NAME: Sheridan (Golden City)
COUNTY: Pennington
CLIMATE: Snow in winter and early spring; mild to hot in summer; mild in fall.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Late spring, early summer.
COMMENTS: Near Hill City. Plenty of nearby abandoned mines. Sheridan Lake has fishing, swimming and boating. Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park and Harney Peak all within an hour's drive.
REMAINS: The house with 12 doors that has been moved six miles or so south along Highway 85A.
Sheridan, originally known as Golden City, lies 20 feet or so beneath the waters of Sheridan Lake, eight miles north of Hill City along Highway 85A. That wasn't always the case. The town was laid out on Spring Creek in 1875. One of the first rich placers was found here that year. In October, 1875 placer miners took out nearly $3,000 worth of gold, including a $23 nugget. Also that month a town was laid out on Spring Creek in. By February, 1876 it had become a thriving community with four stores and several houses. The next year Golden City was re-named Sheridan; it also became the Pennington County seat. The town became an important stop on the Deadwood to Denver stage line, causing a moderate boom in its economy and importance. In late 1877 Sheridan residents built a courthouse, which in Robert J. Casey's book, The Black Hills, was described as "one saloon wide and two saloons long." The new courthouse also hosted the first term of the U.S. Circuit Court. Alas, the town's rosy future did not pan out. Neither did the gold found in and around Spring Creek. Soon the stage line moved its route; the circuit court moved to Deadwood; and the county seat changed to much larger Rapid City. Residents in the late 1890's through 1915 included my mother, her sisters and brother and her parents, Olaf and Caroline Larson. Grandpa Larson worked at the nearby mines, like the J.R., Queen Bee, Calumet and Blue Lead. By 1920 the town contained but 10 persons and the mines failed to prosper. Two other long-term residents of Sheridan were a mining engineer and his wife, Johnny and Kit Good. They were living there in the mid-1880's when a fire swept through the town destroying most of the remaining buildings, including the Goods' home. Undeterred, the Goods built another home. The new place reflected Kit's fear of fire as it contained a dozen doors opening to the outside - an outside exit for each of the home's rooms. Then during the Great Depression, the federal government decided to dam up Spring Creek at the north end of Sheridan. The Civilian Conservation Corps was brought in to start construction and the government bought the Good's land. They didn't buy the house, though. Kit loved the one-story home with all the doors and the government moved it and Kit and Johnny six miles down the road toward Hill City to the edge of a little meadow. The house sits there today with the 12 doors opening outside to provide safety from any blaze. You can see it along the right side of Highway 85A, about a mile and a half north of Hill City. It's the only structure that remains of that first county-seat of Sheridan, which lies underneath the waters of the lake that bears its name and that of U.S. Army General Phil Sheridan. Submitted by: Gary Dickson