The theater was full with 312 patrons and 51 student couples. Thank you to the staff and chaperones of LDHS: Tony Biesiot, Kip Mau, Tim & Kim Hansen, Rhonda Brightzman, (and more) and the Prom Committee: Gary Linn, Eva Thompson, Lori Aberle, and Claussen Photography, and also to Nick from Colt 45 DJs.
Thank you, Volunteers, for making this building a priority in your lives.
On Thursday, April 20, 2017 the Volunteer Committee and the staff and board of directors of the Homestake Opera House hosted the past, present, and future volunteers for the Volunteer Appreciation Reception, Presentation & Awards Party. Dr. Helen Usera of Aspiring Business Consulting of Rapid City, SD gave an inspiring presentation on volunteerism, encouraging all those who volunteer to encourage young people to get involved – bring someone with you next time who has never volunteered before. She also quoted Ghandi:
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
Awards were given to 14 generous community members, including DIANA MATHISRUD who received the WHOA Award for a whopping 132.5 recorded volunteer hours for lights/sound and acting onstage, and also the Crescendo Award going to SPENCER ROSSI for 98 hours for the 2016 Crescendo Gala in which she helped to raise $15,500 for the Homestake Opera House programming, building projects, and operations.
This beautiful plasterwork is the first in the theater to be restored. Huge applause to Jerry Aberle and Dennes Barrett and Chad Aberle for their close attention to historic detail, respect for accuracy, and for hundreds of hours put towards this very important project – and to Deadwood Historic Preservation for their Outside of Deadwood grant funding that helped this project along. This project also wouldn't be possible without the legacy of longtime SD Senator Jim Dunn and his wife Betty for which this initial project was funded by an anonymous donor. Their legacy is bringing the color back into this beloved building.
This wall is a 100% replication of 1914 color and plasterwork, and the remaining work to be done is the installation of the original sconce light and the baseboard near the bottom of the wall. We are so very honored to show that this work can be done right here in Lead, SD.
This project also could not be completed without the support of an experienced, energetic, and enthusiastic staff and board of directors who provide the strategic planning to continue this important work. This year also features a full schedule of music and theatre programming, concerts, and large events while restoration and other special projects are planning and completed throughout the building this year and into next year. Thank you to all involved. Stay tuned to find out what's happening next.
We were honored to host the board of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation for their board meeting, and also the Black Hills By Choice group for a complete tour of the building (including inside the old swimming pool) plus a plasterwork replication presentation and also tasty social provided by Jamie Heupel of Lotus Up Catering.
CUSTOMIZE A FIELD TRIP FOR YOUR STUDENTS
Bus parking is available, and each site is wheelchair accessible.
The picnic area is available for outdoor lunch at Manuel Brothers Park adjacent to the Visitor Center.
COST $3 to $10 / student. Price dependent on number of activities.
**Teachers, chaperones and bus drivers are free of charge!
Billi Bierle, Executive Director, (605) 584-3110
At the BLACK HILLS MINING MUSEUM your group will experience a walk through time in the low-lit, timbered passages of a simulated underground gold mine, which was masterfully constructed by more than 130 actual Homestake miners. The Museum includes historic mining artifacts, archived photographs, and local history exhibits. You can even pan for gold!
The HISTORIC HOMESTAKE OPERA HOUSE was built by the Homestake Gold Mine and seated 1,000 people. It also boasted a bowling alley, billiard hall, library, social hall and even a heated indoor swimming pool! Hear a soloist perform, experience amazing acoustics, climb a grand staircases, and get a sneak peek at recently finished restoration and a new Interpretive Exhibit. Concerts, theatre, and events are featured year-round.
The SANFORD LAB HOMESTAKE VISITOR CENTER is a brand-new $5 million welcome center located on the edge of the Open Cut, a 1,250-ft deep and half-mile wide mining site. Check out the amazing view as guides explain the unique rock formations. Exhibits touch on the Homestake Gold Mine's 125-year history and showcase how a broad range of experiments are now occurring in the underground research facility.
MANUEL BROTHERS PARK is a large, scenic picnic spot used for field trip recreation. Located next to the Visitor Center and the Open Cut, the park is nicknamed for the Homestake deposit first discovered by Fred and Moses Manuel, Alex Engh, and Hank Harney in April 1876 during the Black Hills Gold Rush.
For the first time since the theater fire of 1984, portions of the interior wall in the theater are being restored. This historic project is being completed by Jerry Aberle, former Homestake engineer and also restoration project lead for the HHOH building restoration 1999-2004; and Dennes Barrett, HHOH Facility Manager and former Black Hills Power lineman; with help from Chad Aberle, of Avid Painting in Lead. All three men are natives of Lead, SD.
This project is funded in part by a grant from Deadwood Historic Preservation through the Outside of Deadwood Fund; and also by way of private donations and an anonymous donation in honor of SD Senator Jim & Betty Dunn of Lead, SD.
A tribute to Jim & Betty Dunn:
Jim was known as a faithful public servant on the local, state and national level, as well as for his long career with Homestake Mining Company. Jim was defined by his love for family, his hometown of Lead, and the state of South Dakota. Jim was swept off his feet in 1954 when he met the love of his life, Elizabeth "Betty" Lanham from Beresford, SD. They married in September 1955 and raised four children together. He was an especially proud father of the people his children became and their place in the world.
For all his travels and accomplishments, Jim liked nothing better than spending time with family and friends. The family cabin in Spearfish Canyon was a special spot, and many a T-shirt was "sweated up" working on his little spot of heaven. A man of deep Catholic faith, and strong Irish heritage, Jim believed in straight talk and common sense, and lived his life with those foundations. Genuinely interested in people and their stories, Jim Dunn "never met a stranger."