Many of you have been to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota before, during and after the August Sturgis Rally. The 73rd edition is about to start (officially August 5th, but in fact a few days sooner), an opportunity for me to publish pictures of the area taken at the end of the 19th century.
Humans have inhabited what is now South Dakota for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a gold rush in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers caused conflict that triggered a number of Indian wars, ending with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Between 1886 and 1892, John C. H. Grabill documented the frontier life. Below is part of his photography now kept at the Library Of Congress.
1- Miners panning gold in the Dakota territory.
2- “Hostile” Indian Lakota Camp
3-Deadwood treasure wagon and guards from Wells Fargo Express Company with $250,000 gold bullion from the Great Homestake Mine of Deadwood.
4- A Native American named Little, leader of the Oglala band, started the 1890 Indian revolt at Pine Ridge 5- “Red Cloud” and “American Horse.” The two most noted Oglala chiefs”,
6- Indian fighters from the US Army Infantry
8- Indian chiefs and U.S. officials at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. “Wild Bill” Cody standing in the center.
9- Group of railroad engineers from the Deadwood Central Railroad (1888) 10- Wild buffalo on the plains.
11- A deer hunt near Deadwood in winter (1887)
12- “Comanche”, a stallion, the only survivor of the Custer massacre. (1876)