Redwater Bridge Hybrid LbNA # 20365
|Placed Date||Feb 5 2006|
|Location||BELLE FOURCHE, SD|
|Found By||The Dragon (Attempted)|
|Last Update||Jun 26 2013|
Letter box is ready for summer and waiting for visitors.6/14/11
Sol Star and Seth Bullock were standing on a Redwater Bridge in Belle Fourche during the 1880’s. They were the founders of our town. The cache and letter box is located by this bridge.
When the railroad came to the Black Hills and railroad officials refused to pay prices demanded by the nearby town of Minnesela; Bullock and Star offered the free right-of-way across their land to the site of De Mores, an early day stage station. On August 14, 1890, the last rail was laid and the new town was born. “Call it Belle Fourche, will you?” Bullock requested.
After the Civil War, Sol Star had started a hardware business with Seth Bullock in Helena, Mt. In 1876 news of the discovery of gold in the Black Hills reached Star and Bullock, and although, they were doing well with their business in Helena they were interested in the new gold field. They followed the gold rush to Deadwood where they established the “Office of Star and Bullock, Auctioneers and Commission Merchants.” The partners began their business by selling pans, Dutch ovens, picks, axes, dynamite, chamber pots and anything else the miners or local population required. In Deadwood they had a good business and became prosperous.
They expanded their business interests to the prairie land north of the Black Hills. Star and Bullock filed on land where the Redwater and Belle Fourche rivers meet and established a horse ranch on this land. They enlarged their acreage by purchasing available land joining theirs. Frequently easterners filed on the land and then became dissatisfied. They sold the land as soon as they could prove up, which could be done by living there 14 months and paying $1.25 per acre. Bullock and Star watched for such opportunities and they soon had a large spread at the river forks. The name, Belle Fourche, is French for “beautiful fork”.
This is one of our first attempts to place a hybrid letter box. We hope the clues will guide you to the right spot and that you will enjoy the history on your journey.
In Belle Fourche, begin your journey on 5th Ave.; Turn east on State St. which will take you to the historical down town. On the corner of 5th and State you will see a brick building which was built in 1897; today its one of the antique shops, (closed for now), in our town. Belle Fourche is the antique capital of the Black Hills; each shop has its own unique selection which takes visitors and shoppers back through time.
As you slow down for the traffic light you will see three statues: on the left side of the street is the statue of Mark Garrett on a bucking bronco; on the right side of the street is the statue of Jerry Olson with his trained buffalo, and across the street is a statue of Marvin Garrett on a bucking bronco. The Garrett brothers were the World Bareback Bronco Champions. All three statues are of famous cowboys who live in the Belle Fourche area.
At the site of the present day Wells Fargo Bank, the Sundance Kid, Tom O’Day and their pals attempted to rob the Butte County Bank on June 27, 1897. The day before the bank robbery the outlaws had sent O’Day to check things out at the bank. Tom ended up in the saloon and he never made it back to the rest of the gang. The next day when the outlaws entered the bank someone noticed unusual activity in the bank and started yelling something about bank robbers which got the attention of the rest of the town. The outlaws had no choice but to make a run for it! O’Day was still a little too drunk to get on his horse. The horse made a break for it but Tom was not on board. He hid in the outhouse behind the saloon. Someone saw him go in and he was arrested. The other outlaws were chased all the way to the Hole-in-the-Wall in Wyoming.
As you travel east on State Street you will see the Arnold Parkway. The Eugene Arnold Family gave this land to the city for park purposes. The Tri State Museum has been moved from this park to a new building on 5th Ave. by the Belle Fourche River bridge.
As you turn south on Highway 212 you will see on the left side of the street a Queen Ann style home with the round tower and gables which was built in 1909. Highway 212 and Elkhorn St. is your passage way to the Redwater River Bridge. Before you make the left turn on Highway 212 we suggest that you park on Elkhorn Street.
It’s a short hike from there. Take a walk across the Redwater River Bridge. Turn left at the small green building and descend a few paces to the near by four, tall natural sentries. There you will find the ammo box logged and tucked away. In the ammo box find a plastic box which has the rubber stamp, pad, and guest book for letter boxing. This location can be busy at times; discreetness is important. Please make sure you re-hide it well. The River Park letterbox is not far from this location. Thanks, and have a great letterboxing day! During Mosquito season you may wish to protect yourself.
Maintenance on 8/15/10 This is also a geocache container and we check both boxes when doing maintenance.