Cascade, SD

One of the more picturesque ghost towns in the southern Black Hills, Cascade was south of Hot Springs a few miles. According to Watson, the town was founded in 1888 to take advantage of the warm mineral springs in the area. An ornate, four-story hundred-room hotel was built, and 36 city backs laid out and partially developed. By 1900, it had only a post office and 25 people, distributed over 16 houses.

In the 1950’s the W. Allen Bank building, the Fargo Store, and the Cascade Club still stood on the south side of Highway 87. The bank building is now occupied, having been restored some years ago, but the Cascade Club, with its bowling alley behind, has long since disappeared.

These images are from Dr. Parker’s archives, shot on negative 620 film, during several visits to the town in the fifties and sixties.

Preserving the Legacy August 23, 2019 Westerners

Preserving the Legacy, Digitizing the work of Dr. Watson Parker meeting dates

A presentation on the methodology behind the Watson Parker preservation project will be given at the Jedediah Smith Corral of Westerners, at the Hot Springs Public Library, on August 23 at 1PM. James W. Parker will discuss the project, the tools he’s using to digitize the images, and the work involved. Everyone is welcome! The link below shows the location on Google Maps.

Progress Report

Progress has been slow on getting Dr. Parker’s images digitized. Soon after the enthusiastic start to the project, my slide projector threw a cog, and stopped advancing slides. I did manage to give a presentation on the project to the Black Hills Westerner’s group in May, and am scheduled to do another one in Hot Springs, August 23 at noon. The meeting will be held at Pine Hills Retirement Community, 2711 US 18, Hot Springs, SD.

I’m happy to report that the slide projector has been repaired. I found the solution to the problem, as well as parts to fix it, online at

It took a bit of futzing to get the projector disassembled and put back together, but all appears to be working now.

Yesterday, I went down another rabbit hole, looking for a video of Dad that was made in front of the Hill City shootout set. He is reciting one of his favorite poems, “The Fatal Ball”. It was also a recitation that Troy L. Parker was fond of. I did manage to find a small video of it, and am working on getting the videotape redigitized.


The new online home for the work of Dr. Watson Parker, the dean of Black Hills history. Here you’ll find some of his best lectures and talks, preserved in glowing RGB color, with audio commentary from the master himself. Audio files, images and writing are gathered here for the general edification and amusement of the general public, and those interested in the history of the West. Please browse and offer comments and suggestions if appropriate, or necessary.