We all love a good Western. A couple of years ago the h-g and I got hooked on an HBO series called Deadwood. Until we came to the Black Hills of South Dakota, I thought Deadwood was fiction, an amalgam of gold rush towns and made up characters.
|Welcome to Deadwood|
Well it turns out there is a town called Deadwood and the show runner used real life characters and historical truths as well as made up stuff in developing the plots. All the same, newspapers and diaries from 1870s Deadwood residents were used as reference points for characters, events, and the look and feel of the show. It's alternate facts!
Touring the small town (population 1261) it's hard to separate the image of the actors who played real characters from the real characters: Swarthy Ian McShane as the fabulous Al Swearengen, whose prose was positively Shakespearean; Timothy Olyphant as Sherriff Seth Bullock; the sweary-mouthed Calamity Jane, and many, many others.
|Scene of Wild Bill's demise. The car probably wasn't there at the time|
Probably the main reason the town is famous is that it was here, in the No. 10 saloon, that Wild Bill Hickok was murdered. And every day you can take a seat in the No. 10 saloon and watch him get murdered all over again. We did. I'd have to say it lacked dramatic tension as we knew the ending.
|Wild Bill - not the real one|
Instead we went to tour a beautiful Queen Anne style home built in 1892. The wonderful thing about the Adams House (no, it's not that Addams family and Lurch won't answer the bell pull) is that after W. E. Adams died in 1934, his wife shut the doors and the house was left untouched for 60 years. So the original oak interiors, hand-painted canvas wall coverings, stained glass windows, and everything else stayed intact. Right down to the books in the library, the beautiful glassware and china in the pantry, the medicines in the bathroom, and there are even biscuits in a jar, though I suspect they may be rather stale 80 odd years on.
Now owned by an Historic Preservation Society, you aren't allowed to take photos as they fear you may be casing the joint! You'll have to go on line.
To be fair, I wouldn't mind some of the glassware, or the light fittings.