Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

The Deadwood City Commission recently approved nine grants for its 2018 Outside of Deadwood Grant Program, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. A total of 24 grant applications were received for the award. The selection process was made more challenging this year as the total award amount was reduced from $250,000 to $150,000.

The Mystic Preservation Alliance in Mystic, St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church in Central City, and the Wetz School House in Newell were some of the recipients named in the grant. Several projects that were not funded included the Cessell Memorial Bandshell in Belle Fourche, the Valentine T. McGillicuddy House in Rapid City, and the Keystone School Museum.

The Outside of Deadwood Grant Program awards grants on a biannual basis with deadlines of January 2 and June 2 of the year for which the grant is requested. For more information on the grant, visit Deadwood’s Historic Preservation website.

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The Deadwood City Commission is looking to supplement the Historic Preservation Revolving Loan Fund, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The commission approved the first reading of a supplemental budget ordinance in the amount of $331,000. The program has received 20 applications for historic preservation grants so far this year as well as an increase in program support in recent years, sparking the need for additional funds.

To date, historic preservation programs have expended $898,000—an amount over the originally budgeted $867,000. Year-end expenditures are currently projected at approximately $1.2 million.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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The north wall of the Historic Homestake Opera House is nearing completion, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Workers have finished replacing the understructure for the wall as well as installing new sheetrock and decorative plaster moldings over the original moldings. The total cost for the restoration of the wall is $35,000.

Previous restoration projects at the opera house include updates to the foyer and connecting rooms. Future projects are primarily focused around the theater area itself.

The Historic Homestake Opera House was consumed by a fire in 1984 in which the facility’s roof collapsed. Since the fire, community efforts have helped to raise more than $3 million to renovate the building, including a new roof and seating.

To read more about Lead, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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With ample “Old West” buildings and a storied history, the City of Deadwood was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark on July 4, 1961. Deadwood is one of sixteen National Historic Landmarks in the Rushmore State, but is the only one to have its entire downtown sector earn the designation.

Changing desires for the future of Deadwood have posed challenges to its historic status. In 2014, Deadwood’s status as a National Historic Landmark was downgraded from “satisfactory” to “watch.” The creation of several new hotels, casinos and parking lots contributed to the city’s threatened designation. According to the Rapid City Journal, decisions to alter the city’s landscape and tear down smaller, historic buildings in favor or larger ones, contributed to the jeopardized status.

National Historic Landmarks must meet a variety of requirements to achieve the prestigious designation. Districts, sites, buildings, and other objects that played an essential role in American history and have significance within their communities can be designated as landmarks. State, federal and tribal historic preservation officers can nominate properties to become historic landmarks. Nominations are reviewed by state boards which make recommendations based on the qualifications of each applicant.

To learn more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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The Belle Fourche City Council has applied for an Outside of Deadwood Grant in the amount of $25,000  to improve the city’s historic bandshell, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. In addition to the grant funds the city is seeking, $50,000 has been allocated from the city’s 2017 Capital Improvement Plan to make repairs to the bandshell.

The bandshell was originally built in 1954 and was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. While a complete renovation plan is still in process, repairs to the bandshell’s wiring and brickwork are among the top priorities.

To read more news from Belle Fourche, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive. To learn more about Belle Fourche, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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The Main Street Plaza projects in Deadwood are moving forward with the recent approval of up to $2 million in matching funds from the city’s historic preservation commission, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The commission approved the use of historic preservation funds on a 6-1 vote, with the understanding that the funds must be vetted through the necessary state and national entities before distribution.

Commissioner Mark Speirs and Mayor Chuck Turbiville dissented in the approval of the funds. Speirs dissented as he thought the project was difficult to justify as an historic preservation project. He noted that the project may be better suited as a bonding project.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile.

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Long-forgotten advertisements, or ghost murals, painted on Deadwood’s historic buildings will soon be eligible for historic preservation funds, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. The first project to be tackled is the painted “Champion Spark Plug” sign on the Celebrity Hotel. While the current sign has approximately 15 percent of the original artwork, the goal of the restoration will bring the sign to 50-60 percent of its original condition.

The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will provide 80 percent of the restoration costs, while the owner of the building would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent, under the grant conditions. A covenant will also be established to protect the restored murals.

To read more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile

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In order to move forward with plans to revitalize its Main Street, Deadwood officials are looking at utilizing $2 million from the Historic Preservation Commission, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The effort to reinvest in Deadwood’s Main Street sparked in part from declines in gaming revenue.  

