Lost Dutchman's Mine
THE LOST DUTCHMAN'S MINE --History and Bibliography
Courtesy of Tom Kollenborn and the Superstition Mountain Historical Society
Does the Dutchman's Lost Mine exist? To answer the question
we must examine the history and various documents about the region closely.
Superstition Mountain and the Dutchman's Lost Mine are
synonymous with Arizona lost mine lore. We must first ask ourselves
is the Dutchman's Lost Mine a myth or is there some truth to this lingering
tale from the past? Probably the most difficult part of this question
is the separation of fact from fiction. The two have been so entwined
over the past one hundred and twenty years it is almost impossible to
separate the truth from the legend . There are several well documented
facts associated with the story as well as outrageous lies.
It is told a prospector named Jacob Waltz had a rich gold
mine deep in the rugged mountains east of Apache Junction. The story
tells of a German prospector who made periodic trips into the Superstition
Mountains and returned to Phoenix with small quantities of bonanza gold
ore. This old prospector braved the dangers of the marauding Apaches
prior to the 1886 surrender of Geronimo at Skeleton Canyon.
Barry Storm, an early author on the subject of lost gold
mines, believed Waltz had found a Peralta storehouse or cache. Storm
suggested Waltz's gold was too rich to be from a mine. He further believed
the gold had been hidden by the Apaches after they massacred a group
of Mexican miners. Many of Storm's aficionados believed his popular
scenario. Therefore, many early prospectors believed Waltz's mine and
the Peralta cache were all one in the same.
There is not one shred of evidence to suggest the Peraltas
ever mined in the Superstition Mountains or that they were massacred
by the Apaches. Alfred Strong Lewis, in his manuscript, Rain God's Gold,
theorized the Peraltas or Spaniards worked the rich goldfields four
miles northeast of present day Apache Junction and were massacred by
the Apaches as they were preparing to leave the area and return to Sonora
in 1847. Lewis' scenario safeguarded Storm's unproven theory. Alfred
Strong Lewis was a mining engineer who was totally convinced the Goldfields
were the source of Jacob Waltz's bonanza gold ore. This theory continues
to linger today unproven, but a logical choice.
To study the story of the Dutchman's Lost Mine we must
first examine the facts and tales about Jacob Waltz, the alleged owner
of the mine. Furthermore, we must establish his existence and actual
role in the story. To do this requires extensive research in national,
state, county and municipal records.
Jacob Waltz, according to documents, was born near Oberschwandorf, Wuttenburg , Germany around 1810. No existing church records support this date, however many census records do. According to documents Jacob Waltz crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1839. He departed the Port of Bremen on October 1, 1839 and arrived at the Port of New Orleans in Louisiana on November 17, 1839 . The ship Waltz made his crossing of the Atlantic on was the Ship Oblers and its captain was H. W. Exter. His manifest listed Jacob Waltz as being from Horb, Wuttenburg , Germany . Waltz probably traveled to the gold fields of North Carolina and Georgia after arriving in New Orleans . From the gold fields of Georgia Waltz returned to Natchez , Mississippi . The gold fields had taught Waltz he had to be a citizen of the United States to file or stake a claim on a gold vein. Realizing this Waltz filed his letter of intent to become a citizen of the United States on November 12, 1848 , in the Adams County Courthouse in Natchez , Mississippi . After this letter of intent it is possible Waltz traveled to Texas and from there to California .
Jacob Waltz arrived in California about 1850. His name
appears on several California census records. He prospected and worked
as a miner in the mother lode country of California for eleven years.
It was on July 19, 1861, in the Los
Angeles County Courthouse, Jacob Waltz became a naturalized
citizen of the United States of America. Waltz worked as a miner on
the San Gabriel for a man named Ruben Blakney. It was probably here
he met Elisha M. Reavis, later to become the "Hermit of Superstition
Waltz departed California in 1863, with the Peeples-Weaver
Party or a similar group of prospectors headed for the Bradshaw Mountains
of Arizona Territory. Waltz was one of the earliest pioneer prospectors
in the Bradshaw Mountain area. Waltz's name appears on the Gross Claim
which was filed in Prescott, Arizona Territory on September 21, 1863.
His name also appears on a special territorial census taken in 1864.
