The staff of the Harney Peak Hotel, now the home of the Alpine Inn, has sought to accommodate its guests for more than a century. Built in 1886, this historic landmark, with its reputation for fine dining, became the showplace of Hill City. Family owned & operated for over 3 decades, the Alpine Inn carries on this tradition.
The Alpine Inn has been noted in several national & international publications for its friendly, homey atmosphere steeped in mellow old world charm and its delicious meals. The luncheon menu boasts both ethnic European and contemporary dishes. The famous streamlined evening menu features filet mignon and homemade desserts that are just as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as the palate!
On the corner of Elm & Main Street in the heart of the Black Hills Stands this majestic portal to the past. We strive to make your visit to our corner of the world a pleasant memory. It is our hope that you experience all of the warmth & charm that emanates from this cherished landmark in Hill City, SD. If walls could talk, ours would tell you stories that even Hollywood could not match. Isn’t it about time that you’ve come and added your story to these walls?
The town of Hill City, first known as Hillyo and the second town in the Black Hills, originated in conjunction with the 1876 discovery of placer gold deposits in Spring Creek. Its population fluctuated in tandem to the severity of the “gold fever” inflicted on its residents, and as the gold rush moved north to Deadwood, rumor had it that Hill City was populated by “one man and a dog”. In 1883, the discovery of tin attracted enough English capital to organize the “Harney Peak Tin Mining, Milling, and Manufacturing Company”. Even though the mill was a short-lived disappointment, the company spent millions of unseen investor’s dollars boosting the town’s economy for nearly ten years and making sure that management lived in the lap of luxury.
The company built the Harney Peak Hotel for use by its mining executives. The hotel was a favorite spot for Sunday diners and a rendezvous for mining, timbering, and railroad men active in the area. The town was nicknamed “one Mile of Hell” because it had “a church on each end, with one mile of hell in between”. This was a reference to the more than fifteen bars on Main Street and their associated rowdiness and gunfights. The mining company ceased operations in 1892. Surviving two major fires, the hotel and dining room remained in operation until 1934.
Waldraut (Wally, pronounced “Volly”) Matush came to the United States from Stuttgart, Germany in 1961, moved to Hill City in 1970 and acquired the Harney Peak Hotel in 1974. Over a ten year period, the Hotel housed a variety of businesses until it became home of the present Alpine Inn in 1984.
The warm atmosphere (which Wally refers to as Gemutlichkeit) of the Alpine extends beyond the surface; Wally’s kitchen and arms have always been open to those in need of a good ear and good advice. Several of her original employees have remained with her through the years out of the sense of “Family” that Wally and the Alpine have brought to them.
Wally is the “Matron Saint” of the Alpine Inn and plans are to bury her in the basement when she dies so that she can haunt the building with the rest of its ghosts. In 1996, Wally turned over the reins to her daughter, Monika, who carries on with the traditions started by her mother.