High on top of a hill surrounding Deadwood stands a monument that tells a story about the friendship between two notable men from America’s past—Deadwood’s first sheriff, Seth Bullock and America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt.
Shortly after President Theodore Roosevelt’s death in 1919, Sherriff Seth Bullock built Mount Roosevelt (also referred to as the Friendship Tower) as a memorial to his good friend Theodore. The monument symbolizes the bond between Bullock and Roosevelt which began during Roosevelt’s years ranching in North Dakota. During this time, the two men formed a bond that would last a lifetime. Roosevelt would later appoint Bullock as U.S. Marshall for South Dakota.
Undoubtedly, Mount Roosevelt is one of Deadwood’s hidden treasures and should be a staple on any itinerary. To see the memorial, visitors must head north on Highway 85 and take a left on Mount Roosevelt Road, following it for about 2 miles until you have reached a trailhead/parking lot. From here, visitors will take a short, scenic hike through the hills up to the 31-foot tower. After reaching your destination, be sure to follow the spiral staircase inside of the Friendship Tower to the top for an incredible view of the Black Hills. This destination is great for any time of day, but is particularly spectacular at sunset. A large deck points west, making it the perfect spot to end your day. If staying past dusk, bring a flashlight and walk with care. The path is uneven in spots. Photo credit: South Dakota Tourism