On this census Waltz is listed as a miner, 54 years of age, and a native
of Germany. Waltz's
name also appeared on a petition to territorial governor
John N. Goodwin soliciting a militia to control the predatory raids
of hostile Indians in the Bradshaw Mountains. Jacob Waltz's name also
appeared on the Big Rebel and the General Grant claims in the Bradshaw
Mountains. Waltz was very active in the Bradshaw Mountain area between
Jacob Waltz moved to the Salt River Valley in 1868 and
filed a homestead claim on 160 acres of land on the north bank of the
Salt River. It is from here Waltz began his exploratory trips into the
mountains surrounding the Salt River Valley. If Waltz had a rich gold
mine or cache he had to have discovered it on one of these prospecting
forays. Old timers claim Waltz prospected every winter between 1868-1886.
Waltz died in Phoenix, Arizona Territory on October 25, 1891, in the
home of Julia Thomas without revealing the source of the rich gold ore
found beneath his death bed.
Jacob Waltz did exist. There are many government documents
that support the fact Waltz lived in Arizona Territory from 1863-1891.
The question still remains. Did Jacob Waltz have a rich gold mine in
the Superstition Mountains?
Shortly after Waltz's death Julia Thomas, Rhinehart and
Hermann Petrasch traveled to the Superstition Mountains to locate Waltz's
rich gold mine. After several weeks in these rugged mountains Thomas
and the Petrasches returned to Phoenix empty handed and broke. Disappointed
and broke Thomas produced several maps with misinformation on them.
She sold these maps hoping to compensate for her losses. The Petrasch
brothers hunted for Waltz's mine for the rest of their lives. Julia
Thomas was the first searcher for the Dutchman's Lost Mine. The origin
of the Dutchman's Lost Mine may have started with Julia Thomas.
Many Arizona pioneer historians believed Julia Thomas
gave an interview to Pierpont C. Bicknell, a free lance writer and lost
mine hunter, shortly after her return from the Superstition Mountains
in September of 1892. Bicknell probably paid her a token fee for the
story. Ironically Julia Thomas and the Petrasches walked over the rich
gold deposits at Goldfield in September of 1892 without discovering
them. The rich Black Queen was discovered in November of 1892, and the
rich Mammoth Mine was discovered on April 13, 1893. The Mammoth Mine
produced about three million dollars worth of gold bullion in four years.
Peirpont C. Bicknell , more than any one person, may be
responsible for the tale of the Dutchman's Lost Mine. P.C. Bicknell
was the earliest writer to associate Weaver's Needle, the Peraltas and
Jacob Waltz with the Dutchman's Lost Mine in his writing. Bicknell's
first major article on the Dutchman's Lost Mine appeared in the San
Francisco Chronicle on January 13, 1895, revealing several clues to
the location of the Dutchman's Lost Mine. These clues closely paralleled
those that Julia Thomas and the Petrasches often alluded to.
Bicknell may have also been responsible for the variety
of names Weaver's Needle has had. He called the needle Needle Rock,
Sombrero Peak and El Sombrero in different articles he wrote about the
Dutchman's Lost Mine. Actually Weaver's Needle is a prominent pinnacle
that towers over much of the region east of Superstition Mountain and
had played a major role in the legend of the Dutchman's Lost Mine. This
famous landmark was named after Powell (Paulino) Weaver, a mountain
man, guide, prospector and early Arizona pioneer. Weaver first visited
the area in 1825 when the region was still part of Mexico. Weaver's
Needle appeared on military maps as early as 1853, making it one of
the oldest anglo-American named landmarks in the Southwest. Weaver's
Needle appeared on maps almost two decades before Superstition Mountain
There is little doubt among historians that Peirpont Constable
Bicknell took a writer's liberty to exaggerate the truth in much of
his written material about lost mines. Any separation of fact from fiction
must start with Bicknell's published works.
It is doubtful that Barry Storm or Oren Arnold thoroughly
researched Bicknell's early work on the Dutchman's Lost Mine. Since
1895, thousands of periodicals have appeared on the Dutchman's Lost
Mine and much of the legend can be traced back to Bicknell. Bicknell
may have had the earliest impact on the legend itself, but Barry Storm
embellished all works he found on the Dutchman, Peraltas or Jesuits.
His work impacted the thinking of more contemporary prospectors than
any other individual except for the man who perpetrated the infamous
Peralta Stone Maps.
The one book that probably had the greatest impact on
contemporary prospectors and treasure hunters in the Superstition Wilderness
Area was Barry Storm's Thunder God's Gold , published in 1945, by the
Southwest Publishing Company. Storm suggested in his book, Waltz's mine
was one of the eighteen Lost Peralta Mines. Storm struggled desperately
to link the Dutchman's Lost Mine to Spanish lost gold in the Southwest.
Barry Storm's first book, On The Trail of Dutchman, was
published by Barry Goldwater and most of the photography was done by
him. Storm used Goldwater's money and also used his first name.
