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  1. #61

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    AuF,

    There may be more versions of the Pegleg story, than the number of gold nuggets found. One version, I believe by Choral Pepper, involved an ambushed pack train hauled back to Mexico with gold nuggets in packs. Indians cut off the packs and scattered the rocks looking for loot.

    Also remember a story where they talked about a deep canyon through one of the hills. Your picture reminded me of that.

    Joe Ribaudo

  2. #62
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Yes sir, I see holes in all of the stories. Like the railroad workers trying to find the indian woman after they found the gold. My guess is that they had been away from the brothels for quite some time and and figured that a lone woman was fair game, especially if she was an indian. That is why she fled to begin with. They came stomping back and found the gold she dropped and had to come up with an alternate story to explain what happened.
    The creeks are all cowards and run underground and whiskey is so scarce that you can’t use it to wet down dry jokes. –The Irish Lord 1897

  3. #63
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
    10,672
    1439 times

    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Hio Auferret: sheesh what a depressing lack of faith in humanity . ?? Incidentally, what is a brothel??

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  4. #64
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    hey gang,
    Ferret, I'm sure there is some truth to your version of what " may " have happened. But here is a report from 1925 that states it a bit better;

    THE PEG-LEG MINE;
    OR, THE GOD OF FURY’S BLACK GOLD NUGGETS

    from The Miner’s Guide; A Ready Handbook for the Prospector and Miner, by Horace J. West (Los Angeles: Second Edition – 1925)

    Just about twelve years ago [that is, circa 1909 – 1913] the Great Southwest was awakened by the possibility of the relocation of the widely known Peg-Leg Mine. The Southern Pacific Railroad was doing considerable work through Imperial valley, a valley which five years previously was one of the hottest and most forsaken deserts on the American Continent, but which, with the coming of water through the extensive irrigation system of the Government, has grown to be one of the brightest garden spots in the world.

    The only human beings who ever ventured into the valley before the bringing-in of water were the prospectors and then the engineers and their crews of hardly lineman, rodmen and assistants who were surveying roads, lateral canals for subsequent irrigation, and similar work. A large crew was stationed between Ogeby and Salton, rebuilding much of the track. They were near a water-place named Glamis when the incident occurred which sent many of them scurrying from their work into the mountain ranges in a vain effort to find the wonderful property that they knew must exist.

    While driving the work along slowly under the brazen sun and amid the occasional sand-clouds stirred up by a slight breeze from the mountains, a figure appeared in the distance, just a vague, traceable figure, slowly and wearily pushing along through the clogging sands. As it approached, it resolved itself into a wandering Indian squaw, apparently half dead from lack of water, who, without going near the work-men, passed on to the tank and there started to drink from the small open trough.

    Thinking to assist her when she seemed about to drop into a heap from nothing more than exhaustion of her toilsome journey, several of the men started in her direction. She saw them coming. With an effort she arose and made off with all speed down the track in the opposite direction.

    She was followed for a distance until she turned off into the desert again, and, having no great interest in a single squaw, the men returned. On arriving at the water-tank they discovered an old piece of blanket securely tied in a knot. On opening it they found a lot of black pieces of metal, which under a knife revealed pure gold of darkest hue. They were nuggets, dozens of them, varying in size from smaller than a dime to the size of an English walnut, and all of them black.

    Hastily the men tried to follow the squaw, but by this time she had disappeared in the same range of mountains to the north from which she had been seen to emerge. When the finders of the gold had an opportunity of having the metal assayed and valued, they were brought to the realization of the worth of the discovery. The little pack had contained more than two thousand dollars’ worth of property.

    Such a find could not help starting a search and creating talk, and it was but a short time before a number of old miners were on the scene. They knew the value of the black gold and also that in this section, buried far from observation or generally overlooked by prospectors who had been through the ranges before, lay the old Peg-Leg Mine with its fabled wealth. There was a stampede from the camp, which did not last long on account of the hardships the searchers had to face.

    Only in the northwestern part of the range is there any living water, the Salvation Springs. Other portions of the range contain huge natural tanks in the mountains, which at that time were discovered in all but one or two instances to be dried up. As a result, only a few hardy prospectors were steady in their search, which had its original inception in 1853 when “Peg-Leg” Smith wandered into Mojave with nearly ten thousand dollars’ worth of black nuggets in his possession.

