The Lost Dutchman Mine -- The Myth and Reality
The Lost Dutchman Mine is thought by some to be just a story...
In the 1860s, a German immigrant named Jacob Waltz journeyed into the Superstition Mountains and returned with gold ore. Over the next 30 years, it is known that he periodically returned to the mountains and came back with more gold ore, ore than ranks among the richest ever assayed by the US Geological Service.
Many think Jacob found a deposit of ore in the canyons of the Superstitions about 25 miles SE from Phoenix. Others believe that he discovered a hidden cache of gold from the Peralta Family of Mexico -- a family with extensive mining connections -- and that the ore was too rich to come from a single deposit. Others believe that the gold was hidden by the Apaches who may have attacked a pack train in the mountains as they journed South, possibly from the workings of Mexicans or Spaniards in mines further North.
What is known today is that there is gold all through this region. In the Antelope Mountain range about 100 miles North, for example, Abraham Peeples collected $1,800 of gold on a single day in 1863 by scratching in the rocky earth of a placer deposit with butcher knives. Antelope Mountain became known as Rich Hill. And we know that a recent US Geological Survey confirmed that the Superstitions are highly mineralized and thus likely to hold quantities of gold. More than $3 million in bullion has been taken from the nearby Mammoth and Black Queen Mines.
We also know from modern analysis of Jacob's gold that it is contained in minerals that are not from Colorado or elsewhere but expected to be from the Superstitions.
The details have been in dispute for over 100 years.
What we do know is that on his many expeditions to The Superstition Mountains, Jacob returned with ore. There is lots of evidence that he explained the mine's location while dying from pneumonia in 1891. Under his bed was a metal box containing some of his findings.
Until now, the evidence on Jacob's mine was never convincing one way or the other. This 242 square mile area is hostile, desolate and unforgiving, making discovery of the mine difficult at best for the hundreds who have searched for it.
The good news is that we, however, have discovered the actual location of the mine and are providing every team in our expedition with a vehicle, a grubstake, an accurate map and the opportunity to mine as much gold as we can. You'll have to plan the route you'll take and optimize your selection of resources so handle the weather and the journey
Some bad news is that the US Department of Agriculture has closed the Superstition Wilderness Area to mineral extraction to comply with the Wilderness Act approved by Congress in 1984. The good news is that we have a one-time permit for a 20 day adventure, starting in a few minutes. So, we'll have time to get to the mountains, mine gold and return to Apache Junction with as much gold as we can.
(This is a longer version of how we introduce the exercise to the audience - the reality still remains a mystery.
You can find links to a variety of information about The Lost Dutchman Mine
on the resources page of this website.)
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