Barry Storm, better known as John T. Clymenson, was one
of the most celebrated writers and promoters of the Lost Dutchman Mine
and the Peralta Mines in the early 1940's up to the early 1960's. His
stories and tales fired the imagination of an entire generation of lost
The two hundred and forty-two square miles of rugged terrain
found in the Superstition Wilderness makes it a difficult task to systematically
search or prospect the region. Most professional geologists will insist
there is little geological evidence to suggest a rich gold deposit exist
in these volcanic mountains. Jacob Waltz, the alleged owner of the Dutchman's
Lost Mine, claimed his mine was located where no other miner or prospector
would search for gold. A recent U.S. Geological Survey could possibly
support this clue Waltz left behind. The application of the mercury
vapor test over the Superstition Wilderness Area found the region to
be highly mineralized. The report is indicative of deep seated mineral
deposits. Who knows for sure, maybe one of those highly enriched mineralized
bodies reached the surface by way of an intrusion. This report could
explain why a man would devote his entire life to searching for gold
in this land of barren ash and basalt.
Since 1891, more than one hundred and thirty-seven people
have claimed to have found the Dutchman's Lost Mine. The first claim
was made on December 7, 1895. The story of the Dutchman's Lost Mine
was well rooted in pioneer history long before the first tourist visited
Fake maps, lies and imagination formulate the foundation
of many tales told about the Superstition Mountain region. During the
past three decades investors have lost millions of dollars to unscrupulous
con men and promoters. The naive investor better not take the written
word of authors or periodical chroniclers without knowing their credentials.
Authors and periodical chroniclers often take a writer's liberty to
tell a story. Oren Arnold once said it all, when he said, "Don't let
the truth stand in the way of a good story."
No landmark in the history of the Southwest has generated
so many interesting tales of lost gold and resulted in more deaths than
Superstition Mountain. According to some, Weaver's Needle towers high
over the surrounding terrain east of Superstition Mountain and serves
as monument to those who have searched and died for the gold of Superstition
Prospectors and treasure hunters continue their search
of this vast mountain wilderness for gold and lost treasure. Stringent
rules for prospecting have limited their activity in recent years, but
still they come to search for gold and lost treasure. The United States
Department of Agriculture closed the Superstition Wilderness Area to
mineral entry, at midnight, on December 31, 1983, to comply with the
National Wilderness Act approved by Congress in 1964. This law stifled
the search for the world famous Dutchman's Lost Mine or did it? Men
and women still search for the Dutchman's Lost Mine.
The clues to Waltz's gold mine still ring clear through
the towering peaks and deep canyons of the Superstition Wilderness Area.
"No miner will find my mine." "To find my mine you must pass a cow barn."
"From my mine you can see the military trail, but from the military
trail you can not see my mine." "The rays of the setting sun shine into
the entrance of my mine." "There is a trick in the trail to my mine."
"My mine is located in a north-trending canyon." "There is a rock face
on the trail to my mine." These and many other clues have fired the
imaginations of men and women for more than a century.
Just maybe it is not so much the finding as it is the
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN
AND THE LOST DUTCHMAN MINE
(revised Aug. 1995)
Courtesy of Tom Kollenborn
Allen, Robert J. The Story of Superstition Mountain and
the Lost Dutchman Mine. Pocket Books, New York, New York, 1971.
Arnold, Oren. Superstition Gold. Arizona
Printers, Phoenix, Arizona 1934, 1946.
Arnold, Oren. Ghost Gold. The Naylor
Co., San Antonio, Texas, 1960.
Arnold, Oren. Mystery of Superstition Mountain.
Harvey House, Inc., Publishers, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, 1972.
Babcock, Jerry. Chicomoztoc. I.M.O. Green
Printers, Inc., Marshall, Mo., 1990.
Barnard, Barney W.E. The Story of Jacob Waltzer:
Superstition Mountain and Its Famous Dutchman's Lost Mine.
Mesa Tribune, Mesa, Arizona, 1954. * 21 editions 1979.
Barnard, Barney W.E. and Higham, Charles F. Superstition
Mountain and its Famous Dutchman's Lost Mine. New Edition,
Mesa Tribune Mesa, Arizona, 1952.
Bennett, H.A. Treasures, Mines, Indians, Death.
Black, Harry G. The Lost Dutchman Mine.
Brandon Press, Boston, Mass., 1975.
Blair, Robert L. Tales of the Superstition Mountains.
Arizona Historical Society, Tempe, Arizona, 1975.
Brock, Robert M. Tortilla Flat History.
