Posts Tagged With: lost mine

Don Joaquin’s Lost Gold..


Don Joaquin’s Lost Gold:

In 1847 a Mexican Army Officer named Don Joaquin led a small mining expedition into the Sierra Estrella Mountains in the hopes of finding rich gold or silver deposits. Like anyone with geology, military training and experience he located a very promising location to mine. As well as a defensive area to set up a camp not far from the mine.

The mine was producing well and with no problems to speak of except low food stores. Until one day a Gila river Pima scout ran into camp and told the commander that the American Army was moving along the Gila and will be soon heading to Pimeria Alta.
Pimeria Alta was Spanish Arizona and at that time modern Mexican settlements, ranches, Presidial’s-Forts, Pimeria Alta is located from pretty much Arizpe in Sonora all the way north to the Gila river. Tucson, San Xavier, Tubac, and other places of importance are within Pimeria Alta.

Realizing his situation, not having the security of reinforcements and his path south to Mexican settlements about to be cut off. He ordered his men to abandon the mine for the time being, pack up everything and make for a small butte nearby.
This butte is modern Butterfly Peak, the path they took to get there is known as the Zig Zag trail.
Don Joaquin made a tactical decision to hide all the gold with the help of one Indian laborer. So if in the event he and his party were to be captured by the approaching Americans that their gold would not become plunder for the enemy.

With the help of the Indian laborer, they moved half way down the trail into a type of box canyon where they found a small cave. Then they removed the gold from the mule packs and piled it up inside of a small cave (probably an alcove). It is said they hid 3,000lbs from the packs of 15 mules.

When the job was completed, Joaquin killed the Indian laborer and placed him inside with the gold ore and then sealed/walled up the cave with the intention to return. He quickly sketched a quick map of the canyon he was in near the butte, so he could easily recall the location of the walled up cave.

He joined up with his men later on the evening of the following day right before sunset. His men nervous about the on coming American Army, the threat they posed to their families south of the Gila and their commander taking his sweet time in hiding their wealth caused the men to make a quick but drastic decision. Upon Joaquin’s return his men killed him, took his crude map and quickly under cover of darkness made there way south to the northern most Mexican outpost, being Presidio San Augustine de Tucson.

For thirty five years no word of the lost gold was known until in 1882 a man arrived claiming to hold a old Mexican map and asking for a guide to take him to the areas the map depicted. His expedition was a quick one as the local natives quickly chased him out of that area and upon his return to Phoenix he soon returned south back to Mexico without ever finding the hidden gold.
To this day there are many stories and claims as to what happened to the man and the crude map.

This treasure is still out there and within the Sierra Estrella Mountains south of Phoenix. If this could be found, it would be not only a great payday but also a priceless window into the past.

(Please follow state, federal, reservation laws and respect private property. If you have any doubts at all, simply ask permission)

gold

Categories: artifacts, gold, gold coins, gold ingots, Gold Mine, hidden, Legends, Lost gold, Lost Mines, Lost Treasure, Mexico, placer gold, Spanish gold, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California…Lost Treasure….Lost Gold Ledge of the Chocolate Mountains


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For the land that would eventually become California, the year 1542 was a pivotal point in time. The first recorded sighting of the California coastline occurred in that momentous year. Two small ships commanded by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo worked their way up the west coast of Mexico to what is now San Diego Bay. Cabrillo had been present during the final conquest of Mexico City and had personally witnessed the fall of the Aztec empire. But his discovery of California would be his crowning achievement, although he didn’t realize it at the time.

Sixty years later, the Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino cruised the California coastline in search of wealth. Vizcaino named many locations along the coast including Carmel, Monterey, Santa Catalina, and San Pedro. The expedition found no treasure but did discover “fool’s gold” and a metallic silvery-blue mineral used by the natives.

It wasn’t until 1769 that a joint land and sea expedition to California was mounted by the Spaniards. Don Gaspar de Portola arrived in San Diego in June of that year as California’s first governor. The expedition included a number of illustrious men including Father Junipero Serra, Father Juan Crespi, Captain Fernando Rivera y Moncada, and Lieutenant Pedro Fages. The Spanish presence was now firmly established in California.

