Jewish Pioneers of the Black Hills
The very name Deadwood conjures up vivid Wild West images: saloons with swinging doors, brazen dance-hall girls, buckskin-clad Calamity Jane roaming the streets with her erstwhile paramour, Wild Bill Hickok. The setting is the lawless Dakota Territory of 1876 at the start of the Black Hills gold rush, a stampede for the golden pay dirt. One would hardly expect to find a Jewish pioneer grocer named Jacob Goldberg in this scene, yet Deadwood's story is incomplete without Goldberg. And Goldberg's story is incomplete without either Calamity Jane or Wild Bill. Not just Goldberg, but Finkelstein (also known as Franklin), Stern (also known as Star), Jacobs, Schwarzwald, Colman, Hattenbach, and many other Jews joined the throngs. The Jews provided much more than overalls, chamberpots, and the chambers in which to put them. They also became the mayors, legislators, and civic leaders who helped bring sense and stability to this unruly expanse.