Did You Know South Dakota Had Its Own Gold Rush?
We've all heard of the gold rush that brought people to the state of California in 1849 but did you know that South Dakota had its own gold rush in the Balck Hills?
According to Black Hills Visitor, The Black Hills Gold Rush began in 1874 with a group of 1,000 men led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer who headed into Dakota territory (aka Bismarck, North Dakota) to see if the rumors of gold were true.
And the rumors were true! Gold was struck around the French Creek near the current town of Custer, SD.
Of course, the news of gold spread quickly by courier to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and then telegraphed to the press.
Naturally, little to no gold was found near Frech Creek again so the men ventured into the northern hills where they found large amounts of gold in Deadwood Gulch.
The gold that was found in the gulch was actually Placer gold which is "loose pieces mixed in with rock and dirt in Deadwood and Whitewood Creeks."
Homestake Mine was discovered on April 9, 1876, by two brothers, Fred and Moses Manuel, in conjunction with Hank Harney, and Alex Engh.
The 'veritable mother lode deposit-finding the placer gold in the creeks' mine was later sold to an out of state group of investors the next year for $70,000.
Little did they know that the Homestake Mine would help provide 10% of the world's gold supply for the next 125 years and produce over $1 billion dollars in gold.
During the Black Hills Gold Rush, very few people became wealthy, and most left with nothing.
Although it isn't too uncommon to still see people when they take a trip to the Black Hills still panning for gold.
Source: Black Hills Visitor