Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

View of Main Street Deadwood in 1877, six years before electricity made its way into town.
View of Main Street Deadwood in 1877, six years before electricity made its way into town.
Stanley Morrow, BHKN Digital Archives
December 8, 2016

IN HISTORY: Deadwood Residents Gain Electric Light

On December 14, 1883, a demonstration of a 15-lamp electric system astounded the denizens of Deadwood. Following the show, the Black Hills Daily Times reported that “The machine worked evenly and perfectly and the light was simply dazzling.” The demonstration was offered by Judge Squire P. Romans, who organized the Black Hills Electric Light Company of Deadwood.

December 1883 was the first month electric lights operated in Deadwood. At the time, the city had two power plants, one of which operated the railway between Deadwood and Lead. The other powered lights within the city.

After organizing the Black Hills Electric Light Company, Judge Romans secured the rights to put up and use electric lights in both Deadwood and Whitewood. By the next year, the electric company was able to power 50 incandescent arc lamps. The company was soon merged with Consolidated Power and Light, which then became Dakota Power and Light. After several additional mergers and transitions, the company became the Black Hills Corporation we know today.

To read more about the history of Deadwood, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's city page or digital history archives

Related items

  • Lead-Deadwood School Board Announces Vacancy

    Board member Bob Nelson, Jr. submitted his resignation to the Lead-Deadwood School Board at its October 8th meeting, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. It was…
  • YFS Programs Receive $100,000 Grant

    The Girls’ Inc. and Health Connections Programs, both operated by Youth and Family Services in Rapid City, have been awarded a grant of $100,000 by…
  • Rapid City Organization Celebrates Women’s Equality Day

    In 1920, Congress certified the 19th Amendment, giving women in the United States the right to vote – in 1971, Congress declared that August 26th…

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]