The stories of conquistadors and Jesuits bearing gold are completely unverifiable without documentation or archaeological evidence. Named after the fabled lost gold mine, Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the Sonoran Desert, at the base of the Superstition Mountains, only 40 miles east of Phoenix. Unfortunately, he died before he could give them a map to show where exactly the mine was located. Though the remains had been scattered by scavengers, they were undoubtedly Ruth's. For over a century, treasure hunters have sought the Lost Dutchman's treasures supposedly lost in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. One puzzling aspect of the original four stone maps found by Tumlinson, which the believers have had a hard time explaining since the day they were found, is that they just don’t seem to lead you anywhere specific. They are reported to have descended from mining families in Sonora, Mexico who worked mines in what is now as the state of Arizona.  According to Blair, the origin of this story can be traced to a doctor named Thorne who was in private practice in New Mexico in the 1860s. , Blair wrote that "the national wire services picked up the story [of Ruth's death] and ran it for more than it was worth", possibly seeing the mysterious story as a welcome reprieve from the bleak news that was otherwise typical of the Great Depression. Wikimedia CommonsThe grave of Jacob Waltz. It's impossible to know for certain, but there is one big clue. Still, this doesn't dissuade treasure hunters. Years later, a man called Dr. Thorne treats an ailing or wounded Apache (often alleged to be a chieftain) and is rewarded with a trip to a rich gold mine. In the first, a doctor (sometimes said to be an Army doctor) called Dr. Thorne was said to have had a Native American man who needed medical assistance brought to him.  A man called Jacob Walz was born in September 1810 in Württemberg. The legend then states that, sometime later, the last Peralta survivor(s) were helped out of some kind of bind by Jacob Waltz, and in his debt, they gave him the only thing they had of value: a map to the Peralta family mine in the Superstition Mountains, according to Cowboys and Indians magazine. There are several paths that go through the brush and cacti. Walt decided to go alone. Supposedly, the Superstition Mountains have long been a sacred site for the nearby Apache tribe of Native Americans. Thorne claimed that he was taken captive by Navajos in 1854, and that during his captivity he had discovered a rich gold vein. Even though there are hundreds of maps in existence today, none came from Jacob. Background: The Lost Dutchman Mine was founded by a German prospector named Jacob "The Dutchman" Waltz in 1876. Allegedly, people saw the Jesuits come up to the Superstition Mountains with their loads of gold, but when they were spotted again on the other side, the mules carried no loads. Unfortunately, she returned penniless and never attempted to return to the Superstition Mountains. However, when his health began to fail, Walt contacted two other prospectors. When she pulled out the gold, she was shocked at how much was there. He was a student of mining and was knowledgeable in geology. Walt as excited and claimed that he had finally found the mine. Date: 1876 Jim found out he had lung cancer in November 2010, and worked hard to control it and to stay involved in the things that were most important to him. After traveling to the region, Ruth stayed several days at the ranch of Tex Barkely to outfit his expedition. A not-insignificant number of those Dutch hunters have gotten hurt or even killed.  Thorne related his claims to three U.S. soldiers in about 1858. Go to Reading the Stone Crosses and Latin Heart. It is believed that the impostor stole the backpack from Walt's body. For those who claim to know how to read them and who have succeeded in working their way through the mountains to what they believe is, (based on their interpretations of the maps) the end of the trail, there is never anything there that can be directly linked to anything on the stone maps or that can be used to verify that they have arrived in the right place. He vanished into the mountains in 2009 and his body was not discovered until three years later, hidden in a crevasse 35 feet up a cliff, and destined to become yet another chapter in the continuing story of the lost mine. Several months after Jacob hid the mine, he contracted pneumonia and was taken to the home of a friend, Julia Thomas, in Phoenix. He believed that he was close to finding the mine. Waltz found it in the mountains and came to grab gold out of it as needed. They found what they were looking for and then some, according to Lost Dutchman State Park. There was indeed a Jacob Waltz who emigrated to the U.S. from Germany. The brick looked very similar to the gold that allegedly came out of the Dutchman's mine. Several trails lead from the park into the Superstition Mountain Wilderness and … A 19th century map detailing mines in Arizona. One month after Walt's death, Tom Kollenborn had a surprising visit from a man claiming to be Roland Gassler, Walt's son. The man said Dr. Thorne could take as much as he could carry, at which point he was blindfolded again and led out. Further legends claim the conquistador and his men were bearing their own reserves of gold, looted from previous expeditions, but ended up leaving it behind when they escaped whatever was killing them.  