Orion Publishing Company, Fountain Hills, Arizona, 1985.
Brock, Robert M. The Apache Trail Guidebook and
Lost Dutchman Legend. Orion Publishing Company, Fountain Hills,
Burbridge, Jonathan S. Arizona's Monument to Lost
Mines. N.P. Reno, Nevada, 1969.
Burns, Mike (Hooma-thy-a). The Legend of Superstition
Mountain. Truman Helm Publishers, Phoenix, Arizona, 1925, 1927,
Canaster, Estee. The Sterling Legend.
Ram Publishers, Dallas, Texas, 1972.
Carlson, Jack and Elizabeth Stewart. Hiker's Guide
to the Superstition Wilderness. Clear Crekk Publishing, Tempe,
Colten, James. The Apache Trail. Apache
Printing, Apache Junction, Arizona, 1980.
Colten, James. Echoes of a Legend. Apache
Printing, Apache Junction, 1977.
Corbin, Helen. The Curse of the Dutchman's Gold.
Foxwest Publishing, Phoenix, Arizona 1990.
Corbin, Helen. Senner's Gold. Foxwest
Publishing, Phoenix, Arizona, 1993.
Crossland, R.C. This Trail is Dangerous.
Sun Graphics, Yuma, Arizona, 1984.
Dahlmann, John. A Tiny Bit of God's Creation.
Reliable Reproductions, Tempe, Arizona, 1979.
'Autremont, Hugh. West of Dawn. Exposition
Press, New York New York, 1971.
Davis, Gregory. 50th Anniversary of Don's Trek.
Ironwood Lithographs, Scottsdale, Arizona 1984.
Davis, Gregory and Kollenborn, Thomas J. History
of the Lost Dutchman Monument. Salt River Project, Phoenix,
DeGrazia, Ted. Ted DeGrazia and His Mountain:
The Superstitions. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona,
Ely, Sims. The Lost Dutchman Mine. McGraw-Hill
Publishers, New York, New York, 1953.
Francis, Marilyn. Thunder in the Superstitions.
N.P. Phoenix, Arizona, 1957.
Fraser, Jay. Lost Dutchman Mine Discoveries.
Ben Franklin Press, Tempe, Arizona, 1988.
Gardner, Earle Stanley. Hunting Lost Mines by
Helicopter. William Morrow and Company, New York, New York,
Garman, Robert L. Mystery Gold of the Superstitions.
Lane Printing, Mesa, Arizona, 1975.
Gentry, Curt. Killer Mountains. Ballatine
Books, Inc., New York, New York, 1968.
Granger, Byrd. The Motif Index. University
of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1977.
Hage, David and Dennis. The Official Ghostbuster
Guidebook. Double Take Productions, Mesa, Arizona, 1985.
Harding, Albert. Dutchman's Gold. Almar
House, Sun City, Arizona, 1981.
Hayes, William D. Indian Tales of the Desert People.
David McKay Co. Inc., New York, New York, 1957.
Holder, Ralph. Mystic Memories of the Superstition
Mountains. N.P. Apache Junction, Arizona, 1993.
Higham, Charles F. Superstition Mountain and Its
Famed Dutchman's Lost Mine. McMath's Printers, El Paso, Texas,
Jennings, Gary. Treasures of the Superstitions.
N.W. Norton Co., New York, New York, 1973.
Kelly, Leo P. Thunder God's Gold. Evans
and Co., New York, New York, 1988.
Kennedy, Paul. The Apache Trail: Fact and Fantasy.
N.P. Canyon Lake, Arizona, 1981.
Kenworthy, Charles A. Spanish Monuments & Trailmarkers
To Treasure in the United States. Quest Publishing, Encino,
Kizziar, Kaye. Eyes of the Superstitions.
AZ-TEX Books, Tempe, Arizona, 1993.
Kizziar, Kaye. Beneath the Superstitions.
AZ-TEX Books, Tempe, Arizona, 1995.
Kollenborn, Thomas J. The Apache Trail.
Orion Publishing Company, Fountain Hills, Arizona, 1982, 1984, 1986.
Kollenborn, Thomas J. Legends of Superstition
Mountain. World Printing, Apache Junction, Arizona 1995.
Larson, Ernest. The Peralta Cache. Mavern
Company, Stockton, California, 1975.
Lee, Robert E. The Lost Dutchman Mine.
Dick Martin Co., Inc., San Diego, California, 1975.
Lively, Irvin. The Apache Trail. Helm
Publishers, Phoenix, Arizona 1945.
Lively, Irvin. Fingers of Fire. N.P.
Phoenix, Arizona, 1948.
