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April 12, 2021

Preservation Thursday: James K.P. Miller – The Savior of Deadwood

DEADWOOD – Deadwood History, Inc. and the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will host a presentation by author and historian, Dr. David Wolff, at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman Street, Deadwood. Free to members and $5 for non-members. Social distancing and limited admission will be implemented. The event is wheelchair accessible. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Dr. David Wolff will discuss the career of Deadwood businessman, J. K. P. Miller. From the time he arrived in 1876 until the fire of 1879, he operated a successful grocery store and exchange bank, but as the town's economic fortunes began to wane after the fire, he started speculating on real estate, mines, and railroads. In the process, he organized an investment syndicate which spent heavily in Deadwood and convinced the Burlington railroad to build to town. His efforts brought the economic boost that Deadwood needed, leading some observers to label him the “savior of Deadwood.” As a side note, the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission recently honored Miller by including him in the "Wall of Fame."

Dr. David Wolff is Professor Emeritus at Black Hills State University and chairman of the Adams Museum & House board of directors. Wolff did his undergraduate and master's work at the University of Wyoming and received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. He has published articles in South Dakota History, Mining History Journal, and The American Indian Quarterly. Wolff has written three books: Industrializing the Rockies: Growth, Competition and Turmoil in the Coalfields of Colorado and Wyoming, 1868-1914 (University Press of Colorado, 2003), Seth Bullock: Black Hills Lawman (South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2009), and The Savior of Deadwood: James K.P. Miller on the Gold Frontier (South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2021). In 2012, the Mining History Association awarded Wolff the Rodman Paul Award for Outstanding Contributions to Mining History.

This program was made possible by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, Deadwood History, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, Deadwood Chamber & 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.