As of 1975, ruins of the Peralta mine were standing.. In June 1931, Ruth set out to locate the lost Peralta mine. That's not even counting those hunting the treasure in the ensuing years. If the mine were found today, all the gold would belong to the government. However, the Peralta Mine eventually became unprofitable and after the money was gone Miguel Peralta turned to fraud. As early as September 1, 1892, The Arizona Enterprise was reporting on the efforts of Thomas and several others to locate the lost mine whose location was told to her by Waltz. Lost Dutchman Goldmine Maps. Since being established in 1976, the Lost Dutchman's Mining Association (or LDMA for short) has been providing campgrounds where men, women, and their families can enjoy the vast outdoors, meeting new friends, and prospecting for gold, gems, and hidden treasures. According to the tales, a Spanish conquistador (often said to be Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, but sometimes reported as any number of other explorers, real and fictional) came to the Superstition Mountains in the mid-1500s searching for a mythical city of gold, one of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold, somewhere in the mountains, according to Legends of America.  After this was unsuccessful, Thomas and her partners were reported to be selling maps to the mine for $7 each. Blair argued that this Peralta story (well known to Arizona residents) was eventually incorporated in the Lost Dutchman's story, in a severely distorted version, following the renewed interest in the Lost Dutchman's mine in the 1930s. (In truth, Apaches make up just one of the tribes found in the area, but these were typically all lumped in as "Apache" by white settlers who didn't appreciate the differences in Native American tribes.). In 1870, Waltz had a homestead of about 160 acres (0.65 km2) near Phoenix where he operated a farm.. It's an entire genre all its own, from pirate maps to all the stuff Nicolas Cage got up to in the National Treasure movies. In 1931, the two sought the Lost Dutchman's gold mine, but Adolph Ruth, against his son's wishes, went looking alone, according to Skeptoid. Neither Thomas nor anyone since has been able to find the now legendary gold of the Lost Dutchman Mine, although that has not discouraged people from trying (one widely-circulated estimate from the 1970s claimed that 8,000 people a year search for it). To recoup the costs of the search, Julia Thomas actually began to make handmade copies of Waltz's map and sell it to others. According to this account, both men claimed to have sold the stone maps to Tumlinson for the meager sum of $100. Description: The Superstition Mountains in Arizona cover 160,000 acres of desolate, rugged terrain. Amazing – but true The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine – Found! When his eyesight began to fail, he realized he would never find it. Julia, whose occupation is sometimes listed as a nurse and sometimes as a baker, took care of Waltz late in life and the two became close friends. Most of the local residents of Apache Junction, Arizona who’ve lived there for any length of time can go to a desk or dresser drawer in their home and pull out a handful of maps they have collected over the years from newspapers, magazines, books, and even from various websites on the internet. The mine was founded by Jacob Waltz, nicknamed "The Dutchman". There's no evidence they ever came to Arizona at all. Results: Unsolved. Ruth disappeared while searching for the mine in the summer of 1931. Jacob Waltz does appear to have been a real person; whether he was simply used as the basis for the story or actually found the lost gold is another story. 1873. Weiser is attacked and wounded by marauding Apaches, but survives at least long enough to tell a man called Dr. Walker about the mine. He further stated, after examining the two holes [in the skull], that it appeared that a shotgun or high-powered rifle had been fired through the head at almost point-blank range, making the small hole when the bullet entered and the large hole when it exited".. This land grant was the basis of the James Reavis Arizona land swindle (Reavis became Willing's partner and continued to try to prove the authenticity of the land grant for years after Willing's death). Tom wondered how the impostor obtained the gold brick. Researchers point to an old belief by local farmers that the nearby Pima Native American tribe were superstitious about the mountains. Rhinehart continued searching for it for over fifty years. Every scholarly individual who has examined the stone maps has been unable to conclude when, or where, or by whom, the maps were created. He always looked for the truth, and ran a controlled forum so that only accurate information got posted. Tom then wondered who the other man claiming to be Roland really was. Then, see some astonishing photos taken at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. Waltz relocated to Arizona in the 1860s, and stayed in the territory for most of the rest of his life. Heat Acclimation (Combating the Desert Heat). There was a catastrophic flood in Phoenix in 1891, and Waltz's farm was one of many that was devastated. The Pennsylvania Dutch Country. , Were it not for the death of amateur explorer and treasure hunter Adolph Ruth, the story of the Lost Dutchman's mine would probably have been little more than a footnote in Arizona history as one of hundreds of "lost mines" rumored to be in the American West. In some versions, he's not just a man but the chieftain of the Apache tribe. In 1995, Al Reser, a longtime resident of Apache Junction and a lost mine hunter, took me to a location on Hwy 60 just west of Florence Junction where he pointed to the spot that a man named Charlie Miller, who had been a close friend of Tumlinson’s brother, told him was the spot where the stone maps had been found. There's the thrill of the hunt, solving the clues, and what could be a better payoff than a big cache of riches? New Evidence Surfaces About the Lost Dutchman Mine Some searchers for the mine have disappeared in likely wilderness accidents. Blair insisted that the Peralta portion of the story is unreliable, writing: "The operation of a gold mine in the Superstitions by a Peralta family is a contrivance of 20th century writers".
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