Homestake Mine

Useful Information

Location: In Lead.
I-90 exit 17, Hwy 85 south to Deadwood, Hwy 85 turns into Hwy 14A, . In Lead left at first stop light onto Historic Main Street, to the far end.
(44°21'7.14"N, 103°45'51.02"W)
Open: Underground tour: not yet constructed.
Surface tour: MAY to SEP daily .
Fee: Underground tour: not yet constructed.
Surface tour: Adults USD 6, Children (6-18) USD 5, Children (0-5) free, Seniors USD 5.25, Family (2+*) USD 20.
Classification: MineGold Mine Underground Laboratory.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: VR=1,480 m.
Guided tours: Surface tour: D=1 h.
Address: Homestake Mine, Homestake Visitor Center, 160 West Main Street, Lead, S.D. 57754, Tel: +1-605-584-3110. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1876 Gold Rush in the northern Black Hills.
09-APR-1876 brothers Fred and Moses Manuel and Hank Harney located their Homestake.
JUN-1877 Homestake claim sold to George Hearst for $70,000.
World War II closed by order of the War Production Board.
1966 workers joined the United Steel Workers union.
2000 mine closure announced.
2001 USD 10 million from the federal government to maintain the mine for the laboratory.
JAN-2002 mine finally shut down.
2005 Homestake supported by the National Science Foundation.
2006 property transfered to the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority.
2007 decision for Homestake.
2010 scheduled start of construction.


Homestake Mine is a former gold mine, which was transferred by the former owner, the mining company Barrick Gold Corporation to the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. The goal is, to use the abandoned mine to create the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). The mid-level science and engineering laboratory would be located at a level 1,480 m below surface. The National Science Foundation (NSF) selected Homestake in 2007, after an competition between Homestake Mine, Henderson Mine, a working molybdenum operation near Empire, CO, the closed Sudan Iron Mine near Sudan, MI, and Pioneer Tunnel near Scenic, WA.

The laboratory is still not built, but once it is built it will be a place for scientific research and education. Most liekly there will also be public tours into the laboratory, although the decision is not yet made.

Homestake Mine was founded very early during the Gold Rush of 1876 in the northern Black Hills. Fred and Moses Manuel and their partner Hank Harney located their Homestake claim after Moses discovered a socalled lead in an outcropping of a vein of ore. One year later they sold the promising claim to George Hearst, the father of William Randolph Hearst, who was said to be the publishing magnate portrayed in Citizen Kane.

The mine flourished for decades. After George Hearst's death in 1891, his widow Phoebe took over and used part of the income from the mine to support the cultural life of the City of Lead. How well the mine did during the deacdes, show the time of the Great Depression in the early 1930s. While the rest of the nation suffered, the management of Homestake shortened the work week, increased the wages, and provided end of year bonuses.

During World War II the mining operations were suspended by order of the War Production Board. The miners either joined the army or moved to copper mines or airplane factories. Only a few remained at the Homestake foundry and machine shop producing parts for airplanes, wrenches and hand grenades.