The Mystery Behind the Legend of the Lost Dutchmans Gold Mine
Goldfield “ghost town” Arizona was a town of many mysteries, and for years people visit it to either enjoy the view of the old settlement, or to look for clues to find the lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.
In 1892, a settlement located at the top of a small hill between the Superstition Mountain and the Goldfield Mountain started, when rich grade gold ore was found in the area. Soon enough a small town sprung up, and on October 7, 1893, they received their official post office.
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The town has three saloons, a boarding house, a general store, brewery, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, and a school. The town’s gold mining industry boomed for 5 years, and some 1,500 people resided in the area. A legend about a lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine invited more miners to come over and stay, and before you know it, some 4,000 people were already residing in the town. But just like any other gold camp, when the grade of ore started to drop and there were less of them found, the town quickly found itself dying. People left and the mines were closed, but those searching for the lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine stayed and attempted to reopen the mines and the industry of gold mining but failed.
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On the first decade of the 20th century George Young, the secretary of Arizona and acting governor brought new mining methods and equipments to recover the ore and the town began slowly to come alive once more. New structures were built like a mill and a cyanide plant. A new post office was established on June 8, 1921, and the town came to be known as “Youngsberg.” The town’s gold mining industry lasted for 5 years, and when the gold was totally gone the town died once again.
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In 1966, Robert F. “Bob” Schoose, a long time ghost town, mining, and treasure-hunting enthusiast made his first trip to the Superstition Mountains and instantly fell in love with the area and dreamt of owning his own ghost town. He and his wife Lou Ann found the abandoned Goldfield Mill. In 1984 they purchased the site and rebuilt the old town. Today, Goldfield is filled with authentic looking buildings, and had been a well-known tourist spot in Arizona.
The Legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine
Goldfield became well-known for the Legend of the lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. According to history, a fantastic gold mine exists there and had been the quest of many adventurers and a place of doom for the others. It has been said that a strange energy lingers there that has caused people who seek the mine to vanish without a trace.
The first man to discover the gold of the Indians on Superstition Mountain was Don Miguel Peralta, a member of a prominent family who owned a ranch near Sonora, Mexico. He discovered a vein of rich gold there in 1845 while searching for a treasure. The Apache Indians were angry over the Spanish presence on the mountain and in 1848, raised a large force to drive Peralta and his men from the area. They packed up all of the available burros and wagons with the already mined ore to bring home. Peralta took elaborate precautions to conceal the entrance to the mine and to wipe out any trace that they had ever worked there.
The Apache warriors attacked and massacred the entire company of Spaniards. The pack mules were scattered in all directions, spilling the gold and taking it with them as they plunged over cliffs and into ravines. Years after, prospectors and soldiers discovered the remains of the burros and the rotted leather packs that were still brimming with raw gold.
The next discoverer of the Peralta mine was a man named Dr. Abraham Thorne. All of his life he longed to be a doctor to the Indians in the western states. Thorne came to live and work amongst the Indians. He soon made many friends and earned respect from the tribal leaders, caring for the sick and injured, delivering babies and teaching hygiene and waste disposal. In 1870, the elders in the tribe came to him with a proposal. Since he was considered a good man and a friend of the Apache, they would take him to a place where he could find gold. The Indians placed a cloth around his head and over his eyes. They led him away on horseback and at the end of the journey, the cloth was removed and he found himself in an unknown canyon. Piled near the base of the canyon wall (as if placed there for him) was a stack of almost pure gold nuggets. He picked up as much of it as he could carry and returned home.
In 1845, Jacob Walz from Germany, heard stories from the local Indians about vast deposits of gold. He met Jacob Weiser and the two “Dutchman” (as they were called though they weren’t really Dutchmen) vanished into the land around Superstition Mountain. Not long after, they were seen in Phoenix paying for drinks and supplies with gold nuggets. Stories say that the two were given a map to the mine by a Mexican don whose life they saved. The man was said to have been Don Miguel Peralta, the son of a rich landowner in Sonora, Mexico and a descendant of the original discoverer of the mine. The Dutchmen saved Peralta from certain death in a knife fight and as a reward, he gave them a look at the map to the mine.
In 1880, two young soldiers had been discharged from Fort McDowell, and while crossing Superstition Mountain they had flushed a deer into one of the canyons and on their way out, they found the remains of an old a tunnel and mine. It was said that they accidentally found the lost Dutchman’s mine. They returned to get more gold but never came back. Soon their bodies were found with a gunshot on the head.
In June of 1931, a government employee named Adolph Ruth from Washington, D.C. left for the Superstition foothills with what he claimed was an old Peralta map to the mine. When a search party went to look for him a few days later, his campsite was found to be intact, but Ruth was missing. That December, his skull was found on Black Top Mountain with two holes in it.
All those who came to look for the mine met their death. Some were killed through gunshot on the head, some bodies were mutilated, and some were never found and had vanished without a trace.
The lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine found?
In 2009, John V. Kemm claimed to have found the lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine through Google Earth. The key to this discovery was the “Peralta Stone Maps.” According to him, looking at the “heart” from the Peralta stone map, reverse it or spin it to the right and a bit to the north too. From Weaver’s Needle, and from a specific angle, you will see the heart’s center. The upper left side is where the gold is. This can be verified on Google Earth and the exact coordinates are: 33°26′46.06″N 111°21′44.38″W – 1847 m (Infos taken from Patrick Bernauw’s article “The lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine: found?” http://socyberty.com/history/the-lost-dutchman-gold-mine-found/). Kemm made a video to support his discovery.
With the so-called discovery of the lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine by John V. Kemm on Google Earth, does it confirm that the legend could be true after all? That fact still remains a mystery.
Photos of the Peralta Stone Maps
Image via Dessert USA
Images via Google Images
Video of the alleged discovery of “Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine” through Google Earth by John V. Kemm
Video via YouTube