September 16, 2021

Preservation Thursday: T.J. Grier, A New Mine Superintendent for a New Century

DEADWOOD – Deadwood History, Inc. and the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will host a presentation by David Vardiman, at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 23, 2021, at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman Street, Deadwood. Free to members and $5 for non-members. The event is wheelchair accessible. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

The Homestake Mine started in 1876 as a small mining prospect claimed by the Manuel brothers using just a wheelbarrow, pick, and shovel. However, under the management of George Hearst and Samuel McMaster it would become a district-wide operation consisting of numerous shafts, multiple mills, blacksmith shops, a spider’s web of wagon access roads, railroad connections, and logging operations. As superintendent Samuel McMaster’s health declined, a young man would emerge to become one of the most prominent Homestake Mining Company superintendents. At the age of 34 years old and having been hired as a mere telegrapher and accountant only six years earlier, his age and limited mining experience would belie his real hidden managerial talents. David Vardiman will discuss how this young man would go on to lead the company for the next thirty years and take the Homestake Mine from its humble beginnings into the new twentieth century to become the world’s largest and most successful gold mine.

David Vardiman has been an experienced mining industry geological engineer for 43 years. He was employed by Homestake Mining Company for 21 years in various roles as an exploration and/or production geologist. In 1997, he began working with AngloGold Ashanti Gold Mining Company as the Cripple Creek and Victor Mining District Exploration Manager, Victor, Colorado. In 2006, David worked as the North American Corporate Exploration Manager with Quadra Mining Company, Vancouver, British Columbia working at operations in Ely, Nevada, and in Region 2 of Chile, South America. In 2009, David and his wife Debbie returned to Lead to join the Sanford Underground Research Facility as a Project Engineer in charge of ground support design, excavation design and excavation contractors for the laboratory and the ongoing LBNF project. David recently retired from the lab in May 2021.

Preservation Thursday is made possible by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, Deadwood History, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, Deadwood Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Deadwood Mountain Grand, Saloon No. 10, and Riverfront Broadcasting.


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.