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Potato Creek Johnny

Infamous Deadwood: Potato Creek Johnny

Infamous Potato Creek JohnnyNearly 50 years after the first gold strike in the Black Hills, a local Deadwood man would reignite gold fever. John Perrett was panning in Potato Creek when he found a leg-shaped gold nugget. The nugget was reportedly the largest piece of gold ever found in the Black Hills. The lucky prospector became an instant Deadwood legend known as “Potato Creek Johnny.”

After his find, this 4’3” gentleman became a local celebrity entertaining visitors with his stories and tall tales. Deadwood businessman, W.E. Adams, bought Potato Creek Johnny’s nugget for $250 and put it on display. You can see the gold nugget on display at the Adams Museum in Historic Deadwood.

Potato Creek Johnny’s grave is located alongside Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane in Mount Moriah Cemetery.


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