Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Treasure Tales, Arizona

Arizona is loaded with more lost mines and quartz outcroppings full of gold than almost any other state. Here’s a couple of Arizona treasure stories to wet your whistle, starting with Gila County, AZ.

This is about a mine known as the “Lost Soldier Mine”. There was a soldier named Sanders who was stationed at Fort Apache in 1872. During that year Sanders led a group of other soldiers on a scouting mission looking for Indians. The detachment of soldiers traveled along the east end of the Sierra Ancha Mountains until they came to Coon Creek. Once at the creek they followed the creek bed about ten miles where they found a waterfall surrounded by quartz rocks. In looking closely at the quartz rocks Sanders noticed it had a large amount of gold mixed in with it. He gathered up some samples and continued on his mission.

Sanders was discharged from the military two years later and he and another man headed for the gold laden quartz that had been found during that fateful mission. Sanders and his partner were never heard from again.

A few years later two men were riding down Coon creek and found a burned out cabin and what was left of the skeletons of two men. It appeared obvious that an Indian attack had occurred at the site. As they looked around one of the men found a piece of quartz near one of the skeletons. Carved into this piece of quartz was the name “Sanders”. The two men traveled to Phoenix with the piece of quartz where they were told of the two men who set out to recover a large vein of gold. As with most treasure stories, our two intrepid finders of the burned out cabin and quartz tried to retrace their tracks back to the cabin but were unable to find it.

Near Yuma, along the Arizona and California border there is a site where 220 gold bars are stacked up waiting for someone to find. There was an army training camp in this mountainous area during World War II. Five trainees assigned to the camp in the 1940’s discovered the gold bars stacked on a flat piece of ground directly in front of a vertically faced wall of volcanic rock. There were two stacks of the gold bars and before leaving the area the trainees counted a total of 220 bars. Once again, the lucky finders of this treasure tried to return to the spot later to recover the bars but were unable to relocate them.

I sure wish somebody would leave me a bunch of gold bars stacked out where I could see them. It sure beats having to dig a hole!

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