DEADWOOD, S.D.– Five-hundred thousand, or more, artifacts currently belong to the City of Deadwood preservation collection. More will be added to the collection as an on-going archaeological dig, happening at the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, produces artifacts such as plates, horseshoes and more.
Deadwood is a national historic landmark. In 1964, it became the first community to receive the official designation. With the title comes certain rules, such as preservation ordinances that require any new construction to have an archaeological investigation performed on the site. Tin Lizzie is looking to expand, but first, a dig must be done.
Five foot trenches are being dug in the resort parking lot. Within them, history of what was former Deadwood Chinatown.
“We are finding some diagnostic information that we can start to put together,” said Kevin Kuchenbecker, Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Deadwood. “The story of not only who was here, but where exactly did these artifacts come from, how were they used. And if you look at a surface parking lot, you don’t expect that our history is five, six feet down from there. So that’s really exciting for our office, for the community and for the developers as well.”
Weather permitting, the dig, completed by Quality Services, will be finished is three months. Afterwards, Liv Hospitality Group will continue their hotel expansion project.
The cost of the dig is approximately $500,000.