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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Deadwood in Lawrence County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Great Flood

 
 
The Great Flood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 23, 2009
1. The Great Flood Marker
Inscription.  “Prepare for the worst!” the telephone call from upstream warned. About that time Whitewood Creek, swollen from spring snow and rain, broke over its banks within Deadwood, carving a path of destruction. The creek which now flows under the highway in front of you, swept away over a hundred Deadwood buildings. Debris lodged against the Lee Street bridge, forming a dam. Water rushed around the bridge, destroying structures along Lee Street. The businesses on Main Street were above the water level, but the flood washed out Chinatown, on lower Main Street. Remarkably, only three people were killed.

After the flood of 1883, townspeople responded by building a containing wall along the creek bed. Flooding reoccurred until the 1960s when engineers contained Whitewood Creek and built the highway over it. Until that time, there was no north-south roadway between Main and Sherman Streets. As you can see, the backs of the buildings were not designed to be exposed to a thoroughfare.

Captions:
Debris piled up behind businesses in the 600 block of Main Street.
Looking north along Whitewood Creek after the flood. Notice
Updated The Great Flood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, October 6, 2021
2. Updated The Great Flood Marker
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the unusually wide creek bed, and the lack of bridges. Sherman Street is on the right.

 
Erected by Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission. (Marker Number 11.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Disasters. A significant historical year for this entry is 1883.
 
Location. 44° 22.587′ N, 103° 43.776′ W. Marker is in Deadwood, South Dakota, in Lawrence County. Marker is at the intersection of Lee Street and Highway 14A on Lee Street. This marker is on the south-east corner of Lee Street and Highway 14A. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. The Fire of 1879 (within shouting distance of this marker); Sherman Street and the East Side (within shouting distance of this marker); Wild Bill Hickok Bust (within shouting distance of this marker); Wild Bill (within shouting distance of this marker); Jack McCall Capture Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Black Hills Pioneers (about 300 feet away); Deadwood (about 300 feet away); Deadwood 1876 (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Deadwood.
 
The Great Flood Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, October 6, 2021
3. The Great Flood Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 19, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 710 times since then and 35 times this year. Last updated on October 12, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. Photos:   1. submitted on November 19, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   2, 3. submitted on October 12, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 17, 2021