Deadwood History Link

Monday, 03 May 2004 05:43

Historic Sites Across the State Reap the Fruits of Gaming

Historic Sites across South Dakota received a boost in confidence and funding recently when the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission announced the final list of projects that will receive money as part of the 2004 Outside Deadwood Grant program.

The Outside Deadwood Grant program, which has been in place since 2002, awards up to $250,000 annually to historic preservation projects outside Deadwood city limits but within the state of South Dakota. In order to qualify for a grant, which is funded by Deadwood gaming revenue, a project has to apply to the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission and demonstrate the project’s relevance to Deadwood history.

“The Outside Deadwood Grant program is a fantastic opportunity for historic sites across the state to get the preservation funding they desperately need,” said Jim Wilson, Deadwood’s Historic Preservation officer. “Thanks to this grant fund, a dozen projects across South Dakota have $200,000 they didn’t have before.”

“It’s through programs like the Outside Deadwood Grants that we here in Deadwood can give something back to the rest of South Dakota,” said Dr. Michael Guilbert, chair of the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission. “Although the state constitution says that all gaming revenue in Deadwood has to go to preserving Deadwood itself, the historic sites within South Dakota are all related. Deadwood is connected with so many places in this state.

“Whether we help save a church in Lead or aid in the restoration of an opera house in Spearfish, we’re preserving a part of Deadwood and, in turn, the heritage of all South Dakotans,” Guilbert explained.

In 2004, the following 11 historic projects across the state were awarded funds totaling $199,684 from this program:

  • Cultural Heritage Center, Pierre - $50,000
  • First Presbyterian Church, Lead - $9,950
  • Matthews Opera House, Spearfish - $12,000
  • Christ Church (Organ), Lead - $3,000
  • PWA/WPA Sports Facilities, Statewide - $5,000
  • Homestake Opera House (Lights), Lead - $25,000
  • Anderson Ranch, (Spring), Frawley Ranch - $8,172
  • South Lead Cemetery, Lead - $25,000
  • Lead-Deadwood School District, Lead - $22,500
  • Trinity United Methodist, Lead - $25,000
  • Tri-State Museum, Belle Fourche - $14,062

Several dozen projects have received grants from this fund since it was established, including the State Theater in Sioux Falls, the Historic Governor’s Mansion in Pierre and the Courthouse Museum in Custer.

For information on obtaining a grant, contact the Deadwood Historic Preservation at (605) 578-2082, by visiting, or by stopping by Deadwood City Hall at 108 Sherman Street, Deadwood.