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Our History

Our History

Present-day Mineral Palace is linked to Deadwood’s early days. Learn about our history!

In 1876 a cunning entrepreneur named Al Swearengen arrived in rowdy Deadwood, South Dakota. The following year, he opened the Gem Theatre on the site now occupied by the Mineral Palace. The term “theatre” was used loosely, because the Gem was an actual house of prostitution. Always packed with fortune-hunters, the Gem survived fires, floods, and wild patrons to become Deadwood’s most venerable and longest-operating entertainment establishment.

Legend is that during its prime, the Gem took in at least $5,000 on most nights and $10,000 on others. However, Swearengen died penniless. Soon after an 1899 fire burned down the Gem Theatre one last time, he departed Deadwood and was killed trying to hop a train in Denver’s rail yard.

Not long after the legalization of gambling in Deadwood, the community’s Ford dealership was transformed into three casinos named Cousin Jacks, The Livery, and Carrie Nation’s. Known as “Three of A Kind”, they opened for business in 1990.

Construction began on the Mineral Palace Hotel in 1992 and it opened in March 1993. The 75-unit hotel, Gem Steakhouse & Saloon, and casino were combined under the name of Mineral Palace Hotel & Casino. Other amenities include the Sportsbook sports betting, liquor store, gift shop, free on-site parking, and complimentary valet.


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