are taken by all types of

            [Illustration: Black Hills Streams—See Page 169]

                               APPENDIX V

Some of the more important streams of the Black Hills are:

  (1) Belle Fourche River is in the north with its tributaries:
  (2) Sand Creek
  (3) Sundance Creek
  (4) Redwater Creek
  (5) Spearfish Creek
  (6) May Creek
  (7) Whitewood Creek
  (8) Bear Butte Creek
  (9) Owl Creek

Eventually these empty into the Cheyenne River.

Below these come the tributaries of the:

  (10) Cheyenne
  (11) Elk Creek
  (12) Bolder Creek
  (13) Rapid Creek, with its tributaries
  (14) Castle Creek
  (15) Slate Creek
  (16) Spring Creek
  (17) Iron Creek
  (18) Battle Creek
  (19) Grace Coolidge Creek
  (20) French Creek
  (21) Lame Johnny Creek
  (22) Beaver Creek
  (23) Fall River

    [Illustration: A drive through the pines in the Black Hills (76)
                                                             Rise Photo]

                              APPENDIX VI
                           Camps and Camping

The camps themselves have been taken up to some extent in the body of
this book. In 1928 the camps in Rapid City and the northern cities far
surpassed those of the southern towns. But the people all over the
Hills, especially in the larger cities are fast awakening to the
realization that good parks play a tremendous part in the development of
their localities. Spearfish, Sturgis, Rapid City, and Deadwood were the
first to realize the value of service to their visitors. They have
doubtlessly reaped rich reward for their investment, judging from the
number of people who use those camp sites night after night.

The cost of the camps is generally fifty cents per car each night. This
pays for the site, police protection, lights, in some places shower
baths, swimming, laundry, toilets, pure water, firewood, reading room,
community cabin, piano, and any other services the locality might
afford; especially vegetable, milk, and grocery sales. Some of the camps
are almost wonders in themselves.

For those who prefer cabins most of the camps have small log, wood, or
tent cabins, variously furnished, accommodating from two to six people
or more. These rent at a dollar plus the car fee of fifty cents to a
little more for the larger ones. The added convenience of this method of
camping is considerable.

Some of the high spots of a life-time occur in our meeting tourists from
all parts of the state, nation, and world in these parks. These people
range all the way from sheep herders to aviators and from students to
corporatic magnates. They are all bent on the same quest, enjoyment of
nature’s wonders; and all are congenial. All are as one great family,
swapping yarns and experiences and discussing everything from the diet
of fishworms to managing an oil company.

              [Illustration: Deer in the Custer State Park
                                           Rise Photo, Rapid City, S.D.]

              [Illustration: A Log Cabin With Fire Place]

Hotel rates are reasonable in the Hills, for those who prefer the best
of conveniences rather than a complete outdoor vacation. Bus lines and
train service from these afford excellent sight-seeing facilities.
However, for some of us who enjoy freedom and independence the
conventional tour seems to savor too much of routine. We lose some of
the great pleasure of conquest and discovery of unusual and inaccessible
places. And the privacy of our party, our own division of our time for
the things that we personally are interested in, are features that make
or break the success of the trip.

When one is on a vacation he likes to plan his trip so as best to
satisfy his interests and humors. This can best be accomplished when he
is his own boss and can give as much or as little time as he wishes to
each place of interest. The scheduled tours are excellent, but if a
person wishes to spend more time at the mines, in the Needles, seeing
hydro-electric plants, or inspecting factories or mills he had best plan
his own tour.

The cost of the trip is not excessive if carefully planned. The food is
of course an item. Gasoline is another. Camp fees are small. The rest is
more or less a matter of individual taste.

The question of camping equipment and clothing is not the easiest one
with which we must wrestle.

