History Of the Haunted Bullock Hotel

The historic Bullock Hotel is located at the corner of Wall and Main Street in Deadwood, South Dakota. It was built by Seth Bullock, the first sheriff of Deadwood, and his business partner Sol Star, in around 1895 at a cost of $40,000 and is the oldest hotel in Deadwood boasting a Casino, Restaurant, and 28 of its original 63 rooms

The Bullock Hotel was built by Seth Bullock between 1894 and 1896 from a converted warehouse to a 3-storyshortly after the Deadwood fire of 1894, which destroyed the original 2-story wood-frame building and devastated much of the town of Deadwood. It is believed that the hotelwas originally constructed and decorated in an “Italianate” and Victorian style with the first floor of the hotel boasting a large dining room in the rear, a kitchen and pantry, a sample room where salesmen could store their cases, a grand hotel lobby, and offices in the front.

The second and third stories are said to have held 63 luxury sleeping rooms with baths down the halls and two large banks of skylights for lighting the inner rooms with natural light. It’s also believed that all rooms were furnished with iron and brass beds and oak furnishings.

The hotel was sold to the Aryes family who in 1976 converted the building to a hardware store up until around 1991 when the building underwent subsequent renovation by the new owners, Bullock Properties, to convert it back into a hotel. The original furnishings had been sold at auction by the Aryes family in 1976, so in 1991-1993 the hotel underwent extensive renovation to re-create the original atmosphere and decor. The current owners state that the hotel has been “carefully restored based on the best available information regarding the late 1800’s and by uncovering details that gave clues as to the original decor.”Some changes included lowering some ceilings (due to heat accumulation at the ceilings), paint stripping and re-staining of most woodwork, and a re-papering and decorating of ceilings which was thought to reflect the hotel’s original Victorian designs. 48-inch solid brass chandeliers were also introduced as light fixtures, chosen from replicas of the period. The kitchen and pantry were further converted into a restaurant and bar, Bully’s, named for Seth Bullock’s lifelong friend, Teddy Roosevelt..

All in all, even with reported attempts to retain original floor plans as much as possible, the former 63 rooms were reduced to 28 in the restoration. This supposedly resulted in some rather unique rooms with odd shapes and angles and a larger version of the original rooms from 1895. Modern plumbing and renovation brought the baths in from the hallway, and all rooms are equipped with private baths. Some luxury rooms are reported to have Jacuzzis and wet bars as well.