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141 years since fire engulfed Deadwood

Published: Sep. 26, 2020 at 5:52 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -More than 140 years ago, on Sept. 26 in 1879, was the great fire of Deadwood burning down most of the town.

An oil lamp tipped over in a bakery, lighting the building on fire, ending up catching the hardware store next to it on fire, which was holding six kegs of black powder.

The kegs exploded and burned down more than 300 businesses in Deadwood.

Historic Preservation Officer Kevin Kuchenbecker says this was a significant moment in Deadwood’s history.

“We lost a lot of our boomtown architecture the log, the wood structures, the canvas structures that made us Deadwood’s boomtown and was replaced immediately afterward with more permanent structures,” says Kuchenbecker.

Kuchenbecker says today you can still see some of the fire-proof buildings made of brick and stone built after the fire.

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