Days of '76 Museum.
Buffalo Bill relics are reverently displayed. Bill was a big Deadwood fan.

Days of '76 Museum

Field review by the editors.

Deadwood, South Dakota

This museum doesn't celebrate the patriotic days of 1776, but the whiskey-fueled days of 1876, when gold was first discovered in Deadwood.

Days of '76 Museum.
One of many specialty horse-drawn vehicles that once jammed the streets of Deadwood.

The Days of '76 Museum began as a barn display about Deadwood's Days of '76 annual festival, a combination parade and rodeo, which was largely inspired by Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows of the late 19th and early 20th century. The first Day's of '76 was held in 1924 -- Deadwood's first official celebration of its Wild West heritage. Other formerly lawless hellholes such as Tombstone and Dodge City would wait another decade before they began to mine for tourist gold.

Days of '76 Museum.
Dizzying display of Wild West firepower.

The museum has a lot of rodeo regalia and horse-drawn vehicles from the parade -- especially horse-drawn vehicles. They range from Deadwood's original stagecoach to the lush carriages used by Deadwood's gold-funded elite. Many are displayed in front of backdrops of appropriate Deadwood buildings, in the same way that car museums display 1950s Chevys in front of simulated gas stations.

In 2013 the Days of '76 Museum moved to a bigger building and broadened its scope. Visitors can now see thousands of Western relics, including Buffalo Bill's gloves, Calamity Jane's rifle, and a Native American breast plate made of bullet cartridges from the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee.

Also see: Deadwood Round-Up

Days of '76 Museum

Address:
18 Seventy Six Drive, Deadwood, SD
Directions:
From US-85/ALT US-14, on the east edge of town, turn south onto Seventy Six Drive (no stoplight). You'll see the museum ahead on the left.
Hours:
Summer daily 9-5, fewer hours and days off-season. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
605-578-1657
Admission:
Adults $8
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Sitting BillSitting Bill, Deadwood, SD - < 1 mi.
World's 3rd Largest Bronze SculptureWorld's 3rd Largest Bronze Sculpture, Deadwood, SD - < 1 mi.
Graves of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity JaneGraves of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, Deadwood, SD - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Boondocks 1950s Retro Complex, Deadwood, SD - 8 mi.

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