Friday, November 17, 2017

"Cheyenne Crossings Moveable Past" by Dave Brueckner with famous carrot cake

Dave Brueckner, owner and restauranteer of Cheyenne Crossing, presented "Cheyenne Crossing's Moveable Past" to appoximately 110 Spearfish Area Historical Society members and guests on Nov 7, 2017 at the Spearfish Senior Citizens Center

In 1877, Ice Box Canyon Valley Station was built by Henry Fosha. The structure was located up the hill from today's Cheyenne Crossing.  From 1878 to 1883 the station was a relay station for horses, providing fresh horses for the Cheyenne, Wyoming to Deadwood, SD stagecoach. The building had a trough underneath which served as a cooler for water, drinks, and perishables.  The name Cheyenne Crossing was most likely introduced in theses early years.

After 1883 to 1938, much of the history of the area is unknown.   It did become a general store and was known for it's fried chicken. The kitchen area was later moved to another part of the building.

The current 3,500 sq ft building on a lower elevation location was built in 1954 while the old building was still operating.  A fire took the old building down in 1959.  Owner at the time was Clive Robinson.

In the past 40 years, there have been many owner/operaters, some included Jim & Bonnie Lamar, Floyd & Thelma Ball, Kathy Stewart and Bob Green.  Dave's restaurant history included 11 restaurants before retiring to own Cheyenne Crossing with partner Matt Dawley in 2005.  Dave and Matt and their wives initially expanded the kitchen and added 37 seats, indoor and outdoor, to the dining area. They have also added more parking and done some improvements on the outdoor facilities.building was updated.  More seats were added this year in 2017.

Cheyenne Crossing is known for its carrot cake made with pineapple and no raisins.  Dave brought enough Tuesday night for everyone to enjoy.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"The HIstory of Surveying in the Black Hills" by Don Simons

On Oct 3, 2017, Don Simons presented the program "The History of Surveying in the Black Hills" to over 75 people at the Spearfish Senior Citizens Center.  Don worked as a surveyor in the Northern  Hills area for many years.

William Ludlow Reconnaissance Map of the Black Hills 1874
The Custer Expedition provided the first map of the Black Hills.  William Ludlow produced the map from the expedition in July/Aug 1874.  The area of the Black Hills went south to the Platte River and North to the line which eventually became the North Dakota border.  Ludlow used a sexton to do the survey using the sun and moon to get the correct latitude.

Soon after, in 1875, Col. Richard Irving Dodge completed an Exploration Survey of the area..  In the early surveys, Spearfish Mountain was named Black Butte.

SAHS members with surveying tools

Burt's Solar Compass, an improved surveying tool was used.  This tool determined the position of the sun, and occasionally the moon, with astronomical tables to run more accurate lines.

Don Simons
In 1861 the Homestead Act was in the works with the restriction that a survey had to be done before allowing any patents on the land, so the Federal Gov't want a survey done ahead of the passage of the Homestead Act.  The Homestead Act was signed by President Lincoln on May 20, 1862.

Surveying tools
Surveying was often difficult.  In 1877, a 15 man survey crew, including brush clearers and cooks, took gunshots.  They quickly packed up to go back to their wagons but found the wagons burnt when they arrived.  They lost the engineers main field notes in the fire, but luckily the engineering assistant had a back up version.  They headed towards Spearfish after the attack and encountered soldiers about 5 miles out, then continued to Spearfish to get reinforcements.

The pay for the Engineering company for the 1877 survey was $6 per mile for prairie and $10 per mile for mountain terrain.

Townships were surveyed at 36 miles square.

The Black Hills Base Meridian line was established along the Wyoming-South Dakota border at milespost 69 on Aug 13, 1878.

calculators used by surveyors

Tools improved throughout the years and calculators were lugged around for basic mathematics.  Calculations of trigonometry were manual until 1972 when Hulett Packard introduced the HP-35 for $400.

on the left is a Hulett Packard HP-45

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sept 10, 2017 Photos from Ranch A, WY Open House

Spearfish Area Historical Society Tours Ranch A Sept 10, 2017

Ranch A Lodge Main Room

 The Spearfish Area Historical Society kicked off the 2017-18 season pm Sept 10, 2107 with an open house at Ranch A, Sand Creek, WY with over 80 people taking the tours.

  Nels Smith and Leo Orme each shared stories of the history of Ranch A.

Light inside Ranch A Lodge
Ranch A Lodge interior
Ranch A Log Columns cut

Saw used to cut each log column

Ranch A Barn Sept 10, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Women of the American West" by Kristi Thielen

Kristi Thielen and members of the Spearfish Area Historical Society

Kristi Thielen presented "Women of the American West" on April 4, 2017 to an appreciative audience of the Spearfish Area Historical Society at the Spearfish Senior Citizens Center.

Kristi Thielen, currator of the Tri-State Museum in Belle Fourche, SD, wrote the program using diary entries from women who helped settle the West.  Kristi also led the presntion which included portions that were in reader's Theatre format with Charlotte Fladmoe and Laurie Williams-Hayes, in costume, reading several of the diary entries that women wrote.


Charlotte Fladmoe and Laurie Williams-Hayes (left to right)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Black Hills Forestry History" by Bill Coburn

Bill Coburn presenting "Black Hills Forestery History" on May 2, 2017
Bill Coburn
Bill Coburn, forestry specialist, presented "Black Hills Forestry History" to the Spearfish Area Historical Society on May 2, 2017 to an audience of over 80 people at the Spearfish Senior Citizen Center.

