Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Lost Dutchman Mine-Superstition or Fact - Nancy J. Farrier

 Read down to find out about today's special giveaway.


Over the years I’ve heard both sides of the argument between superstition and fact concerning the Lost Dutchman mine. Some say the legend is true, meaning there is a rich cache of gold hidden somewhere on Superstition mountain outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Other people say this is a fictional tale, that there is no secret stash of rich ore and the legend is merely something told by an old miner to brag about wealth he’d never discovered. So, let’s look at the historical bits and pieces to see if we can draw a conclusion to the question of superstition or fact.

In the 1840’s, Don Miguel Peralta discovered a rich vein of gold ore on a mountain near modern day Phoenix. He and his men wanted to take the ore back to Mexico, because the Apaches in the area were upset with the Spanish intrusion. Don Peralta knew he needed to leave, so he took great pains to hide the entrance to the mine, loaded wagons and mules with as much gold as he could and left. His party surprised a band of Apaches, who attacked. The men were killed, along with the mules, many of them running off cliffs, scattering the gold.

A few years later, Jacob Walz, or Waltz, also called The Dutchman, despite his German heritage, heard the tale of the Peralta gold. Walz searched, some say for twenty years, to try to find the lost mine. He teamed up with Jacob Weiser, and the two of them ended up finding the mine. There are varying stories on how this came about. Some say Walz and Weiser stumbled across the hidden gold by accident; other accounts say the pair saved the life of a Peralta relative, who in appreciation gave them the location of the mine.
 
After their discovery, Walz showed up in Phoenix, generous in buying drinks for everyone with some of the richest gold ore ever seen. His partner, Weiser, disappeared shortly after the pair found the treasure. Some say Weiser was killed by Apaches, but some claim his own partner and friend, Jacob Walz, killed him. Either way, Weiser was never seen again.

Walz, The Dutchman, later returned to Phoenix in poor health. It is reported that in his last days he gave the woman who cared for him clues to the location of the mine, yet those supposed clues never led to the actual mine. When The Dutchman died in 1891, a bag of rich gold ore, 24 pounds worth, was found under his bed. The passion to find The Lost Dutchman mine, which contained valuable deposits beyond any seen before, began in earnest.

Searchers have found some of the gold, and leather, associated with the mules from the Peralta party, confirming this part of the story is true. The last reported finding happened in 1914 when C. H. Silverlocke found leather pieces and $18,000 in gold ore.

Many have dedicated their lives to searching for the lost gold. Among them is a former Arizona Attorney General. The mystique of Superstition Mountain remains since gold seekers still die, some mysteriously, while searching for The Lost Dutchman Mine.

What do you think? Is the mine still hidden somewhere on that mountain? Is this superstition? Fact? Have you heard a story about the Lost Dutchman Mine?

I am doing a giveaway for the month of April. Because most of my books are set in the Southwest, I'm giving away a beautiful Southwest vase. Because Spring is close and people are itching to get outside, I'm also including, Inspiring Thoughts For Gardeners, a book on gardening I wrote. Leave a comment to enter the drawing. Thank you for dropping by.





Nancy J Farrier is an award winning author who lives in Southern California in the Mojave Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. Nancy and her husband have five children. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Karen Ball of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.

51 comments:

  1. Great post, Nancy. I choose to believe that the mine exists. No reason why it shouldn't, right? Over the years the entrance could have been covered a dozen times over by natural means, becoming part of the landscape. No,I have never heard about the Lost Dutchman Mine before, very interesting.
    The vase is so beautiful! Definitely enter me, please and God bless.
    debsbunch5@jesusanswers.com

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    1. I agree, Debbie. The mine could easily have been hidden several times over after all this time. Thanks for your comments.

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  2. I've heard about the Dutchman, and considering the evidence, I would say it exists. Wouldn't it be cool to discover it?

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    1. Let's go look, Vickie. What an adventure. :)

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  3. oh, mercy. Lost treasure is so fascinating. thanks for a fascinating post!

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  4. I'm fascinated with treasure, legends and the southwest. I have never been further than Arizona and then only to Phoneix. But stories set in that area have been among my favorites. Delicious post!

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    1. Thank you, Karla. Treasure stories are always fun.

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  5. I've never heard of this, but you would think that there must be at least some truth behind the story!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  6. I find it very fascinating, but I don't think I would go look for the mine...lol. The vase is lovely and as my husband has just gotten a new job, we will be moving into a totally renovated house (as soon as it is ready....). I am looking forward to trying my hand at making the yard look beautiful. The book certainly would help, and the vase would make a great beginning. :)
    Betti
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for the comments, Betti. Sometimes, it's better to stay home and read about the treasure hunting. :) How fun to have a new house to decorate. Enjoy.

