Saturday, November 2, 2013

Where is the Lost Dutchman Mines?

Author: Chad Swindell

My story of The Lost Dutchman Mines is a 120 year old story about an incredibly rich gold mine that has made 3 different groups of men rich. Many have died mysteriously trying to find and keep the mine a secret.  An article on Desertusa entitled “LostDutchman Mine”traces the beginning stories of the legend of the Superstition Mountains being a superstitious place the Apaches (this tale is one reason why it is called the “Superstition Mountains”).  There are also four different stone maps that are called the “Peralta Stone Maps”. These maps were found in Oregon and are debatably the genuine maps to the Lost Dutchman Mines.  There are many versions of The Lost Dutchman Mine story but I believe is presented by the expert Jim Hatt who writes 
During the 1840s, the Peralta family of northern Mexico supposedly developed rich gold mine(s) in the Superstition Mountains. In 1848, during a routine expedition to carry gold back to Mexico, the large party was ambushed by Apaches, and all were killed except for a few Peralta family members who escaped. According to the legend, the Apaches buried and hid the gold and covered up the mine. This area is known today as the Massacre Grounds. (Hatt)
In the 1870s, following a Peralta descendant, a man named Jacob “the Dutchman” Waltz and his partner Jacob Weiser started to collect gold out of Lost Dutchman Mine (named after Jacob Waltz) Weiser got killed by the Apaches, or in some stories by Waltz himself.  According to Hatt and others, Jacob Waltz was able to move an estimated to total $254,000 from the Superstition Mountains. Jacob Waltz ended up dying at the age of 83.  Julia Thomas, his widow neighbor, was the only person to hear from him where the mine was supposedly located. However, Julia and other would be prospectors never could find the mine.
The Peralta Stone Maps are believed to be able to take treasure hunters straight to the mines if they can decipher what they mean. 
These maps were found next to the Hood River in Oregon by Travis Tumlinson.  There is some serious controversy over if these tablets are genuine because no one knows who actually made them or when they were created.  I believe that they aren’t real.  Being so far away from the actual mines (Superstition Mountains, AZ), why would the Peralta Family (I don’t mention Jacob Waltz because he was German and I highly doubt he knew Spanish) or descendants go to Oregon which is so far away from their home in Northern Mexico. Also, I think their descendants wouldn’t go so far away from their gold mine in the Superstition Mountains. They would have to travel so far and leave their mother lode unprotected. I believe the Lost Dutchman Mines are real, but the Peralta stone maps are fake.

According to Jim Hatt, “Except for the maps themselves, the believers have little to nothing in the way of physical evidence to support their arguments that these maps are authentic records of a one hundred or more year old mining operation in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.” (Jim Hatt)  it seems “Peralta Stone Maps” are nothing more than stone paper weights with childish drawings on them that people are trying to read too deeply into. “One consistent conclusion they come to, was that there were definitely two different authors using two different methods of making inscriptions on the faces of the stones.” (Jim Hatt) The 4 stones aren’t even made by the same people.  There are too many inconsistencies with the stone maps to make them genuine.  The Lost Dutchman Mines despite being a legend, do, however, have documentation “In 1916, two miners found an old Spanish saddle bag filled with $16,000 worth of smelted gold near the site of the Peralta Massacre. This evidence, along with the stories and records of gold transport issued by Waltz, confirms the legend of the Lost Dutchman.” (Jim Hatt)  The Peralta Stones may not be true because of all the lack of evidence like how they were found in Oregon and the mines and the Peralta family are down in Arizona/Mexico area.

Jacob Waltz was extremely lucky man to survive the Superstition Mountains without the Apaches coming after him for blood.  The clear documentation of his gold exchanges makes things interesting about how he was able to obtain so much gold. Would the Peralta Stone Maps lead the next generation of gold miners to the mother lode, or will no one be able to find what the Superstition Mountains have hidden within them.

Works Cited:
Bremner, Lynn. "Lost Dutchman Mine. - Part 1.” Desert USA. Digital West Media Inc., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2013.

Sims Ely. “The Lost Dutchman Mine.” Western States Folklore Society. 13.4 (1954): 298-300. Web.

Lyon, William H. “Tales of the Superstitions: The Origins of the Lost Dutchman Legend by Robert Blair Review.” Journal of the Southwest. 18.3 (1976): 293-294. Web

Bremner, Lyn. “Lost Dutchman Mine.” Desert USA. Digital West Media Inc. Web. 15 October 2013

Botts, Gene. “Peralta Stones and Lost Dutchman Gold Mine.” Desert USA. Digital West Media Inc. Web. 15 October 2013.

Hatt, Jim. “Discovery of the Peralta Stones.” Desert USA. Digital West Media Inc. Web. 15 October 2013.

Hatt, Jim. “Stone Horse Map.” Photograph. Desert USA. Digital West Media Inc. Web. 15 October 2013

Links for Further Research:

DestinationArizona. “Goldfield – The Lost Dutchman Gold!” Youtube. Google. 14 June 2011. Web. 13 October 2013
This is a video on Youtube that will give another side of the legend of The Lost Dutchman Mine.

Beautystruck. “2-01 In Search Of... The Lost Dutchman Mine (Part 1 of 3).” Youtube. Google. 27 August 2012. Web. 13 October 2013
This is the first part of a documentary about the search for the Lost Dutchman Mine.

Allen, Robert Joseph. Story of Superstition Mountain and the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. June 1987. Pocket Books. 2013
This is a link to an Amazon dealer that has a book specifically for the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine.

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