Spearfish Jackson Boulevard median aesthetics include links to historic hydroelectric plant
SPEARFISH, SD – Visitors to Spearfish may wonder about the significance of the wooden pipes located in the medians on Jackson Boulevard between Seventh and State streets.
The answer is found in Spearfish history, specifically related to its hydroelectric plant, which was built by the Homestake Gold Mine and has been in operation since 1912. For nearly a century, the hydroelectric plant provided power for Homestake Gold Mine in Lead and for the Homestake Sawmill in Spearfish.
The pipes are sections of historic wood stave penstock, which transmitted water approximately 1,100 feet from the Forebay Dam to the Standpipe Structure (both located on a ridge south of Spearfish, above the mouth of Spearfish Canyon, in the Mountain Plains Subdivision), as part of the infrastructure that conveyed water from the Maurice Dam in Spearfish Canyon approximately 5.5 miles to the hydroelectric plant.
Homestake Gold Mine shut down production in 2002, and the City of Spearfish purchased the hydroelectric plant in 2004.
The wood stave penstock sections in the Jackson Boulevard medians were reconstructed by City staff from redwood staves stockpiled during the construction of the hydroelectric plant over a century ago by Homestake for repairs to the pipeline.
For more information about the hydroelectric plant, visit https://www.cityofspearfish.com/399/Hydro-Plant, and to read more about its history, check out https://www.cityofspearfish.com/447/Publications-Resources.