South Dakota is home to the world's largest sculpture, the Crazy Horse Memorial. The sculpture, which has been under construction since 1948, depicts the Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse riding a horse and pointing towards the horizon.
Lawrence County is a county located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. It was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. The area later became an important location during the gold rush in the late 19th century. In 1874, General George Armstrong Custer led an expedition to the region, which resulted in the discovery of gold in French Creek. This led to a surge of miners and settlers arriving in the area, thus marking the beginning of a rapid development.

The county was officially established on January 11, 1875, with the city of Deadwood serving as the county seat. Deadwood quickly became a thriving and notorious frontier town, attracting gamblers, outlaws, and pioneers. The city's population rapidly grew, and it soon became a center for mining and commerce. Numerous gold mines were established in the area, producing large amounts of gold and silver.

However, Lawrence County faced its fair share of challenges. In 1876, the county experienced the infamous event known as the "Deadwood Gulch Fire," which resulted in the destruction of a significant portion of the town. Despite this setback, Deadwood quickly rebuilt and continued to thrive.

Today, Lawrence County remains an important part of South Dakota's history and economy. It is known for its rich mining heritage and the historic preservation of sites like Mount Moriah Cemetery, which is the final resting place of notable figures such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. The county continues to attract visitors from all over the world who are fascinated by its wild west history and breathtaking landscapes.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Lawrence County, South Dakota.

  • 1874: Lawrence County is established, named after John Lawrence, a leading citizen and state legislator.
  • 1876: Gold is discovered in the Black Hills, leading to a gold rush in the area and the establishment of mining towns like Deadwood and Lead.
  • 1877: Deadwood becomes a prominent center for mining and trade, attracting entrepreneurs and notorious figures like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.
  • 1877-1879: The Black Hills are the site of conflicts between Lakota Sioux Native Americans and the United States government, following the discovery of gold on Native American territory.
  • 1883: The Homestake Mine in Lead becomes one of the largest gold mines in the world, attracting thousands of miners and contributing to the growth of Lawrence County.
  • 1889: South Dakota becomes a state, with Lawrence County being one of the original counties.
  • 1892: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally begins, bringing thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts and tourists to Lawrence County each year.
  • 20th century: The mining industry experiences periods of growth and decline, impacting the economy and population of Lawrence County.
  • 1976: The Black Hills Flood devastates many communities in Lawrence County, causing extensive damage and loss of life.
  • 21st century: Lawrence County continues to be a hub for outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and hunting.