Our man Rolf, once, again. (internal link)
Another Story on How Those Lost Mines Stories Got Started
Glad you thought those stories were useful and no problem letting others know how and where a lot of those come from.
Mary just reminded me of one more and I know you will like this one.
A fellow from the area belonged to the local mineral club and they told him I was a good source to help identify things. We became friends over a number of visits. He loved getting out and looking for mines in the area. He lived over by Pearce, an old mining town still in the area.
One time he asked if I would go with him to look for a mine in the Cochise Stronghold of the Dragoon Mountains.
He had been told of a mine up in one canyon and had gone up looking for it but didn’t find it and wanted to see if I would go with him and use my better mine eye to find it.
We drove up to Cochise Stronghold and parked and then took the one trail he said the mine was supposed to be up. From what he had been told, the mine was high up toward the ridge near the top and there was a nice hole with ore on the dumps. We hiked and it was a pretty day and a very steep area. The trail finally played out and went off to a different area and he said he had been told the mine was up the canyon toward the top of where we were standing. The area was very steep and none of the rock I had gone past looked like it could have a mine, let alone a gold mine like he had been told.
We finally came to a steep waterfall area that had no easy way past it without equipment. We sat down on the rocks and just looked at the nice view. We had seen nice wildlife and plenty of great views but no mine.
This was when my friend told me where he had heard about this. As soon as he said it was an old Apache Woman that lived down in the canyon I let my eyes roll back in my head and knew right away what had taken place. My wife is part Apache and she had told me often of the stories the Apaches had told the white man, as they used to call us import peoples. The old woman had told my friend a story and for some odd reason, he had bought into it. The woman said that the story of the Lost Dutchman’s mine was all a hoax by the Indians to get a lot of white men out looking for it and then die in the rough and unforgiving terrain.
She told my friend that the Lost Dutchman mine was actually a mine toward the top of the Dragoon Mountains and the Indians had told the story of it being in the Superstition Mountains to fool people into not looking where it “really” was, here in Cochise Stronghold. I was ticked at him for having dragged me on a total wild goose chase and remarked that the old lady had gotten back a bit at a stupid white man to go looking for a total story that she had made up.
All I could tell him was that at least it was a pretty day and a good day for a hike but I also informed him that I would never join him on any of his wild goose chases again. I told Mary of the whole tale and she agreed, the woman had found another sucker to go on chasing for gold.
There are a ton of these stories and you are welcome to use this any way you like.
In retrospect it was kind of a funny situation and he did say that he didn’t want to tell me before we went up on the mountain because he knew how I would react, he was right, I never would have gone if I had known where the story came from.
Bob Ward spent 30 years in the Superstition looking for the Old Dutchman Mine and his theories (or mad guesses) are still in print.