The Strange Etchings In South Dakota That Still Baffles Archaeologists To This Day
If you hail from the Mount Rushmore State, there is a good chance that you have heard the folklore surrounding the mysterious Thoen Stone: a slab of sandstone near Spearfish that is etched with a description that has baffled archaeologists and historians for generations. Are you not familiar with the legend surrounding the Stone? We will catch you up:
Discovered by Louis Thoen in 1887, the Thoen Stone is a slab of sandstone that was first located near Lookout Mountain and has since been a mystery that cannot be solved.
Spanning 10 by 8 inches, the Thoen Stone is inscribed with the message:
Came to these hills in 1833 seven of us
All dead but me, Ezra Kind. Killed by [Indians] beyond the high hill. Got our gold June 1834. On the back, it reads, "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."
What makes the engraving so baffling? As per well-recorded South Dakota state history, the Gold Rush didn't even begin until the Custer Expedition of 1874 (pictured), which changes the trajectory of Mount Rushmore State history.
Like most important news stories, the legitimacy of the Thoen Stone has long been questioned, with many pointing to Louis Thoen - a career stonemason - as the carver.
To make the story even more bizarre, a handwriting analyst once compared the handwriting of the Thoen brothers and those named on the stone (via old postcards and journal entries) and found that the script does not match.
The mysterious Thoen Stone is displayed at the Historic Adams House in Deadwood.
For more information on this story, check out
this video from YouTube user Portal of Wisdom. While in the Deadwood area, check out There Are 5 Must-See Historic Landmarks In The Charming Town Of Deadwood, South Dakota.
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Thoen Stone Road, Thoen Stone Rd, Spearfish, SD 57783, USA