Alvin was this medium sized gentleman with a very huge chest and even a larger heart. Literally his chest was very big for his size. I asked him about it once and he told me it was because of the lack of oxygen at this elevation which was around 6800′. He said living most of the time at Trojan in South Dakota, that his body had to compensate for this lack of oxygen storage and his chest grew bigger. I believed he was telling the absolute truth. Alvin and I spend many days walking around his property and just siting on his front steps sharing stories about living on top of the world and looking down upon the clouds as they passed by below.

Alvin moved off the mountain shortly after I moved up to the Rubicon and I got to see him often when I would stop by and see him at his new home in lead. I took him breakfast or lunch many times just so we could visit about gold mining and living in the backwoods of the Black Hills.

When I left Lead, I missed Alvin the most. He just had this real special demeaner that makes a man a real man. He was tough, smart with what we call “Mountain Smart” shit that nobody teaches you but you need to learn to survive living at high elevations in the Black Hills. Dealing with snow falls that cover your whole house or just figuring out how to get out of your house after one of those hits. Sometimes it could be how to find things you left leaning up against a tree and is now covered by 6-8 feet of snow.

Alvin was one of the last residences or people to leave Trojan, which is not there anymore. The little town of Trojan is just a memory for those who had the opportunity to know it and it’s people. I feel very blessed to be one of those old souls who adventured, lived and got to know people in Trojan, SD. like Alvin.

Alvin Passed away March 8, 2014 the year I left Lead, SD for a new life on the Sunny Gulf Coast of Florda.

You have to hear the funny story when he literally scared the hell out of me. I posted it at the end of his obituary listed here::

Alvin Roger Carlson, 88, Lead, passed away Thursday, February 27, 2014, at his residence. in Lead, SD.

Committal services were held. Saturday, March 8, 2014, at the Oak Ridge Cemetery near Deadwood.

Memorial services were at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014, at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Lead with Pastor David Baer officiating.

Alvin was born April 5, 1925, at Trojan, SD, to Ancher and Vera (Westerland) Carlson. Following his education, he went to work cutting timber. He worked for the railroad in Edgemont for a short time and returned to Trojan where he worked for Bald Mountain Gold Mine. He also worked for the CCC Camps in the Black Hills National Cemetery during WWII.

On April 20, 1946, he married Ellen G. Mix at Sturgis. They moved to Spokane and Alvin worked in the cement plant. They returned to Trojan where he was employed as the chair lift operator at Terry Peak and later he worked at Deer Mountain as the lift operator and also in maintenance.

He retired from hard work at the age of 69. He was employed by Wharf Resources at the time. Throughout his life he enjoyed dancing and being with people. He liked to visit with tourists and tell them stories of mining and the local history.

Alvin was a life member of the Moose Lodge. He was also a member of the Eagles in Lead and the Lead Senior Center.

Survivors include his daughters, Jean (Lee) Spratt, Folsom, CA, Sally (Clark) Lee, Shalimar, FL, and Betty Millard (Verlan Erickson) Black Hawk, SD; sister, Ruby (John) Koelbl, Madison, AL; brother-in-law, Guy L. (Ilene) Balo, Whitewood; 8 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen; brother, Jay; sisters, Ilene and Mable; and his grandson, Mark Sprat

Dear Alven Carlson Family,

I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I was a good friend of Alvin. I was with him much of the time prior to his moving and when he moved away from Trojan and into Lead to his home. I had a sign shop just down the road from his house in Lead and lived very close to Trojan, beyond at Richmond Hill. I drove past his home in Trojan almost everyday and often stopped to see how he was. We got close during those times and I loved his stories he shared with me. He once scared the hell out of me too, where we laughed so hard. I don’t remember ever being so scared or laughing so hard. Prior to moving out of his house at Trojan, he knew a crew would go through his house and make sure no one was in it before dozing it to mine gold. So he set up a complete human sized dummy that looked just like him and put it on his couch holding a newspaper and it looked dead. He told me to go get his gas water heater out before they dozed his house and when I walked in and went back to get the water heater I came out of his back porch into the living room and seen this old guy that looked dead laying on the couch I about passed out. We later had breakfast and we laughted and laughed about Wharf crew finding it and doing the same thing. I loved Alven and we enjoyed many good times just smelling the clear mountain air and visiting. God Bless his soul.