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GENERAL DISCUSSION - Anything related to the LDM

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:46 pm
by Jim Hatt
This Discussion is not restricted to any specific Topic, and can be used to discuss anything related to the Lost Dutchman Mine or the Superstition Mountains, that is not already being discussed in a topic of it's own.

Re: THE BARK NOTES on - The Lost Dutchman Mine

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:58 am
by roward
I am currently engaged in going over the Bark Notes you sent me and making notations of things of interest. Since I'm being a "watcher" here at the library (that is, I'm assigned to watch contractors working in the stacks, so they don't steal any books (ha-ha)), I have plenty of time to sit and read. I came across a few things I'd like to ask about. First is Rhiney's relating of the Waltz story to Bark. When he gets to the part where Waltz is going to take them to the mine, but says he can only go as far as the board house because of his health, he says he thinks he can show them the trail over the mountain looking from the house. Is the location of the board house known, and is the location of the trail Waltz was talking about known today?
Second, under the title Monumented Trail And Cut Timber, there is a statement that Helena and Rhiney told Bark that there were two pits at the mine about 75 feet deep and a like distance across the top. I think you and I corresponded on the subject of two pits versus one pit awhile back. Then, under Tom Weedin And The Walker Map, Weiser tells Doctor Walker that the mine has a "tunnel and two pits". Now, is it conceivable that there were several pit mines in the Superstitions that were worked by Peralta, and that the stories that refer to only one pit are about a different mine, or that (less plausible) the pits were far enough apart that some finders never saw the second one?
Third, under Dr. Thorne, the story seems to give several use clues to directions and locations. Thorne says he was taken to an Apache village at the junction of the Salt and Verde Rivers. After observing small parties of indians bringing in quantities of gold, he asked one of the chiefs where they got the gold. He replied by pointing up the Salt River. Now, from the junction of the Salt and Verde Rivers, the camp being on the northeast junction, which way would "up the Salt" be? Later, as he describes being taken to the mine by the indians, he says that on the way back to where they had left the horses, they didn't blindfold him right away, and that "we walked through a hole or cave" and that it had a lot of old Mexican mining tools in it, and that horses could not go through. This sounds like Waltz's description of there being a "trick" to finding the mine, and that you had to go through a hole to get to it. Also, the two soldiers described going through a cave or hole between two peaks on the trail before they found the mine. And Waltz also said no cowboy would find the mine because they wouldn't get off their horse to walk, and that's the only way, it seems, that they could get through the hole or cave or whatever it was you had to pass through to reach the mine.
Thorne also said a sharp peak that looked like a sombrero appeared to be about 5 miles south of where the mine was located, and that when they reached the Salt on the way back, it seemed to be about 15 miles south. If the sombrero was Weaver's Needle, that puts the mine between there and the Salt in a northerly direction.
I just found these clues quite interesting because many of them match up with what others, who have supposedly found the mine at one time or another, have said.

Re: THE BARK NOTES on - The Lost Dutchman Mine

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:21 am
by Jim Hatt

Morning Bob,

Sounds like a pretty "Cushy" job assignment to me! Are they hiring? :D

re: the "Board house" - There are two possibilities for where the Board house was during Waltz's time. Both were built by Matt Caveness. The first is the site of the Bark Ranch near the Peralta trailhead. The second is the old Milk Ranch north of Queen Valley. There are trails going north into the Superstitions from both locations. Take your pick.

re: "Now, is it conceivable that there were several pit mines in the Superstitions that were worked by Peralta"?

There are MANY known Pit Mines in the Superstitions Bob. No one can say who dug them. No telling what old stories may apply to some of them.

re: Dr. Thorn -

Up the Salt River would be going East.

To my knowledge, Waltz never mentioned a "Trick". That comes from the Two Soldiers and Joe Deering stories. They both describe a "Trick in the trail" but Waltz never mentioned it to Julia and Rhiney.

You will find many different versions of the Dr. Thorn story. The version in the so-called "Bark Notes" that I sent you is only one. Many of the Ole' Timers I have talked to don't think the Thorne Mine is even in the Superstition Mountains. They think it is located somewhere in the area where I made the red circle in the map below. I have spent some back in that area, and I tend to agree with them.


