Thousands of people suddenly burst into Deadwood Gulch in 1876. Some came to try their luck at mining; others hoped to strike it rich with supply stores, restaurants and saloons.
"Six weeks ago the site of Deadwood City was a heavy frost of pine timber, now it extends nearly a mile along Deadwood and Whitewood and obtains nearly two thousand of the most energetic, driving people on the continent. Every branch of business is represented, ...houses are going up on every hand - immense [ox] trains are constantly arriving loaded with goods of all kinds."
Black Hills Pioneer, June 1876
Prior to 1881, what we now know as Deadwood was actually a collection of individual mining camps: Montana City, Fountain City, Cleveland, Ingleside, Elizabethtown, Chinatown, South Deadwood and Deadwood City. When the Dakota Territorial Legislature officially incorporated Deadwood as a city, these camps were combined into a single municipal government. Later, other camps and small hamlets were annexed into Deadwood including the small southern village of Pluma. Many of these old mining camp names are still in use today to describe some of Deadwood's residential neighborhoods.