Welcome guest, is this your first visit?
Member
Discoveries
 
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 84
  1. #1
    um
    Dec 2008
    1,868
    877 times

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

    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.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PegLeg Smith.jpg 
Views:	2198 
Size:	117.8 KB 
ID:	261281

    Pegleg Smith in San Francisco - 1861; from Hutchings' California Magazine

    The day he pulled into the mining camp with its three saloons and two stores, his lips were cracked and black, his tongue parched and swollen, and his hands almost bursting from the pressure of blood caused by long tramping. His mule had saved his life by half dragging him to the camp, which he would never have located alone.

    For several days he lay abed, gripping the saddle-bags which had been brought into his rooms in one of the shacks that served as saloon and hotel. When he recovered consciousness and health, he opened the saddle-bags and satisfied the curiosity of the hundred or so prospectors who were working in the vicinity.

    What they saw startled them. It was black gold. Nuggets, hundreds of them, as black as coal on the outside, but pure dull gold within. “Where did you get it?” was the question, and Smith tried to tell them, after securing from each of them a promise to share in the wealth should they find it.

    According to his story, he had been living with the Yuma and the Cocopah Indians along the Colorado River for several years. Away from the river the land resolved itself into the driest, most desolate region imaginable, a region they seldom ventured into because of their dislike for their God of Fury, who overwhelmed them and buried them beneath the swirling sand-dunes when they sought the black pebbles.

    They told stories of great treasures of yellow metal, but never ventured after it themselves. Smith, who had lost a leg while in an encounter with the Indians in crossing the plains, hoarded up all the stories, and after securing all information possible he decided on a trip to San Francisco to obtain a partner in his work. At that time the desert was not mapped, and it was a really hazardous undertaking for any man to attempt.

    In this desolate region Smith lost his bearings. The fierce yellow sun, the dancing, jiggling heat-waves, the dust-flurries confused his direction. He finally climbed upon a black butte that stood near by and, arriving at is summit, probably fifteen hundred feet in the air, he attempted to locate his whereabouts.

    “When I reached the top,” he told some of his friends, “I saw just a short distance away another butte of exactly the same height and type as the one on which I stood. It was connected with a low saddle, and the twin buttes were isolated from the main range. Finally I decided on the way I was to continue and started back down the hill to my mule, which had remained at the foot of the incline.

    “I had tied the animal to a boulder in order to prevent it from breaking away and carrying off the only water-supply available for perhaps a week or more. Rather restless, the mule had stamped about and kicked up some good-sized pebbles that showed a strange glint where the hoofs had struck. Picking one of the black stones up, I pulled out my pocket-knife, scratched its surface and found that it was gold.”

    It was a repetition of the old Oriental fable of the stranded Arab on the desert, who came across a sack of pearls when he sought figs and water. Smith was running short of food and water and could take only a few pounds on the already overcrowded mule, and these he placed in his saddle-bags, proceeding then on his route.

    After he had recovered sufficiently, he started out to relocate his valuable property. Others had preceded him, and a number followed close along, hoping to be with him in the find. For days he wandered about, but the twin buttes had disappeared as if by the magic of an Aladdin’s lamp. He tried time and again, as did dozens of others, to locate this immensely wealthy find, a place, as he explained, where black gold lay strewn for blocks over the ground and looked like mere chunks of rock and lava pebbles.

    He never succeeded in his quest. Nor has any one else. There have been many mints located in the district of the desert – the Mesquite Placer Diggings in the central part of Imperial County [in this copy (ours) is written after “Diggings,” and the next seven words crossed out] which have produced thousands and thousands, the Ogleby Diggings, the Salvation Springs Diggings, but not the mine of black volcanic-like gold. There are many black buttes in the country, but they, too, have failed to give up the secret of Peg-leg’s lost properties.

    to be continued…Next – “The Lost Papuan Placer Diggings.”

    Further Reading:

    I think there should be little argument that the saga of Pegleg Smith’s lost black gold nuggets is the most likely to be true of all the great lost mine stories of the American West. For my money “Mr. Pegleg’s” letters to Desert Magazine are enough proof.

