Jun 16, 2008, 11:42 PM
Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.
Treasure Tales of California Part 2
21. A sailing ship carrying a large amount of gold to the San Francisco mint sailed
into Shelter Cove to wait out a storm, but ran around and washed up on the beach.
Indians and renegade whites seized the gold and carried it up the cliffs to a small flat
where the treasure was buried. They marked the spot by placing the ship's bell in a nearby
tree. When they returned to the boat for additional salvage, soliders had arrived at the
scene and a fight had ensued. All but a few small children and women were killed. Many
years later, a group of deer hunters came upon the bell and took it home without knowing
the story. When they learned of the treasure later, efforts to relocate the site failed. The
cache is still there.
22. In 1894, a worker at the San Francisco mint made off with 290 pounds of gold and
buried it near Shelter Cover. He was captured and sent to prison for his crime, but
refused to reveal the exact location of the loot. It was never found.
23. In July of 1928, the small post office at Willow Creek was robbed, the men
escaping with $2,800. The cash was supposedly buried either at the Cedar Flat Bridge
across the Trinity River about 4 miles upriver from Burnt Ranch, or at some point up
New River Canyon on the first ranch above the mouth of New River.
24. Around 1849, a man named Davenport worked a bar on the Trinity River about 9
miles W Helena, later known as Davenport's Bar. He took out as much as $500 in gold per
day and employed a Negro and Scotsman to help him. Both men knew that Davenport's
buried his gold somewhere around the camp and plotted to rob him of his gold. A year
after he suddenly disappeared, his body was accidentally found, the skull crushed. Some
15 years later, the Scotsman confessed that the Negro had killed Davenport for an
estimated $50,000 in gold which they both dug up and reburied, intending to recover it
when things quieted down. They were the prime suspects in Davenport's disappearance
and they never returned to the site. These are his directions to the gold cache: It is buried
on a large bar on the Trinity River, semi-circular in shape. Before you reach the bar you
will come to a gorge through which the river runs with great rapidity. It is impossible to
pass through with a mule. You will find a trail, however, leading over a steep mountain
which rises from that bar very abruptly and on the first bench you will notice a big cliff of
bluish-looking rock. Not far from the cliff stood a large pine tree, and at the center of the
distance between the cliff and the tree you will find the gold. There are 10 to 12 stone
bottles filled with gold dust, and a canvas bag filled with coins. This treasure has never
25. Del Loma Cave is located near the base ofa rocky ledge overlooking Hwy. 299, 30
miles W of Weaverville and extends underground for almost 28 miles from here on New
River, but it was dynamited shut by soldiers in the 1850's. In the 1850's, hostile Indians
plagued the California miners stealing their gold and, in some instances, killing the gold
seekers in an effort to force them to leave their lands. Soldiers were finally brought in and
traced these hostile Indians to Del Loma Cave where it is believed all the stolen gold and
other valuables were hidden.
26. "Big Jim" Fisher built a cabin in the late 1890's at the big bend of Canyon Creek,
about 200 yards up the hillside. He took on a mining partner, frank Keenan, who built a
cabin on the lower end of Keenan Ditch, and a third named Frank Howell who moved into
a cabin at the mouth of Fisher Gulch. The men worked the rich placer area and acquired
many lard and tobacco cans full of gold nuggets which they hid at various spots around
their respective cabins. They enlisted a blacksmith to construct 3 copper boxes, each 10 x
12 x 12 inches, and each man had his own chest. Fisher buried his gold-filled chest in the
blue slide below the ditch near his cabin. Keenan buried his box near his cabin in Butcher
Gulch, near the end of the ditch. Howell's chest was buried in the rocks behind his cabin.
Howell died of a rattlesnake bite a short time later and his chest of nuggets was never
found. Fisher and Keenan continued to work the rich creek for years afterwards and
there is no record of these frugal partners ever having spent, or removing, their chests of
gold. The two died of natural causes and their chest of gold was never recovered. It also is
believed that many smaller caches of gold remain secreted in the same area, about 20
miles NW of Weaverville and just N of the Canyon Creek Bridge.
27. In the middle 1800's, 2 prospectors were robbed and killed by 2 Indians of
$40,000 in gold ore. Slowed by the weight of the loot, the Indians were captured by a
posse near Hall City Cave in the Klamath Range, near Hwy. 299 W of Weaverville. In
exchange for their lives, they confessed that they had thrown the gold into a pit inside the
cave, but the posse hanged them on the spot anyway. The posse searched the cave and
found the pit to be filled with water and seemingly bottomless. They failed to recover the
gold. Some believe the treasure was buried elsewhere in or near the cave.
28. About 1860, the sheriff of Trinity County was engaged in collecting taxes and
crossing a stream. His horse stumbled and a saddlebag containing $1,000 in gold was lost.