Five years later, another expedition set out for the newly-established San Gabriel Mission in southern California. Led by Juan Bautista de Anza, the Spaniards marched from Sonora along the Camino de Diablo trail to the junction of the Colorado and Gila rivers. Here they encountered the Yuma Indians led by their famous chief Palma. From the Yuma villages, the Spaniards marched westward through the desert sands to Borrego Springs and then on to San Gabriel Mission. The floodgates were now open. Spanish prospectors quickly followed on the heels of de Anza and by 1780, were scouring the mountains of the lower Colorado River country. In that same year, gold was discovered in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains, in the Picacho

Basin, and at the “Potholes” near the southern end of the Chocolate Mountains. The Cargo Muchachos have veteran status among the mountain ranges of southern California. They were the site of the first discovery of gold in California by Spanish prospectors. Initially the surface ores were extremely rich, but deeper down they gave way to very low grade ore. The Spanish miners quickly skimmed off the richest ores and moved on to other locations. The Cargo Muchacho deposits were sporadically worked by Mexican prospectors, but they essentially lay dormant for over 80 years.

Then in 1862, American prospectors discovered rich gold-bearing quartz veins in the Cargo Muchachos. Miners and prospectors swarmed into the area. In 1884, the rich Gold Rock lodes were discovered by a railroad worker named Pete Walters. Railroad men sure seem to make good prospectors. Besides Pete Walters’ Gold Rock strike in the Cargo Muchachos there was John Sutter’s discovery of the fabulous Bagdad-Chase lode and Tom Schofield’s lost mine in the Clipper Mountains.

The Gold Rock claims were extremely rich. A mining camp known as Gold Rock Camp sprang up near the workings, but it was renamed Hedges soon after. (In 1910, the name was again changed to Tumco.) Hedges was a hell-raising town during its heyday. During the late 1800’s, an Irishman named Jim Sullivan worked at one of the saloons in town. One of his fellow employees was an old Indian who had lived in the lower Colorado River country all his life. The Indian carried a secret with him. In his wanderings he had stumbled on a ledge of gold-bearing ore and had samples to prove it! Sullivan eventually persuaded him to reveal the location of the ledge and the two of them set out from Hedges. The Indian led Sullivan eastward towards the Chocolate Mountains. After about 15 miles, they located the ledge, worked it, and then returned to town. Soon after, the old Indian disappeared but Sullivan always figured he could find the ledge on his own. He was never able to.

Categories: California, gold, Gold Mine, Lost Treasure | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California Lost Treasure……Jack Stewart’s Lost Lode


The 1870’s were “silver years” in the mining history of the American West. After the fabulous Comstock silver strike in western Nevada, silver replaced gold in the hearts of the miners and prospectors of the West. 1873 was a big year at the Comstock mines as massive new silver lodes were discovered in the lower workings. These fabulous silver discoveries sent out a ripple of excitement to all parts of the West as prospectors poured over the mountains in search of the white metal. Soon after the Comstock windfall, prospectors discovered incredibly rich silver deposits in the Panamint Range of eastern California. Some of the Panamint ore assayed out at $3000 worth of silver per ton of ore!

Silver was king in Colorado during the 1870’s. It was during those years that the so-called “carbonate craze” swept the state. Prospectors scouted the mountains in search of silver-bearing ore bodies emplaced in carbonate rocks such as limestone. Prospectors looked for limestones that were closely associated with igneous rocks. And they found them! It turned out that Colorado was particularly well-endowed with silver deposits. In 1878, one of the greatest silver camps of all was born with the discovery of a 10-foot thick, tabular bed of silver-bearing lead carbonate. Leadville instantly leaped to prominence. In the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, a similar ore body near Rico was worked during the 1870’s.

The white metal was also king in Arizona during the 1870’s. The great silver district of the Trigo Mountains got its start with the discovery of the rich Black Rock and Pacific lodes in 1877.

