The phrase boomed across Dakota Territory in the 1870's.

'There's gold in them thar Hills!' And so the famous Black Hills Gold Rush began.

Now, one phrase that wasn't quite as loud was...'There's coal in that thar state!' But in the early 1900's, that exactly what was found up in Dewey County at Firesteel.

With the first coal being found in 1907 or 1908, Firesteel was the only coal mining community in South Dakota. The first commercial coal mine opened in 1911 and the market boomed with the advent of World War I. The mine's peak years came in the early 1940's because of the second World War. Between May of 1941 and April of 1942 51,743 tons of coal were sold.

At one point Firesteel was home to a flour mill, a bank, several other businesses, a school, electricity plant and more. But then progress hit town in the form of new mining technology. Fewer and fewer workers were needed, and then fire destroyed several businesses and finally....

The mine closed in 1968.

OK, that's all fine and good, but why is Firesteel haunted?

Well according to The Shadowlands Dot Net:

Back in the 1930's Firesteel was a booming town after the discovery of coal. One day when all the miner's were hard at work an explosion killed about 100 miners and to this day they say if you get to close to the mines you can hear the voices of the miners hard at work. The town of Firesteel was once a large and prosperous city but now is doomed as the people are driven away by the ghosts that haunt the old mines.

Well, I guess believe...or not.

But I'd say this. If you love a great hunting area, don't let the ghost scare you off. Check out the Firesteel Creek Lodge, enjoy a friendly nice place to stay and enjoy hunting the great outdoors in South Dakota. I'm pretty sure the ghosts won't scare off the abundant pheasant, grouse and partridge population!

Wikipedia Contributed To This Article