The Deadwood Revitalization Promotions Committee has been in negotiations with the Century Link, who have a building on Main Street which has been identified as a possible location for a Main Street square. Although Century Link has offered to give the building to the city, in exchange for $4.2 million to cover moving costs, the city does not yet have funding available. The Revitalization Committee is seeking to utilize $2 million from historic preservation funds in order to begin negotiations and seek out matching funding from other organizations.

Dan Senftner, who assisted in development of the Rapid City Main Street Square, has also been hired to help move the project forward. Senftner noted that the square would serve as a place of gathering for Deadwood residents.

To read more about Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or community profile. Learn more about Rapid City’s Main Street Square on the Black Hills Knowledge Network Issue Hub. 

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Although a 1984 fire destroyed much of the interior of the Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead, efforts to replace an interior wall are currently moving forward, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Replicas of the original plaster moldings comprise a significant portion of the restoration. A study of the remaining paint on the original wall is being conducted to determine the original color.

Current renovations for the opera house are being financed by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission alongside support from private donations.

The Homestake Opera House was built in 1914 and boasts seating for up to 1,000 people.  To learn more about the civic life and history of Lead, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile or online news archive

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Four properties in Rapid City have received an eight-year moratorium on taxes while preservation efforts are underway. According to the Rapid City Journal, the properties include the Fairmont Creamery building, the Hotel Alex Johnson, Aby's Feed and Seed, and the Dean Motor Co. building. The moratorium is being offered as a way to encourage the owners of the properties to continue to work on upgrades and preservation of the buildings without fear of their property taxes going up.

To read up on past news articles related to historic preservation work going on in Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive

For more information on civic life and history of the city, check out the Black Hills Knowledge Network's Rapid City Civic Life and History page.

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The band shell in Herrmann Park of Belle Fourche has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. The band shell was among five other places recently selected to be included in the historic register.

Built in 1954, the band shell was selected to be included on the register as it is modeled after earlier band shells built in the 1920s and 1930s. The band shell has also played an important role in the community since its construction by hosting a variety of performances and gatherings.

To qualify for the National Register of Historic Places a building, site or other structure must be at least 50 years old and have significant history within a community.

To learn more about Belle Fourche, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive. To learn more about the history of Belle Fourche, visit the Belle Fourche Civic Life and History page

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The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission recently awarded 13 historic preservation groups across the state with $125,000, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The award is the first round of the commission’s Outside Deadwood grant program for this year.

The largest award of $25,000 went to the Historic Prairie Village in Madison, South Dakota to restore the Art B. Thomas Carousel. Regional awards included the All Angels Episcopal Church in Spearfish for door replacement; the High Plains Western Heritage Center, also in Spearfish, for roof repairs; and the Homestake Mining Company for walking trail signage.

The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission has provided over $2 million in awards for historic preservation projects outside of Deadwood since 2002. There are two funding cycles each year—the first in January, and the second in June. Applicants must be registered as National Historic Landmarks or National Register properties that operate on a not-for-profit or governmental basis.

For more information on the Outside Deadwood award program, visit the City of Deadwood’s website. For more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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Thursday, 09 February 2017 16:06

Digital Research Tools

The Black Hills Knowledge Network offers a variety of digital research tools and resources to access historical items from the Black Hills Region.

Digital History Archives – Biblioboard

The Black Hills Knowledge Network partners with 13 local libraries and communities to aggregate historical documents and photos. They are hosted on a site called BiblioBoard which is a system used worldwide to store local library resources. (To view our How-To video for our archives, click here.) On this site, we house historical photos, documents, and books about the region's history, including items on the 1972 Rapid City flood, Native Americans, pioneers, the construction of Mount Rushmore, and more.

Digital News Archives –Diigo

Diigo hosts the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s collection of local online news. Content on Diigo can be explored by tag, subject, or content matter. Watch the how-to video below to begin exploring Black Hills news through Diigo.

Explore Content By Tag

Are you looking for local news or history on a given topic? Browse through previous Black Hills Knowledge Networks by tag to begin your quest for local news and history.

President Calvin Coolidge Exhibit

When President Calvin Coolidge decided to spend the summer of 1927 in the Black Hills of South Dakota, he altered the course of the region's history. He brought national and international attention to a forgotten corner of the American landscape. His decisions that summer also shaped the history of the nation. During their time in the Black Hills, Calvin and Grace Coolidge enjoyed themselves. They fished, hiked, rode horses, watched rodeos and visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This virtual exhibit, created by the Black Hills Knowledge Network and the Rapid City Public Library, memorializes and interprets the Coolidge summer in the Black Hills. 

