The search for Gold at the Black Hills region in Dakota Territory began in the late 19th century after the Custer Expedition. Lieutenant Colonel George Custer started his expedition from Bismarck, North Dakota with the mission to travel to Black Hills of South Dakota. The missions of the expedition are to find a suitable place to build a fort and to find gold at the Black Hills. Custer and his unit, came to Black Hills in July 22, 1874, with orders to return by August 30.
Custer and the military were joined by lot of civilians who searched for gold at the Black Hills. Through out the expedition, the civilians found traces of gold in the rivers. They found gold in present day Custer, South Dakota. They extended their searched for gold moving north of Black Hills, establishing towns of Hill City, Sheridan and Pactola. In these places, they found very small amounts of gold. The miners found clear evidence of gold at Black Hills, when they came across Deadwood and Whitewood Creeks in the northern Black Hills. No significant discoveries were made till August 1, when test of the soil determined that a miner could earn as much as $150 per day mining gold at Black Hills. This led to the mass Black Hills Gold Rush.
By 1876, miners had all the land around Deadwood and Whitewood Creeks, but more people came in, to find Gold at Black Hills. The gold that the miners found was placer gold that was eroded from hard rock deposits. While more people came in to Deadwood, looking for Gold many of the good prospects looked for hard rock deposits that were the source of placer gold. On April 9, 1876 Fred and Moses Manuel, Hank Harney and Alex Engh discovered a place near Lead, South Dakota from which the placer gold in Deadwood Creek has eroded.