Books about South Dakota history

All Roads Lead to Deadwood, by Irma H. Klock, 1979

A history of the trails that wound up in Deadwood

Banker Dahl of South Dakota, by A.E. Dahl, 1965

Dahl was a banker in Rapid City, after starting out in small towns in eastern South Dakota. He was a banker for 48 years.

The Black Hills: Yesterday and Today, by Paul Horsted, 2006

Horsted gathered historical photos of the Black Hills and took current photos of the same locations.

Black Hills Believables, by John Hafnor, 1983

Informative short stories revealing under-reported history


Black Hills Ghost Towns, by Watson Parker, 1974

A heavily illustrated listing of towns no longer existing or just shells of their former selves

The Black Hills Illustrated – 1904, by The Black Hills Mining Men's Association, 1904

An overview of mining and life in the Black Hills at the time of writing


Buffalo Gap: A French Ranch in Dakota, 1887, by Baron E. Mandat-Grancey,originally published in Paris, France, 1889

the Baron stayed at Fleur de Lis horse ranch in Buffalo Gap in 1877 for several weeks, and wrote this account of his 2nd visit to the Black Hills area.


Chasing the Glitter: Black Hills Milling, 1874-1959, by Richmond L. Clow, 2002

A history of mining mills in the Black Hills, and how they work


Cow-boys and Colonels, by Edmond Baron de Mandat-Grancey, 1887

A French aristocrat decides to visit the Wild West in 1883, so he spends a month in the Black Hills, providing colorful commentary and complaints about the food. He visited Galena.


Curley's Guide to the Black Hills, by Edwin A. Curley, 1877

Curley was British but chose to visit the wild west and write several books about the situation there. This book is a primer for those who might consider moving to the Black Hills.

Deadwood: the Golden Years, by Watson Parker, 1981

A nice overview of Deadwood's history

Deadwood Gulch: the Last Chinatown, by Joe Sulentic, 1975

An illustrated booklet of short snippets of Deadwood history, especially Chinatown


Father Struck it Rich, by Evalyn Walsh McClean, 1936

Evalyn's father, Thomas Walsh, lived in Galena, SD and worked as a miner and carpenter. He later moved to Colorado and struck it rich there. Evalyn's story is otherwise about her spoiled life.

The Gold Belt Cities: Deadwood and Environs, edited by Donald Toms, 1988

A heavily illustrated history of the major mining towns of Deadwood and its neighbors

A Guide to Black Hills Ghost Mines, by Mildred Fielder, 1972

A nice overview of 24 Black Hills mines

Hard Knocks, by Harry (“Sam”) Young, 1915

Young traveled around the wild west, arriving in Deadwood in 1876.


Hiking Trails in the Black Hills, by Mildred Fielder, 1973

Probably an outdated collection of hiking trails and interesting sites in the Black Hills


Ho! For the Black Hills: Captain Jack Crawford reports the Black Hills gold rush and Great Sioux War, edited by Paul L. Hedren, 2012

Captain Jack Crawford came to the Black Hills in 1875. He was a scout, poet, actor, and reporter. He lived in several areas in the Black Hills.


In Search of Secret South Dakota, by Edith-Maria Redlin, 2015

Interesting, but not secret, places to visit in South Dakota, including Galena


The Lakotas and the Black Hills, by Jeffrey Ostler, 2010

A history of the Lakota Indians from the 1700s to today


Land of the Burnt Thigh, by Edith Eudora Kohl, 1938

An autobiography of a woman and her sister who homesteaded in South Dakota in the early 1900s


The Mines Around and Beyond, by Joel Waterland, 1991

The book suffers from a lack of good editing, but if you want facts and figures of Black Hills mines, this is your book


Mount Moriah: Kill a Man, Start a Cemetery, by Helen Rezatto, 1980

A look at the 2 Deadwood cemeteries and some of the people who wound up there


My Black Hills Story, by Dean Arthur Esling, 1969

Dean was born in 1908 in Lead, SD, and tells his autobiography living in the Black Hills until 1939.


Ninety-six Years in the Black Hills, by Frank Thomson, 1974

The story starts with Franks father and 3 uncles living in the Black Hills, and Frank's autobiography from there. Written as a sort of diary.


Old Deadwood Days, by Estelline Bennett, 1928

Estelline was the daughter of Deadwood's first judge, and grew up seeing both side of the town


The Oglala Sioux, by Robert H. Ruby, 1955

Ruby was the doctor on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This is from his own interaction with and collecting stories from the Sioux tribe members.

Roadside Geology of South Dakota, by John Paul Gries, 1996

A thick informative work on the general geology and geological sites in South Dakota


Sheep, by Archer B. Gilfillan, 1929

Archer was a sheepherder working north of Belle Fourche for several years. He gives a fun and interesting account of life there.


Silver is the Fortune, by Mildred Fielder, 1978

Hard to find book that covers the few silver mining areas of the Black Hills, including Galena


Storied Stone, by Linea Sundstrom, 2004

A review of petroglyphs throughout the Black Hills and surrounding areas


Tales of the Black Hills, by Helen Rezatto, 1983

both Indian and settler legends, and stories of the early Black Hills


Them Was the Days, by Martha Ferguson McKeown, 1950

Martha's uncle, Mont Hawthorne, started in a plantation in Pennsylvania, and wound up in Oregon. He lived and worked in the Black Hills for a time.


Yesterday's Gold Camps and Mines in the Northern Black Hills, by Irma H. Klock, 1975

A thorough look at many of the mining areas of the Northern Black Hills, with illustrations