Lively, Irvin. The Mystic Mountains.
N.P. Phoenix, Arizona, 1955.
Logan, Jake. Slocum and The Lost Dutchman Mine.
Berkley Books, New York, New York, 1984.
Lovelace, Leland. Lost Mines and Hidden Treasures.
Ace Books, New York, New York, 1956.
Marlowe, Travis. Superstition Treasures.
Tyler Printing Company, Phoenix, Arizona, 1965.
Morrow, Albert Erland. Famous Lost Gold Mines
of Arizona's Superstition Mountains. N.P., Kansas City, Kansas,
Munch, Theodore W. and Winthrop, Robert D. Thunder
on Forbidden Mountain. The Westminister Press, Philadelphia,
Nathan, Robert. The Mallot Diaries. Alfred
A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1965.
Nelson, Dick and Sharon. Hikers Guide to the Superstition
Mountains. Telecote Press, Glenwood, N.M., 1979.
Palmer, Ralph Fleetwood. Doctor on Horseback.
Mesa Historical Society, Mesa, Arizona, 1979.
Robinson, Richard A. Why Me? Conquest of the Lost
Dutchman Mine. Aegean Park Press, Laguna Hills, California,
Robinson, Richard A. The Superstition Tablets:
Window to Lost Treasure. N.P. Laguna Hills, California, 1987.
Robinson, Will. When The Red Gods Made Man.
Hubbard Printing Co., Phoenix, Arizona, 1935.
Rosecrans, Ludwig G. Spanish Gold and the Lost
Dutchman Mine. Lofgreen Press, Mesa, Arizona, 1949.
Schoose, Robert. Thunder God's Gold.
Schoose Publishing, Mesa, Arizona, 1986. (Reprint of Barry Storm's book.)
Shade, Don. Esperanza: The World Famous Lost Dutchman
Mine. Paraclete Publishing, Ventura, CA. 1994.
Sheffer, H. Henry III. The Missing Link.
Norseman Publications, P.J. Printing, Apache Junction, AZ., 1994 (*
Sheridan, Michael F. The Superstition Wilderness
Guidebook. Lebeau Printing, Phoenix, Arizona, 1971.
Sheridan, Michael F. and Jan. Recreational Guide
to the Superstition Mountains and the Salt River Lakes. Impression
Printers, Tempe, Arizona, 1984.
Sikorsky, Robert. Fool's Gold. Golden
West Publishers, Phoenix, Arizona, 1983.
Sikorsky, Robert. Quest For The Dutchman's Gold
the 100th year Mystery. Golden West Publishers, Phoenix, Arizona,
Squire, Mark E. The Dutchman. Desert
Candle Publishing, Apache Junction, Arizona 1994.
Smith, Bobbie. Arizona Temptress. Kensington
Publishing Co., New York, New York, 1986.
Storm, Barry. On the Trail of the Lost Dutchman.
Goldwaters, Phoenix, Arizona, 1939.
Storm, Barry. Gold of the Superstitions.
The Southwestern Press. Phoenix, Arizona, 1940.
Storm, Barry. Arizona's Lost Gold. Mollet-Storm
Publishers, Quincy, Ill., 1953.
Storm, Barry. Thunder God's Gold. Southwest
Publishing Company, Tortilla Flat, Arizona, 1945.
Sunagel, Lois A. The Shadow of the Needle.
Colonial Press, Clinton, Mass., 1976.
Swanson, James and Kollenborn, Thomas J. Superstition
Mountain: A Ride Through Time. Arrowhead Press, Phoenix, Arizona,
1981, 1982, 1984, 1988.
Swanson, James and Kollenborn, Thomas J. Circlestone:
A Superstition Mountain Mystery. Webcrafters, Mesa, Arizona,
Swanson, James and Kollenborn, Thomas J. The History
of Apache Junction. Goldfield Press, Apache Junction, Arizona,
Wagoner, Merry. Treasure Tales Across the Counter.
R & M Printing Chicago, Ill., 1965.
Ward, Robert L. Ripples of Lost Echo's.
Webcrafters, Mesa, Arizona, 1990
Wilburn, John D. The Riddle of the Lost Dutchman
Mine. Lofgreen Printing, Mesa, Arizona, 1975.
Wilburn, John D. Superstition Gold Mines and the
Lost Dutchman. Lane Printing, Mesa, Arizona, 1978.
Wilburn, John D. Dutchman's Lost Ledge of Gold.
Publication Press, Mesa, Arizona, 1990.
Author unknown. Apache Trail: A National Scenic
Byway. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tonto National Forest,