|Adams House Investigation
| The Historic Adams House Museum
located at 22 Van Buren Street, was built by Deadwood entrepreneur
Harris Franklin in 1892. It is reported in local newspapers as one of
the finest in Deadwood and west of Omaha. Harris sold the home to his
son Nathan in 1905 for one dollar.
In 1920, W. E. Adams bought the home. Adams and his brother arrived in Deadwood in 1877. Adams tried his hand at gold mining while his brother opened a grocery business. Adams found gold mining was not working out and went into business with his brother. Adams eventually took over the business and grew it into a successful grocery wholesale business. W. E. Adams became one of the richest men in Deadwood, but tragedy struck, Adams wife Alice diagnosed with cancer traveled to California to be with their daughter Helen who was about to give birth. While there, Alice passed away. The stress caused Helen to go into premature labor--she gave birth to a girl. The stress was too much and Helen died. The baby also named Helen lived for only a few hours. W. E. Adams had lost his family in less than forty-eight hours.
A couple years later Adams met Mary Mastrovich Vicich and they were married. This coupling started tongues wagging in the Deadwood and Lead communities. Adams at the time was 73 and Mary only 29.
W. E. Adams had become a rich man over the years and he saw the need to give back to the community that had given him so much. He donated the money for a museum which was completed in 1930. The Adams Museum is a popular museum to this day.
On June 7, 1934, W. E. Adams suffered a stroke. He was brought to his home where he died on June 16, 1934. His body lay in state in the museum he was instrumental in having built and later buried in the family plot in Pasadena, California.
Adams left his wife Mary the home, but she could not find herself living alone in the home. She closed up the house and moved to California. Every year she would travel back to Deadwood, but she would never stay in the home. Instead, she elected to stay at the Franklin Hotel. When asked why she would never stay in the home, Mary claimed it was haunted. Whether this was a clever plan devised by Mary to keep trespassers away or not, it seemed to work. The home remained unmolested until she sold the home in 1987.
At this time the home was turned into a Bed & Breakfast. In 1992, the city of Deadwood purchased the home and continued running it as a B&B until 1995. The home was left in disrepair and in 1998, the city decided to restore the home. In 2000, the Adams House opened to the public as a museum.