Re: THE BARK NOTES on - The Lost Dutchman Mine

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:30 am
by roward
Hi, Jim,
Sorry to tell you, but no hiring. In fact, they are laying off here. Because of the state budget crisis, we are looking at losing over half of our staff, and only being open to the public 3 days a week! And we haven't been paid since the middle of July, because a budget hasn't been passed. I've been here 15 years and this is the worst I've ever seen. There is still no end in sight because the administration, which is Democrat, and the Republicans, are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Oh, well, at least I still have a job.
As far as my question about the board house, Bark says in the notes that it was on the sight of his horse ranch, so that should be pretty authoritative, no? Also, in reading the Two Soldiers story in the notes, they describe leaving Ft. McDowell and getting on the Apache Trail (although I geuss it wasn't called that then). I would assume they came down the Verde and crossed the Salt somewhere in that vicinity. Most versions don't mention it, but there is an allusion to them having mules. Anyway, it goes on to say that they followed the Apache Trail until it appeared to turn alomost straight north, whereas they wanted to go south. So at that point they found a creek and followed it south until they came to a waterfall and couldn't go any farther. Now I know I have read on one of the hiking sites about a creek that runs from the direction of the Salt and has a waterfall and a box canyon part way along it. It might be Reavis Falls, but I'm not sure. I'll have to try and find it again, unless you know which one it is. Anyway, they went back the way they had come for a ways and then climbed up a mountain which was flat on the top and on which they couldn't find any sign of a trail; however, they later came across a trail which took them through the tunnel or cave that is spoken of that you have to pass through to find the mine. And of course, they did find it. Do any of these landmarks sound at all familiar to you? Any idea what that creek might be? Also, when they get to the Silver King mine (where was that located?) they state that they haven't got their "naturalization papers" yet so can't file a claim. Now, if they were in the Army, they would have to be U.S. citizens, wouldn't they? Do you think Bark might have meant Discharge papers? It sounds like it would be really simple if you could find that creek, then climb up the mountain, search around and find the trail, follow it until it went through the cave or hole, and there you would be, at the mine! How much easier could it get? ;)

Re: THE BARK NOTES on - The Lost Dutchman Mine

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:10 pm
by Jim Hatt
Hi Bob,

Man I hate to see you digging so deep into those Bark Notes. They are giving you a really warped introduction to some of those stories. You need to get a copy of Sims Ely's book, which has most of the same stories in it told differently. A copy of Ely's book usually brings $100.00 or more around Apache Junction, but you should be able to find a copy of it on the Internet for around 1/2 of that.

Or... If you can find a copy of The Sterling Legend, I think Contaser's story about the Two Soldiers follows pretty close to Ely's.

What I can tell you about the Two Soldiers, without getting into all of the discrepancies in Barks version of their story, is that there are only 3 possibilities for where they left the Apache trail and entered the mountains.

1 - La Barge canyon

2- Tortilla Creek

3 - Fish Creek

Each one of them has something... or a few things in it that fits real well with the story, but none of them fit everything in the story.

Barry Storm spent a lot of time in La Barge Canyon thinking that was the way the Two Soldiers went in.

The majority of people I have talked to believe that Tortilla Creek is where they went in.

I have traveled both of them end to end, and in my opinion there are too many things that don't fit either of them.

I have followed Fish Creek from where it crosses the Apache Trail, all the way to where it intersects with a trail that climbs up out of the canyon, and leads straight to the old Miller mines. I found no waterfall that meets their description in Fish Creek, but there may be one farther up stream than I have gone. They did say that they had to double back and then struck upon a trail.


Anyway, in my opinion Fish Creek works best for the Two Soldiers. The JF Trail leading south from the Miller Mines heads straight towards the Silver King and would be the shortest route. It also fit the description of crossing a couple of canyons and coming to a large east/west valley. If that is the way they went, then the Miller Mines is more than likely where their gold came from. It is hard telling what they looked like when they were shown to George Miller. There could have been a big rich tailing pile there, just like the Soldiers described it.

