October 29, 2018

Preservation Thursday: The Black Hills Forest, 1874–1908

DEADWOOD – Deadwood History, Inc. and the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will host a presentation by Forestry Consultant Bill Coburn at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman Street, Deadwood. The event is wheelchair accessible. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

The forest of the Black Hills has gone through many changes over the past 150 years. Using early photos and journal accounts of explorers, soldiers, and reporters, Coburn will describe what the Black Hills Forest looked like at the time of Custer’s expedition through the early 1900s. An unnamed Minnesota geologist and member of the 1875 Jenny Expedition described parts of the Black Hills as follows, “The trees had been thrown down by fire and tempest, often half consumed and left half charred and a thousand shrubs and small aspens … had made a perfect mesh through which no horse could pass.”

Some of the topics covered in the presentation include how politics and laws affected the Black Hills Forest. What was the Timber Culture Act and how did it affect the Black Hills Forest in the late 1800s? How did Case #1, the very first US Government timber sale, occur in the Black Hills? What was the “Black Hills Beetle?” Who are Gifford Pinchot and Andrew Hopkins?

Coburn was born and raised in Deadwood and graduated from Deadwood High School. He worked as a professional forester in the Black Hills since 1976 after graduating from the University of Montana Forestry School. Having recently retired from Neiman Timber Company, Coburn now operates a forestry consulting company called Black Hills Forestry, Inc. He is also active in the Black Hills community currently serving on three professional job-related boards, two civic related boards, and three resource conservation related boards. Coburn has lived in Spearfish since 1981.

Preservation Thursday is co-sponsored by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, Deadwood History, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, Saloon No. 10, Fresh Paint, Jerry Greer's Engineering, Deadwood Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, and tdg Marketing & Public Relations.


Photograph available upon request.

We inspire the global community by preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of Deadwood and the Black Hills in the context of the American West through exceptional exhibits, innovative educational programs, and access to extensive collections in unique settings.

Adams Museum, Days of '76 Museum, Historic Adams House, and
Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC)

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.