Historical Black Hills characters, both factual and fictional, have taken center stage in the successful HBO series DEADWOOD." Al Swearengen is portrayed in the HBO production as the ruthless owner and manager of the Gem Theater in a way which, for the most part, is historically accurate.
W.E. Adams was born to parents James Windsor and Sarah Ann (Prettyman) Adams in Michigan on May 13, 1854. The family later moved to Fairbault, Minnesota. According to information recently researched by Mary Kopco at Deadwood’s Adams Museum, William was enrolled in grammar school at the age of 7 (1861) in Minnesota, and by age 17 (1871) he was living in an Illinois boarding house and working for a local grocer.
Over the centuries, the geologic formation known as the Badlands has been described as the closest thing to a lunar landscape that can be found on Earth, a scenic marvel.
Crazy Horse’s band fought in the opening engagement of the War for the Black Hills of 1876-77, the Battle of Powder River.
Calamity Jane was a hard drinking woman who wore men's clothing, used coarse language, chewed tobacco and was reportedly quite handy with a gun. Historians often dispute certain details of her autobiography, and some portions have been proven to be false, but . . .
In the plot lines of the HBO series Deadwood, the character of E. B. Farnum is portrayed by actor William Sanderson as a conniving, spineless pawn to the vile and manipulative Al Swearengen, as well as a poorly viewed member of the community. The real Farnum, however, was a much more respected citizen in the rip-roaring early days of Deadwood.
Annie Donna Tallent is recognized as the first white woman to enter the Black Hills region, arriving with the Gordon-Russell expedition in 1874. The Gordon-Russell party entered the Hills looking for gold, in violation of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty that recognized the Black Hills as a part of the Great Sioux Reservation.
"My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish; and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it; for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow? So many other men have lived and shall live that story, to be grass upon the hills." - Black Elk in “Black Elk Speaks”– 1931