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Thread: Thoen Stone

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    Rickiarrow is offline Banned Silver Rickiarrow can only hope to improve
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    Default Thoen Stone


    Treasuredude -- The Thoen Stone

    On March 14, 1887, Louis Thoen and his brother were working in a rock quarry on Lookout Mountain near Spearfish, SD. Louis found a flat sided piece of sandstone with the following message carved into it...

    "Come to these hills in 1833 -- 7 of us -- Delacompt -- Ezra Kind -- G.W. Wood -- T. Brown -- R. Kent -- Wm. King -- Indian Crow -- all dead but me, Ezra Kind -- killed by Indians beyond the high hill -- Got our gold. June 1834 -- Got all the gold we could carry -- our ponies all got by the Indians -- I have lost my gun and nothing to eat and -- Indians hunting me."

    Many people thought the stone tablet was a hoax planted by someone to gain attention. People wondered why a man, who was being hunted by Indians, would take the time to carve a message into a rock. A message that had a good chance of never being seen.

    Later in 1887 a Spearfish resident, John Cashner, took a trip back east and made the first in a series of discoveries that went far in authenticating the stone. He told the story of the Thoen Stone to the Detroit Free Press which ran an article on the discovery. Harvey Brown, Jr. of Troy, Michigan read the newspaper article and contacted Cashner. He thought that T. Brown might be his half uncle, Thompson Brown, who headed west in 1832 with another man. He had never been heard from since.

    Five names on the tablet -- T. Brown, R. Kent, Wm. King, Indian Crow, and Ezra Kind -- have all been confirmed as belonging to men who headed west in the 1830's, never to be seen again. R. Kent had sent a letter back east saying that he had "found all the gold he wanted" and would be heading home soon.

    Interviews with miners from the Black Hills gold rush revealed that rusted picks, shovels, and the remains of a sluice box had been found several feet below the existing surface of the stream bed. The gold rushers were shocked to discover what appeared to be the remains of a long abandoned mining camp.

    Interviews with Indians have confirmed that several groups of miners were killed in the early 1800's to keep the white man from learning of the rich gold deposits in the Black Hills. It therefore stands to reason that the Indians either dumped or hid the gold that Ezra Kind and his companions had when they were "killed by Indians beyond the high hill."

    In any case, it's not hard to imagine Ezra Kind running from the Indians -- alone, unarmed, hiding by day and moving by night. On a piece of wet sandstone he carves his name and those of his comrades, hoping that someday it may be found so that their families would know their fate.

    The original Thoen Stone sits today in the Adams Museum in Deadwood, SD. On a hill north of Spearfish a monument displays an enlarged replica of the stone tablet. To the east of the monument, you can view Lookout Mountain where the Thoen Stone was found. To the west is Crow Peak which many assume to be the "high hill."

    Treasure hunters are still looking for what was for seven men on ponies "all the gold we could carry."

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    Rickiarrow is offline Banned Silver Rickiarrow can only hope to improve
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