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Historic Keystone Walking Tour

For many people, Keystone is defined by the boardwalk and its collection of souvenir shops and restaurants. But there’s a lot more to this town than meets the eye! Venture down Reed Street into Old Town and you’ll find a historic walking tour with 19 points of interest, each with an accompanying sign discussing the historical significance of one of the fastest-growing boom towns in the Black Hills. It’s an interactive and educational experience perfect for the whole family!

Follow the numbered signs as you make your way through Old Town Keystone courtesy of Keystone Historical Society. 

Boarding House

This home was built in the 1890s for blacksmith Henry Loomis and his family. It later served as the Goodyear Hotel and a boarding house for Mount Rushmore workers. 

Ed Hayes Home

One of the first homes in Keystone was built for Ed Coad and his family. 

Big Thunder Gold Mine

Discovered by German immigrants in 1892 and originally called Gold Hill Lode, this mine is one of the most popular attractions in Keystone to this day, offering visitors mine tours, gold panning, and claim panning. Learn More

Upham Saloon

Saloons played an important role in Keystone’s history, helping to quench the thirst of prospectors and other residents. This one was built in the 1890s and destroyed by a fire in 1908. 

Hayes & Hayes

Brothers John and Patrick Hayes opened a double-wide mercantile store providing a wide range of goods on this site in 1895.

Franklin Hotel

William and Jennie Franklin were the proprietors of this hotel, built in the early 1890s. Bill discovered the Holy Terror Mine and had the colorful nickname “Rocky Mountain Frank.”

Goodyear Hotel

When it opened in the mid-1890s, the Goodyear Hotel was considered luxurious. Their advertising targeted guests by proclaiming it “the rendezvous for the smartest people in the West.” The south half housed the Harney Peak Bank (later Keystone Bank) until it was destroyed by a fire in 1921.

T.G. Hoy & Co

The site of a pharmacy belonging to Tom Hoy, who operated under the license of his father-in-law, Andrew Marble—the last registered pharmacist in Keystone. 

Ice House

Before modern refrigeration, ice houses were used to store ice throughout the year. This one was originally located on Box Elder Creek three miles south of Nemo, near Steamboat Rock, and built to serve the first official Forest Service Ranger Station in the Black Hills. It was moved to this location, the former site of the Sullivan Drug Store building, in 2004.

Doctor’s Office

Dr. Eugene B. Hultz, a physician from Hill City, used this as a satellite office to treat Keystone residents. 

Blacksmith Shop

The last blacksmith shop in Keystone was owned by a one-legged horseshoer (farrier) named “Peg Leg” or “Peggy” Haase. A photograph of the first automobile in Keystone, introduced in 1909, is displayed on the site. 

Holy Terror Mine

The Holy Terror Mine was discovered by William B. Franklin and his adopted daughter, Cora, in 1894, making it the first lode-producing claim in the area. One of the richest gold mines in the country, it was named in jest after his wife Jenny, who would often drag him away from his favorite watering hole. 

Halley’s Store

The oldest continuously-operating business in Keystone was originally called Keystone Trading Company when it opened in 1896, offering general mercantile.

Historic Keystone Icehouse

This ice house was built in 1935 and used to store ice taken from a local pond in the winter. During the summer months, the ice would be sold to residents. 

Bivouac Area

This was an encampment for the 4th Cavalry from Fort Meade during the 1930s. 

Historic Clifford House

This house, built in 1898, most recently served as the home for Don “Nick” Clifford, the last Mount Rushmore worker when he passed away at the age of 98 in November 2019, and his wife, Carolyn.

Log School House

Keystone’s first schoolhouse was built in the early 1890s. Miss Mary Wheelock taught 40 students here in 1894-1895.

Keystone School

This Victorian-style schoolhouse cost $10,000 and was built for 300 students in 1899. It continued to serve students until 1988. It is now the Keystone Historical Museum and features Carrie Ingalls’ memorabilia and the Keystone Area Historic Society Collection. 

Keystone Church

The Keystone Congregational Church was built in 1896 for $2,000 and served as a school until the Keystone School was built three years later.