The Lost Cabin Mine -(s)-

For many years, the most famous lost mine in the USA was the Lost Cabin mine.
Lost Cabin?

Long before the Lost Dutchman gold mine grew to become the most well known lost mine in America, several other lost mines were the object of many a determined search, numerous newspaper articles and even books.  Many lost their lives in the search, for the western wilds were not quite the same as they are today.  The lost Pegleg Smith, Breyfogle and even before these the silver mines of Jonathan Swift were being hunted, and the lost Cabin mine was (arguably) the most famous of the 1800s.

One of the problems inherent in hunting the Lost Cabin mine is that there are in fact several of them!  There was one in Colorado, found and lost more than once, or the lost cabin mine of the Black HIlls, also found by happenstance repeatedly only to be lost again when the finders could not return to the site.  Then there is the lost stone cabin of the Bear Lodge country, the northwestern portion of the Black Hills, which was lost by the owner himself when he made a  trip out for supplies and on returning, could not find his cabin or his mine.

The famous one however is somewhere in the Bighorn country of Wyoming, and with a small area in adjoining Montana where the mountain chain extends into that state.  Like the others, it too has been found on several occasions, in fact there is even a place named Lost Cabin (Wyoming) for a long abandoned cabin found there with the skeletal remains of two prospectors, whom had apparently fallen into quarreling and killed each other, but the location of their mine has not been found.  Several famous frontiersmen have claimed that they had seen the lost Cabin mine, including the renowned Kit Carson himself – but he was convinced that the mine and cabin were in the Black Hills, not the Bighorns.

Geologically, the Bighorn mountain range is very similar to the Black Hills, however missing the gold deposits.  That there is gold in these mountains however is not a matter of dispute, just not generally in paying quantities.  The Wyoming legend has it that seven Swedes had first discovered the mine, built themselves a cabin to live in for winters are severe in these mountains, set up a flume to divert the water from the stream at a waterfall, only to be suddenly ambushed by hostile Indians who killed all of the men but one.  The lone survivor struggled across country for three nights, traveling only at night, to arrive at Fort Reno, where he told the sad tale and showed some of the gold he had recovered.  In spring, joined by a larger force of new partners, they set out to return to the mine.  Unfortunately for them the plains Indians were then at war, and the party was not heard of for some time.  Later, their remains were found, as they had been attacked and killed to a man by the Indians.  None survived, and the secret of the location of the mine and the cabin were lost to the grave.

Others have stumbled across the remains of the cabin, which the Indians had burned, then trekked out to report of their discovery; this was reported in newspapers several times in the last hundred years, however in each case, the party that found the mine and cabin, was then unable to relocate the site on returning.

The Thoen Stone

The Thoen Stone
(from the Rapid City Journal article at )

Could the legend of the Thoen Stone be linked to the lost Cabin mine?  The Thoen stone was found in South Dakota on Lookout mountain near Spearfish, in 1887.  The stone was inscribed on both sides in English, which I will post:

“Came to these hills in 1833
seven of us
all died but me Ezra Kind

Ezra Kind
G.W. Wood
T. Brown
R. Kent
Wm. King
Indian Crow

killed by Indians beyond the high hill
got our gold June 1834″

The reverse side read:

“Got all of the gold we could carry
our ponys all got by Indians
I have lost my gun and nothing to eat
and Indians hunting me.”

Evidence that others had been mining in the Black Hills well before the official discovery of gold in 1874 turned up for decades, picks, shovels, even guns of old type (flintlocks) were found by early miners.  Clearly someone had been mining there, which does support the story found on the Thoen stone.  Researcher Frank Thomson carefully checked the records and found evidence supporting the names listed as belonging to men who went west searching for gold in 1832, and were never heard of again, with the exception of “Indian Crow” which may not have been a name, rather a Crow Indian.  The Crow tribe owned the Black Hills prior to the invasion by other tribes, and were usually friendly with the ‘whites’ so it would not be a great surprise if a Crow had acted as guide for Ezra Kind’s group.

The Thoen Stone makes no mention of any cabin, but it is logical that they should have some shelter built.   Could this be the lost Cabin mine?  True, the survivor of the seven Swedes who went into the Bighorn mountains is fairly well documented, which would point to the lost Cabin mine being in those mountains rather than the Black Hils, but then too, Kit Carson himself claimed that the mine and cabin were in the Black Hills, that the route in from the south, had a point where you would turn east to the Black Hills rather than west to the Bighorns.

Perhaps the truth is that there really are several lost Cabin mines; that it was not unusual for prospectors living on a wild frontier to build a cabin for shelter, and this becomes part of the story when the mine is lost.

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the Lost Cabin gold mine – and send me photos of your find!


~ by Oroblanco on September 14, 2013.

2 Responses to “The Lost Cabin Mine -(s)-”

  1. hey amigo, nice to see you hear, researching a place to dredge, Ca has banned it forever, but I cant give it up. ha – heading to lost cabin area to look at some spanish monuments then dredging ruby gulch..nice article on lost cabin, check out my own new treasure forum spanishtreasure.longstairs.php/index oro mucho rangler

    • Hola amigo! Thank you for the kind words and for writing – I would only suggest that if you head for Ruby Gulch to do some dredging, take a small dredge rather than a large one as the creek there is pretty small. (More like a brook) Good luck and good hunting to you buddy, I hope you find the treasures that you seek – and be sure to send me a note when you strike it rich!
      Roy ~ Oroblanco

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