First, possibly comes the food question. We might profit by carrying
meat, butter, vegetables, salt, sugar, flour, pepper, and lard from home
or bought in quantity at some point on the way, if we have a way to keep
them from the effects of the sun. Carrots, potatoes, milk, lettuce,
radishes, bread, fruit, canned goods, coffee, and groceries in general
can be bought in or near most of the camps at the prices about the same
as the home grocer charges. Carrying too much loads down the car

 [Illustration: Head of Cottonwood Draw, in center of the “Bad Lands.”
 Layers of Sandstone in Clay Beds. The sandstone protects the clay from
   weathering and wearing away. The isolated caps are called “Ostrich

Camping equipment is an enigma. A light tent, heavy enough to shed rain,
large enough to accommodate all, and not having unwieldy poles, is the
first essential; unless cabins, when accessible, or hotels are to be
used. Second, enough cots should be provided to accommodate all. Car
cushions and car beds are sometimes desirable. Probably the best is the
small steel folding double camp bed with springs and a thin mattress.
But these must be strong and not easily bent. Probably the greatest
mistake of campers is to try to sleep with plenty of covering but not
enough under them. Especially with the canvas cots the conduction of the
cold air from below is considerable. Three woolen blankets or two and a
pair of sheets and a mattress will keep two people comfortably warm
under ordinary circumstances though some people prefer an extra blanket.
High altitude makes the temperature drop perceptibly.

For clothing, khaki, whipcord, or corduroy breeches and high laced
leather boots are the ideal, both for men and women for mountain
climbing or rambling around through mines, forests, etc. They can be
cleaned and they stand rough wear. They look well also. Have a good
sunshade hat and khaki shirts; light colored ones or woolen ones are all
good. (I prefer the wool, even in the hottest weather, because of its
safeguard from cold.) Wear light underclothing of course. By all means
have two sets of this type of clothing if the stay is prolonged, as
laundry facilities are not always available. Two pairs of hose, well
pulled up, are best, as they do not permit chafing of the feet and they
protect the feet against bad results of sweat.

If at all possible to carry one without undue wrinkling, a good suit is
desirable. There are occasions when one wishes to go to church, or to
various other gatherings, dances or the like where a camping outfit is
hardly proper.

The car will appreciate having the load well balanced. If a heavy trunk
is suspended behind, the tent and cots had better be suspended above the
front bumper to balance it. Cover all equipment from dust and rain. Do
not pile up equipment in front of the radiator, in the uphill grades the
engine will need all the air it can get. Do not barricade any of the car
doors; you’ll be sorry if you do. It is best to supply a place for
souvenirs. Very few people go out without loading up with “junk” of one
sort or another before returning. (Our specialty was several hundred
pounds of rocks and minerals.)

   [Illustration: Railroad and Wagon Bridge over the Missouri between
                         Pierre and Ft. Pierre
                                                           Miller Photo]

Other desirable items of equipment are:

  1. Pocket compass
  2. Hatchet
  3. Field Glasses
  4. A good jack knife
  5. A trout fishing outfit
  6. Bathing suits for all
  7. Matches
  8. A pressure gasoline camp stove
  9. Small water pail
  10. Metal kettle, skillet, butcher knives, plates, knives, forks,
          spoons, cups, saucers
  11. Road maps

                         [Illustration: Cabin]

                              APPENDIX VII
                           NEWER DEVELOPMENTS

Since the body of this book has been written several new developments
have come up which should be mentioned.

The United States Government has made an appropriation for the
continuation of the carving on Rushmore Mountain. This work is going
forward now at maximum speed. The form of the first figure is taking
shape, and indications are that the work will go forward to rapid
completion. When these figures are finished Rushmore will be one of the
masterpieces of sculpturing of the world.

At the present time the roads to Rushmore are in very bad shape.
Indications are, however, that a graded, surfaced highway will soon lead
up to the mountain, the state and the local counties are putting forth
every effort to improve the main roads and to make new roads where such
are needed. In the not far remote future many of the scenic places not
now readily accessible will be opened up to Black Hills visitors.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the Black Hills Commercial
Clubs, and various other organizations are calling attention to mining
possibilities in the “Hills.” Many organizations from within the state
and from outside the state are inquiring into these projects, and many
mining leases are being let. Some of the newer developments are
aluminum, onyx and glass.

Probably in the near future the Black Hills will have far greater
commercial importance than they at present have.

The United States Government has also made a national park out of the
Bad Lands. This means that many of the places that were not well known
before will be brought to the sightseeing world. It also means that some
of the heretofore bad roads will be surfaced, so the Bad Lands will not
necessarily have to be left out because of rain. The Bad Lands is a
truly remarkable sight, and should not be passed up by visitors to the
“Hills.” The added mileage is not great, but the added experience gained
through seeing them is enormous.

