The Superstition Mountains in Arizona and the lost Dutchman’s gold mine

The Superstition Mountains, a range of mountains with natural beauties, which located in the east of Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States. The mountains are mostly famous for the strange stories including the infamous legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine that have been taken place for the past hundred years and more.

The Superstition Mountains
The Superstition Mountains, Phoenix, Arizona

Although, there are various stories with different consequences about the “Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine” of the Superstition Mountains, the two most popular of them are cited below:

The First Story Of The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine:

According to a legend, in the 19th-century, a German man named Jacob Waltz (c.1810-1891) discovered a huge goldmine within these mountains that has since been turned into the name of “Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine”. Actually, the American people commonly used the term “Dutchman” to call the “Germans” who were also known as “Deutsch”.

It is said that Waltz kept secret the location of the gold mine after finding it and being rich enough from it. Later in the 1860s, he relocated to Arizona and stayed there for rest of his life. Eventually, a catastrophic flood once had come in Phoenix in 1891, and Waltz’s farm was one of many which was devastated by the flood.

Afterwards, Waltz fell ill perhaps with pneumonia and died on October 25, 1891, after having been nursed by a lady named Julia Thomas. Waltz was buried in Phoenix’s Pioneer and Military Memorial Park. But the story begins from his death. It is said that on his deathbed, Waltz makes a confession to Thomas about the gold mine of the Superstition Mountains. He even draws and describes a crude map to the gold mine.

As early as September 1, 1892, The Arizona Enterprise went in search of the mine on the efforts of Thomas and several others, but the expedition was unsuccessful. After that, hopeless Thomas and her partners had sold the maps for $7 each.

There are several fascinating versions of the legend of “Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine” that have been put forth and the above story is the most popular version of all of them.

The Second Story Of The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine:

In yet another version of the tale, two U.S. Army soldiers are said to have discovered a vein of almost pure gold inside or near the Superstition Mountains. The soldiers even brought up some of the gold, but they vanished soon after. Most probably they were killed in some way.

Tragedies Behind The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine And The Superstition Mountains:

People from around the world have been seeking the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine since the 1890s, while according to one of the accounts, about 8,000 people annually still make some effort to find out America’s most popular lost mine and many have seen their misery during the expeditions but the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine has never been found.

In the summer of 1931, an amateur treasure hunter Adolph Ruth disappeared while searching for the gold mine. After six months of his disappearance, Ruth’s skeleton was found with two bullet holes in his skull and the story made enough publicity by the national news to spark widespread interest in the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.

Since Ruth’s tragic death, there have occurred several other deaths, disappearances, unusual accidents and macabre events within the Superstition Mountains’ limits.

  • In the mid-1940s, the headless remains of prospector James A. Cravey were reportedly found in the Mountains area. He was allegedly disappeared after setting out to find the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.
  • In late November or early December of 2009, a Colorado resident Jesse Capen (age of 35) went missing mysteriously in the Tonto National Forest. His campsite tent and car were found abandoned shortly afterwards. He was known to have been trying to expose the secret of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine for several years and had made previous trips to the area. Later in 2012, Capen’s body was discovered by a local search and rescue organization.
  • On July 11, 2010, Utah hikers Curtis Merworth (age of 49), Ardean Charles (age of 66), and Malcolm Meeks (age of 41) went missing in the Superstition Mountains, questing for the gold mine. On July 19, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department carried out a wide investigation into the mountains area for the three lost hikers. They presumably died in the summer heat. One year later in January 2011, three sets of remains were recovered from that area which is believed to be of those lost Utah hikers.

Now, some believe the spirits of all those dead guys still haunt this mountains area and they are the culprit behind all the macabre events that often occur in the Superstition Mountains.