    I question a few things here ( I highlighted them ), the first states that they were in the Imperial Valley. Ok, gives us a general area, the second says that they weren't interested in her until they found the gold she had. Now the third says that ole pegs came in with $10K of gold, if gold was $ 20 a oz that would make 500 oz's of " pure " gold, or nearly 43 lbs.. Just how much would that be in " raw material " and is that something a mule would be able to carry, with someone on his back ( because I'm sure pegs didn't walk alll the way ) ?

    PLL

  5. #65
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Quote Originally Posted by pegleglooker
    A large crew was stationed between Ogeby and Salton, rebuilding much of the track. They were near a water-place named Glamis when the incident occurred
    Here's the answer to your question of where they were.
    The creeks are all cowards and run underground and whiskey is so scarce that you can’t use it to wet down dry jokes. –The Irish Lord 1897

  6. #66
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Pegleglooker wrote
    were near a water-place named Glamis when the incident occurred
    That would put the woman coming out of the southern end of the Chocolates, which area is well known for GOLD deposits. Hmm.

    Cactusjumper wrote
    One version, I believe by Choral Pepper, involved an ambushed pack train hauled back to Mexico with gold nuggets in packs. Indians cut off the packs and scattered the rocks looking for loot
    As we know the Peppers to be liars, this story would ordinarily be very much open to question, however the story existed well before Desert magazine - in fact I have a newspaper clipping that directly relates to this version, hmm if I can find it I will post it, so closing here, hopefully will post a PS shortly.
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  7. #67

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,604
    778 times

    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine


    That article would be interesting to see.

    You say: "As we know the Peppers to be liars".

    Have they risen to the level of having a liar's contest named after them.......Such as "PEGLEG SMITH LIARS’ CONTEST". I think that would be something that some of our old friends here would aspire to.

    I have a number of Choral's books and they don't seem to be any better or worse than other lost treasure tales.
    Most are simply rehashes of old stories.

    Take care,

    Joe

  8. #68
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Well I am sorry to say that I can't find my clip, though I ran across it just a few nights ago. The only "point" I hoped to reach by posting it was fair evidence that the story existed in the 1800's, though the story was about men who claimed to have found the mine and the number of "human skeletons" and "burro bones" were said to "match the story of Pegleg exactly". I am not giving up on finding it, as we now have a sub-board for Pegleg I think it would be at least on subject.

    Cactusjumper wrote
    Have they risen to the level of having a liar's contest named after them.......Such as "PEGLEG SMITH LIARS’ CONTEST". I think that would be something that some of our old friends here would aspire to.
    I gain new insights into you with each new post Joe, pretty interesting post you just put there.
    Roy

    PS I have not found that clip, but realized the thread I posted a few days ago makes mention of the "quartz" and "human bones" which ought not be in the "original" version of Pegleg, and this publication dates to 1895. Here is the link
    http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.p...tml#msg1521631
    This reported "discovery" obviously does not mate up with the story of black nuggets, and must relate to a version similar to Peppers.
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  9. #69
    um
    Dec 2008
    1,868
    886 times

    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    cactus jumper:

    I think the biggest problem with Choral Pepper's several books is not that she simply rehashed old stories - but she insisted on adding her own "details."

    While this makes it very easy to track subsequent scribes who drew upon her works, it does makes it difficult for the novice reader who picks up one of her thomes and doesn't realize what it really is.

    Good luck to all,

    ~The Old Bookaroo
    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  10. #70
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    HOLA amigos,

    Cactusjumper wrote
    You say: "As we know the Peppers to be liars".
    Perhaps I was being a bit too hasty in "convicting" the Peppers, no disrespect intended to our amigos Pegleglooker and Gollum, but thus far the only "evidence" we have that the Peppers lied is the say-so of our friends. That is enough for me, but in a court of public opinion it is "hearsay". So now I must ask our amigos,

    Pegleglooker, do you have conclusive proof that the Peppers lied in publishing the story of "the man who found Pegleg's gold"? If you could post it here, we can settle the matter permanently.

