On October 21, 1911, U.S. President William Howard Taft delivered a 30 minute address from this location to a large crowd of spectators. President Taft's visit to Deadwood was one stop on a nationwide campaign tour across South Dakota and the western United States. It took the President three days to travel across South Dakota by railroad, stopping at communities along the way.
Prior to Taft's arrival, the Deadwood Businessmen Club organized the Presidents' itinerary for his visit to the communities of Deadwood and Lead. This included an elegant luncheon at the Franklin Hotel, transportation to the Homestake Assay Office in Lead and a brief underground tour of the Homestake Mine. After a three and half hour visit, President Taft boarded the train and traveled to Sturgis, Rapid City and eventually the communities in eastern South Dakota.
Before his departure, South Dakota Congressman and Deadwood resident, Eben Martin presented Taft with a one pound paperweight consisting of refined gold from the Golden Reward, Mogul, Wasp No. 2, Trojan and Lundberg Dorr and Wilson Mining companies. The bar was inscribed:
"Presented to William H. Taft, President of the United States, Deadwood, South Dakota, October twenty-first, nineteen hundred and eleven."
Presidents William Howard Taft
and John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. would be the two US Presidents to visit Deadwood in the 20th century.