Location: Deadwood, South Dakota
Surnames/tags: Deadwood South_Dakota Cemeteries
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Mount Moriah Cemetery is located at 10 Mt Moriah Drive in Deadwood, South Dakota. Situated among the rolling Black Hills, Mount Moriah Cemetery was created by the town of Deadwood in 1877 as a replacement for the town’s established cemetery in Whitewood Gulch. James Delong, a miner killed in Pecacho Tunnel, was the first burial on June 01, 1878. In the decades that followed, most of the burials would be reinterred from Whitewood Gulch to Mount Moriah including James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, Rev. Henry Weston Smith, and Charles Mason.
In the years following establishment poor planning and lack of upkeep would plague the cemetery. By the mid-1890s the Deadwood Cemetery Association had formed and began to enforce cemetery rules aimed at maintenance, upkeep, and beautification. Fences were added, debris was cleared, and various rules were made regarding burial depth, spacing, and grave markers.
By the turn of the 20th century, Mount Moriah Cemetery was "...in better appearance than ever before…" and landscaping and beautification efforts continued. In 1908, Lee Tang was granted permission by the Association to build an oven in the cemetery so the Chinese residents of Deadwood could burn paper and other items during their religious ceremonies. In 1911, the graves of Rev. Smith and "Wild Bill" Hickok were improved with a cement foundation under the iron fence.
The Deadwood Cemetery Association began to fall on difficult times in the 1920s and began to assess plot owners yearly fees to help with maintenance and by 1935 the Association requested the municipality take over and maintain the cemetery. No response was given to this request until December 05, 1938 when the City of Deadwood accepted the deed to the cemetery from the Deadwood Cemetery Association.
In 2000, a three-year, $3.5 million restoration project was undertaken to rebuild walls and terraces along the steep hillsides, refurbish monuments and ironwork, and repair roads. In the summer of 2002, the third statue of "Wild Bill" Hickok was placed as a grave marker after persistent vandals had destroyed the previous two. This most recent statue is still on display and is a bronze replica of the original 1891 statue placed at the grave.
Currently, the cemetery sees around 80,000 to 100,000 visitors each year and charges $2 for entry which goes toward maintenance and upkeep. The cemetery is no longer active, but plots are still held by individuals and families for future use.
Cemetery Name: Mount Moriah Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 10 Mt Moriah Dr, Deadwood, SD 57732
Cemetery Coordinates: 44.3760986, -103.7253036
This page is part of the South Dakota Cemeteries Project
See the Mount Moriah Cemetery category for a listing of people buried in this cemetery.
- "Historical Overview Mt. Moriah Cemetery 1878-1938", The Center for Historic Cemeteries Preservation, Online PDF
- Velder, Tim. "Deadwood dedicates sculpture of Wild Bill." Rapid City Journal (Rapid City, SD), August 01, 2002. Accessed 22 June 2019. Online Archive
- "Frequently Asked Questions About Mt. Moriah Cemetery" Online PDF
- "Mount Moriah Cemetery", City of Deadwood City Website