The county offered a reward for the recovery of the saddlebag, but despite damming up
the creek, it was never found. The creek was located near Weaverville and is easily
located. These tax payments were often paid using $50 gold slugs, in common use at that
time. If so, this cache could be worth as much as $1 million to collectors today.
29. In the 1850's, outlaw Rattlesnake Dick Barter and his gang robbed a mule train of
$80,600 in gold bullion while it was traveling from the Yreka and Klamath River Mines
down the Trinity Mountains. At a rendezvous in the foothills of the mountains, 2 of the
gang split half the loot and buried the remaining $40,000 in the uplands. As the pair
traveled towards Auburn they ran into a posse and George Skinner, the one who buried
the cache, was killed and the gold never recovered. The lawmen confiscated $40,600 on
the gang at that time of the capture but searchers failed to uncover the balance. The
treasure is somewhere on Trinity Mountain, part of which is in Trinity County, with the
major portion in Shasta County. The holdup scene was right on the Trinity-Shasta line at
the head of Clear Creek, but the treasure was buried an estimated 12 miles S of there,
making it possible the $40,000 could be in either county.
30. A freeway in Sacramento was built over a hoard of $200 million in treasure. The
huge cache is attributed to the Civil War-era secret society known as the Knights of the
31. $50,000 was stolen in a robbery of a Southern Pacific Overland Express robbery
in 1894 out of Sacramento. One half of this hoard was buried near Sheep Camp, a hobo
jungle that was close to the city at the time of the robbery. It was yet to be recovered.
32. Somewhere on the hillside S of Vacaville are buried the gold filled saddlebags of
an old prospector who stopped one night at the Pena Adobe in the 1850's. He cached his
gold and died the next day without revealing his hiding place.
33. In 1884, J. William Wilcox died after burying $50,000 in gold coins somewhere on
his home site on Andrus Island, located in the Sacramento River opposite Rio Vista. His
cache has yet to be found.
34. In 1901, the Selby Smelter at Vallejo Junction was robbed of $283,000 in gold
bars. John Winters, an employee, confessed that he committed the crime, removing the
bars one at a time from the vault and buried on the beach at water's edge at low tide. All
of the bars were recovered except $150,000 worth which still have yet to be located.
35. After robbing the Napa-Sacramento stage of an unknown quantity of gold, 3
bandits fled the scene with a posse in pursuit. About to be overtaken, the 3 bandits
hurriedly buried the treasure at the summit of a slight hill about 6 miles NW of Napa. The
outlaws were killed in the shootout and the loot was never recovered.
36. Antoine Rosselet came to the U.S. in 1917 and operated a successful speakeasy
during the Prohibition years in San Francisco. After the depression he sold the restaurant
and bought a bar on the North Beach and moved into an upper-middleclass section of the
city with his wife, the former Helen Riley, and changed his name. In 1948, he died of an
brain tumor, but not before he buried $750,000 worth of diamonds in a metal box in his
backyard of his home. The gems, worth an estimated $3 million today, have never been
37. $1 million worth of gold bullion stolen from Ralston's Bank of California by
alderman and wealthy lumber tycoon Harry Meiggs, was buried about halfway between
the old 1850's road that led from the offices of the California Lumber Company to the
Broadway Wharf in the North Beach area of San Francisco. The gold was never
recovered. The vicinity today is built up with night clubs, restaurants and other business
38. During the uprising in Peru in the 1850's, some wealthy Peruvian families loaded
chests of valuables and treasure on board an American whaling ship at Callao for
safekeeping. Not wanting to wait out the revolution, the captain sailed to Yerba Buena
Island where he unloaded the treasure and buried the hoard, intendind to pick it up on
his return trip from the Artic and deliver the valuables to their owners in Peru. The ship
was lost somewhere in the Artic whaling grounds and the treasure went un-recovered.
39. In the late 1700's, a cache of Spanish treasure contained in 2 barrels and an
iron-bound chest and consisting of gold and jewels, was secreted on Yerba Buena Island.
40. In 1834, the priests of the Mission Dolores in San Francisco placed the treasures
of the mission on a vessel for shipment to Spain. The ship capsized in a squall on the N end
of Yerba Buena Island and sank in shallow water. The chests containing the valuables
were taken ashore and buried and never recovered.
41. A German whiskey smuggler named Carl Hause had a base of operations on Point
Reyes Peninsula at the edge of Drake's Inlet just S of Inverness in the 1920's. He buried
$500,000 in large gold-backed currency somewhere between Inverness and the old Heims
Ranch and was found shot to death in his car a short time later. His cache of currency was
Jun 30, 2008, 12:20 AM
Sharing the culture, history and adventure of the American Southwest.
Re: Treasure Tales of California Part 2
Since I don't live up north, I'm not sure if one is allowed, but, I would head over to Yerba Buena Island and comb every inch of that island.
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