The lost Dutchman Gold Mine
The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine has long been sought for and according to legend and research it is one of the most valuable gold mines. It was discovered by Jacob Waltz and is believed to be located in the Superstition Mountains. The location was lost upon the death of Jacob Waltz and is waiting to be found again by a very lucky and brave adventurer and explorer.
Lost Dutchman Gold Mine by Bradley "Brad" Williamson
Jacob Waltz immigrated to the United States from Germany around 1845 and he traveled across the country searching for Gold, from one gold field to another until he finally arrived in what was then called the Arizona Territory. This was an area that was still largely unexplored, full of mysteries and legends and home of the Apache Indian. Jacob Waltz was destined to go from a life of relative obscurity to being credited with finding one of the world's richest gold mines. Jacob Waltz did exist and he did find gold, this has been well documented. For over a hundred years the question that has driven many people to dedicate their life in search of and others to invest millions is: WHERE was his rich vein of gold. It appears to be a secret that he inadvertently took to the grave with him, leaving us with only a few clues to the location of his gold. This article is the story of the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine and includes some of the clues and possible locations of the mine.
The clues include tales of him leaving town at night and eluding followers only to return with sacks full of gold, a deathbed confession of the location of the mine, mysterious stone maps, abandoned mining operations from the conquistadors and terrifying tales of Apache spirits. Through the years Jacob Waltz would become known as the "Dutchman" and his mine would go down in legend as the "Lost Dutchman Gold Mine".
The first written record of gold being found in the vicinity of the Superstition Mountains occurred in 1864 when six prospectors discovered a ledge of gold ore near the Superstition Mountains. This information came from mine superintendent C.M. Thorndyke and was published in the Arizona Daily Gazette on November 27, 1894. It was based on information provided to him by Frank Blinkey in 1877.
A party of prospectors headed south from Fort McDowell towards the Superstition Mountains in search of gold. In their search Frank Blinkey and his five companions discovered a gleaming ledge of gold. However their luck was about to run out. Before they recovered any gold they were attacked by violent hordes of Apache Indians. They tried to survive and hold their ground but they hopelessly out numbered. In an act of desperation they barricaded themselves deep in the crevasses of a nearby peak and tried to make a stand. At this point their supplies were low and everyone had at least one injury. They held off the Indians until nightfall when Frank Blinkey managed to escape and sneak past the Indians. He crossed the mountains and swam the Salt River to reach Fort McDowell, which was ten miles away. Early that morning Frank along with a large contingent of Calvary came to the rescue of the other beleaguered prospectors. Unfortunately, two of them had already died and another two died of wounds back at Fort McDowell. This first account of gold in the vicinity of the Superstition Mountains is a terrifying tale and because of the deadly Apaches this site was abandoned and lost in time.
However, Jacob Waltz was to be far more successful than others in his attempt to find gold.
Jacob Waltz's name appears on several mining claims in the Bradshaw Mountains. His name also appears on the 1864 territorial census for the Arizona Territory and his name is listed on a petition to territorial governor John N. Goodwin to create a militia to control the predatory raids of the Indians in the Bradshaw Mountains. Jacob finally moved to Salt River Valley in 1868 and filed a homestead claim of 160 acres on the north bank of the Salt River. The Salt River Valley area would later become known as the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Jacob lived here for close to twenty three years. Through the years from his ranch he would go on exploratory prospecting trips in the surrounding mountains.
With all the documented evidence of Jacob Waltz's it becomes obvious that he did exist and is not the creation of some mystery writer's imagination. A search of any of the courthouse records listed above and the census records for the states and territories that he lived in should put to rest any doubts about his existence. The next question is did he really find a rich vein of gold and if so, where is it?
According to legend the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine is suppose to be located in the Superstition Mountains near the Mountain know as Weaver's Needle. In the nearby area surrounding the Superstition Mountains there are many gold mines that have produced vast quantities of gold. Some of these mines are the Mammoth mine, the Bull Dog Mine, the Bluebird Mine and so on. A town called Goldfield was even created because of all the gold mines and miners in the area. However as of yet no gold has been found in the Superstition Mountains. The following image shows all the gold mines located in the nearby vicinity of the Superstition Mountains
.So now that it is clear that Jacob Waltz did exist and that there are vast quantities of gold that have been found in the vicinity of where his mine is suppose to be located - where is The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine?
Weak and feeble with old age Jacob revealed the location of his secret supply of gold to his caregiver Mrs. Julia Thomas and a friend of his Rhiney Petrash. Pointing a shaking hand to the East he said, "Years ago I found a rich ledge of gold near those mountains." Through the window and off in the distance towards the east loomed the Superstition Mountains.
Jacob also stated, "There is plenty of gold there for everyone and that it doesn't require much digging." He continued, "The ledge is eighteen inches wide with pure gold high on a ledge above a gulch and it is well concealed by brush. He knew that it was well hidden so that someone would not accidentally find it and the area of the ledge was susceptible to savage surprise attacks by the Apaches. Jacob promised that he would take them to his secret goldmine but that they would have to wait till Fall because in the summer temperatures were often a searing 110 degrees. Unfortunately, Jacob did not last until the fall. He became sicker and bedridden and eventually died October 25th, 1891. Upon going through some of his belongings they found a box under his bed. Opening the box Julia and Rhiney found it to be full of chunks of quartz sparkling with gold.
It is the author's belief that Gold does exist in the area around the Superstition Mountains and several mines in the area have produced vast quantities of gold and that there are still some veins of gold waiting to be discovered. The article, "Clues to The Lost Dutchman Mine" shares many of the clues which will help locate The Lost Dutchman Goldmine.