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  7. I have never heard of the Lost Dutchman, but so enjoyed the story and would have to say the mine still exists. I am sure there are many underground gold mines in this country yet to be discovered. I love to garden and get my hands in the dirt - something very therapeutic about it! I would enjoy the book on gardening and I am a huge lover of anything Southwest and the vase is just beautiful! Please enter me in your drawing and thank you for the opportunity to win the book and vase. Thank you for the legend story, I am a huge fan of that time era!

    God's Blessings to you!
    Lori
    triplel(at)evertek(dot)net

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    1. Thank you for your comments, Lori. I love that time period too, and all the legends.

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  8. How fun! Makes me want to buy a burro or two and go looking. Interesting post.

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    1. Thank you, Patricia. Those burros are so cute, but I have to wonder how easy they would have been to work with. :)

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    2. Oooooh, PacJac, road trip with burros!!! lol

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  9. jojo
    This is unbelievable! I just came back from a visit to Mesa,az. I had never heard of this story and our hotel overlooked Superstition Mountains. I will have to do some research on it. Thanks for all the info and websites. jelliott53 (at) Hotmail (dot) com

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    1. I now have a google account so I am not anonymous with the comment above =) !

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    2. JoJo, How fun that you were just in AZ and remember Superstition Mountain. There's a lot of beauty there.

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  10. I believe the story has some truth to it. The vase is lovely and I am a gardener and would love to own the book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for your comments, Deanna. I agree that there is truth in that legend.

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  11. I am sure it's there somewhere! how fun to think about...
    truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Eliza. It's always fun to think about hidden treasure.

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  13. I grew up on a ranch in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains. We often had old miners drop by for a bite to eat or a place to water their animals. I doubt there is a mine, but probably some of that "scattered" gold is still out there somewhere. Loved the story as a child and now as a great-grandmother, I find it still makes me wonder. Thanks, Nancy, for sharing today. Blessings Dell Klein

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    1. Hi Dell, so good to "see" you here. Thank you for commenting. Wouldn't it be fun to find a nugget of gold. Thanks for sharing the memories.

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    2. I wish there was a "like" button. :) Dell, I can just imagine all the stories you heard as a child. Wow!!

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  14. Ms. Farrier,

    I appreciated learning about this part of lore surrounding the Superstition Mountains, as I have heard of similiar tales of woe that are attached to the pursuit of Egyptology! Apparently, there are certain places that garnish a parapyschological benting to them, because in all honesty, perhaps we're not always meant to answer each inquiring question that lays to mind!? I oft was curious if there were some tombs and mines, that were meant to be laid to rest, covered by time and whose locations are erased by having those who knew of their locations long since put in the grave. The Gold Rush is an intriquing part of our history, and one that has as many curious mysteries attached to it than any writer could hope for; if per se, they wanted to explore a thread of thought to spin a tale over! :)

    In this way, I think there is more truth than fiction in the story, because if it were completely untrue, there wouldn't be further instances of lost souls disappearing under mysterious circumstances!

    The Southwest has captured my attention since I was a young girl, as Mum would always relay her adventures whilst exploring the West! :) I know she would still like to get to New Mexico one of these days, and I would as well, as Santa Fe is of interest to us both! :) I know Arizona has lovely places to visit as well, but I'm drawn more into New Mexico, personally, outside of Sedona, which always seemed like a great place to visit!

    Thank you for offering such a wonderful gift for someone! :)
    IF I were to win, I'd give my Mum the vase for her birthday!
    What a keen surprise that would be! :)
    What do you enjoy to garden!? Fresh cut flowers!? Herbs!? Fruit and Veg!? Curious!

    Jorie
    inkand-blogaways(at)usa.net

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    1. Hi Jorie, Thank you for your comments. I love New Mexico, especially the Santa Fe area. Very beautiful. I love to raise fruits and vegetables. I used to do a lot of preserving, but where I live now I don't grow as much. There's nothing like fresh veggies on the table at meal time.

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    2. Isn't that the truth, Ms. Farrier!? I love working with fresh veg whilst cooking, as the aromatics alone make my mouth water! And, now that the market is getting fresh cilantro & rosemary sprigs,... ooyy vie! Yum!

