Wild Bill's Stone Head.
Wild Bill's head keeps perpetual watch over the streets of Deadwood.

Wild Bill's Stone Head

Field review by the editors.

Deadwood, South Dakota

A twice-life-size head of Deadwood's favorite gunslinger, Wild Bill Hickok, is perched atop an eight-foot-high pedestal on the eastern edge of downtown. Carved out of Black Hills granite, Bill wears a buckskin shirt and leans forward, wind blowing back his hair, his mustache, and the brim of his hat. He looks a lot like Danny Trejo.

Wild Bill's Stone Head.
The artist's chiseled signature.

Bill has the same faraway expression as that of the enormous Crazy Horse sculpture about an hour south of town -- which is no surprise since both were carved by the same man, Korczak Ziolkowski.

The Wild Bill head was dedicated in Deadwood on June 21, 1951, almost exactly 75 years after his his arrival in town. The statue supposedly stands on the spot where he first made camp. Eighteen days later he was dead, killed in a Deadwood saloon, and became a permanent resident in the town's Mount Moriah Cemetery. A plaque on the pedestal supporting the head notes that Bill's grave is just up the hill, "300 feet above this spot."

Also see: Deadwood Round-Up

Wild Bill's Stone Head

Address:
78 Sherman St., Deadwood, SD
Directions:
East edge of downtown, on the east side of US-85/Sherman St., at its intersection with Miller St.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
Statue #14: Franklin Pierce, Rapid City, SD - 32 mi.

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