Bannack! Another Cache Found
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  1. #1

    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author

    Bannack! Another Cache Found

    Well the old dredge working Grasshopper found some coins in the area of Plummer's cabin as JeffofPa posted somewhere in these Montana listings. It was on lot 10 on Yankee Flat in case anyone wanted to know, but nothing is there since the dredge went thru. Still another was found years later.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    and the second article.
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  3. #3

    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    Found a latter one and it was written for the newspaper by the author of the hard to find "Treasure State Treasure Tales."
    The following article is by Jean Moore, author of the hard to find, “Treasure State Treasure Tales” published in 1950!
    DILLON EXAMINER
    Dillon, Montana
    May 11, 1938

    SCATTERED SHACKS AND RUINED FOUNDATIONS ALL THAT ARE LEFT OF RICHEST, TOUGHEST MINING CAMP KNOWN
    By JEAN MOORE
    –––––––––
    The visitor of today would see little in the scattered shacks and ruined foundations of Bannack to remind them of what was once called the richest and toughest mining camp known. In fact, there were few who were aware of the existence of this little ghost town until recently when its remaining residents petitioned for their right to a post office. From a populous and thriving bonanza it has degenerated into a small camp of approximately 100 persons. Yet, although the camp of Bannack is now little more than a memory, the name itself will continue to live through the years as a symbol of true Montana pioneer days when the survival of the fittest was a proven fact. It was in the year 1861 that George W. Stapleton decided upon Montana as a new field, in which to practice law. He was doomed to disappointment, however, when he discovered that there was as yet no need for his services in this wild and sparsely settled territory. While awaiting the opportunity to practice his profession, he became interested in mining as a means for a livelihood. As though to recompense him for his first disappointment, luck decided to favor him in his new venture and he was among the first to discover gold in paying quantities in Grasshopper Creek.
    NEWS OF DISCOVERY SPREAD
    As the news of the discovery leaked out and traveled via the grapevine system, Mr. Stapleton soon found himself surrounded by many ambitious neighbors, all anxious to share in his luck. Any transportation available was used as a means of getting to Grasshopper Creek. Belongings were piled upon ox teams, mules and horses which were often traded upon arrival for a claim on Stapleton’s bar. Some came armed with nothing but hope and courage, undeniable assets in those days. Crude shelters were at first erected and as the population grew these were followed by more pretentious buildings. Saloons were on every corner and in a few months from its discovery, Grasshopper Creek seethed with a mass of gold-crazed humans. With the continued increase in the population, Grasshopper Creek seemed to outgrow its name and it was decided that a new name should be given it.
    Being the founder, as well as a very popular citizen, the miners voted that the name of Stapleton should be substituted for Grasshopper Creek. Mr. Stapleton, however, declined the honor, stating that it would be more appropriate to call it Bannack after the Bannock Indians whose home it was. So, Bannack it became. Lack of food, cold, and encounters with the Bannock Indians caused many to suffer untold hardships before reaching their promised land. All these were forgotten, however, when, armed with picks and shovels, they took their place with fellow men in their eager attempt to find a fortune. Many never realized their dream of wealth but each contributed to the development of a new land. Some unlucky in placer mining made good in business enterprises and by freighting goods to their more successful neighbors.
    FOOD PROBLEM SERIOUS
    Bannack’s first winter was one to be long remembered. The problem of securing food was a serious one. As the nearest source of supply was Salt Lake City, it was no easy task to risk the attack of hostile Indians in order to obtain supplies from the Mormon town. A call for volunteers was finally made by the miners and 13 men responded. The trip was made with a wagon to which three oxen and a horse were attached and the journey was a slow and perilous one. The party started on Sept. 2, and ferried the Snake river. Arriving in Salt Lake City, the Mormons refused to accept their gold dust and greenbacks. When about to give up, a man was found who agreed to give them $17 in currency and who gave them a reference to Mormon merchants saying that the greenbacks were acceptable as money. Flour, beans and bacon, the three staples of pioneer days, were purchased in large quantities. A smaller amount of sugar and coffee was also purchased, and the supplies loaded onto the wagons, for, enchanted by the tales of gold related by the miners, the return trip boasted 26 wagons. All went well until they arrived at the banks of the Snake River where they divided, coming together again after the crossing only to have three of the wagons break down. The contents of the first two were divided and distributed among the other wagons but when the third gave way under the heavy weight, it became necessary to send ahead to Bannack, 25 miles away, for help. Six thousand pounds of flour, which represented the cargo of the third wagon, was hidden and the party continued on its way. Several days later they met a man who was on his way to pick up the hidden flour in answer to their call for help, but his errand was not to be fulfilled as he was soon attacked and killed by Indians who burned his wagons and scattered the flour. Another party was sent out which was more successful in bringing in the precious flour. The grubstake party delivered supplies on Nov. 28 and was welcomed with much rejoicing by hungry miners.
    BANDIT ELEMENT PRESENT
    As Bannack prospered it also attracted the attention of many holdup experts and other ambitious persons who specialized in relieving the hard-working prospectors of their gold dust. They competed with the Indians in making life as interesting and dangerous as possible for the residents of Bannack. A natural death was looked upon as an unusual occurrence. Men disappeared into thin air never to be heard of again, and hardly a day passed that there was not at least one fight and shooting scrape. Bannack citizens early learned that a long life was to be enjoyed only by those who found it convenient to see nothing, know nothing and hear nothing. Holdups occurred with alarming frequency. Many a miner found himself destitute by thieves that he dared not identify. “Stick ’em up,” brought terror to the hearts of many a teamster, who, if he had nothing of value, was punished for this offense by being shot through an arm or leg. One night two wild characters by the names of Reeves and Moore decided to have a little fun by firing bullets into a peaceful Indian village. An Indian chief and a papoose were killed much to the amusement of the killers and also a white man who assumed too much interest in the affair. Finally, however, the miners decided that enough was enough, and that it was time to call a halt. A meeting was called, and a young man called Henry Plummer was elected sheriff. He was the choice not only of the more-timid easterners, but was equally popular with a crowd which represented the rougher and wilder types. The few old-timers who opposed his nomination were quickly overruled and their opposition referred to as “just ignorance.” With the election of a sheriff, Bannack had law, but it was not long until its citizens realized that they still lacked order. Crimes were as numerous as ever and if the outlaws were frightened, they showed little evidence of it. Despite the fear of the outlaws, people continued to swarm into Bannack. The lure of gold proved stronger than fear, and many believed that opportunity knocked but once. Men of all different trades competed with miners in their frantic search for the precious metal; and men were judged by one thing; a full poke. Gold dust was freely spent. There was no thought of tomorrow, for it was possible to wash out from two to five hundred dollars in a day. Tomorrow took care of itself. The daytime found hundreds of men wading in ice-cold water, shoveling frozen dirt into sluice boxes, and panning along the creek banks. Night would find them exchanging their day’s earnings for a few hours at the gaming table where they kept up their spirits with more than an occasional glass of powerful liquor, the like of which would kill an ordinary man today. It cost the drinker a dollar a shot to satisfy his thirst. The favors of the dance hall girls came exceedingly high also, but when a man was assured of a full poke again the following day, he did not regret his spending. Anyway, of what good was gold dust if not to have it to spend? The price of lumber ranged from $800 to $900 a thousand. Hay was $150 and $200 a ton while flour cost $150 a sack. Eggs were a luxury at $12 a dozen and tobacco (called a necessity in early days) went about $5 a chew. Shovels were $25, and a pair of boots were bought for $50. There are still stories of buried treasure, illegally gotten gold which supposedly lies in some, secret cache in the old ghost town of Bannack. That it is stained with blood there is no doubt, and the stories say that dead men’s curses are upon it. One cache only has been found and this in a crumbling old chimney where a rawhide poke, containing $10,000 in gold dust was found. Many have searched and continue to search for a treasure hidden by Henry Plummer, the popular sheriff of Bannack who was elected by a big majority to protect the people against dangerous outlaws and who was later proven to be the leader of these same outlaws he had sworn to get. Many terrible crimes were committed before a victim of a holdup dared to risk his life by declaring that the face behind the robber’s mask had been that of Plummer, but once aroused the miners immediately took action, nor did they stop until they had run down, convicted, and hanged the outlaws and their sheriff leader, Henry Plummer.
    Many years have passed since the discovery of gold in Grasshopper Creek. Gone are those eventful and dangerous days of long ago, but never will fiction or future mining history surpass in excitement those boom days of the richest and toughest mining camp then known.
    releventchair likes this.

