Black Hills Mining Museum

Useful Information

Open: MAY to SEP Sun 12-16.
Fee: Museum only: Adults USD 6, Children (0-12) free.
Mine Tour: Adults USD 12, Children (13-16) USD 6, Children (0-12) free, Students USD 10, Seniors USD 10, Military USD 10.
Groups: 9-12 USD 5, K-8 USD 3, only with reservation.
Plus tax.
Classification: SubterraneaMining Museum MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Address: Black Hills Mining Museum, 323 W. Main St. Lead SD, 57785, Tel: +1-605-584-1605. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1868 treaty between the U.S. and the Sioux.
1874 Custer Expedition into the Black Hills discovers gold.
1874 Gordon Party illegally enters the Black Hills and builds a stockade near French Creek.
09-APR-1876 Moses and Fred Manuel locate the Homestake claim near Lead.
JUN-1877 Homestake Mine purchased by George Hearst for $70,000.
2002 Homestake Mine closed after 126 years.



The Black Hills Mining Museum is located in the city of Lead. It is home to numerous gold mines, which was the #1 industry during the 19th century.

Prospecting was initially centered around the French Creek area, where gold was discovered by Colonel George Armstrong Custer. The Custer Expedition of 1874 explored and recorded the area of the Black Hills for two months. However, there was the 1868 treaty between the U.S. and the Sioux, which established all the land west of the Missouri River for use and occupation of the Sioux Nation. News of the spectacular find spread rapidly and people became impatient for negotiations with the Sioux. At the end of 1874, a party of white prospectors known as the Gordon Party illegally entered the Black Hills and built a stockade near French Creek. The Army soon expelled the group, but the door had been opened. In 1875 the government sent a scientific expedition into the Hills, which discovered some 4,000 white prospectors unlawfully living in the Hills. Despite the fact that the government was committed by the treaty to prevent white men from encroaching in the territory, they verbally discouraged further encroachment in the area, while stopping to physically expell prospectors. Placer claims were staked throughout the area and experienced prospectors began looking for the Mother Lode. 09-APR-1876, Moses and Fred Manuel located the Homestake claim near Lead.