[Illustration: A typical scene, showing a valley flanked by hills, with
            prairie beyond, along a creek in Haakon County]

Many of the scenic spots in Rapid Canyon and Spearfish Canyon have not
been taken up in this volume. Either of these places afford many
beautiful sights, especially the latter. The Spearfish Canyon leads
clear up to Lead. On the way are many summer camps or taverns. There are
many side canyons leading off the main Spearfish Canyon, each of which
is in itself worth ascending. The best known of these is Little
Spearfish Canyon. All through the Hills these beautiful but not well
known canyons and gulches may be found.

The pools below Sylvan Lake is a place that should be visited, either by
descent from the roadside marker, north of the lake, or by the path down
from Sylvan Lake.

One place of interest not before mentioned is the beautiful “Pheasant
Dining Room” at the Game Lodge. In it, just below the ceiling, are
thirty-three pheasants, mounted in various positions, standing, flying,
and alighting.

The Belle Fourche Roundup has been taken up in some detail. Other events
of the summer season are not wanting. Rapid City has its Council of
American Indians, Custer its Gold Discovery Day, Deadwood its Days of
’76, Interior its Roundup, and so on. All of these affairs are worth
attending. They are first class, demonstrations of the things they
convey, and there is a liberal education in them for the person
uninformed in their field of thought.

             [Illustration: Trees silhouetted by moonlight]

                             APPENDIX VIII

Sometimes requests are made for lists of things to see on one or two
days trips out of Rapid City. Following are four possible trips, calling
for one or two days or even a week each:

1. First, the Rapid Canyon trip.

See the School of Mines Museum at the Eastern entrance to the city. From
there go through the city past the “Old Mill Tea Room.” Take the Cement
plant road from the Bacon camp. After seeing the cement plant return,
and turn south at Bacon Camp. Take the road to Municipal Camp. Go
through the Municipal Camp, and if possible, take a swim in the pool,
over the ridge from the first row of cabins. You’ll remember that swim.

From Municipal Camp take the canyon road to the left of the camp gate.
From here ascend the canyon to Lockhart’s Inn. Here, if such is desired,
see Lockhart’s moss sculpturing. Go on foot up the track to the Dark
Canyon trail. This leads for several miles around crags, up Dark canyon,
to Victoria Falls. Go up as far as you wish. Return to Rapid City.

2. Northern Hills.

Take in any of the Rapid City sights before mentioned. Take U. S. 16
west, then north to Crystal Cave. Plan on a half day for this. Then
continue north to Sturgis. There see Bear Butte. Climb it, if you feel
ambitious. See the United States Military Post, Fort Meade, east of town
on S. D. 24. Return, and either take Boulder Canyon, S. D. 24, or U. S.
16 to Spearfish. See the Municipal Camp and United States trout hatchery
southwest of town, and possibly the teachers college north of the city.
Take a trip up the canyon, at least to Bridal Veil Falls. Stop at
Wildcat Cave on the way if you have time. Return to Spearfish, and take
U. S. 85 north to Belle Fourche. There see the sugar plant and Orman
Dam. Return to Spearfish and on U. S. 16 to U. S. 85 which takes you to
Deadwood. See Preacher Smith’s monument on the way. Stop at Pine Crest
camp. In Deadwood see Mt. Moriah Cemetery, White Rocks, and Roosevelt
Mountain. Return to Deadwood, and then take the road right straight
through main street west, over the old mines road to Lead. On this road,
(it is gravel surfaced,) see the vestiges of old mines and the old
Central City. In Lead see the Homestake Mine. This begins at the
Burlington station near the eastern end of main street. After the mine,
take Icebox Canyon road to Cheyenne crossing and return or go direct
over S. D. 83 to Pactola, and Sheridan. From here take S. D. 40 back to
Rapid City over the beautiful Spring Creek road.

                  [Illustration: Mouth of Dark Canyon
                                            Rise Photo—Rapid City, S.D.]

