When you stay at the historic 81-room Franklin Hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota, join the notable guest list that has included President Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Buffalo Bill, Babe Ruth, and John Wayne. Located at the top of Main Street, travelers can park and easily walk to all Deadwood downtown locations and an entire town that is on the National Historic Register.
South Dakota’s Black Hills area is rich with history and Old West culture. Historic Franklin is also convenient to everything Black Hills: Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Spearfish Canyon National Scenic Byway.
Franklin Hotel Deadwood History
The Franklin Hotel’s grand opening in 1903 was regal and modern, with the unheard features of phones, running water, radiant heat, and electricity in each room. The architecture was Greek Revival style at the astounding price tag of $100,000. Today, this Deadwood historic hotel still retains its intricate Victorian styling from the lobby to the veranda above and the white-columned entrance.
Franklin Hotel Arrival
The white-columned entrance of the (Silverado) Franklin Hotel definitely stood out. Our arrival was also heralded by one of the Gunslingers shows, street shootout reenactments, in front of the hotel. Before even checking in, we took time to watch the gunfight. Our visit to Deadwood was the week before the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and even then thousands of motorcycles also thundered up and down the historic Main Street.
Enter into the lobby, and I can only imagine how decadent this must’ve seemed for the first-time hotel guests. High ornate ceilings and Victorian vintage furnishings are the highlight of the lobby. To the left is the Silverado casino, a bit distracting, yet still the era of times past echoes through the walls. Yes, it’s an aged hotel, and yes, the lingering smells of must and cigars still linger, but that’s what history is about.
Accommodations at Deadwood’s Franklin Hotel
The 81-room hotel features several suites, and we were lucky enough to snag the room overlooking Main Street. Again, the furnishings continued with Victorian era, with a queen bed and a sofa in front of the huge window. Late at night, we did hear some party-goers enjoying the verandah directly below on the 2nd floor, but we were so tired from our drive that we hardly noticed.
Black Hills Hotel Amenities
The Franklin Hotel is part of the gaming complex, Silverado, as Deadwood’s casinos are a big part of its make-up now, reviving the town’s economy. The Silverado Franklin Hotel offers the city’s only Las Vegas-style buffet, the 80-foot Silverado Grand Buffet, serving buffets three meals per day, including all-you-can-eat crab and prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights.
Deadwood’s gaming industry has blossomed, and with it, the newer casinos scattered throughout the city. However, none but the Franklin Hotel can offer the distinctive address on historic Main Street in Deadwood, South Dakota. Although the property could use a refreshing, the historic Franklin Hotel stays true to its Old West roots, offering guests a grand hotel from the 1900’s.
Accommodations & Photos courtesy of Franklin Hotel.