Legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine

There are very few legends ingrained in American folklore as that of the "Lost Dutchman Mine". Looking up at the Superstition Mountains, it is easy to understand why - they rise up, dark, jagged and ominous. The mountains have inspired gold-crazed prospectors to spend their time, money, and even their lives to try to find the secret gold vein of the old Dutchman.

There are hundreds of so-called "accurate" and "true" stories about the Lost Dutchman mine - this is a basic version that will simply serve to acquaint you with the legend. The year was somewhere around 1860, and Jacob Waltz was travelling around the area in search of gold. Because of his German heritage, he was quickly dubbed "The Dutchman" from the German word "Deutch". Waltz purchased a claim in the Superstition Mountains from the Peralta family, and set out for his fortune, following their cryptic directions: "go up the first gorge on the south side, from the west end of the range. Find the monumented trail, which leads over a lofty ridge...", and so forth. By the time that Waltz was 80 years old, in 1889, he had pulled forty-eight pounds of gold ore from the mine, which he kept beneath his bed.

He fell sick, and during the final days a woman named Julia Thomas nursed him through to the end. In thanks for her kindness, Jacob supposedly gave her the instructions for finding his secret mine, where veins of gold fourteen inches thick ran thorough the rock. She and her father spent many years trying to find it, but were unsuccessful. Many people say that it simply does not exist - others contend that its riches lay waiting to be discovered, even today!

It's a wonderful legend, and should you decide to look for the treasure yourself, just remember the following clues:

  1. To get to the mine you have to crawl through a hole.
  2. You can see the Old Military Trail from the mine, but you cannot see the mine from the trail.
  3. You can see Weavers Needle in the Superstitions by climbing up a short distance.
  4. The sun sets on the gold in my mine.
  5. There is a face looking up at my mine.

Best of luck to you!