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PastPort: History

Adams Museum

In 1930 pioneer businessman W.E. Adams founded the Adams Museum in Deadwood, with the purpose of preserving and displaying the history of the Black Hills. He donated the building to the City of Deadwood.

Some of the Black Hills’ greatest treasures are on exhibit at the museum including:

  • Potato Creek Johnny’s original 7.346 troy ounce gold nugget
  • Beloved American illustrator N.C. Wyeth’s pencil sketch drawing of Western legend Wild Bill Hickok
  • The mysterious Thoen Stone record of the Ezra Kind party’s discovery of gold in the Hills in the 1830s
  • A rare one-of-a-kind plesiosaur (marine reptile)
  • Interactive games including an augmented reality sandbox, brain teasers, and life-sized puzzles

Living with Legends offers visitors a chance to meet and be seen with the legends of Deadwood: Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Deadwood Dick, and Seth Bullock, to name a few. Studio portraits, personal belongings and glimpses into the lives of these larger-than-life figures both honors their legacies and affirms our shared humanity.

Riches & Responsibilities:  A Natural History of the Black Hills features a series of thematic components including geology and paleontology, the Black Hills forest, water and weather, Black Hills flowers and grasses, and more.

The story of Deadwood’s long history with activities of questionable repute is revealed in Risky Business. The exhibit delves into vices such as gambling, prostitution, and crime. Find out how and why these somewhat seedy activities were a mainstay in Deadwood’s history for so many years. Learn of the lawmen who often looked the other way and those who were relentless in their quest for law and order.

Hours of Operation
October through April:
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday.
Closed Sundays, Mondays, and winter holidays.

Museum will be open on Saturday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve).

May through September
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily.

Museum Admission
Suggested donation $5 for adults, $3 for children.

54 Sherman Street
Deadwood, SD 57732

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