Thunder Mountain Monument

(hit "refresh" to get the most recent version of this page; click on photos for larger images)

Frank Van Zant, of Creek Indian descent, changed his name to Rolling Mountain Thunder after arriving in 1969 in the Thunder Mountain area in Imlay, NV. He built three buildings of stone, cement and found materials, around which a framework supports over 200 painted cement figures and faces. The sculptures depict Native Americans and their protective spirits. The framework rises about the main house forming a large handle so that, after Thunder's death, "the Great Spirit can carry it away." The site became a monument to the Native American and a refuge for outcasts and travelers who stayed in Thunderís community without charge.

Thunder suffered constant harassment from local people and in 1983, the environment was partly destroyed by arson. In 1989, he committed suicide. Vandalism continued into the 1990s, when his creation became a Nevada State Historic Site and was roped off for protection. The property is now looked after by Thunder's grown children and open for self-guided tours. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Special Places
Main Page

copyright: all photos contained at this website are copyrighted and may be used only with consent