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Image by Tom Garritty


A Journey Back in Time to the Wild West

Annie Parks.jpg

French Creek Tea Co. was established in 2015 in Custer, SD, where its founders, Duane and Royia Hrncir, resided in a historic home they purchased and remodeled. During their renovations, they uncovered many historical artifacts that lead them to research the history of the home and surrounding area. They would soon discover that their home had likely been an “entertainment establishment” in the era of gold-mining in the Wild West. 


According to legend, a 30-year-old widow named Anna Parks moved from Bismarck, ND, to Keystone, SD, with her 5-year-old son George in the 1880s, searching for a means to provide for their family. Bismarck Annie, as she was later called, established a high class home called The Palace to entertain the miners of the Holy Terror Mine until its closure in 1903. Annie is said to have sold the home and moved on between 1903 and 1910. The new owner likely moved it to Custer City where it housed various businesses and remains today. 


This intriguing piece of history lead the Hrncirs to adopt the theme of Annie’s Palace when creating their tea company and naming their hand-crafted blends. As an ode to Annie and the founders of French Creek Tea Company, we have decided to maintain those tea blends and names. We treasure this story that inspired such creativity, and we are excited to be a part of this historical endeavor. We look forward to carrying it on to the next generation of tea-lovers! 

Anna Parks, circa 1900

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