  4. #4

    Oct 2016
    1,966
    1191 times
    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    I had wondered about this author Moore and doing an internet search fail to find anything on him/her. I did wonder about why they wrote the book they did and find one old newspaper article. I have an idea I will let you know if my hunch is going to pay off.

  5. #5

    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    They did Shallow Diggins and newspaper articles, interesting old school reading.

  6. #6

    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    The lost treasures of Montana gold west country volume 1 (Beaverhead and Madison Counties) has just been released. The newest of the series.

  7. #7

    Apr 2014
    Oregon
    Whites MX5, and an old Minelab that doesn't work
    28
    19 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi Tiredman, Can you tell me how I can purchase this book? Thanks.

  8. #8

    Oct 2016
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    1191 times
    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    That's on Amazon just type in lost treasure Montana. I got a face book group page going and book trailer videos for the books. Coming up will be videos on the stories.

  9. #9
    us
    Nov 2011
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    The Lost Treasures of Montana
    Love transcends this world we live in to Heaven.
    I'll leave it to you to figure out where the opposite goes.

    If your heart is in it you will find a thousand ways to achieve your goal.
    If your heart is not in it you will find a thousand excuses.

    Ouija Board and map dowsing , one and the same. Just tape a map onto the Ouija Board and you have map dowsing.
    Works great if you like wild goose chases and snipe hunts!

    L-rods are obsolete.

    May you never take one single breath for granted.

  10. #10

    Oct 2016
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    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    Quote Originally Posted by signal_line View Post
    The Lost Treasures of Montana
    I even got some stories of folks hunting with methods other then detectors.

 

 

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