Feb 04, 2016 - Sale 2404

Sale 2404 - Lot 245

Price Realized: $ 3,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(SOUTH DAKOTA.) [Chamberlain, William G.; photographer.] A very early view of Deadwood. Albumen photograph, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, on original plain mount; minor foxing, chipped with slight loss to image in two corners; captioned on verso in a later hand. Deadwood, SD, circa late 1876

Additional Details

A wonderful and little-known early view of the mining boom town. Among the dozens of townsfolk who stand facing the camera, a lone woman stands in the foreground, looking perhaps a bit disgusted at her raw surroundings. Furthest to the rear on the right side of the street, a sign for "The Cricket" can be faintly seen. It was Al Swearingen's first Deadwood saloon, opened in August 1876 and replaced by the Gem in April 1877. To the left more toward the foreground is Gardner & Co. Groceries and Provisions, which was the town's first grocery store when it opened in June 1876. Among the other visible business signs are the Williams & Towle Meat Market, the Bon Ton Restaurant, and a shoe shop.
Denver Public Library holds another print of this image, found in the scrapbook of William Gunnison Chamberlain, a leading Denver photographer. The photograph was examined in 1982 by the local history curator at Deadwood Public Library, who had never seen it before and suggested that it was done not long after the earliest known Deadwood photograph dated 15 June 1876 (letter included).