The Final Resting Place Of Wild Bill Hickok
- Date Visited: September 2020
- Address: 10 Mount Moriah Drive, Deadwood, SD 57732
- Phone: (605) 578-2082
- Hours: Open daily 9 am-5 pm (varies seasonally)
- Price: $2
Nestled high on a hill above Deadwood, South Dakota lies Mt. Moriah Cemetery. The cemetery was founded in 1878 and an estimated 3,627 souls are buried here.
The cemetery overlooks Deadwood Gulch and houses a number of the towns most famous residents. Historical figures including Madam Dora DuFran, Potato Creek Johnny, Preacher Smith, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock all claim this cemetery as their final resting spot.
The cemetery is laid out in an oval configuration. It is divided into four sections surrounded by potter’s fields on the north and south. There is a Jewish section in the upper portion of the cemetery and a Masonic section is located in the center.
A mass grave site can be found in the cemetery as well as a section dedicated to children who died from typhus, cholera, and smallpox. A Chinese section can also be found which includes an altar and ceremonial oven.
The cemeteries two most famous residents are Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. Their graves are right beside each other and are both marked with more elaborate headstones.
Once upon a time Bill and Calamity were romantically involved.
Before he died he made his friends promise that she be would be buried no where near him. Well, she didn’t end up passing away for 27 more years and all his friends forgot. She made it clear she was to be buried right beside him and she was.
Another famous resident is Seth Bullock.
He was a prominent citizen of the town and his grave is located 750 feet above Mt. Moriah. He requested that he be buried facing Mt. Roosevelt so he was. It’ a heck of a hike to reach his grave though and we chose to skip it.
There are a number of unique and interesting headstones in this cemetery.
A few looked like they were made out of petrified wood, which I had never seen before and were very cool. A number of children’s headstones were topped with hand carved lambs and were beautiful.
My favorite headstone was by far the most unique I have ever seen. It was constructed of native crystals, rocks and minerals and was just gorgeous.
Just a heads up that the road to the cemetery is steep and most of the roads, not located near the main strip of Deadwood, are narrow.
Parking is available and a visitor center/gift shop is located right next to the cemetery entrance. The gift shop has a fifteen minute interpretative video, interpretive panels focusing on cemetery history and more.
Right outside the cemetery gate you’ll pay your two dollar entrance fee. They provide you with a brochure that includes a map and self-guided walking tour. No pets are allowed inside the cemetery.
One interesting fact about Mt. Moriah Cemetery is that during World War 1 Congress gave them permission to fly the American Flag 24 hours a day. This is the towns way of honoring all the veterans that have served our country.
If visiting this little tourist town, which I highly recommend, be sure to take an hour out of your day to visit Mt. Moriah Cemetery. It’s a unique stop full of history and it’s a beautiful cemetery. We visit a lot of cemeteries and this one did not disappoint.