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Deadwood's Christmas Past
Dec 17, 2013
How would Santa Claus rate the citizens of Deadwood? The Black Hills town has a naughty reputation, but the Historic Adams House is showcasing Deadwood’s nice side by sharing local holiday traditions in the 1890s for their guided tour, “A Very Deadwood Christmas.”
The skating rink on Sherman Street was one holiday hot spot. “According to the Deadwood Daily Pioneer Times, [it] had a tendency to get pretty crowded,” says Ellyn Van Evra, curator of interpretation at the Historic Adams House. “To liven the mood the Deadwood Orchestra played at the rink while people enjoyed skating.”
By the 1890s, gold rush fever had mellowed, and civic pride was on the rise. “One of the things that stuck out the most to me while I was researching information for these tours was how giving and community-oriented the residents of Deadwood were,” says Van Evra. “I am not only talking about businesses giving out food and goods or churches giving free dinners for the homeless, but also private residents opened their homes for those less fortunate so they would have a happy holiday.” Two such residents, Mr. and Mrs. Liebmann, made the season brighter for local orphans by giving them small Christmas presents.
Van Evra has many other examples of Deadwood’s spirit of giving to share with visitors to the Adams House. Guided holiday tours will be offered every hour between 10-4 pm on December 22 and 28 and 12-4 pm on December 22 and 29. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 7-14, and free to Deadwood History members and children six and younger. For more information, visit www.deadwoodhistory.com or call 605-578-3724.