Within twenty years Deadwood changed from mining camp to prosperous Victorian city. Deadwood survived several floods and fires, each time replacing the destroyed wood-framed buildings with stone and brick.
The town acquired some modern technology early: the telegraph (1876), the telephone (1879), and electric lights (1883). However, oxen-pulled freight wagons and stage coaches had to provide transportation until 1890, when two standard gauge railroads arrived. In 1904, The Black Hills Illustrated claimed that Deadwood "possesses many of the elements of metropolitanism usually found in a city of 100,000 inhabitants."
These historic photographs look north down Main Street from about Shine Street.
Caption on photo in upper left: 1877 · Wooden buildings formed an irregular line down the dirt road. The level of Upper Main Street had not yet been lowered.
Caption on photo in lower left: 1889 · Ox teams crowded the dusty street and larger brick buildings began to replace wooden false-front structures.
Caption on photo in lower right: 1909 · Brick and stone buildings, and brick pavement gave Deadwood an air of permanence. Automobiles replaced bull trains, and fire hydrants gave Deadwood an added defense against future fires. Overhead electric lights illuminated the street.