As a result, the area boomed with prospectors, outfitters, gamblers and prostitutes giving rise to the town of Deadwood. The lawlessness of the town attracted both the famous, and the infamous. Notorious figures such as Wild Bill Hickok , Calamity Jane and Hickok’s murderer, Jack McCall all sprang from the wild raucousness of the area.
During this time, Henri LeBeau, a French prospector and goldsmith came out west to make his fortune. Lost, destitute and nearing starvation, Henri dreamed one night of the lush vineyards of his French homeland. When he had awakened, he heard water running from a stream. Following the stream, Henri found and ate grapes which are native to South Dakota, giving him the strength to survive.
Henri settled in the Black Hills and began crafting jewelry using three colors of gold with designs representing the grapes and leaves that had saved his life... and Black Hills Gold jewelry was born!
Landstrom's roots date back to 1878 when S.T. Butler, trained by Henri LeBeau, opened the first Black Hills Gold jewelry manufacturing store with his son, George M. Butler in Deadwood. In 1919, the company was divided into two companies, the F.L. Thorpe Company and the Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company. In 1944 Ivan Landstrom bought the Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company and in 1995 Black Hills Gold history went full circle when Landstrom's acquired the F.L. Thorpe Company making Landstrom's the sole owner of all the original Black Hills Gold designs!