This Week in History

Learn more about local history by delving into our This Week in History posts! Each post includes an interesting historical tidbit from the week in history in which it was posted. Do you have an interesting historical story from the region, accompanied with a news article or photo? Contact us with the details today!

External History Resources

Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for at the resources above? We have compiled an extensive list of external resources where you can find even more local historical documents. Collections range from the Digital Library of South Dakota to the Library of Congress and more. 

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The new Lower Main Welcome Center in Deadwood will feature an educational exhibit of local animals, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The Deadwood City Commission recently approved $20,000 in historical preservation welcome center funds for the project.

The project is being created in conjunction with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and will include mammals, birds and reptiles from the area. Most of the funding allocated toward the project will go toward regional taxidermists, with costs ranging from $4,000-8,000 for large mammals like big horn sheep to $500 for small birds, such as woodpeckers.

To learn more about wildlife in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has posted a museum curator position for the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. A candidate is expected to be selected by mid-January.

The hatchery has not had a curator in over two years. The hiring announcement was somewhat surprising to hatchery director Carlos Martinez, as the hatchery has faced numerous closure threats over the past five years. However, Martinez was recently informed that U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials believed the hatchery serves an important role as a flagship facility for the agency.

The D.C. Booth Hatchery accommodates over 160,000 visitors each year and hosts nearly 15,00 artifacts in its archives.

To read more news from Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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Monday, 05 December 2016 17:31

Spring Deadwood Fund Applications Now Open

Spring applications for the Deadwood Fund grant program are now open, according to a news release by the State of South Dakota. Applications will be accepted until February 1, 2017.

Awards ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 will be awarded for historic restoration and rehabilitation projects. Applicants are required to match funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis, while non-profit applicants can contribute up to half of their match funds with in-kind offerings.

The grant program is funded through gaming revenue in Deadwood which is distributed through the South Dakota State Historical Society. Last year, the state awarded $113,744 through the program with $297,162 contributed through matching contributions.

To read more news about historic preservation, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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Concerns from both the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission and the South Dakota Historic Preservation Office have expressed concerns regarding a proposed $35 million condominium project in Deadwood, reports the Rapid City Journal. Historic preservation officials are concerned that the condominiums proposed location on McGovern Hill may have an impact on the historic character of Deadwood. Plans for the project have been withdrawn following the concerns of historic preservation. A revised proposal could be submitted as early as January of next year.  

Deadwood was designated as a National Historic District in 1961, with formal boundaries established in 1985. The boundaries include the entirety of Deadwood’s city limits. The state also established an historic district for the city, with the same boundaries established through the National Park Service’s National Register District.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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A Coca-Cola sign on the side of the Senior Citizens Center in Lead has been restored, as reported by the Black Hills Pioneer. The Lead Historic Preservation Commission received $3600 in matched funds through the Deadwood Historic Preservation Program’s Outside of Deadwood Grant. In-kind donations and raised funds were contributed for the grant match.

The sign had not been painted in over 30 years. Painter Les Roselles completed the restoration in six weeks with a little more than six gallons of paint. Roselles has completed similar work on the Bodega in Deadwood in 1989.

To learn more about Lead, visit its city page on the Black Hills Knowledge Network. To read recent news from Lead, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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The Deadwood City Commission made an amendment to the demolition by neglect ordinance to more clearly define the roles of the public works and historic preservation inspectors, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The amendment streamlines the processes required for demolition by neglect and eliminates minimum maintenance from demolition by neglect.

In addition to clarifying roles of inspectors, the ordinance amendment requires leaders from various departments to have consensus on demolition by neglect. The amendment also reduces the role of the Historic Preservation Commission by reducing the coverage of minimum maintenance by neglect to parts of Deadwood with historic significance.

To read more news from Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.  

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Monday, 19 September 2016 00:00

Sturgis Commemorative Brick Project In Motion

Nearly 3,000 commemorative bricks in front of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame and armory will be removed, categorized and repositioned as part of a $3.5 million reconstruction project as reported by the Black Hills Pioneer. Contractors for the project hope to have the bricks repositioned by November, if weather permits.

The bricks were inscribed and purchased by visitors to Sturgis. The brick removal is part of a larger project including the installation of a new water main which has a completion date of June 30, 2017.

To learn more about Sturgis, check out the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive

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