    In Lost Bonanzas; Tales of the Legendary Lost Mines of the American West (New York: 1966), Harry Sinclair Drago provides a reliable, albeit quite skeptical, introduction to the Lost Peg Leg Smith story. It is important to keep in mind, however, that Mr. Drago didn’t have the benefit of the “Mr. Pegleg” revelations.

    A very interesting account may be found in Famous Lost Mines of the Old West, edited by John H. Latham (Conroe, Texas: 1971), a collection of tales first published in the old True Treasure and Treasure World Magazines. Historian John M. Townley relies heavily on Alfred G. Humphreys’ graduate thesis, placing the possible location along a tributary of the Virgin River in Southern Nevada.

    The classic account is Philip A. Bailey’s Golden Mirages; The Story of the Lost Pegleg Mine, the Legendary Three Gold Buttes, and Yarns of and by Those Who Know the Desert (New York: 1940 – reprinted several times). The 1971 “Special Commemorative Edition” (Ramona, California) is a handsome piece of work; but it may have been produced without the proper permission of the copyright holder.

    Mr. Bailey’s admonition is worth listening to very carefully: “The yarns that make up this story may be taken in any mood one chooses; but the deserts must be taken seriously.”

    The first biography of Thomas Pegleg Smith remains an outstanding work: The Lame Captain; The Life and Adventures of Pegleg Smith, by Sardis W. Templeton (Los Angeles: 1965) Great West and Indian Series XXXVIII. Because he was a member of the fur brigades, there is a great deal of well-documented and reliable Pegleg Smith history that treasure hunters should not overlook. An obvious place to begin would Leroy R.& Ann W. Hafen’s excellent books. And, unlike so many lost mine yarns, this one enjoys a considerable body of contemporary newspaper article documentation. Pegleg Smith appears to have been a colorful and therefore frequent favorite interview subject for many reporters.

    The Pegleg Smith saga enjoyed an enthusiastic group of hunters during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Copies of Harry Oliver’s Desert Rat Scrapbook dealing with the subject are rather pricey today. Perhaps you will be able to locate the charming On the Trail of Pegleg Smith’s Gold; Legend and Fact Combined to Provide Fresh Clues to the Location of Pegleg Smith’s Famous Lost Mine by J. Wilson McKenney (Palm Desert, California: 1957).

    The always-reliable Douglas McDonald offers the “Second Lost Pegleg Mine” in Nevada Lost Mines & Buried Treasures (Las Vegas, Nevada: 1981).

    Anytime a serious treasure hunter can take advantage of the late Ed Bartholomew’s thorough research, I highly recommend that it be done. Writing as Jesse Rascoe, he collected much of the lore in Pegleg’s Lost Gold (Fort Davis, Texas: 1973). There are also articles about the story in several other Rascoe books. Given his life-long interest in lost treasure, it is no surprise that Ed saw fit to include “Peg Leg” Smith in his Western Hard-Cases; Or, Gunfighters Named Smith (Ruidoso, New Mexico: 1960), although Thomas L. Smith was not really a "gunfighter."

    I enjoyed reading John Southworth’s Pegleg; To Date – And Beyond; Peglegiana Today. The Story, Its History and Recent Developments. How It Got That Way and Where it is Going [Privately printed by the Author: No Place: 1975]. The title certainly sums up the book. I think he did a good job of analyzing several claims to have found the source of the black gold nuggets.

    Finally there is the remarkable Vengeance! The Saga of Poor Tom Cover by Dan L. Thrapp (El Segundo, California: 1989) Montana and the West Series VI. After a full and adventurous life, Tom Cover vanished in the Mojave Desert searching for the lost Pegleg Smith mine.






    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.

  2. # ADS
    Ads

    TreasureNet.com is the premier Treasure Hunting Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see these ads. Please Register - It's Free!

  3. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Hello Old Bookaro,
    GREAT research bud, that has got to be the most detailed story I have read about the " squaw and RR " connection to the story. Was not aware that she had run away. The stories I have read basically said she stayed and talked to the workers and gave them the gold as a token of thankx. However I do have a question on one part of your story, you wrote

    " The day he pulled into the mining camp with its three saloons and two stores, his lips were cracked and black, his tongue parched and swollen, and his hands almost bursting from the pressure of blood caused by long tramping. His mule had saved his life by half dragging him to the camp, which he would never have located alone."

