Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower 100th Rededication Ceremony July 6, 2019

The Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower, near Deadwood, SD is turning 100 years old and the public is invited to help celebrate this historic occasion on Saturday July 6, 2019 at a rededication ceremony with South Dakota Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden presiding.

The famous Deadwood Sheriff, Seth Bullock, built the Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower in 1919 as a dedication to President Theodore Roosevelt, his close friend of many years. Bullock wanted to create a memorial to his friend’s life and a place where people could view wide open spaces that both Bullock and Roosevelt had become so fond of during their lives. In 1919, the Society of Black Hills Pioneers provided financial support to build the Tower and in 1966, the Society donated the Tower to the United States Forest Service. In 2005, the Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The July 6, 2019 celebration will closely emulate the original dedication that was held 100 years ago on July 4, 1919 with then Governor Peter Norbeck presiding.

Free public transport will be provided via trolleys from the Deadwood Visitor Center to Mount Roosevelt between 8:00-9:00 a.m. as there is limited parking available at the Tower trailhead. There is a short ½ mile hike up a moderately sloped trail from the trailhead to the Tower. For those needing special assistance or people with disabilities, transportation will be provided from the trailhead to the Friendship Tower. The rededication will begin at 10:00 a.m. The public is encourage to bring their own chairs since seating will not be provided at the venue.

Featured speakers include Larry Rhoden, South Dakota Lieutenant Governor; Mark Van Every, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor; David Ruth, Mayor of Deadwood and Reverend Michael Johnson.

Other program highlights include a presentation of colors by the Black Hills Backcountry Horsemen; the National Anthem sung by the Banner Girls of Leeds, North Dakota; a Masonic Cornerstone Rededication Ceremony performed by the Grand Lodge of South Dakota; and “God Bless America” performed by the Deadwood Municipal Band and the Banner Girls. Historic interpreters portraying Theodore Roosevelt and Seth Bullock will also be making an appearance.

Subway of Lead will provide free lunches to the first 200 people after the program at the Mount Roosevelt Trailhead.

Many partners and agencies have worked together to plan this historic event including the Business Improvement District of Deadwood, US Forest Service, Deadwood Chamber of Commerce, Deadwood Historic Preservation, Masons of South Dakota, the Northern Hills Recreation Association, Lawrence County Search & Rescue, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and the cities of Deadwood and Lead.

For questions and information, please contact Halley Legge, (605) 389-3042, Black Hills National Forest, or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/889243731438087/.

Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 8:00am to 12:00pm

Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower

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