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History of the Silverado BuildingThe Franklin Garage

The site of the Silverado Gaming Establishing has been important to Deadwood since the legendary gold camp sprang up in late 1875. The junction of City Creek and Whitewood Creek, just a few feet from the Silverado, was the site of the first gold strike in Deadwood Gulch, made by Frank S. Bryant when he was out hunting. After the city of Deadwood was laid out and began to develop, the current Silverado buidling was constructed by local philanthropist and businessman W.E. Adams for the Hills Chevrolet Company.

Built in 1933, it was later renamed the Franklin Garage. Montgomery Ward was also a tenant of this building. When the citizens of South Dakota Legalized gaming in 1989, the Silverado purchased and restored the structure. A large addition, constructed to match the historic brickwork of the original Franklin Garage, was built in 1995. With a large players center, spacious restaurant, open gaming floor and the biggest poker room in town, the Silverado Gaming Establishment ranks as the largest casino on Deadwood's Historic Main Street

History of the Franklin Hotel

Business leaders in Deadwood had been attempting to construct a large downtown hotel for years, but financing Historic Franklin Hotelproblems plagued the project. A developer even constructed a foundation for the structure before giving up, and an underground spring turned the pit into a temporary swimming pool for local children. It wasn’t until Harris Franklin offered to match any contribution dollar-for-dollar that construction was taken up in earnest in 1902. Harris became an officer and chief shareholder in the Deadwood Hotel Company, and the finished project was named in his honor.

A grand opening on June 4, 1903 included a banquet for 250 guests, who marveled at the hotel’s modern luxuries. A lobby fountain, cigar store, newsstand, barber shop, buffet, restaurant, two private parlors for ladies, masseuse, steam heat system, elevator, electric lights and telephone service in every room were among the Franklin Hotel’s amenities. Half of the hotel’s 80 rooms had private baths, which was a novelty at the time. The Pioneer-Times reported that the musicians who played that evening were practically hidden by the number of potted palms in the ballroom.

Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, John Wayne, Buffalo Bill Cody, Babe Ruth and world heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan were among the hotel’s guests in its heyday. An unfortunately-timed addition in 1929 sent the Franklin Hotel financial woes following the stock market crash in October of that year. Like other hotels in Deadwood, the Franklin was renovated into residential apartments. Although it was turned back into a hotel when Deadwood legalized gaming in The Historic Franklin Hotel1989, the Franklin didn’t get a major retrofit until the owners of the neighboring Silverado Gaming Establishment purchased the hotel and embarked on an ambitious $7 million construction project in 2005.

The renovated first floor reopened in June 2007, sporting a refinished tin ceiling, restored woodwork and fluted columns that match early photographs of the hotel lobby. Elaborate chandeliers, colored glass and gilded fixtures accent the entire level. In the future, the focus will be on refitting the rooms in the upper floors of the storied hotel.

 
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