    What " mining town " would this be ?? I mean if he was headed northish from Yuma, the only REAL mining town would most likely be San Bernardino. Which means this " may " be the story of Dr deCource and the deserter from Ft Yuma. You also wrote

    " For several days he lay abed, gripping the saddle-bags which had been brought into his rooms in one of the shacks that served as saloon and hotel. When he recovered consciousness and health, he opened the saddle-bags and satisfied the curiosity of the hundred or so prospectors who were working in the vicinity. "
    This also make me believe that it may have been a small town. But where ?? You also wrote

    " 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. "
    So in this light here is a map from 1863, I'm assuming that it would most likely take a few years to get the data, and produce the map with this data. Since there is only a 10 year gap between the quote and the map production, then this SHOULD be close to what the REAL pegleg experienced.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	desertroutesa.jpg 
Views:	2055 
Size:	95.8 KB 
ID:	261463

    Where's the town with 3 saloons and and 2 stores In fact where is any town of substance between Yuma and San Bernardino ? We See the Bradshaw trail, we see where today the I-10 goes to AZ, we see Dos Palmas station, and a little N a Indian Village and then... Nothing until San Bernardino, even Beaumont and Banning are not shown, but wouldn't there be someone to help out a straggler SOMEWHERE within these miles To me " common sense " just says to me that this is toooooo long of a way for someone to go, who has been suffering from the heat and conditions of the desert.. I know it says " mining town " and that could mean just about anything, but what I'm asking is simply ..... where ? Lets answer that first and then we can move to the next point. Please understand that I am not saying I have the answer, I'm just opening it up for discussion... Let's see what we get from this

    enjoy
    PLL

  4. #3
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    5,094
    619 times

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

    Well this was going to be a "tag" post, but I have to put in my two shekels.

    Mi amigo Pegleglooker wrote:
    In fact where is any town of substance between Yuma and San Bernardino ?
    I get what you are saying, however as described this would have been quite a small town - only THREE saloons for instance, hardly any town in the "old west" would be considered respectable with so few saloons. (Heck some dry gulches in Montana had that many saloons and weren't even considered towns!) Could the "town" be one and the same as we found in that other version recently posted - Temecula? It was supposed to have been founded in 1859, but a little village existed there well prior to this date. The first recorded visit was by a Franciscan padre in 1797, and a mission <Mission San Luis Rey de Francia> was founded there in 1798 with another some twenty miles inland built in 1816. There definitely was some kind of a settlement there in Pegleg's day, quite possibly large enough to have a mere THREE saloons! (Heck even old Buffalo Gap here in SD has three saloons, with a population of about 150!)

    Just a guess amigo, and thanks Bookaroo and Pegleglooker!
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  5. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Apr 2007
    God's lap
    X-terra 70 ACE 250
    11,352
    8 times

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

    Old bookaroo you do post the most fascinating stories! I think Oro has a good point with his descriptions of small towns tho. Very interesting. I am looking forward to hearing more!

  6. #5
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    5,094
    619 times

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

    Just re-read this article and I think the town being referred to as a "mining camp" IS Mojave, but Mojave was supposed to be "founded" by the SP railroad in 1875, so...? There could have been a mining camp there earlier, and if this is the case then the "saloons" were likely tents with a plank set on barrels for a bar. Need to do a bit more research...
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  7. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Hello Oro,
    I hear what you're saying and have been to old town Temecula many many times. Here is a link to it's history

    http://www.oldtemecula.com/history/history1.htm

    and this " may " have been the town that pegleg came through... But if you have ever been on this ride from the desert to Temecula, you would understand just how many water spots would have been available, and beside most of the Indians were friendly as well. My bet is it could have been the Dos Palmas station or another station enroute to San Bernardino. Dos Palmas was a station for the Bradshaw trail, the trail to Yuma and basically a decent size stopover station.
    Bookaro wrote

    " one of the shacks that served as saloon and hotel "

    Sounds like someone trying to make a buck... and where else would one go but to a stage station, or a place where people would gather.. and be thirsty.