Then, around the turn of the century, gold again replaced silver in importance as numerous rich strikes were made all over the West. 1891 was the year of the great Cripple Creek gold rush. Situated at an elevation of 10,000 feet, the gold-choked throat of the buried “Cripple Creek volcano” has produced over $430 million in gold! Cripple Creek was the last of Colorado’s great gold camps. In 1895, the fabulous lode deposits of Randsburg were discovered in the Mohave Desert of southern California. The Randsburg mines produced nearly a million ounces of gold during their lifetime. Southern California was the scene of another rich

gold strike during the 1890’s. The discovery took place in the Panamint Mountains, about 7 miles south of the abandoned silver camp of Panamint City. The mining camp that sprang up along the western flank of the Panamints was named after the famous Australian gold camp known as Ballarat.

In 1897, it was Alaska’s turn. The great Alaskan gold rush took prospectors to the Klondike and then to Nome the following year. The great placer deposits of Alaska have produced over 20 million ounces of gold to date. In the early 1900’s, the focus shifted back to the American Southwest. In 1902, the fabulous ore bodies at Goldfield, Nevada were discovered. The mines at Goldfield eventually produced over 4 million ounces of the yellow metal. The Goldfield strike sent a pulse of excitement throughout the desert Southwest. Prospectors combed the wilderness, looking for gold and silver ores similar to those at Tonopah and Goldfield. In 1904, the famous Death Valley prospector “Shorty” Harris discovered the rich Bullfrog lode, near the Nevada/California border. Two years later, prospectors returned to the Panamints and located the gold deposits at Skidoo. The Panamints had a way of luring back prospectors again and again. It had happened back in 1873, and then in the 1890’s, and then again in 1906.

One of the many prospectors drawn to the Panamint Range during the 1890’s was a veteran of the Death Valley country named Jack Stewart. In 1897, Stewart found himself on the Death Valley side of the Panamints, not far from Stovepipe Wells. During a rare Death Valley downpour, Stewart was forced to take cover along the northeastern flank of the range. In one of the many small canyons that cut the range, Stewart discovered a freshly-exposed deposit of gold-bearing quartz float! He gathered up some samples, waited out the storm, and continued on his way to Stovepipe Wells. Eventually, Stewart returned to the Panamints to search for the source of the rich float. But the landscape had somehow changed! Perhaps another storm had altered the canyon floor, but in any case, Stewart was unable to locate the deposit. He never did.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, gold, Lost Treasure, silver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California…Lost Treasure…Lost Emeralds…


Lost Santa Rosa Emerald Mine….

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The rugged Santa Rosa Mountains rise up from the desert floor northwest of the Salton Sea, in the extreme south-central part of California. Part of the Peninsular Ranges, the Santa Rosa Mountains stretch for nearly 40 miles in a northwest-southeast direction. The Santa Rosas are dominated by three peaks, Toro Peak and Santa Rosa Mountain in the northwest part of the range and Rabbit Peak in the southeast part. Toro Peak is the highest peak in the Santa Rosas, rising to 8717 feet. The mountains decrease in elevation to the southeast, eventually petering out into a series of low hills just west of the Salton Sea. The Santa Rosas are bounded on the east and west by the Coachella Valley and Clark Valley, respectively. The range is separated from the adjacent San Jacinto range to the northwest by Palm Canyon. The southern part of the range merges with the seared wasteland known as the Borrego Badlands. The town of Borrego Springs lies a scant 12 miles southwest of the Santa Rosas.

The Santa Rosa Mountains have always stood on the periphery of events in California. Even today, the area is remote and fairly inaccessible. In 1774, a Spanish expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza passed through Borrego Springs on its way to San Gabriel Mission, near present day Los Angeles. But for the most part, people and events have by-passed the Santa Rosas.

The mountains have an air of mystery about them. For many years, persistent rumors of rich gold-bearing pockets in the Santa Rosas have circulated around the mining camps of southern California. Indeed, a few of these have been discovered. The area also contains numerous Pre-Columbian archeological sites including camp sites, stone rings, and ancient Indian trails. Many legends have come down to us concerning the activities of these early Indians. One of the most intriguing legends is that of a lost emerald mine worked for many years by the local Indians.

