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June 22, 2022

History on the Lawn: Edward “E.L” Senn, Prohibition, and Deadwood

DEADWOOD – Deadwood History, Inc. and the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission will host a presentation by Dr. Charles (Chuck) Vollan, South Dakota State University associate professor of history, at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, July 8, 2022, at the Historic Adams House. The lecture is free to Deadwood History members and $5 for non-members. Please feel free to bring your lunch and a lawn chair. For more information call 605-722-4800. In case of inclement weather, the lecture will be moved to the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), 150 Sherman Street, Deadwood.

Deadwood long had a reputation as the wildest town in South Dakota. It was particularly known for its alcohol-fueled excitement. Deadwood was also home to Edward “E.L.” Senn, one of South Dakota’s most well-known reformers. He fought Demon Rum, vice, and the official corruption that allowed them to rule as the crusading editor of the Deadwood Daily Telegram. Senn made many enemies, but also passionate supporters. His fight against legal and illegal alcohol in Deadwood led to his appointment as the federal Director of Prohibition in South Dakota. The question of the time was whether Demon Rum or E.L. Senn would win.

Dr. Chuck Vollan was raised in hilly northern Ohio and earned his B.A. from Hiram College. He focuses on the American West and the Great Plains. Vollan earned an M.A. under Dr. James Ronda at the University of Tulsa and his Ph.D. under Dr. Gary Moulton at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He came to South Dakota State University in 2006, teaching introductory American history courses and advanced courses in the history of the American West, South Dakota, Civil War, and the 1920s. He has written on the American West, alcohol prohibition, and is currently researching the temperance movement. Vollan works and lives in Brookings, South Dakota.

Co-sponsored by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation, Deadwood History, Deadwood Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, Saloon No. 10, Deadwood Mountain Grand, Black Hills Pioneer, and the Silverado Franklin Hotel & Gaming Complex.

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Deadwood History inspires 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, and The Brothel Deadwood.

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