Monday, March 9, 2009

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood used to be one of the most famous places in the West, a mining town closely associated with all sorts of, ahem, activity. The HBO series wasn't set here for nothing.

But the gold mine eventually closed, and the town was headed down the road to oblivion. So it reached back to its roots and became one of the first towns in the country to legalize casino gambling (behind Las Vegas and Atlantic City). One of the travel books says there are more jobs in Deadwood than people, and it's easy to believe.

The town is tucked in a small valley that's only a few blocks across (see below in the picture from Mount Mariah Cemetery), and casinos and bars dominate the landscape. If you don't like slot machines, it will only be worth a short stop. But the Old West feeling does come back when walking down Main Street.

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