Monday, September 22, 2014

Railroading highlights the fall meeting of LCHS

by Larry Miller

Reed Richards
More than 50 people gathered yesterday (9/21/14) at the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center in Deadwood for the fall meeting of the Lawrence County Historical Society.  Balmy weather, a program about railroading in Lawrence County, and another fine lunch catered by Cheyenne Crossing's Stage-Stop Cafe combined to lure one of the larger turnouts in recent memory. Guest speaker for the event was railroad historian Reed Richards  of Spearfish.

Richards gave a photographic tour of railroad history in the county, sharing a myriad of photographs that depict the important role that the rail industry played in the growth and development of the northern Black Hills — particularly as it related to mining.

Born in Deadwood in 1944, railroading seems to have been a life-long passion for Richards, and he recalled youthful activities that exposed him to the many rail routes, depots, bridges, and other infrastructure that once abounded throughout the area.  An attorney, Richards left the region for schooling and a stint in Sioux Falls because of his father's job in 1975, but otherwise has lived in Lawrence County all of his life.

Black Hills & Ft. Pierre train in Elk Canyon
"I've lived in Centennial Prairie since 1975…and still do some legal work, if my client can find me and it's the kind of work that I still want to do," he says.  "I enjoy putting up hay in the summer and studying history and archaeology in the winter."  And his lingering passion for railroad history is quite evident.

His extensive collection of railroad photos spurred much conversation among the attendees. From rail route maps, mines and old bridges to depots and roundhouses, there were dozens of photos that kept most of the group focused on the screen throughout his presentation.  Find a few more photos related to this presentation in our LCHS Gallery.

President Norma Kraemer took a few moments to unveil the new LCHS booklet  Town Timelines of Lawrence County, South Dakota.  The publication has been compiled under the auspices of the Lawrence County Historical Society as part of celebrating South Dakota's 125 Anniversary of Statehood this year.  Mary Gallup-Livingston of Whitewood has served as chairperson of the committee that has worked on the project. 

LCHS "Town Timelines" booklet
The Town Timelines booklet includes information and photos from Central City, Deadwood, Lead, Nemo, St. Onge, Spearfish, and Whitewood. Among those participating in production of the booklet were Rocky Mattson, Donna Watson, Mary Livingston, Cynthia Harlan, Jean Martin, Don Toms, Norma Kraemer, Jeannine Guern, and Joanna Jones.

The booklets have been distributed free of charge to the public libraries in Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish, and Whitewood.  Also, copies have been given to the elementary schools in Whitewood, Lead-Deadwood, and Spearfish, where South Dakota history is taught in 4th Grade.  Individuals interested in purchasing a copy of the booklet should contact the Lawrence County Historical Society.  The cost for the booklets is $15.00 each.  Send an  e-mail to Town Timelines

Saturday, September 20, 2014

New DAR Chapter honors area residents

Hank Frawley
Four residents of the northern Black Hills were honored today (9/20/14) by the Daughters of the American Revolution for their individual accomplishments in historic preservation and community service.  They were guests of honor at an afternoon recognition tea at the Whitewood Community Hall.  The event was sponsored by the Catherine Thybo DAR Chapter, which is based in Belle Fourche.

Leading the list of honorees was Henry J. (Hank) Frawley, who was awarded the National Historic Preservation Medal for his long and enduring work in historic preservation.  The 77-year-old Frawley has been a nearly life-long resident of the Centennial Prairie area between Deadwood and Spearfish.  His grandfather Frawley was a frontier attorney in the early days of Deadwood and expanded his interests to mining and ranching.  Once the largest ranching operation in Lawrence County, Hank Frawley has worked tirelessly to preserve significant portions of what remains of the original "Frawley Ranches,"  the Centennial School, a pioneer dugout, and more.   His efforts resulted in the Frawley Ranch being listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

Lynn Namminga
An Historic Preservation Recognition Award was presented to Deadwood resident Lynn Namminga, whose restored Victorian home at 12 Lincoln Avenue is considered one of the "jewels in Deadwood's historical crown."  By the time he bought the home more than 10 years ago, it had fallen into major disrepair.  From the foundation to the roof, major repairs and restorations were made, and the home has been finished and furnished in a manner reflective of elegant homes at the beginning of the 20th century.  (Take a quick photo tour of our Namminga Gallery). Namminga continues to offer his skills for other community restoration projects, and he serves on both the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission and the Lawrence County Historical Society board of directors.

Al Shaw of Belle Fourche and Mary Gallup-Livingston of Whitewood were presented Community Service Awards from the DAR.  Both have long and impressive records of volunteerism in their communities.

Community Service award recipients
Al Shaw and Mary Gallup-Livingston
Gallup-Livingston was a key organizer for the 125th Anniversary of Whitewood's incorporation in Dakota Territory.  She served as chair of the Legacy Committee, which completed a major legacy activity for each month of 2013.  Her volunteerism has ranged from working with both the Whitewood Senior Citizen Association to young people alike.   She was instrumental in getting the "Tree City USA" designation for Whitewood and also is a member of the Genie Club, which provides volunteer genealogical work.  She serves on the board of directors for the Lawrence County Historical Society and was lead writer for Lawrence County Town Timelines.

Shaw is a World War II vet whose list of volunteer activities is also long and diverse.  And having served as ball turret gunner on a B-17, he has never forgotten the plight of less fortunate veterans.  Shaw has chalked up thousands of miles driving a Disabled Veteran's Van for veterans needing to get to Fort Meade and Rapid City.  He has served as part of a military color guard for many years and has been a classroom speaker regarding his experiences.  Among his most gratifying volunteer experiences was serving some 30 years as a member of the Belle Fourche Volunteer Fire Department.   He has been a regular volunteer with "Meals on Wheels" and a long-time member of the Belle Fourche Lions Club, assisting with projects like the picnic shelters in city parks.

This was among the first initiatives of the relatively new Catherine Thybo Chapter of the DAR.  For a few additional photos, visit our Black Hills Gallery.

In 2015, the DAR will be celebrating its 125th anniversary.  Organized in 1890, it is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better eduction for children.  It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Friday, September 12, 2014