    If we have no solid proof other than hearsay, it is not fair to accuse them of being bald-faced liars. After all, this could be done with ANY lost treasure story - we could have someone say "well so-and-so told me it was all a made up story to sell books/magazines" etc.

    I will add that at least one detail of Pepper's story sure had a ring of truth to me, that of selling the gold in Nome. Having been there on prospecting trips, I know that it would not raise any eyebrows for someone to sell gold in town, unless it were a very large amount. Not too many towns in the USA where folks still sell gold in the stores like money. Of course things could have changed in the last few years and I would not know it, I have heard from friends that the town has changed quite a bit in the last few years.

    Thank you in advance Pegleglooker,
    Oroblanco

    PS Must be something about human nature, that we will accept it much more readily when someone claims a story is false, than when it is claimed to be true. Perhaps it is more comfortable to be able to "pigeonhole" stories into classes, than to leave them hanging as mysteries?
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  11. #71
    Charter Member
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    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    hey gang,
    Hello mi amigo Oro !!!!! I think you have some very true and valid points. I have always liked the way you look at both sides of a issue. Now to the point, First let me say that I think the term " liars ' is a bit harsh. Oro, you ask if I can " prove " that they were not telling the truth.... The answer would be no. The information I received, was from a original writer at Desert Magazine. Someone that had absolutely no reason to lie to me, and someone that in all meeting with me ( for nearly a year ) he simply told the truth. He would tell me from from time to time, I may not like what I hear, but it's all he knows. The only way to know " for sure " is to follow what he said and here it is point by point:

    1- Desert Magazine was not making enough money to keep the going for long and needed a boost in subscriptions.

    2- Jack Pepper " acquired " several black nuggets ( from whom, from where and how is not known ).

    3- In Feb of 1965 the first letter appeared in the magazine, here's a copy of the manuscript. When you read it, think like a editor and look at the text. To me ( and I'm no editor ) there are things that someone like you- Oro, or anyone here would not include in a letter to a magazine about one of the GREATEST gold finds EVER!!!! Let me demonstrate, I will look at each part:

    Dear Desert Editor:

    Although the enclosed story has no byline ( does anyone know what a byline is ? ), I believe it and the photographs will be of interest to you. After you have read the story, you will understand why the reasons for my remaining anonymous are too obvious to enumerate.( to me the writing style is just too professional too be a average joe )

    You have my full permission to publish the story and this letter if you wish. They may be of minor interest to the readers of Desert Magazine.

    More important, I am also enclosing two of the Peg Leg's nuggets. One is still black, exactly as found, and the other has had the black copper oxides removed by the process mentioned in the story and is now native "gold" in color. You will have these nuggets to show one and all who have doubted the story of Peg Leg's black nuggets ( who would doubt the story if there are " real " nuggets on display ). You may keep them with my compliments for Desert Magazine's collection of desert artifacts, in this case you can start a new collection of items from lost mines that have been found.

    Very sincerely yours,

    The Man Who Found
    Peg Leg's Black Gold

    The whole thing is short precise and professionally written. Ask yourself this, just how would you have written this letter? Would you have EVEN written a letter ?? Why would one feel " compelled " to write a letter to of all places," THE " magazine of South Western tales, lore etc. Also, this writing style is VERY important... Why ? Because shortly after Jack died, there was only ONE letter, and it is NOT written by Jack. One other point that has to be made is that Choral and Jack's marriage was not doing well either. Choral ( and no I can't prove this ) went to stay with Earl Stanley Gardner ( from Perry Mason fame ). This most likely can be proven with a little research... I just haven't done any of it yet ( I just finished moving last month ), but I will. I do know that there were some articles in Desert Mag, that both Earl and Choral worked on together.
    Until 1965 Pegleg's story got " some " attention but not like it did. The first story appeared in Nov 1946, by Henry E W Wilson, and I was able to track his life and some of his " research " down.Let's just say, that the article he quoted as his source of the pegleg story was not what he stated in his original article. He quotes Los Angles Express ( newspaper ) from July 13, 1900 and December 1901 Munsey magazine as his " original source ". I have the Munsey article and there is nothing new there at all..... Anyway Desert Magazine had a TON of articles after 1965, oh yeah the subscriptions ( I assume ) went up enough to keep it going for awhile.
    Please let me state that I have NOT called Choral Pepper a " liar ". If it wasn't for some of Choral's article's and books, I may not have gotten this far in Treasure hunting. The only thing that Choral " may " have done, is to write the last letter from " the man who found... ". She may have been told to do it, there were many people ( so I'm told ) who thought that after Jack died and the letters stopped, that the two may have been one in the same. I simply wanted to share what I was told, by someone that I held in EXTREME high regard. I told you what he told me and from there..... It's your choice whether to believe or not....I hope this helps....