    PLL

  8. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Oro,
    I think once he was found, they would have kept close to the stage route... somewhere.

    PLL

  9. #8
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    5,094
    619 times

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

    PS there is another tidbit in here that is a problem for placing Pegleg's gold in Anza Borrego, here it is, quote

    by this time she had disappeared in the same range of mountains to the north from which she had been seen to emerge.
    North, as in north of the railroad, which fairly well EXCLUDES Borrego. Just an observation please continue...
    Oroblanco

    PSS - Pegleglooker wrote
    I think once he was found, they would have kept close to the stage route... somewhere.
    That is IF we put Pegleg in a time frame AFTER the stage road had been established, remember the earliest versions date Pegleg's discovery into the 1830's when there was NO stage road.
    O
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  10. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    oro,
    That is true, but as per Bookaroo's post, he has this quote " " 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. " This would put him somwhere in the Salton Sea area.. maybe a little north.

    PLL

  11. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Oro,
    The 1830 link would be for Thomas L Smith, which Philip Bailey and myself TRULY believe is NOT the originial pegleg. Just a Dagwood ( multilayer sandwich ) if you know what I mean.

    PLL

  12. #11
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    5,094
    619 times

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

    Pegleglooker I must respectfully disagree on Thomas L., I am convinced he is the original of the story - being a trapper, horse-thief adventurer and NOT a prospector, it is believable that such a man could accidently find gold and not readily identify it. (I know some do call him a "prospector" but he did not become one until after learning he had gold not copper) Thomas L was selling maps etc right up until his death in 1866. I will grant that it is POSSIBLE that the "true" Pegleg of the black gold nuggets is in fact one of the other, later pegleg Smiths, but in my opinion it is Thomas L. as the original finder.
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  13. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Hello Oro,
    You are absolutely right that Thmas L was the first Pegleg and that the story of the " thiught it was copper and not gold " does originate with him... But He did not find the gold, The story is that Pegleg, Dutch George ( George Yount ) and a group of trappers were camped on the Virgin River on their way back to California. Dutch went for a walk on one of the mornings and found what he called " native copper ", which they made bullets out of later. This is from Bailey's Golden Mirages book, and the area is now under Lake Mead.

    PLL

  14. #13
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    5,094
    619 times

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

    HOLA amigo Pegleglooker,

    Pegleglooker wrote:
    But He did not find the gold, The story is that Pegleg, Dutch George ( George Yount ) and a group of trappers were camped on the Virgin River on their way back to California. Dutch went for a walk on one of the mornings and found what he called " native copper ", which they made bullets out of later. This is from Bailey's Golden Mirages book, and the area is now under Lake Mead.
    Yount's trip would have been in 1826, which is fairly before any version of the lost Pegleg I have ever run across. However this does rack up well with the old story of the Paiute's gold - though in that version it was "three, identical, snow-covered peaks." and not black gold.

    Pegleglooker also wrote
    and the area is now under Lake Mead.
    Well - now if we think about it, would it be? Remember it was supposed to be HILLS, not valleys, so logically could be above water even with lake Mead there.
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  15. #14
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    5,094
    619 times

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

    PS - the arrival of Pegleg in LA dates to 1830 according to Harlan Hague (CA Historical Quarterly 1976), so would appear not to be the same trip as the 1826 trek with Yount? Now you have got me curious, have to "dig" a bit more here.....
    Oroblanco

    PSS - a quick check of some CO newspapers found an article published in 1892, states Pegleg Smith found gold nuggets in 1830, on "three little hills". It also includes a report of a miner brought into San Bernardino in 1855 nearly dead, with $7000 in gold, which he claimed had been found on "three little hills".