      At the moment, I rely on two local farms to supply us with fresh fruit & veg, but I aspire one day to have my own victory garden, keeping me a full supply of veg year round, as much as sorting out how to get garlic to grow under snow! :) Ha! Preserving and pickling are two trades I'll learn too, as I'm growing a hankering for both, as I sample a jar every so often by Amish farmers!? I had my first farm fresh carrots this year, and I must say, they're even more delish than I first dared to hope possible! :) Thanks for answering my question! :) Rock on!

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  15. Ooh, I love a good mystery! (I have always been fond of the D.B. Cooper one) :)
    I surely do think there are hidden mines with treasure/gold still in them. I love thinking about the stories they could contain! Thanks for a fun post.
    Susan
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, Susan. This was a fun story to share.

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  16. I love stories about lost treasure. I have heard about the Lost Dutchman mine and I like to think it really does exist. It would be so fun if it was found. Thanks for the giveaway, I love the vase.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Thank you for the comments, Katie, and for entering the drawing. It would be fun to find that mine.

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  17. I have heard this story since I was young, yes, even in Kansas and Oklahoma. My grandpa spent time in that area, I'm not sure what he was really searching for, but he came home with a collection of arrowheads. He mounted many of them on large boards and framed them, ended up giving them to the family. We used to love hearing him talk about those days. I choose to believe it is real, and still there waiting. I also love gardening, so would love your book.
    Cherie
    ckasper49(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Cherie, How fun that your grandpa had so many arrowheads and mounted them. Those stories are something to treasure.

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  18. As long as there are dreamers, there will probably be people searching for the Lost Dutchman mine! Not being much of an adventurer myself, I can't imagine investing my life into searching for something that may or may not exist. I prefer my adventures to be on a smaller scale! ;)

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    1. I agree, Bethany. I love adventures, but prefer them to be in book form. Thanks for commenting.

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  19. I've heard of it (or am I thinking of the FLYING Dutchman in Pirates of the Caribbean?? :), but don't have a clue if it's real. Good thing I don't live in the area, or I'd be headed out to search! lol And I have two Navajo vases (both quite small) that I bought as souvenirs when we went on a two week trip of the Southwest. I'd LOVE to go again some day!

    And, gardening...I've not done any gardening for years due to a busy day job, a part-time job with ACFW and a writing job, but would you believe that today I actually weeded a small area and am planning to plant flowers there. It's a sign! lol

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    1. Ms. Hillman,

      That was the EXACT same thought that ran through me, when I first saw "Dutchman" was is there a new connection to the Flying Duchman that I haven't heard in recent years!? Laughs. I think there are a lot of us, who like Ms. Tyndall, have pirates on the brain! :) Laughs. Thanks for making me smile!

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    2. I wonder if The Lost Dutchman is just a retelling of The Flying Dutchman. The writer in me sees similarities.

      Legendary ghost ship, doomed to never make port...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flying_Dutchman

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    3. How funny. Maybe these were land pirates. I hadn't even thought of the Flying Dutchman. Pam, my gardening is on a very small scale. I love doing it, but don't have the time, or the decent soil.

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    4. Ms. Hillman,

      I'm going to enjoy reading the wiki document you uncovered, as I haven't checked out the history of the Flying Duchman as of yet! :) I like to use wiki as the springboard into other sites or materials for research, so THANK YOU! And, yes, I must agree, that there was enough research in the POC films to give way to speculation about the connection! Either interconnected or connected through fate,...

      Ms. Farrier,

      Aye! I hear you on the soil issues! Only a determined daisy variant has been able to dig root into mine! Aye!

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    5. Oh, and my area is very, very, very small! I was exhausted by the time I got it done. So not used to using a hoe or a shovel. My mother-in-law loves gardening. She has acres and acres of flowers, gazebos, streams, you name it. It's beautiful.

      I'm lucky if I get the grass cut! lol

      I suspect the dog will think the spot was spaded just for her.

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  20. Very intriguing story. I don't know whether or not to believe it, but it is very interesting. I had not heard about it before. Thank you for the information. :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Alyssa. Perhaps, like many stories, this one has grown bigger with the telling.

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    2. I forgot to give my e-mail address for the drawing. shadowystarfire[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  21. The gold mine story sounds believable to me. The west intrigues me - I live in Ky., haven't been to the western states since the 80's - but would like to visit them again, especially some of the national parks that I haven't seen. However - don't think I could live in some of them, heat is a problem for me & I enjoy experiencing all 4 seasons of the year.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the giveaway!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  22. Big congrats to Eliza, who won the Southwest vase and Inspiring Thoughts for Gardeners. Thanks to all who commented.

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