1876: THE HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LEAD dates from the discovery of placer gold in Gold Run Gulch by Thomas E. Carey in February of 1876. As news of the discovery of gold spread, prospectors from the surrounding mining camps rushed to the gulch, their numbers growing daily. The town was laid out on July 10, 1876, on a site located between the north and south forks of Gold Run Creek. 1890: A second wave of immigrants began to arrive in the city – particularly large numbers of Italians, Slavonians and Finns – each of whom would establish themselves in sections of the city. Currently, brown and white markers above the street signs denote several of these early ethnic neighborhoods. The citizens voted 471 to 9 in favor of incorporation, and the word “City” was dropped from the name. Cyrus H. Enos, a local merchant, was elected as the first mayor. Although the majority of the residents of the young mining camp were of American birth, numerous immigrants had also made their way into the area in search of employment. Most notable among these early arrivals were the English and Irish. 1880: The founders decided upon “Lead City” because of the large number of “leads” or outcroppings of ore in the area. Lead grew rapidly; by 1880 the community had reached a population of 1,440. The city had also spread well beyond its original borders, taking in the nearby town sites of Washington and Golden, as well as the present-day South Lead and Denver additions. 1900: Fire destroyed the original business district constructed of wood. The new city center was constructed of brick and mortar, but soon met its fate as ground subsidence caused by early mining activities gradually made the building unsafe. Entire blocks were razed during the 1920s and 1930s and the business district was relocated to the west in its present location.
LHP Commission Meetings:
When: Every third Wednesday of every month, except August and December at 5:00 PM Where: Lead City Hall, 801 West Main Lead, South Dakota 57754 Phone: (605) 584-1401
"Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches, or its romance." "The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future." - Theodore Roosevelt