For more than 120 years, the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine has haunted the minds and souls of treasure seekers throughout the world. It is said to be the most famous lost mine of all time, and to this day it continues to draw prospectors to the Superstition Mountains of Arizona in search of its rich gold.
In many of the stories I had read about the Lost Dutchman Legend an Apache curse, which protects the sacred burial ground of Apache Indians, has been mentioned. The curse also protects the treasure of the Superstitions, whose secret location the Apache are said to know, which may include the Lost Dutchman Mine.
The curse is traced back the early 1500s, when Jesuit priests from Spain began to build missions in the area now known as Arizona and New Mexico. It was during this period that the Jesuits established relations with Native Americans, who helped them mine gold, some of which was sent back to the King of Spain.
In the late 1700s, after a falling out, the King ordered the Jesuits out of Mexico. Some believe they hid away their records of mines, treasures and ore deposits before leaving the country. Others believe that they Jesuits convinced Native Americans that bad things would happen if they ever revealed the location of these riches to outsiders. For centuries, Native Americans have kept the treasures a secret and to this day many are reluctant to provide any related information.
There is, however, another side to this story. Before the Lost Dutchman Mine was discovered by Jacob Waltz (the Dutchman) in the early 1870s, there was a legend of another rich mine which was discovered in the same area and mined by the Peralta family from Sonora, Mexico. It is believed by many that the Lost Dutchman Mine is only one of the rich mines discovered by the Peraltas.
Historians say there is no hard evidence establishing that the Peralta family actually mined in the area, but they have become a significant part of the legend. According to this legend, the Peralta family made a number of gold mining expeditions to the Superstitions.. Their last is said to have occurred between 1847 and 1852. Before this expedition could return to Sonora with gold, it was attacked by a band of Apache Indians.
Different versions of the story portray a variety of outcomes. One version says the Peralta expedition consisted of two groups, the Gonzales group and the Peralta group. It was the Gonzales group that was massacred by the Apaches while the Peralta s made a safe return to Sonora loaded with gold. Another version of the massacre left only one survivor of the Peralta expedition, who escaped to Sonora to tell the story of what happened. Which, if either version is correct, is left to the reader's imagination.
There is evidence of a skirmish between the Spanish and the Apaches at the area of the said massacre. Since the turn of the century, remnants of mining equipment, high-grade gold ore, old guns, weapons, gear and a pack train have been discovered at the site of the massacre.
The legend includes details on how the Peraltas buried the rich mines with rocks to hide their discovery. Some also believe that after the Spanish miners left the area, the Apache removed up all evidence of mining by filling holes, mines, tunnels, etc. with dirt and rocks.
Peirpont C. Bicknell, a free-lance writer and seeker of lost mines, was the first person to link the Peraltas and Weaver's Needle with Jacob Waltz and the Lost Dutchman Mine in written documentation dating January, 1895.
Barry Storm's later investigations made the same connections with the addition of the Spanish Jesuits. His work had a more significant impact on prospectors and treasure seekers than any other writer.
But in 1952, the infamous "Peralta" stone tablet maps were discovered in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains by a man on vacation with his family. These stone maps have been authenticated by more than one authority as being more than 100 years old...
Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7) www.beyondgenes.com