Thursday, April 8, 2010

Arizona Gold Nuggets

I apologize for the delay in getting a new post up. I have been in the field treasure hunting and just haven't had the time. I will try to manage my time better in the future, unless of course one of the trails I am following breaks open and then I may fall behind again.
This story comes from our good friend Homer who seems to be watching out for me.
Many years ago an epidemic of cholera struck Caborca, Sonora, Mexico leaving homeless a young Mexican girl and a Papago Indian boy.

Neither having any relatives to care for them, the boy suggested to the girl that she go with him to Gila City, Arizona (Now only a site on the Gila River about 24 miles West of Yuma) where he had some distant relatives they could live with.

She agreed to accompany him and they traveled across the waterless stretches of the Camino del Diablo, that awesome stretch of desert country that has claimed so many lives.
Along the way, the girl suffered so many hardships that she came to a point where she could no longer go on. The young Papago boy found a shady spot for her and instructed her to remain there until he had returned with water.

In the nearby Cabeza Prieta Mountains the boy found a tank (a natural depression in rock where rainwater is held until it evaporates) and he managed to take some of it to the suffering girl.
When she was able to travel again, they made their way to the tank which is now known as Tule Tank (not to be confused with Tule Well which is to the East in the same general area.) Here the couple rested until the girl had regained her strength.

When they were ready to leave the boy led the girl up an arroyo and on the top of a granite mesa they looked down into a draw on the opposite side. In the clear water of a small stream they could see a layer of gold nuggets, much as if the stream had been paved with them.

Picking their way down to the waters edge, the girl gathered some of the nuggets and tied them in her rebozo. They then proceeded on their journey, eventually arriving in Gila City where both were taken in by the boy’s people.

One day, the girl happened to show the gold nuggets to a man named George Whistler and of course he wanted to know where they had come from, but the girl would not tell. They became friendly and were later married, but still the orphan kept the secret of the gold nuggets to herself.

Eventually the Whistler family had two boys and they moved to Burk’s Station where Whistler was killed by a Mexican named Nunez. A party of Mexicans were sent out to capture the fleeing Nunez and they finally caught him in the Cabeza Priea Mountain and he was taken to Agua Caliente and hanged.

After the death of her husband, Whistler’s wife revealed to her sons that she had never told him where the stream bed of gold nuggets was because she was afraid he might have only married her to obtain their location.

Now she told the boys and along with Thomas Childs, they went in search of the treasure. They never could find the stream, though they found the tank and what they believed to be the mesa. the stream had either dried up or been diverted from its source and the gold nuggets probably remain there in this very inhospitable region to this very day.

(from the memory of Thomas Childs Jr, Pioneer Historical Society of Tuscon, Az)

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Great story Homer, and thanks for posting it Ron! Any idea in what time period the story took place?