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October 5, 2020

Preservation Thursday: Homestake Water System Past and Present

DEADWOOD – Deadwood History, Inc. and the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will host a presentation on the Homestake water system by Curt Betcher at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2020, at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman Street, Deadwood. The presentation is free for Deadwood History members and $5 for non-members. Masks are required. Social distancing and limited admission will be implemented. The event is wheelchair accessible. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Curt Betcher will present a program on the Homestake water system which was first constructed in the early 1880s by Homestake Mine. Water was required in larger quantities for the expansion of Homestake and other mines in the Lead-Deadwood area. George Hearst purchased the mine in the late 1870s and knew that much more water was needed. Homestake constructed over 30 miles of wood-flume gravity-fed systems from as far away as the north tributary of Rapid Creek. The flume system was replaced in the 1910s with clay tile pipe. A pump station was added to pump water from Spearfish Creek to Whitewood Creek. The system is still in use under the ownership of the Lead Sanitation District. It supplies all the water to the Lead-Deadwood area.

Curt Betcher became interested in researching the Homestake water system as an owner of a cabin along the north tributary of Rapid Creek near the Dumont trailhead on the Mickelson Trail. After reading Steve Mitchell’s book, Nuggets to Neutrinos, Betcher was motivated to look for the water flume. Since 2008, Betcher has walked most of the 30 miles of the water system, taken photographs and GPS coordinates of significant locations, and spent a great deal of time at the HARCC researching survey notes and photographs.

Preservation Thursday is co-sponsored by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, Deadwood History, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, A&B Business Solutions, Deadwood Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Spearfish Chamber of Commerce, and Saloon No. 10.

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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, Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), and The Brothel Deadwood.

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