Broken Boot Gold Mine.

Broken Boot Gold Mine

Field review by the editors.

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood became a boomtown because of its gold mines, so at some point it had to turn one of those mines into a tourist attraction. The one it chose is tunneled into a hillside next to the main highway through town.

Despite its suspiciously convenient location, the Broken Boot Gold Mine is a real mine, hacked and blasted into the ground by a Norwegian immigrant named Olaf Seim. Olaf started burrowing in 1878 and didn't stop for the next 26 years. As you might guess from a gold mine that's open to the public, Olaf didn't find much gold. He did, however, find a lot of Fool's Gold (iron pyrite), which he sold to make the sulfuric acid that helped refine the real gold found in other Deadwood mines. It was a living.

The mine shut down in 1904 and sat abandoned until 1954, when a group of Deadwood businessmen approached Olaf's daughter with an offer to turn it into an attraction. During the clean-up before the grand opening, a battered boot was found in a back chamber. That's how the mine got its colorful name.

The mine is flat and touring it takes a mere 30 minutes (There was only so much digging one man could do). Visitors don't come away with any gold from Olaf's hole, but there's a gold-panning operation outside, and every tour-taker goes home with a complimentary share of Broken Boot Gold Mine stock.

Also see: Deadwood Round-Up

Broken Boot Gold Mine

1200 Pioneer Way, Deadwood, SD
West edge of town, on the north side of ALT US-14/Pioneer Way.
Summer daily 8-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $8.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Deadwood: Signs and WondersDeadwood: Signs and Wonders, Deadwood, SD - < 1 mi.
Neon Tootsie the CoyoteNeon Tootsie the Coyote, Deadwood, SD - < 1 mi.
Wild Bill's Stone HeadWild Bill's Stone Head, Deadwood, SD - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Open Pit Mine Hole, Lead, SD - 2 mi.

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