The Center of the Universe


On Monday I went up to the Lab and listened to their community update. Mike Headly (the director of the lab) gave a short presentation about some of their most exciting projects. Including getting a huge tank down the shaft for one of their ongoing experiments. The tank was especially designed to fit down the shaft (to within the inch) and required lots of maneuvering. It was pretty incredible to see pictures of the process and think about them rigging it up under the cage for the trip down (where there’s just a giant hole).

Another of their big projects has been dismantling the old machine shop to rebuild a warehouse and more offices. Headly talked about how they worked to preserve as much of the old timbers as they could, but were disappointed to find that many of them were more dry rotted than previously anticipated. They were able to save the main spine of the building – a gigantic 250 foot timber that is in storage until someone comes up with something cool to do with it (ideas??).

As I sat and listened it struck me how amazing all this activity (somewhat far removed from us here in town) really is. On the whole, the science and projects that they do underground remains over most of our heads (definitely mine) but we should feel so proud of what’s going on. As far as this science stuff goes, we are in lots of ways the center of all the hubbub! And not an important place in South Dakota, but in the entire WORLD! Lead, you guys, LEAD!

A personal claim to fame of mine is that I come from one of the longest continuous families to mine (father to son) at Homestake. If so many people hadn’t had the foresight to turn the mine into a lab it would be a giant underground lake by now and all the buildings would probably be suffering from much more than just a bit of dry rot. Life continues, most often not in any way that we expected. And here I am, continuing a family legacy in some respect – though I don’t work for the Lab, or in mining – but I’m so proud of Lead and all that we do to put our mark on the world! We’re so lucky to live here in the midst of so many great projects, people and history!


Here’s what’s going on in Lead this week:

Speaking of amazing history, don’t forget TONIGHT is Deep Talks in conjunction with our October Mixer with special host, Black Hills Energy – our 2019 Platinum Sponsor. Snacks and drinks will be from 4:30-6, and Mike Eyre from Black Hills Energy will be talking about the history of energy in the Black Hills. You may not realize how far ahead Lead was of not just the western states in energy infrastructure but also much of the more populated eastern states. Join us at the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center from 4:30-6 for snacks and refreshment and the talk will start at 6pm.

Also tonight, at 7pm the last of the series, Catholics Returning Home is happening at St. Pat’s. You can call the parish office 584-2002, or Father Pete at 303-319-3993 for more information.

Tomorrow morning, Friday 10/25 at 8am, Melissa Hampton with Edward Jones is hosting a coffee at The Local in Sturgis (1064 Main St. Sturgis). This is a great opportunity to talk about investing and all things money in a casual environment. Come down and join us!

The Handley Recreation Center is hosting a special Halloween themed Family Skate Night from 5:30-7:30. Come in costume! Admission is $5 and includes skate rental.

We goofed up big time and hung posters for a bakery grand opening – without the location of the mysterious bakery. Maybe we drummed up curiosity? (That was our plan all along hahaha) The new bakery is Bloomers – who’s adding cakes and donuts to their line up of amazingly beautiful flowers and plants! The grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Lead Chamber is Friday 10/25 at 3pm! They’ll have cakes and treats! Come down and check out all their changes!

The Historic Homestake Opera House is hosting a kids stage makeup event: Monsters, Maidens & More for kids in grades 3-7 on Saturday, 10/26 from 11am-1pm. It’s gonna be a super fun time! Call Anne to register or get more details. 605-584-2067

Also on Saturday, The Knights of Columbus are hosting their annual Oktoberfest dinner at St. Pat’s. (This is open to everyone, and you don’t need to be Catholic to attend!) Come enjoy German food and help them raise money for community scholarships! 5:30-7:30pm

The Youth Group at Trinity United Methodist church is selling Christmas Greenery. Sunday, 10/27 is the last day to order. Call 605-584-1328 to get more information or place an order.

Next Wednesday, 10/30, El Jefe’s Fresh-Mex Cantina is bringing back their winter dinner parties! This month is a German/Mexican fusion for Oktoberfest! They still have a few seats available and you have to pre register so don’t miss out! Maybe you can be as cool as Kathy Dolan and get a gold start for attending every single event in the season? (605) 641-9947

Next Thursday, 10/31 is Halloween and with the current situation it will probably be freezing, icey and snowy so here’s an alternate plan: Join Trinity United Methodist Church for their Halloween Event. All children and families are welcome to join! There will be Hot Dogs, Trick or Treating, Crafts & Games, Door Prizes, and More!

Want to see the entire calendar of events coming up (the first weekend of November is truly a doozy of fun!)

Other Notes:
Annual Sponsorships are Open! We’re looking for a few good companies to show Lead how much they care! Check out our sponsorship packages here: and be prepared cause I’m going to come a knockin’ on your door to see how you might want to invest in everything that’s happening in Lead!

Winterfest VIP tickets are on sale! – We’re having another amazing Winterfest VIP Party on 2/2/20! You won’t want to miss the great food, great company and the best view of the fireworks!! Since you’re so loyal and read these emails like a boss, check out this discount code: WinterfestIsTheBestFest which will give you $5 each on two tickets. Offer expires 110/31/19 at 11pm. These VIP events help us raise money for fireworks and other awesome public events that are part of Winterfest, so we really appreciate you coming to these very special events.

Winter Planning Meeting – Interested in helping us get everything ready? Have some great ideas for ways to make Winterfest 2020 even more amazing? Come to our last planning meeting on Tuesday 11/5 at 12pm, Miners’ Tin Cup.

Sanford Lab is working towards a $2,500 fundraising goal for the Foundation for Health, a Lead-Deadwood organization that supports local breast cancer patients, specifically focusing on bridging their financial needs.
Learn more:
Give here:

Hope you’re all staying cozy out there and hope to see you tonight!!

Sierra Ward

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