Home' Destinations : Destinations 25Aug2011 Contents THE HERALD
"See that guy at the end of the bar? He's a baddie."
"No he's not. He's just having a beer and some potato
Any man worth his salt knows that things are not always what
they seem at the Old Style Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, USA.
One of the most famous historic landmarks of the old west,
Deadwood is a tourist's dream when it comes to authenticity. It
may not be easy to reach for an overseas traveller, but during
the northern summer it's a hotspot for Midwestern American
visitors who are aware of its reputation.
In recent times the town's fame has soared in popularity as
a result of the television show of the same name. Deadwood,
a HBO production, is renown for its complex language,
intriguing characters and captivating storylines.
The real Deadwood, shoehorned into a picturesque gulch at
the northern end of the Black Hills in western South Dakota,
isn't that much different from the one on the TV show. It,
too, is full of characters -- always has been. Gambling is legal
there (since 1989) but it's always been a part of the town's mix
regardless of the laws of the day.
These days the town is best known for its main street full of
casinos, big and small. Of course, relative to Las Vegas, even its
biggest casino is small.
Old Style Saloon No 10 was the place where Wild Bill Hickok,
a very infamous sheriff and hired gun in the old west in the
latter half of the 1800s, died on August 2, 1876.
Hickok was, as folk lore goes, playing poker when a chicken-
livered lair named Jack McCall brushed up next to him and
shot him in the back. Ever since the hand Hickok was reputedly
holding -- aces and eights -- has been known as the ''dead
Saloon No 10 hasn't changed much in the last 140 years.
The floors are still covered in sawdust, the chairs and table
furniture are wood, the walls are timber and the bar, well, two
bars actually, are both more than 15-metres long. And you can
still get a game of poker just about anytime.
The walls are full of pictures and plaques about Deadwood,
Hickok and the west. The bar is considered ''a living museum''.
A menagerie of mounted wild animals like buffalo, elk and
moose keep an eye on the proceedings from various vantage
points above the gaming tables.
Children are welcome until 8.30 pm, and there's popcorn for
The Shooting of Wild Bill Hickok runs daily at 1 pm, 3 pm,
5 pm and 7 pm. It tells the entertaining story of Wild Bill and
that fateful day.
On the day we are there the Wild Bill character is damned
authentic. The tallest man in the bar, he's dressed in smart,
fancy old west gear with his trademark long coat and has
long, flowing black locks. His voice is loud and low. As tourists
Visiting a historic piece of America's old west,
JIM KELLAR sees where Wild Bill Hickok tossed in
his last hand.
• Close to Port Macquarie's
attractions, Restaurants, clubs,
cafes and shops
• 200m to beach
• Abundant wildlife in natural
• Ensuite Cabins
• Powered and Tent sites
• Pool • Dog Friendly (conditions apply)
"The park under
Flynns Beach CARAVAN PARK
Phone: (02) 6583 5754 • 22 Ocean St, Port Macquarie • www.flynnsbeachcaravanpark.com.au
Stay for 7 nights,
pay for 6
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