Take a look at the first Graphic (Map) in the link above (Miller Map). Fish creek enters the map from the top just a little right of center. There is an old trail that leaves Fish Creek, just to the left of where it says Lost Dutch canyon on the map. That trail leads right up to the Miller Mines which are located right above the "W" in (Where the Indian took.....) The dotted black line (Trail) heading off to the southeast from the Miller Mine area, towards Clover Spring, is the JF Trail that goes to the big valley where the JF Ranch is, and then continues on to the Silver King Mine.

NOTHING in La Barge or Tortilla works as good as that does and brings you to a trail that will take you to the "King".

One more thing while you are looking at that same map. Look for Music Mountain in the lower left corner. Just above it and a little to the left is an intersection of trails. Just above that is a pink dotted line (County Line) with Maricopa County above and Pinal County below it. Follow that pink dotted line west. Where that line hits the edge of the Map is where Bilbrey's claims were.

Re: THE BARK NOTES on - The Lost Dutchman Mine

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:23 pm
by roward
Maybe you didn't get the fact that I was being a little tongue in cheek when I said that about how easy it would be to find the mine. I do have Ely's book, remember? We have two copies of it here at the library. It was the first book I read on the subject. I want to pick up Conatser's book too. It seems to me that the waterfall is significant, if in fact it was true and not added into the story at some later point. It might not be a waterfall in dry weather, but you could tell if you ran into a high pouroff that you couldn't climb around.
If, for the sake of argument, it was Tortilla Creek they went up, does that mean the mountain they climbed and on which they eventually found the trail that took them to the mine was Tortilla Mtn.?

Re: THE BARK NOTES on - The Lost Dutchman Mine

Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:47 pm
by Jim Hatt

Going up on Tortilla Mtn. is easy to talk about. But if you went to it tomorrow. It could take you several days to find a way to get up on it, if you had never been there before. Coming down the other side... There are only a few places where that would be possible, and could be just as hard to find. (No Trails) If they had gone up there. (or any part of it) They would have used a lot of four letter words in their story describing their trip, and the area the mine was located in!

The Soldiers were familiar with the territory. They would have known that the closer you get to Tortilla, the rougher the country gets.

Nobody who is just interested in getting from the north end of the range to the south end, is going to get any closer to Tortilla than they have to. Especially when there are good trails around it.

If you come out here in the Fall to search for Bilbrey (assuming he hasn't been found by then) you will get an up close and personal look at Tortilla, and thank God that Bilbrey's claims weren't anywhere on that mountain.

Re: GENERAL DISCUSSION - Anything related to the LDM

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:33 am
by roward
How did Waltz get to his mine? He must have had several ways of reaching it, it seems to me. When he lived with the Pimas, he would have travelled into the mountains from the south, past the board house, or later, the Bark ranch. When he came from Phoenix, getting ready for his last trip with Julia and Rhiney, he said they would go in by the board house (or cow house) on a trail he would point out to them, while he waited there. But when he tried to tell Dick Holmes how to get there, he allegedly said to go to First Water then Second Water (creeks?) and then take the old government trail to San Carlos, which would have meant going in from the north along the Salt River, correct? Never having been to the Superstitions ( a situation I hope to remedy very soon) I'm only familiar with the area from looking at maps. Is there any conflict in these directions? I mean, would going in by either route logically take you to the same place? Would one be just as easy as the other? Do you think he told Holmes to go that way because it was easier to describe how to get to the mine that way than from the board house?

Re: GENERAL DISCUSSION - Anything related to the LDM

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:01 am
by Jim Hatt
Sorry Bob, but you are mixing too many different statements, from too many different sources into too many different questions.

There is a topic for discussing the the Holmes manuscript, and one for discussing Ely's book, and one for discussing the Bark Notes, etc.

Some of your questions have already been answered in those topics. I have already given my opinion about why the Dick Holmes route makes no sense. I do not want to get into another discussion about it in another topic.

Re: GENERAL DISCUSSION - Anything related to the LDM

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:16 am
by roward
Ok, I'll go back and re read.