The Thorn Mansion
The Thorn Mansion was called “the grandest house in the mountains” after it was constructed in
1861. The brick Gothic Revival mansion was built for Sheriff Benjamin Kent Thorn and his wife
Annie Meeks, allegedly with funds skimmed from the sheriff’s assessment collections. Thorn served
as sheriff from 1867 to 1902, with the exception of a few years during the 1870’s. Noted for his
capture of several dangerous criminals, Thorn’s most famous case occurred in 1883 when he played
a part in the apprehension of Black Bart, the highwayman. It stands just off the highway, at 87
East Saint Charles (Hwy 49).