SS December 2015

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turns at their bases. Within the region can be found numerous national memorials, monuments, and parks including Mount Rushmore, Custer battleground site, and Devils Tower, to name just a few. Smaller surrounding communities— in some cases dating back more than 120 years—offer fuel, refreshments, and fa- cilities to the great relief of saddle-bound riders and passengers, but it's Dead- wood and nearby Sturgis that serve as true destinations. Early expansion into the area was driven by the vast tracts of very pro- ductive native prairie soils, and was the followed by the establishment of some huge ranching concerns. But some of the greatest settlement was driven towards the Hill Country when word spread that "there's gold in them 'thar hills" More recently, a television series focused on the sometimes brutal lifestyle that came with the deluge of fortune seekers and roustabouts, but Deadwood's actu- al history is kept in high esteem, with a large number of pre-1900 buildings and landmarks faithfully restored and main- tained. The entire town was designated a National Register landmark in 1961. THE WILD WEST LIVES ON "Besides the motorcycling event, there are a lot of families traveling through the area to get a first hand look at some great American history," explained one of the knowledgeable volunteers at the Dead- wood Visitor Information Center. "The cemetery has a very interesting section where the Chinese community of the time has a dedicated area, as well the burial sites of Wild Bill Hickok and his compatriots are open to the visiting pub- lic," he offered, as he passed me a detailed map of historical sites. Wandering back through the busi- ness core and toward a fresh stogie at the Deadwood Tobacco humidor, I passed Sa- loon 10 whose sign states "This is where Wild Bill Hickok was shot, Aug. 2, 1876. Bill's demise is notably remembered by the naming of the poker hand he was holding, (two pair, Aces and 8s) being since dubbed the "Dead man's Hand". Another watering hole along Dead- wood's Main Street, has established a 'must see' attraction by highlighting the actual chair that held Wild Bill's earthly presence and shows considerable wear due to his 'passion for poker'. The sounds of a blues band are com- ing full bore up the stairs of Deadwood Tobacco's Main Street corner entrance that is nearly packed, elbow-to-elbow, with a cross-section of cigar smokers and other tobacco aficionados. The store is located below street level, under the Fair Hotel and adjacent Oyster Bar, and was originally a barber shop and Turkish bath, connected by a series of subterra- nean tunnels that connect with bordel- los—the last of which closed in the 1980s. It also served as the town's original jail. 34 SMOKESHOP December 2015 > RETAIL PROFILE > Introducing a new line of premium cigars is a daunting task, but if we have a potential walk- through traffic of more than 200,000 [people] at one location, that's a huge advantage. —Micah Johnson, Owner, Bloodline Cigars > Left: Sweet Jane was created by Drew Estate as Deadwood Tobacco's annual lim- ited release Sturgis Rally cigar. The original size is now available year round, while addi- tional sizes—Fat Bottom Betty and Crazy Alice—are now special annual releases.

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