     From the Custer Expedition to current events, the Black Hills has enticed folks interested in forestry.  Documentation from the Custer Expedition in 1874 noted the young forest of pines and also the forest fires.  In 1875, the Jenney Expedition with geologist Walter Jenney also made comments on the pine forest.  (Note that Calamity Jane was a stowaway on this expedition and that is how she came to Deadwood).  By 1876, portable sawmills were set up in Custer by Murphy Sawmill.   In 1880, John Durst and Sons started up the first portable sawmill in Hill City.  Seventeen years later there were 42 portable sawmills in the Black Hills producing 1.5 billion board feet, with 1/3 waste.

     Key historical events included:
·         1891 - Forest Reserve Act was passed with the goal of creating forest reserves and national parks. 
·         1897 - H. Graves Report included comment of the dense second growth of pine in the Black Hills. 
·         1897 - The federal government Organic Act established forest reserves available to the public and regulated those reserves. 
·         1898 - The first timber sale by the federal government was near Nemo and was sold to the Homestake Mine.  The same year, a mountain pine beetle infestation was noted.
·         1901 - Seth Bullock became the second forest supervisor of the Black Hills Forest Reserve.
·         1880's to 1890s - Forestry loss due to fires from lightning, trains, and slash burning. 
·         1896 to 1901 - The infestation of mountain pine beetle destroyed 3,000 acres of forest and grew to 116,000 acres
·         1908 - The Black Hills Reserve became the Black Hills National Forest (included the Bear Lodge Mountains)

     Today, the Black Hills National Forest sells more timber at 9-11 billion board feet per year than any other national forest in the USA.

     A few facts about Mountain Pine Beetle -- 500 to 3,000 beetles will fly to a tree within 2-3 days when they give off a gathering scent.  When the tree is full, the beetles give off an anti-gathering scent and the beetles go elsewhere.  When trees are thinned, the beetles cannot find their way to the next large tree and they get lost.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Photo of antique Broom Holder from A. Furois general store in St Onge

Broom Holder from the Adolphe Furois hardward store in St Onge, SD.  Mfg in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo courtesy of Craig Williams.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ranch A and Sand Creek Histories by Nels Smith

Leo Orme (right) introduces Nels Smith (left) on Mar 7, 2017
Nels Smith shared the "History of Ranch A and Sand Creek" at the March 7 Spearfish Area Historical Society at 7:30pm at the Spearfish Senior Center with approximately 130 people attending.  

Nels organized his review of Snad Creek properties by going down Sandcreek, starting with the head of Sandcreek ath Tinton mines

1) Tinton Mines, tin mining into the 30's
2) Harvey Talley Ranch with landmarks Red Canyon and Grand Canyon
3) Sandcreek and Ranch A
    Started as a fish Hatchery by George LaPlante.  Moses (Mo) Annenberg, newspaper publisher, was on this way to Yellowstone with his son, Walter, and stopped to eat at Buelah, WY. Mo thought that the trout he was served was excellent, so he asked where it came from.  Then answer came back "Sandcreek".  Mo investigated further and bought the 650 acre Ranch A on the spot for $27,000.   Mo and Walter were the chief users of the ranch and their guests would arrive by rail to Aladdin, WY.  Walter later became US Ambassador to Great Britain.  Ranch A was filled out with Thomas Molesworth furniture.  Molesworth later became known as the pioneer of Western Design. 
Ranch A lodge designed by architect Ray Ewing

Shortly after Mo died in 1942, Nels Smith (speaker Nels Smith's father) bought the ranch with two other partners.  Ranch A was used  as a dude ranch for 20 years.  It was featured in the Oct 1956 National Geogrphic in an article titled "Back to the Historic Black Hills".  It was sold to Ford Motor Co. from Mitchell for awhile.  Then, in 1963 the Fish and Wildlife Service bought the ranch and used it as a genetics lab for research on salmon ids, fish diet & growth rates, and pesticide resistance. In 1996 the property was deeded to the state of WY for educational purposes.

Back to Sandcreek going downstream:
4) Sandcreek Country Club
5) Reneke Ranch - 2 miles of public fishing.  Banks of creek are maintained by special grass with long roots that resist erosion.
6) Toomey Mill

Note:  some pieces of Molesworth furniture can be viewed at the High Plains Western Heritage Center in Spearfish, the Crook Co Museum in Sundance and the Cheyenne Museum.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The History of Home Economics -- Ida Marie Snorteland

A Home Economics class receiving instructions on cooking. Ottawa, Ontario, 1959.
Ida Marie Snorteland presented "The History of Home Economics" to an appreciative audience of the Spearfish Area Historical Society on Feb 7, 2017.  

The term "Home Economics" began as a government training program to improve the living conditions at home with emphasis on Science and common sense.

Home Eeconomics, now known as Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), is the field of study that deals with the economics and management of the home and community. 

One of the first to champion the economics of running a home was Catherine Beecher, sister to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Catherine and Harriet both were leaders in mid-19th century North America in talking about domestic science. 
The Morrill Act of 1862 propelled domestic science further ahead as land grant colleges sought to educate farm wives in running their households as their husbands were being educated in agricultural methods and processes. IowaKansasNebraskaIllinoisMinnesota and Michigan were early leaders offering programs for women. There were women graduates of these institutions several years before the Lake Placid Conferences which gave birth to the home economics movement.
Ida Marie took the group through the changes in time and changes in discplines of Home Economics, including:
  1 - science, technology, economics, mathematics
  2 - child development, housing, fashion merchandising, journalism, interior design, nutrition
  3 - gardening, sewing, water sanitation
  4 - entreprenuership, wellness
1993 New Name Family Consumer Sciences
  -- energy crisis, food insecurity, food deserts (cities where nurtritional food stores are not found in poor communities), again, sustainable farm agreculture