Change font size


Post a new topicPost a reply Page 1 of 1   [ 7 posts ]
Author Message
 Post subject: GEORGE MILLER and The Lost Dutchman Mine
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:00 am 
The Superstition Mountains have many places that will thrill you to the bone, and fire your imagination, if you are ever fortunate enough to stumble onto them. One of those places is the Miller Mines. Just a short distance (for a seasoned hiker) from Horse Camp Basin where Jim Bark and Sims Ely found forty acres of cut timber that they had no explanation for.

In chapter 10 of Ely’s book, near the very end of it, Ely writes about Two trails leading away from the Horse Country which could have been used to haul the cut timber away. What he did not mention is… There is a third trail that intersects the two he wrote about, that leads right into the area where the Miller Mines are located.

Years after Bark and Ely had given up on the Horse Camp Basin area, an Indian who some believe was “Apache Jack” whom Ely mentioned several times in his book, became friends with George Miller. Miller had many mining claims in the Superstitions mostly located in various parts of La Barge Canyon where he often used Indian labor hired on a day to day basis to work for him. These Indian laborers would tease Miller with stories about rich mines the Mexicans had worked in the past, and they knew the whereabouts of, but would never disclose where they were.

One day the word came, that a family member of one of the Indian laborers (The one believed to be Sims Ely’s “Apache Jack”) back on the Reservation was very Ill, and not expected to live much longer. He informed Miller about the situation, and explained that he would have to leave but would return as soon as he could. Apparently he was a hard worker, and had impressed Miller with his honesty, because Miller told him to take his horse which would allow him to make it to the Reservation and back much more quickly.

It was only a short time before the Indian returned with Miller’s horse, and showered him with Thanks and Appreciation, for trusting him enough to let him borrow the horse, and told Miller what a fine horse he thought it was. Seeing his delight, and suspecting a moment of weakness, Miller told him that if would show him where one of those old Mexican mines were that he was always talking about, he would give him the horse to keep.

The year was 1920 and a deal was made where the Indian agreed to take Miller to a place where he could point the way to the mine, and give Miller such detailed directions to it, that he would be sure to find it. But the Indian would not go to the mine himself. The Indian told Miller that the mine he would direct him to, consisted of Two Shafts on the side of a mountain, with a Tunnel below, that drifted into the mountain towards the Two Shafts.

The Indian took Miller to the spot indicated by the red arrow on the map below. He told him how to find the Two Shafts, and the exact distance and direction from them to go down the ridge to find the Tunnel. Miller started up the hill watching for the landmarks that had been described to him, as the Indian made himself comfortable to wait for his return. Upon his return, Miller announced that he had found everything the Indian had told him about and that the horse was his to keep!


Miller Map: The crossed pick and shovel is the location of the Miller Tunnel.
Image


George Miller wasted no time in filing mining claims on the area, and moving his camp and equipment to those claims where he remained until his death on April 6, 1936.

Was this mine actually the Lost Dutchman Mine? Well… a good case could be made for it using “SOME” of the clues that came from Julia Thomas and Rhiney Petrasch. George Miller believed that it was the Dutchman’s Mine, and actually sold stock in what he named The Lost Dutchman Mining Corporation.

From photos I have seen of Miller’s operation when it was in full swing. He was only mining the shafts, and had a large head frame built over one of them, to lower the miners down and bring the ore up. Other than a few pieces of milled timber (4X4's) just inside the entrance to the tunnel, I saw no indication in the tunnel that any white man had ever worked in it. In my opinion it is typical of Old Mexican style mining with no timbering in it, and tunnels so small that an average size Anglo man could not stand up, or have room enough to swing a pick in.

Personally, I believe that a stronger case could be made for the Miller Mines being the ones that the two Soldiers discovered in 1880 and is described in chapter 5 of Ely’s book.

If the cut timber from the Horse Country was hauled to this area, it was not used for timbering in the tunnel. It could have been used in the shafts, for corrals, and building shelters tho.

I have been in both of the shafts and examined the full length of the nearly 200 feet of underground tunnel. Samples I collected showed small quantities of gold. But I never saw the slightest sign of a quartz vein anywhere in any of them..

Photos of the 2 shafts on the Miller Claims.

Shaft 1
Image


Shaft 2
Image


I have been in the tunnel a total of three times. On Feb 21, 2004, I made a trip into it with a friend and took the following photos.

Entrance to the Miller Tunnel. You must lay flat on your stomach and crawl through the hole to get into it.
Image


The following photos were all taken inside the tunnel.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Related information.

In chapter 12 of Ely’s book, starting on page 151. Mr. Ely tells a story about a Pima Indian named Pahsaum that took Jim Bark and another man, to a place on the Apache trail just before getting to Fish Creek Hill, where they were going to make a camp, and resume on foot the next morning to a mine that Pahsaum had agreed to show him. The place where they made camp was what is known today as the entrance to the old road to Tortilla Ranch. Jim Bark insulted the Indian by telling him that he knew that country, and there was no mine back in there. That ended that trip.

