The Black Hills Mining Museum (323 W. Main St., 605/584-1605, www.mining-museum.blackhills.com , May–Sept. daily 9 a.m.–4 p.m., winter hours vary, adult $6, student $5.25) was established to preserve the mining heritage of the Black Hills . The upstairs area of the museum contains a collection of old photographs, maps, displays of equipment, and informational exhibits of mining techniques.
The museum also has a mining document archive of mining records from 1876–1940. Gold panning instruction ($7 per person) is also provided upstairs. Elect to try your hand at gold panning here and the discovery of some placer gold is guaranteed. A small theater presents a 20-minute mining video on request.
Tours (included with museum admission fee) run every half-hour beginning at 9:30 a.m.; the last tour starts at 3 p.m. The tour begins as visitors take 17 steps down into the lower levels of the building. The building disappears into a simulated underground mine, where the equipment used to dynamite and mine the rock are explained. Participants wear mining lights and hard hats as they descend into the mining environment. The 45-minute guided tour is an education in the evolution of mining technology from the earliest days of mining in the 1870s to the present.
The underground mine was created by 140 miners working together to provide an accurate rendition of the environment of a mining operation. The information is fascinating. Did you know that the temperature of a mine goes up about 15 degrees every 150 feet down and that the temperature at the lowest levels of the Homestake Mine  was 138 °F? The very knowledgeable guides here add to the experience.