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Deadwood in Lawrence County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Placer Claim No. 2 above Discovery

— A Trail to Deadwood's Past —

 
 
Placer Claim No. 2 above Discovery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, October 6, 2021
1. Placer Claim No. 2 above Discovery Marker
Inscription.  The land before you was once part of Placer Claim No. 2 above Discovery on Whitewood Creek. In 2017, construction workers unearthed the remains of a placer drift mining operation near this sign. The discovery consisted of thirteen logs used to support the walls and ceiling of a tunnel, called a "drift”.

A placer drift mining operation consisted of a vertical shaft excavated down to bedrock. Prospectors then dug a series of horizontal tunnels, called drifts, along the bedrock following the “pay streak" or gold bearing gravels. These gravels were then brought to the surface through a hoisting system known as a windlass. During the excavation process, wood logs were installed in the shaft and drift to prevent a potential collapse.

According to the June 17, 1877 Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times newspaper, "The Woodbury Brothers on No. 2 above discovery on Whitewood, got one dollar and twenty-eight cents to the pan on Saturday. They are just opening their claim."

Within a month, the mining operations on this claim were expanded to a twenty person operation paying on average $20 per day per individual. On
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July 5, 1881, the claim was surveyed and patented as Mineral Survey #308.

In 2018, dendrochronological analysis (tree ring analysis) was performed on logs from this drift. All the samples were identified as being native ponderosa pine. Six of the thirteen samples had a felling or cutting date of 1878 making this one of the oldest intact archaeological features in Deadwood.

Captions:
Excerpt from Mineral Survey #308 Plat Map surveyed on July 5, 1881.
June 26, 2017 discovery of the drift on Placer Claim No. 2 above Discovery on Whitewood Creek.
Illustration of a placer drift mining operation.

 
Erected by Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is June 17, 1877.
 
Location. 44° 23.076′ N, 103° 43.255′ W. Marker is in Deadwood, South Dakota, in Lawrence County. Marker is on Main Street (U.S. 85) south of 76th Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 366 Main St, Deadwood SD 57732, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Deadwood’s Boy Scout Tree Project (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Deadwood Gold Discovery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Elizabethtown
Placer Claim No. 2 above Discovery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Connor Olson, October 6, 2021
2. Placer Claim No. 2 above Discovery Marker
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Wild Bill Hickok (approx. 0.4 miles away); Chinatown (approx. half a mile away); Historic Facade Replication (approx. 0.6 miles away); Historic Site Saloon Number 10 (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Badlands (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Deadwood.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 117 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 6, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 20, 2024