Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine

Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine - Treasure Tale in the History of America West

A treasure tale in the history of American West, is of the Lost Dutchman Mine that is shrouded in mystery and is said to be not only rich in gold but also has a curse on it which has led many to strange death as well as mysterious disappearance of people who have made attempts to locate the old mine.

For over 120 years, this legend has been narrated again and again which has grown in proportion to an extent that some have claimed that the legend is nothing but a myth though for some others, the mine with its legend are very real, hidden in the forbidding peaks of the Superstition Mountains.

Somewhere in the Superstition Mountains, east of Phoenix, Arizona, a 3,000 foot high monolith stands guard over the rest of its territory, a gold mine which is said to be so rich that if the walls are tapped with a hammer, one would get nuggets of gold tumbling down.

Long before gold was discovered in these cliffs, the area had been covered in mystery and in 1540, when the Spanish had arrived the region had been inhabited by the Apache who considered the Superstition Mountain as a sacred ground.

Discovered by the Apache

The mine it is said was discovered by the Apache who had kept it heavily guarded till it was eventually revealed to a few of the first Spanish monks who had reached Arizona from the colonies in Mexico.

It was locally known as `The Dutchman’s Mine’, since two of the several 19th century applicants were presumed to be from Holland.Jacob Waltz and Jacob Weiser, the two German explorers rescued a Don Miguel Peralta from a clash in the Mexican town of Arizpe and Don Miguel had informed his rescuers about the secret family mine which one of his relative had staked claim in 1748.

The three of them then left for Arizona with the Peralta family map and located the Peralta family mine thereafter and picked up $60,000 worth of gold. It was said that Don Miguel had sold the map with the title of the mine to the Germans for half of the proceeds and the two Germans continued to work in the mine for the next two decades when one day disaster finally struck there.

Mining Forbidden

One evening Waltz had come back to the camp after camping near the mine and found that Weiser had disappeared and on the ground he found blood stained shirt with Apaches’ arrows. The mine was once again discovered by chance in 1880 and the discoverers were two young US soldiers who had appeared in the town of Pinal and had their saddlebags full of gold.

They had stated that the ore had come from a funnel shaped mine in a canyon near a sharp pinnacle of rock. When they did not appear after their second venture to the mine, a rescue team was sent who found their bodies that were presumably shot dead. Over a period of time the stories regarding the mine gave way to legend with several exaggerations and variation to it.

Presently the area is a State park, Lost Dutchman State Park. Mining here is forbidden though that does not stop many of them who come each year, to search for the lost gold.

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