The Days of ’76 began as a way to honor Deadwood’s first pioneers - the prospectors, miners, muleskinners and madams who poured into the Black Hills in 1876 to settle the gold-filled gulches of Dakota Territory. Since the first celebration in 1924, the Days of ‘76 has grown into a legendary annual event with a historic parade and an award-winning PRCA rodeo.
The Days of ’76 museum began informally, as a repository for the horse drawn wagons and stage coaches, carriages, clothing, memorabilia and archives generated by the Celebration.
In 1990 Don Clowser installed his collection of important Old West Pioneer and American Indian artifacts, archives, firearms and archives into the pole barn that was the museum. Added to what was recognized as the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in the state, it became clear that the Days of ’76 Museum needed a new home.
In 2004 the board of the Days of ‘76 Museum, supported with a $3,000,000 gift from the City of Deadwood, pledged to construct a new $5.25 million, 32,000-square-foot home for its collections of Western and American Indian artifacts, archives, photos and artwork.
The new two-story museum is now open. Our goal is to continue to raise money to help tell this important story.
CLICK HERE to find out how you can help fund this next chapter in our story.