One John V. Kemm states he has found the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, using Google Earth. According to some versions of the tale, the most famous lost mine in American history is either cursed, or protected by mysterious guardians. The Lost Dutchman is the stuff that true treasure hunts are made of…
One John V. Kemm states he has found the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, using Google Earth. According to some versions of the tale, the most famous lost mine in American history is either cursed, or protected by mysterious guardians. The Lost Dutchman is the stuff where true treasure hunts are made of…Thousands of treasure hunters still try to locate the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, hidden somewhere in the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, in Arizona. The mine is named after Jacob Waltz, a German immigrant (“Dutchman” was slang for “German”, derived from the German word “Deutsch”, meaning: “German”). There are at least four Lost Dutchmans to be found in the American West – one in Colorado, one in California and the other two in Arizona. The earliest Lost Dutchman Gold Mine in Arizona was said to be near Wickenburg, where in the 1870’s a Dutchman was found dead in the desert, together with some saddlebags filled with gold.
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A brief history
Fact and fiction blend in these tales, becoming “faction”, but key elements are “lost Apache gold”, “a Dutchman”, “a lost gold vein, found by US soldiers”, a doctor and – of course – treasure maps. In “The Story of Doctor Thorne”, some Apaches are said to have found a very rich gold mine in the Superstition Mountains; one of them is, in some versions of the story, the famous chief Geronimo. The family of one Miguel Peralta was said to have discovered the mine around 1850, but was attacked by the Apaches and slaughtered in the “Peralta Massacre”. Years later, Dr Thorne treated a wounded Apache and was rewarded with a trip to the mine – blindfolded. He was allowed to take as much gold ore as he could carry before, again blindfolded, being escorted from the site.
The “mainstream” tale of The Lost Dutchman involves two Germans, Jacob Waltz and Jacob Weiser – but it is possible that there was only one single “Dutchman” named Waltz, Weitz, Weitzer… or something like that. In some versions the Germans are said to behave violently, in others they are peaceful fellows. Waltz and/or Weiser seem to have located a rich gold mine in the Superstition Mountains, maybe with some help from a member of the Peralta family. Weiser is attacked by Apaches or by his greedy friend Waltz, but survives long enough to tell a doctor Walker about the mine. He is also said to have made a deathbed confession to Julia Thomas, and to have drawn some sort of treasure map.