Had Jim Bark been more patient, he may have learned about the location of what many years later became know as the “Miller Mines” long before they were shown to George Miller.

This version of the Two Soldiers story (Below) comes from the Thomas Probert version of the Bark Notes, which may or may not be a good source of information, and is discussed in the Bark Notes Topic. Who knows if it is any more correct than the other versions or not, but it does contain a lot more information about the trail they followed from Ft McDowell to the "King" than either Storm or Ely gave. There are Three places where water would have crossed the road during there time. La Barge Canyon, Tortilla Flat and Fish Creek Canyon. I personally favor Fish Creek, based on how the rest of the description of their route after leaving the mine fits the terrain.


Mason asked the two soldiers if they didn't want a partner, instead they told him the following story. That they were discharged soldiers from McDowell, and had decided to come over to the King to see if they could get work in the mine. So they struck out toward the King, crossing Salt River, and struck s trail which they bad been told was the proper one to take. (This is now called the Apache Trail and is now an automobile road.) They followed it for several miles to a creek crossing, where there was water. The trail after that, appeared to run nearly north and the King was nearly south, so while they felt certain that the trail would eventually land them at the King, it must be a long way around, and they were tired. They decided to make a short cut, went up this creek for a distance, came to a waterfall and could go no further. They came back down the creek, and finally got out on the side of the creek toward the King and up on a very rough and high mountain There was no trail. They struck out, always trying to work toward their destination, but making very slow progress. They ran onto a trail and such a queer place for a trail, They concluded to follow it and see if it wouldn't lead them out of that God-forsaken country. They followed it but a short distance and were in high hopes when the trail led them through a cave between the peaks. They went on a little further and came to a tunnel that bad been walled up, with workings above and over. They said that they did not believe that what they saw was gold, as there was so much of it. They said they certainly could have loaded their burros down to the water line. They told Mason they bad never taken out their naturalization papers, and if ha would go over to Tucson with them and help them get out the papers upon their return, which would not be more than ten days, he could go with them to the mine; that they would take just one claim and he could locate all the balance. Mason said, "All right" that he would look for their return.




Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: GEORGE MILLER and The Lost Dutchman Mine
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:33 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:42 am
Posts: 83
Any idea how much this mine yielded? It obviously isn't the mine Waltz described because there are no terraces along the sides of the pit for ladders.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GEORGE MILLER and The Lost Dutchman Mine
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:56 pm 
Did you notice that they were also not funnel shaped?
Now suppose that the terraces themselves were carrying gold that Miller wanted?
Would that not explain both the missing terraces, and the straight walls of the shafts, instead of being funnel shaped?


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: GEORGE MILLER and The Lost Dutchman Mine
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:57 pm
Posts: 144
Wow, cool mines! I gotta make a trip in to see them one of these days. My fav mines are the ones you can see the hanging wall in :D Nice write-up Jim.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GEORGE MILLER and The Lost Dutchman Mine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:20 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:42 am
Posts: 83
Terraces carrying the gold...is that likely? Somehow I pictured the pits as wider and deeper. I think Waltz or someone (sorry, don't remember offhand) gave a description of the size of the opening, if not of the depth itself. How deep is that pit? Also, the mine Waltz described had a vein that ran down to the arroyo below. Wouldn't they have followed that down instead of stopping at the depth of the pit as it is now? It doesn't seem to fit the description. But then, I'm no expert in mines or mining, so I could be dead wrong. I'm still learning.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GEORGE MILLER and The Lost Dutchman Mine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:26 am 
You are mixing stories from different sources together, and asking too many questions in a single post again Bob.

If you have a question, about what someone said, you should first identify the source. Then quote "exactly" what that source said. Then and ask your question in the applicable topic if it hasn't already been answered there.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: GEORGE MILLER and The Lost Dutchman Mine
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:59 pm 
For anyone interested in the Miller Mines. The subject of Kollenborn Chronicles this week is "The Lost Dutchman Mine Inc." and can be read at: http://www.ajnews.com/vol14/052410/pdfs ... JNW_A4.pdf all this week until next week's article replaces it.

The story introduces a lot of historical information about Dr. Aiton which I was previously unaware of, and one statement about there not being any gold in the area, that I would not agree with.

ie: "Aiton found Miller’s story about gold in the area interesting. The question remains to this day. Did Aiton know there was no gold or did he really believe there was gold in the area?"[/color]

As I mentioned in the article that I opened this discussion with. The "Miller Mines" existed long before George Miller ever came to the area. The two shafts and a tunnel were already there when Miller first arived. I have taken samples from both shafts, and the over 200 feet of tunnel in the area, and retrieved small amounts of gold from all of them. Hardly enough to be worth while working them out of a backpack, but plenty enough, to know there is gold in the area, and more than enough to dismiss the statement above “Did Aiton know there was no gold………?”

Sometimes little enhancements to stories, can lead readers to form conclusions that are a long ways from the truth.

Jim


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post a new topicPost a reply Page 1 of 1   [ 7 posts ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  



Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
610nm Style by Daniel St. Jules of Gamexe.net