Broken Boot Mine

Broken Boot Gold Mine

Useful Information

Location: 1200 Pioneer Way, Deadwood, SD 57732.
80 km from Rapid City. US16A north. US16 west. US 385 north to Deadwood. 800 m outside Deadwood on Hwy 14A.
(44.370703, -103.742893)
Open: Memorial Day to Labor Day daily 8-18.
Tours every 30 minutes, last tour 17.
Candlelight Tour: Memorial Day to Labor Day daily 17:30.
Fee: Adults USD 8, Children (6-17) USD 6, Children (0-5) free, Seniors (60+) USD 7, Military USD 7.
Candlelight Tour: Adults USD 10.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=30 min.
Candlelight Tour: D=30 min, MinAge=12.
V=10,000/a [2006].
Accessibility: no
Address: Deadwood Lead Chamber of Commerce, 735 Main Street, Deadwood, SD 57732. Tel: +1-605-578-1876.
Broken Boot Gold Mine, 1200 Pioneer Way, Deadwood, SD 57732. Tel: +1-605-578-9997. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


Spring 1876 gold rush, a flood of miners, merchants, muleskinners and madams sweep into Deadwood Gulch.
1878 Olaf Seim and James Nelson started digging.
1904 mine closed.
1917 mine reopened for war production.
1918 mine finally closed.
1954 mine opened as a show mine by Selma Herbert.
1986 donated to the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce.


The gold rush at Deadwood Gulch started in 1876, in spring a flood of miners, merchants, muleskinners and madams swept into town. Broken Boot Gold Mine was opened by Olaf Seim, who looked for valuable ores in the area with his friend James Nelson around 1880. At that time it was known as Seim's Mine. He discovered a little gold, but also pyrite, graphite, silver, copper sulfate, and quartz. Iron pyrite, an important iron ore consisting of iron and sulfur is called fool's gold, because it has the colour and is mixed up with gold by fools. Many of the ores in the mine are sulfuric, and the success of the mine was the production of sulfuric acid from this sulfur, which was used frequently in the processing of gold. He was very successful for some time, but with the end of the gold rush it became unprofitable, and it was also closed. Over a period of 26 years the mine produced about 15,000 ounces of gold.

During World War I demand was high for iron and sulfur, crucial components of weapons and gunpowder. As a result Seim’s Mine became profitable again and was reopened in 1917, but when the war ended in 1918, it was closed for good.

In 1954 a group of Deadwood businessmen got together with the plan to repair the mine and re-open it as a tourist attraction. They approached Olaf Seim's daughter, Selma Herbert and her husband John, who were the owners at that time. They decided to lease it to the businessmen, who started the renovation. During the renovation, the workers found long-forgotten relics, among them an old worn boot. Selma Herbert decided to rechristen the mine Broken Boot. The mine was reopened as a show mine in the same year. As a tourist attraction it earned more money than by selling the ores. It is presently operated by the nonprofit Broken Boot Mine Committee and the Deadwood Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.

Rather new are the Candlelight Tours, where visitors get a candle and the electric light is off. It is based on the fact that the miners were given a ration of three candles per day when the mine was still operating. This tour is always the last tour of the day.