    PLL

  12. #72
    us
    Sep 2008
    Corona
    Gold Bug II
    6

    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Greetings All,

    You may have seen this story below before, but I wanted to remind all that there is gold around the Gunnery range. This would corroborate the story of the squaw hitching a ride from around Glamis to Yuma and paying with nuggets.

    I have wandered over more sand and rocks than I care to mention and have seen and picked black nuggets (minus gold) from all over the floor and on mountains. I hope one day to find heavy nuggets!

    The following is a result of the Desert Wilderness Protection Act:

    “Through a complex series of land exchanges, Catellus Corp., a subsidiary of Santa Fe Pacific, would receive land that contains some of the richest gold deposits in the world. In exchange the public gets seventy-four widely scattered tracts of desert which have found no economic use in more than a century.

    “Catellus owns over 400,000 acres of worthless land in the California Mojave Desert. This land was obtained by Santa Fe Pacific and its predecessor railroad companies as part of the ‘checkerboard’ railroad lands awarded for the building of the transcontinental railroad. Santa Fe transferred these lands which have been for sale for over 100 years, over to its subsidiary, Catellus Corp. In the land swap, Catellus Corp. will receive land from decommissioned military bases. One of the bases will be the Chocolate Mountain gunnery range. Unbeknownst to the public, inside the range is the world's richest gold rift zone. Geologists estimate that the gold contained in this zone is worth between $40 to $100 billion. These are surface gold deposits which are more profitable to mine than the one-mile deep gold deposits in South Africa.”

    “In addition to controlling Catellus, Santa Fe owns and operates the Mesquite gold mine located on the Chocolate Mountain rift zone. The Mesquite gold mine is one of the top ten mines in the United States and has some of the most profitable gold deposits of any mine in the world. To the north is the Chocolate Mountain gunnery range. The Mesquite open pit gold mine literally stops at the fence that borders the gunnery range.”

    According to mining engineers who work at the Mesquite mine, the main gold ore body is north of the fence inside the gunnery range. Engineers allege that in 1981 and 1982, Consolidated Goldfields, which owned the mine at the time, illegally drilled into the gunnery range area to determine the composition of the ore body. The samples proved to be of high quality. According to these same engineers, beginning in the mid-1980s, military helicopters brought high ranking military officers, Congressmen and Senators to the area to examine these large gold deposits. Congressman Bruce Vento (D-Minn.) was one of those who toured the area. Engineers allege that the purpose of these tours was to come up with a way to hand these gold deposits to Consolidated Goldfields. No legal mechanism was then available to transfer this land without alerting the public to the existence of the gold. But around the same time the California Desert bill was introduced into Congress by former Senator Alan Cranston.

    Attached is the Mesquite mine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    MD

  13. #73
    Charter Member
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    Tennessee
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Thanks for posting that Mountaindigger. When I first read your post, I thought it was something new and started searching for a listing of all the land that Catellus gave up. I found that this actually occurred in 1994. For those interested, I found an article about it at http://www.mega.nu/ampp/bixman.html . There are many others but most are very political in nature.

    Coincidentally, that area is not too far from these hills that I cannot get to because they are part of the gunnery range.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The creeks are all cowards and run underground and whiskey is so scarce that you can’t use it to wet down dry jokes. –The Irish Lord 1897

  14. #74
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
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    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    WELCOME TO TREASURENET Mountaindigger! Thanks for posting that info too!
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  15. #75
    us
    Sep 2008
    Corona
    Gold Bug II
    6

    Re: The Lost Mines of the Desert - Part III: The Peg -Leg Mine

    Thanks Oroblanco for the welcome.

    Does anyone have or know where to get the map "Valle's Oil Survey of 1914" of the Yuha Basin and area?


    Thanks in advance.

    Paul
    MD

 

 
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