Discovered on Lookout Mountain in 1887 by Louis Thoen, the Thoen Stone is a relic of Spearfish’s history, and lore.
The Thoen Stone, a sandstone slab, recounts the story of Ezra Kind and party, who traveled to the Black Hills in search of gold and were killed by Native Americans. The discovery of the stone called into questions the first discovery of gold mining in the Black Hills as the slab is dated 1834 – 40 years before the Custer Expedition of 1874 and the subsequent Black Hills Gold Rush.
The slab reads:
“Came to these hills in 1833 seven of us, De Lacompt, Ezra Kind, G.W. Wood, T.Brown, R. Kent, Wm. King, Indian Crow all ded but me Ezra Kind, killed by Ind beyond the high hill got our gold June 1834.”
The validity of the stone has long been disputed by locals and historians alike, but one thing is for certain, the Thoen Stone will continue to remain as a relic of Spearfish lore for decades to come.
Today, a monument sits at the end of St. Joe Street in Spearfish and the original slab can be found on display at the Adams Museum in Deadwood.