3. Central Hills.

Again, see Rapid City. Take S. D. 40 through the beautiful Spring Creek
valley to Sheridan and Hill City, and then back to Keystone, or you
might go directly to Keystone. The roads might be rather rough. At
Keystone see Keystone Consolidated Mines, Etta Mine, Juga Mine and a
mica mine. Then see Rushmore mountain. Return to Hill City, or the mine
trip may be left out. From Hill City take the road to Sylvan Lake. Here
see the Lake and the Gorge. Climb Harney Peak, the highest point east of
the Rocky Mountains. From Sylvan Lake take the Needles Highway
twenty-seven miles, and double back over S. D. 36 to Custer. On the way
you see the Tallent monument, and to the right a few paces the Gordon
Stockade. See Jewell Cave, gold discovery monument, rose quartz mounted
in masonry and the big log cabin and the museum. Take S. D. 36 through
Galena, the Game Lodge and Hermosa, to Rapid City. In Hermosa see the
church Pres. Coolidge attended.

If the roads are bad take S. D. 79 from the East end of main street when
leaving Rapid City, instead of S. D. 40 to the west. Thus you see
Hermosa, and President Coolidge’s little church, the Game Lodge, Custer
and Sylvan Lake in reverse order, and then double back over the same
route when returning.

                     [Illustration: Indian maiden]

4. Southern Hills.

Take S. D. 79 through Hermosa, Game Lodge and Galena. Leave 79 and take
S. D. 81 south past Mt. Coolidge to Wind Cave. Go through this. Drive on
to Hot Springs. See Cascade Springs and Cascade Falls. Ask the way at
any filling station. See the petrified wood and petrified moss over the
track east of the Municipal Camp. Take some of it with you. See Evans
camp, and swim in Evans Plunge before you leave. Visit the old soldiers’
home. Take the same route back, or go west to Custer when you reach S.
D. 36, and from there take in the Needles, Sylvan Lake, Harney Peak,
Hill City, and Sheridan, thence back to Rapid City.

Make it as intensive a trip as your time will permit. If the time is
limited some of the places must be left out.

If you wish, you may take the trip through the most interesting places
by motor bus. These busses leave Rapid City at short intervals, and
their trip is really enjoyable.


  Blackhawk                16        N. W.       7
  Piedmont                 16          ”        14
  Crystal Cave             16          ”        22
  Tilford                  16          ”        28
  Sturgis                  16          ”        30
  Whitewood                16          ”        38
  Spearfish               16-85        ”        51
  Belle Fourche           16-85        ”        64
  Newell                   16          ”        62
  Deadwood         16    Boulder       ”        43
  Lead             16    Canyon        ”        46
  Box Elder                16        East       10
  Underwood                16          ”        22
  Scenic                   40        S. E.      55
  Interior                 40          ”        70
  Pactola                  85        West       25
  Hermosa                  70        South      21
  Buffalo Gap              79          ”        50
  Hot Springs              79          ”        63
  Edgemont                79-85        ”        96
  State Lodge             79-36        ”        35
  Pringle               79-36-85       ”        55
  Sylvan Lake              85          ”        52
  Custer                  79-36        ”        42
  Keystone                           S. W.      27
  Hill City               40-85        ”        28
  Rushmore                             ”        30
  Phillip                  16        East       93


  Spearfish                  85-16         N. W.       13
  Belle Fourche              85-16         N. W.        3
  Lead                        14            West       26
  Sturgis                   Boulder         East       12
  Crystal Cave            Boulder 14         ”         27
  Rapid City              Boulder 14         ”         43
  Pactola                     85           South       30
  Hill City                   85             ”         45
  Keystone                    85             ”         56
  Rushmore Mt.                85             ”         56
  Sylvan Lake                 85             ”         52
  Game Lodge                 85-36           ”         72
  Hermosa                    85-36           ”         86
  Custer                      85             ”         58
  Custer-Needles              85             ”         74
  Hot Springs                 85             ”         84
  Edgemont                    85             ”         95

                              Through the
                              BLACK HILLS
                               BAD LANDS
                                So. Dak.

                            Authentic Guide

                            Copyright, 1929
                             P. D. Peterson

                              Price, $1.35

                          Transcriber’s Notes

--Copyright notice provided as in the original—this e-text is public
  domain in the country of publication.

--Silently corrected palpable typos; left non-standard spellings and
  dialect unchanged.

--Transcribed captions within photographs, where they added information
  not in the printed caption.

--In the text version only, italicized text is delimited by

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