Sunday, June 6, 2010

The treasure behind the Iron Door

No, not that iron door. That’s another story for another time when I can show you pictures. :~)

This iron door is located in San Miguel County, New Mexico. I guess I should say the door was located there because the door apparently disappeared many, many years ago.

The door, according to rumors from the local Indians of the time, was keeping a tunnel sealed shut that is supposed to contain “bags of gold”. Now I don’t know about you but I sure wouldn’t mind opening up a door to a bunch of bags of gold! Unfortunately it is never that easy and in the case of the New Mexico iron door, there’s probably not going to be anything easy about this treasure.

The tunnel, even though it was sealed with an iron door, was also supposed to be partially backfilled making it even harder to get to the gold. According to the Indian stories, the gold was left behind by the Spanish and undoubtedly they left it behind because they felt unwelcome by the Indians.

Jump forward a few decades, OK, more like a century, and you have a group of excited treasure hunters finding a backfilled tunnel in the mountains where the iron door is supposed to be located. The door was gone from the tunnel but the tunnel was backfilled like the story said. There was lots and lots of backfill!

The treasure hunters removed rubble from SIXTY feet of tunnel before coming to another tunnel that went straight down. This tunnel, just like the one they cleaned out to get there was also filled with rubble. They attempted to excavate the vertical tunnel but felt that the excavation was to dangerous at that point because of the unstable sides of the tunnel. This left them with only one alternative which was to abandon the search.

Yea I know, a bunch of wussies, huh?

Where is the tunnel and possibly the bags of gold? It is somewhere in the mountains near Las Vegas. No, not that Las Vegas, you’re getting ahead of me again. The mountains are near the town of Las Vegas, in the state of New Mexico, remember?

If you don’t want to risk your life looking for this Spanish treasure, and all kidding aside, I really wouldn’t want you to, you might do some poking around in the mountains around Las Vegas anyway. It seems the mountains were a hotbed of activity for the Spanish, the outlaws and the Indians.

The town of Las Vegas had it’s own reputation, it was once said about the town; "Without exception there was no town which harbored a more disreputable gang of desperadoes and outlaws than did Las Vegas."

The likes of Doc Holliday and his girlfriend “Big Nose Kate” hung out in the town. With a name like Big Nose Kate you might be a little unruly at times too. Other desperados that liked to cause trouble in the town included the one and only Jesse James (well, I guess that would depend on who you ask), Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Hoodoo Brown, the Durango Kid and some guy named Mysterious Dave Mather. I guess they ran out of the really cool desperado names when it cave to “Mysterious Dave”.

Oh yea, there was also a guy named "Handsome Harry the Dancehall Rustler". It’s no wonder you had to know had to use a gun back then!

The history of Las Vegas, New Mexico is long and varied and it would be well worth some extra research if you plan to head to that area. The town has been around since 1835 and was started by a group of settlers who received a land grant from the Mexican Government.

Good luck and good hunting!

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