Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Lost Dutchman Gold Mine - What if it were found?

Suppose dear reader, you flip on your evening news on TV tomorrow evening, or pick up your morning newspaper, and see there in bold type:

"Famous Lost Dutchman Gold Mine Found!"

What would that mean for a treasure hunter that goes out hunting for that lost bonanza? Would you quit, give up the quest, stay home and put on the Golf channel or the Cooking channel? Sell off your equipment, books and maps, and take up roller skating? Maybe something less drastic, just start researching a different lost mine or buried treasure and devote your search efforts in that new direction?

Or would you continue to search the same mountains, the same wild areas where the gold mine of Waltz was hidden, in the knowledge that Waltz's gold mine was only ONE out of several lost mines that are still hidden in that mysterious region? Perhaps you are not aware of those other lost mines, for they do not have the fame attached to them and have never had books or movies done on them.

One example is the rose quartz gold mine of a man named Wagoner, spelled various ways in the old accounts including Waggoner, Wagonner etc and none seem to have found out his first name. He had come to Arizona due to lung problems, and lived in Pinal (now a famous ghost town) and spent his free time prospecting in the Superstition mountains. One day he found a ledge of rose quartz, loaded with gold. He mined enough to set himself up financially and left the area, giving a map and directions to the stage driver he had hitched a ride with many times, even had planted some trees around the ledge to help locate it again but no one ever has. The key landmark to find it is Miners Needle, rather than the more famous Weavers Needle associated with Waltz's lost mine, and but few treasure hunters are actively looking for this mine today. >

Then there is the not-so-famous black quartz gold mine of Apache Jack; several treasure authors have unwittingly mixed this story in with the Lost Dutchman out of ignorance of gold ores. The ore was a black quartz with little spots of gold visible, "like the stars in the sky" which is nothing like the gold ore of Waltz, which is a white quartz with large veins of gold visible. One version has it that Apache Jack was coaxed into leading two friends very near the mine, and they supposedly later found it, mining out several thousand dollars worth of that black quartz before the vein pinched out - but the vein itself could very well crop out elsewhere!

Another lost mine that is often confused with (and very frequently confabulated into the Dutchman legend) is the lost mine of Joe Deering. The mine he found was open to the sky, with numerous pieces of ore simply laying about on the surface. He picked up a number of them and showed them to friends at Silver King where he applied for a temporary job. The ore was rich, but the mine cerstainly doesn't sound anything like the one Jacob Waltz went to such lengths to conceal. Deering had a grubstake partner and by Colorado law, any mineral discovery he might make within a year would belong one-half ownership to the partner, and Deering wanted to cut him out so he took a job working at the famous Silver King. An accident occurred and Deering died of his injuries, and the mine location was lost. John Chuning had been told many of the clues to find it and spent many years hunting for it, but never did find Deering's lost mine.

Then there was the Mexican-Indian woman, interviewed by Sims Ely and at least one other treasure writer, who told of having accompanied her husband up into the Superstition mountains to mine gold; she recalled specifically that they would toss the earth in a blanket and allow the wind to separate out the gold, and that the kernels of gold were the size of kernels of wheat. Ely and other treasure writers assumed this has to be the same mine as Waltz had, but it is definitely not! The mining method she recalled was a good description of winnowing for gold, a very ancient method for mining a dry placer deposit, and Waltz's mine was a lode vein not a placer!

This is only scratching the surface, a little research on your part and you will learn that there are at least a dozen more mines, ledges and pockets that were once found but remain hidden today. None so famous as the Dutchman's mine of course, but were you to find one it should set you up financially pretty good. And at the bottom line, does it really matter if a rich gold mine is named the Lost Dutchman or the Lucky Leprechaun? Not to this treasure hunter it doesn't, and I would bet not for most of you either!

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.

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Blogger james, james said...

i really enjoyed reading this, i live in mesa, and spend most my time walking tortilla flats, and superstition mountains, and have wondered what joy i would have if i stumbled across some forgotten riches...

anyway really enjoyed this one, and most that i've read on your blog so thanks for the good reads

5:08 AM  

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