    It seems that perhaps Pegleg's gold has been found (and lost) repeatedly?
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  16. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Sep 2007
    Tennessee
    White's MXT Sunray DX-1 Falcon MD20 Garrett Seahunter Mark II
    373
    32 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    It seems that perhaps Pegleg's gold has been found (and lost) repeatedly?
    And, only by one legged men or indian widows......I wonder if my insurance will cover a voluntary amputation.
    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

  17. #16
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Good Morning Mr Oro,
    I agree... peglegs gold has been found and lost many many many times. Through my research, it shows that there are 3 main peglegs. The first being Thomas L and the story of the " golden bullets ", the second being the Yuma soldier and dr deCource connection, and the third ( and most unknown ) is the guide out of Yuma- the one that Bookaroo is talking about. It's the peeling of the layers that gets one to the real story. Did more than one Smith lose his leg ?? Most people talk about how this was after the civil war and that there were many people who came out west disfigured. But according to this version the story, it began in 1853 ( " 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. " ).Also, according to the story " he had been living with the Yuma and the Cocopah Indians along the Colorado River for several years ", Dr de Cource did live in Yuma and he also married a local Quechan maiden. This is why I feel these passages are from the lost soldier connection ( not the Civil War but someone stationed out during the expansion of the west ). Here is the History of Ft Yuma:

    First established on November 27, 1850, it was originally located in the bottoms near the Colorado River, less than a mile below the mouth of the Gila. In March 1851 the post was moved to a small elevation on the Colorado's west bank, opposite the present city of Yuma, Arizona, on the site of the former Mission Puerto de la Purisima Concepcion. This site had been occupied by Camp Calhoun, named for John C. Calhoun, established on October 2, 1849, by 1st lieutenant Cave J. Couts, 1st Dragoons, for the boundary survey party led by 2nd Lieutenant Amiel W. Whipple, Corps of Topographical Engineers. A ferry service, maintained by the soldiers for the survey party's convenience, also accommodated emigrants. Fort Yuma was established to protect the southern emigrant travel route to California and to attempt control of the warlike Yuma Indians in the surrounding 100 mile area.

    Established by Captain Samuel P. Heintzelman, 2nd Infantry, it was originally named Camp Independence. In March 1851, when the post was moved to its permanent site, its name was changed to Camp Yuma. A year later the post was designated Fort Yuma. In June 1851 the Army virtually abandoned the post because of the high costs incurred in maintaining it, and it was completely abandoned on December 6, 1851, when its commissary was practically empty of provisions.

    The post, however, was reoccupied by Captain Heintzelman on February 29, 1852. In 1864 the Quartermaster Corps erected a depot on the left bank of the Colorado, below the mouth of the Gila River. When the extension of the railroad system obviated the need of a supply depot, Fort Yuma was abandoned on May 16, 1883. The reservation was transferred to the Interior Department on July 22, 1884. Today, the site of the military reservation is occupied by the Fort Yuma Indian School and a mission.


    Oro, you know that I consider you one of the top 3 or 4 guys on this site when it comes to your knowledge of lost treasures and mines. However, there are only 2 stories that I have REALLY researched, pegleg and the lost ship of the desert. Because I concentrated on only these stories I have TONS of info. One of which I will share with you here and now. Philip Bailey ( who -in my opinion- has the most detailed account of the many peglegs life ) wrote Golden Mirages in 1940, had researched his book for 20 yrs before. His he a complete chronology of Thomas L's life and here is a piece of that writing. Please note the year and the last part of the page...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pegchrono.jpg 
Views:	1882 
Size:	404.3 KB 
ID:	261556

    Continued below

    PLL

  18. #17
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Here is one of many stories and notes from Bailey. Here he interviews a man named Schrum, lets the man have his say... and then look at the notes on the 2nd pg. I have approx 2000 pages from Bailey's notes and manuscripts just like this, and this is why I have come to the conclusion that Thomas L never found any gold... Sorry

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pegstory1.jpg 
Views:	1809 
Size:	291.6 KB 
ID:	261558

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pegtlstory2.jpg 
Views:	1744 
Size:	283.0 KB 
ID:	261559

    PLL

  19. #18
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    And finally, here is what Bailey had to say about the " true story " of pegleg.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pegtrue.jpg 
Views:	1880 
Size:	309.9 KB 
ID:	261560

    I am anxiously waiting to hear your reply Mr Oro and company.

