"Of all the (gold recovery) ideas ... which are annually patented in the United States, it falls to the lot of but few to be called epoch-making. Yet we believe that this term may safely be used in connection with the progress here recorded."
-- Mining Reporter, 1906 story about the Homestake Slime Plant
A New Job for an Old Friend
As long as anyone can remember, the Homestake Slime Plant has stood watch over Deadwood. Countless workers made a living here. Generations of children walked past it on their way to school. In recent decades, however, it was mostly been a sad relic of a bygone era.
Deadwood Mountain Grand, with its restaurant, casino, hotel and entertainment venue, brings an exciting new role for Deadwood's old friend.
The Evolution of Black Hills Mining
In 1876, Deadwood Gulch mining was simple: Wash the gold dust and nuggets from the gravel creek beds. But those workings played out quickly, and sophisticated hard-rock mining became necessary.
Finding a place in Deadwood's new economy
The Homestake Slime Plant continued to serve Homestake Mining Co. until 1973. By then, changes in the process made it more efficient and environmentally cleaner to process ore near the mineshaft in Lead.
After the plant shut down, Lawrence County turned part of the building into a heavy-equipment maintenance shop. It served as a county shop for a number of years.
Deadwood's Second Gold Rush
Deadwood's economy took a dramatic turn in in 1989, when small-stakes gaming became legal in Deadwood. Old storefronts, vacant warehouses and historic buildings up and down Main Street became casinos, restaurants and hotels.
Yet the Slime Plant stood mostly idle. Historic preservationists and Deadwood officials tried for years to find the right adaptive reuse for this old mining-era structure in Deadwood's new gaming-era economy.
Ever since 1989, officials knew a large-scale entertainment venue would make Deadwood a tourism showcase.
Preserving the Black Hills' Mining Heritage
The two needs – historic preservation and entertainment – converged when Deadwood Mountain Grand's partners stepped forward.
The city's Historic Preservation Commission funded the façade restoration, and helped the partners ensure that Deadwood's historic mining heritage is honored and preserved.