In the 1940’s, a mining engineer named Marshal South got wind of the legendary emerald mine from an old Indian living in Hermosilla. The two formed a partnership and began prospecting the Santa Rosa Mountains. Using Rockhouse Canyon as their base camp, Marshal South and the old Indian scoured the mountains in search of the emerald deposit. Although they never located the mine, they did find a small fragment of emerald in one of the many steep canyons that cut the flanks of the Santa Rosas. The emerald was found mixed with beryl float at the bottom of the canyon.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, California, emeralds, Lost Mines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Josephine Gold Mine finally been found? $1.7BILLION bonanza abandoned by Spanish priests…


An adventurous treasure hunter claims he has found a legendary lost gold mine in the mountains of northeastern Utah – a $1.7billion bonanza first discovered by Spanish priests in 1650 that has laid dormant for more than three centuries.

Gary Holt believes that he and his son have found the Josephine de Martinque mine at Hoyt’s Peak in the Uinta Mountains – and they only need federal government permission to delve deep enough to claim their prize, the Park Record newspaper reports.

The Lost Josephine Mine was fabled to be the richest gold mine in the world. It was first documented by Spanish Jesuit priests in 1650.

Discovery: Brandon Holt, pictured, and his father Gary say they have found an abandoned Spanish gold mine from the 1600s

Discovery: Brandon Holt, pictured, and his father Gary say they have found an abandoned Spanish gold mine from the 1600s

The U.S. Forest Service is skeptical, saying the cavern is likely a natural formation and that it contains no gold deposits

The U.S. Forest Service is skeptical, saying the cavern is likely a natural formation and that it contains no gold deposits

The explorers say they have found calcite semi-precious gemstones in the cavern, but no gold

The explorers say they have found calcite semi-precious gemstones in the cavern, but no gold

But U.S. Forest Service officials say the mine is a fairy tale – and treasure hunters are defacing a natural cave and destroying formations that are millions of years old as they search for riches.

Mr Holt told the Park Record that he has yet to find gold in the cavern.

He obtained a mining permit and said he has so far pulled millions of dollars worth of calcite crystals from the shaft. He markets them as ‘Goldite’ and says they could become valuable as semi-precious gemstones.

So far, though, the spelunking into the cavern has not yet yielded any gold. Mr Holt remains undeterred. In a 2009 post on the treasure hunter forum Ancient Lost Treasures, Mr Holt suggests that the mine could contain $1.7billion in gold.

Officials say the ‘Goldite’ mining operation is little more than a ruse to allow Mr Holt to continue looking for gold.

The caver is at the bottom of a deep shaft that Mr Holt and his friends have been exploring for years

The caver is at the bottom of a deep shaft that Mr Holt and his friends have been exploring for years

This is a 'Goldite' outcropping - calcite that Mr Holt believes he can sell for millions as a semi-precious stone

This is a ‘Goldite’ outcropping – calcite that Mr Holt believes he can sell for millions as a semi-precious stone

Revolution: The mine was abandoned by the Spanish in 1680 during the Pueblo Revolt when Indians drove them from their claims in New Mexico

Revolution: The mine was abandoned by the Spanish in 1680 during the Pueblo Revolt when Indians drove them from their claims in New Mexico

He says the hunt for gold is ‘still in active development.’

References to the the Lost Josephine Mine first appear in records of Spanish Jesuit priests in 1650. It was said to be the most valuable gold mine in the world.

Three decades later, the priests were forced to abandon the mind when the Spanish were driven out of the New Mexico Territory during the 1680 Pueblo Revolution uprising by the Pueblo Indians.

The exact location of the mine has been lost ever since.

But, Forest Service Archeologist Tom Flanagan, says the the myth of the Lost Josephine Mine being in northeast Utah is nothing but a fairy tale.

‘If we had those kinds of gold mines in the Uintas (Mountains), I’d be a rich man,’ he told the Park Record.

‘A lot of treasure hunters will map on a natural solution cavity and try to purport that it’s a historic or ancient mine and then try to mine it.’

Location: Other explorers have long believed that the that the lost mine - with untold riches - was located at Hoyt's Peak in northeastern Utah

Location: Other explorers have long believed that the that the lost mine – with untold riches – was located at Hoyt’s Peak in northeastern Utah

Categories: Ancient Treasure, gold, Lost Mines, Lost Treasure, Treasure Hunters, Utah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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