    PLL

  20. #19
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
    5,094
    619 times

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

    auferret wrote
    Quote from: Oroblanco on Today at 12:31:06 AM
    It seems that perhaps Pegleg's gold has been found (and lost) repeatedly?
    And, only by one legged men or indian widows......I wonder if my insurance will cover a voluntary amputation.
    Ouch! I will be the first to admit that I am NOT as tough as old Pegleg, to do an amputation on myself!
    There are several other reports of folks who found black nuggets of gold in the same (general) area, including an Indio or Mexican vaquero who worked on a local ranch, a treasure hunter named John Mitchell (who was hunting a meteorite at the time) Crazy Ike, among others. I don't think it is a requirement to be one-legged, but perhaps that WAS a factor?

    Pegleglooker wrote
    And finally, here is what Bailey had to say about the " true story " of pegleg.
    First THANK YOU buddy for posting these, very interesting material! Bailey is not the first to conclude that Pegleg didn't find any gold I ran across several articles published in the 1890s that came to the same conclusion, namely that Smith (and or Smiths plural) were nothing but first-class liars. However even if Smith was simply lying, the story originated -somewhere- and black-crusted gold nuggets have been found, reportedly in the Colorado desert as well as in Arizona. For this reason I do not utterly dismiss the story of Smith finding it in the first place, even in a separate expedition from that with Dutch Yount.

    Side note here but I am jealous of your research on Pegleg and the Pearl Ship amigo! I know how much work it takes not to mention time in hunting up information. My first 'expedition' to hunt for Pegleg's gold was based on just one source, which was the aforementioned Mitchell, and needless to say we found -zilch-. In subsequent trips we covered a lot of ground and included much more source material, and I am convinced that there are rich gold placers there still un-discovered. For example we spent a week panning out samples from each and every gully and dry wash along a particular stretch of the Chocolates, and without giving away too much info there were gold showings in a rather large percentage of the samples. You have probably been there yourself as well as the Chuckwallas and Orocopias, you can find stringers of black sands in numerous areas and a great many of them will pan out a few colors of gold. In the Borregos I never found much in the way of gold, though I know there was supposed to be something like $19,000 in gold produced from one particular canyon (please feel free to correct me on this I am working from memory alone) heck I couldn't even pan out a single color of gold in many samples.

    Whether good-old-fashioned prospecting techniques would be able to trace down "Pegleg's" gold I can't say, but I think if a guy or gal had time enough and were diligent, it should be possible. Among many of the old newspaper stories (not always the best sources but fairly good usually) it was reported that most "old timers" thought that the Pegleg deposit was another of those rare "chimney" type gold deposits, like Rich Hill in AZ. If they were right (and I can't prove it wrong) then the amount of gold that could be present would stagger the imagination.

    I take it then that you (personally) are convinced there never was a "Pegleg" lost mine amigo Pegleglooker? What about the black coated nuggets sent in to Desert magazine? Why do we have a fellow going by the name of "Pegleg Smith" present in California, selling directions and "maps" to the 49'ers, as reported in some of the very first English-language newspapers published in CA? There is "a lot of smoke", and perhaps there never was any lost Pegleg mine, but I sure had a blast hunting for it, and got to trek over some of the most beautiful country in America.

    Here is the map published in Desert magazine

    The editors drew that big circle, apparently mis-reading what "the man who found Pegleg's gold" actually wrote, which was, quote
    I will say only that it is less than 30 miles from the Salton Sea and within the confines of the map on page 10 of the November 1946 issue of Desert Magazine.
    The region he was referring to includes a MUCH larger area, and would include several mountain ranges on the north and east, areas which have historically produced considerable gold - unlike Borrego.

    Then there is the map of Adolph Ruth mentioned by our amigo Cactusjumper, another interesting 'tidbit' - perhaps there is gold in Borrego after all?

    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  21. #20
    Charter Member
    us
    Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
    1,783
    21 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

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

    Oro,
    I thank you for answering this blog,and let me first say that Bailey spent 20 years researching his book before it went to print. And I agree with his findings. But there are a couple of things that have been brought up by you and Bookaroo that make my head tilt. But first let me answer one of your questions. You wrote: " I take it then that you (personally) are convinced there never was a "Pegleg" lost mine amigo Pegleglooker? " The answer YES I truly believe there is gold and it was found by a man named Smith and he " may " have had a pegleg, just not the trapper Smith. When one reads the research, the first thing you have to do is to strip the stories associated with the trapper Smith and see what's left. That's what I did with Bookaroo's post. One of the first things I did was to buddy up with writers to find out how they write and what's important... and how to read through it. Example in Book's post it read as follows :

    For several days he lay abed, gripping the saddle-bags which had been brought into his rooms in one of the shacks that served as saloon and hotel. When he recovered consciousness and health, he opened the saddle-bags and satisfied the curiosity of the hundred or so prospectors who were working in the vicinity.

    What they saw startled them. It was black gold. Nuggets, hundreds of them, as black as coal on the outside, but pure dull gold within.

    But then the writer quote pegleg as follows:

    Smith was running short of food and water and could take only a few pounds on the already overcrowded mule, and these he placed in his saddle-bags, proceeding then on his route.

    So how can one have " hundreds " of nuggets yet only " a few pounds " of color ?? Doesn't add up. But which is true. I would lean towards the " few pounds " before " hundreds " of nuggets. I just feel that you have to read thoroughly and maybe reread it again and again tell something pops out.
    As for the Chocolate's, Chuckwallas and Orocopias, this area has been know for gold deposits for y e a r s. Plus you " may " have just given a new clue as well. You quoted:

    " The editors drew that big circle, apparently mis-reading what "the man who found Pegleg's gold" actually wrote, which was,

    I will say only that it is less than 30 miles from the Salton Sea and within the confines of the map on page 10 of the November 1946 issue of Desert Magazine.

    Name:  johngloversmith.jpg
Views: 2122
Size:  5.3 KB

    I wonder how many people have looked at this map for years and have not picked up on the fact that it " may " not be in the circle.... The fact that YOU have been able to find color in these maountain area's mentioned above leads some credence to it... no ??

    Also on the squaw story Book wrote:

    " 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. "

    Followed by:

    " 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. "

    Sounds like to me we are talking about the Santa Rosa's.... no ??

    And finally there is " proof " of the Yount story, the earliest newspaper account I have that mentions trapper Smith is in 1854 from the Alta in San Fransisco

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pegmap_l.jpg 
Views:	1755 
Size:	128.2 KB 
ID:	261756

    But if you read the article dated April 15th 1854 it says " Smith says that 26 years ago ( 1828 ? ) he was traveling there, and a man in his party picked up a piece of yellow metal and called it gold
    Maybe this was the ONLY time he told the truth.....

    The quest should be for perhaps, a trail guide out of Yuma's obscurity. Someone who knew the desert and it's routes, someone who got " paid " for ushering emigrant's through the trials of the desert. And there ' may be just a man.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	peg1start.jpg 
Views:	1740 
Size:	109.7 KB 
ID:	261757

    When the Mormon battalion came through in 1846-47 there was a man by the name of Smith in this group. Some of the earliest researchers were calling for a John G or O Smith as a possible candidate. I have this man, he was assigned to Co D, he was NOT part of the party that returned to Ft Leavenworth and was not part of the reenlistment company either. His wife was asking about his pension in 1895

    Name:  johngloversmith.jpg
Views: 2098
Size:  5.3 KB
    sorry about the pix quality ( from foonote.com )

    Who else, but someone from the Mormon Battalion ( who truly cut their way through the desert ), to make a better guide through the desert ?? Just a thought...

    Anybody agree or disagree ??

    PLL



    Also on the squaw story
    Attached Images Attached Images  

 

 
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New

Sponsors

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

active gold mines in southern california
,

bernardino mine

,

lost mines of the desert treasurenet

,

lost treasure in the mojave desert

,

nevada lost mines

,
old mining rooms found in ca. desert
,

old west lost treasure

,

route of pegleg

,

southern california gold claim map

,

southern desert gold mines ca

Click on a term to search for related topics.
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.1.3