Chief Mountain Lost Placer
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  1. #1

    Oct 2016
    1358 times
    Researching Treasure Stories Author

    Chief Mountain Lost Placer

    The Lost Treasures Of Montana: GLACIER COUNTRY

    Lost Mine Of Chief Mountain
    There is a little-known treasure secret in Glacier Park, Montana. It is the hidden treasure of Chief Mountain. A Mexican by the name of Pete Lahr found a Dutch oven filled with gold dust at an old placer site. Newspapers of the times tell this story as follows:
    CHOTEAU ACANTHA Choteau, Montana February 25, 1926 HIDDEN TREASURE 末末末末 The Lost Mine of Chief Mountain祐ecret of Placer Cache Lost with Death of Pete Lahr. 末末末末 (By SIDNEY M. LOGAN) Glacier National Park has its Lost Cabin Mine story, a story not based entirely on obscure tradition, but having a substantial foundation of fact, known to men still living. As the traveler on the Great Northern
    approaches the Rocky Mountains from the east or traverses the territory lying between that railway and the International Boundary Line, his attention is attracted to a magnificent mountain standing out in commanding position near the line. Other peaks and mountains are massed on its flanks and rear, many of which are of imposing proportions, but old Chief Mountain stands head and shoulders above the others, and the eyes immediately focus on its clear cut, vertical walls and its green, sloping sides running up from the edge of the vast plateau stretching eastward to the waters of the Mississippi. SECRETS OF WEALTH & ADVENTURE Locked in the bosom of this old mountain is the secret of fabulous wealth, of wild adventure and bloody encounter in a day when the bow and arrow constituted, for the most part, the arms of the Northwestern Indian; and when white men, cast only in heroic mold, dared to venture into the fastnesses of that vast region which has since become the nation痴 most beautiful and popular playground.

    The Lost Mine of Chief Mountain Secret Of Placer Cache Lost with Death of Pete Lahr. 釘utch Henkel, now of Kalispell, who was one of the first ranchers to settle in the country east of Chief Mountain, the fastnesses of that vast region which has since become the nation痴 most beautiful and popular playground. Living in Kalispell at the present time, is Henry J. (Butch) Henkel. Prior to moving to Kalispell, Mr. Henkel lived on St. Mary's River and his coming to that region dates back to the period when the proverbial 滴ec was a playful puppy, romping with the grandchildren of the famed Paul Bunyan. THE MEXICAN, PETE LAHR In 1890 came to the ranch of 釘utch Henkel a Mexican by the name of Pete Lahr. This wanderer from the sunny Gulf had spent many years in the West, giving full rein to the ingrained treasure-seeking instincts of the Mexican, an instinct inherited from the successors of the ancient Aztecs on one hand and Spanish adventurers on the other. The red rush of blood that had carried his ancestors all over the western continent in search of the yellow metal had not abated in the Colorado Madura descendant. Far from his own sunny home he had pushed his search for gold into the region of blizzards and eternal snows. To Butch he told this story: THE THREE PROSPECTORS In 1868, Gus Leimbach was a stock tender at Sun River for the Gilmer and Salisbury stage line. To the stage station one day came a spring wagon loaded with supplies and a few pine boards, drawn by a pair of cayuses and manned by three prospectors, who informed Leimbach that they were going into the Chief Mountain country to prospect for placer gold. Leimbach was probably the last white man to see these prospectors alive. The following year Lahr was camping with some North Piegans on St. Mary痴 River just below the place later occupied by Butch Henkel as his home ranch between Kennedy Creek and the boundary line. To the camp one day came a party of Kootenai Indians. The Kootenais informed the Piegans that they, the Kootenais, had killed three white men on Chief Mountain and that the Piegans had better go up and bury them before the bodies were discovered by other whites, lest they, the Piegans, be suspected of murder.

    The following day Chief Bad Boy and his son, Young Bad Boy, the Mexican, Lahr, and about a dozen young Piegan bucks searched out the place of the murder and found the bodies. These they buried and on search of the camp found three sluice boxes and a small ditch, indicating that the prospectors had been carrying on some sort of placer operation. A Dutch oven was found in the camp and was pounced upon by the hungry Indians, expecting to find a supply of biscuits, but they were disappointed in finding that it contained only gold dust, but gold dust in such quantity as to arouse the emotions of the one white man present. The Dutch oven was nearly full of bright, clean, yellow dust that apparently had been associated with quicksilver in the milling operation. It shone forth from its iron receptacle as pure and virgin as when it was locked in the glacial drift of old Chief Mountain. The Mexican then made a closer examination of the sluice boxes and found a gold pan containing much gold mixed with quick silver, in other words, amalgam. He emptied the contents of the gold pan into the Dutch oven and buried the latter at the foot of a big pine tree with the purpose of returning later to work the placer ground. Pursuing his investigations further, the Mexican followed a well-beaten foot-trail up the side of an adjacent spur of the mountain where he found a small tunnel excavated by the prospectors who had been drifting in on bed rock and conveying the excavated material by pack horse to the washing plant. At the time of the finding of the bodies by the Piegans, all of Chief Mountain was included in the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and mining operations thereon were forbidden by law. It was the intention, however, of the Mexican to return at a later period and clandestinely work the mining ground. However, like all prospectors, he drifted from place to place and a great many years elapsed before he again directed his footsteps toward the mountain. THE GOLD RUSH OF 1898 About 1898, the western part of the Blackfeet Reservation was ceded by the Indians to the Government and became the Mecca of prospectors from all over the state of Montana, copper having been discovered on Bald Head Mountain and Swift Current. In the year mentioned, the half-blood son of Pete Lahr was sent to the Carlisle Indian school. He ran away from school and on his way home was taken sick in Chicago and placed in a hospital. He wrote his father asking for funds. Lahr decided to 途aise the cache and started for Chief Mountain. Near Felix Ward痴 ranch, about six miles east of Butch Henkel痴, he was taken violently ill. He told Ward he was on his way to Butch痴 place to take him up and show him the mine and among other things he said, 的 want to get the gold that is cached to raise some money to send for my boy. THE DEATH OF PETE LAHR Ward saw the Mexican was in extreme need of medical attention and immediately hooked up a team of horses and started with the sick man for Browning. Before arriving at the latter place, Lahr expired and carried with him to the Happy Hunting Grounds the lost mine of Chief Mountain. PARK RULES PROHIBIT PROSPECTING More than one resident of the Blackfeet Reservation claims to know the location of the mine, but, unfortunately, Chief Mountain has been included in Glacier National Park and, so far as the prospector is concerned, the last condition is as bad as the first, mining operations of every kind are forbidden. Even if the pine tree could be located, it would be unlawful to stick a pick or shovel into the ground, and if the treasure were found it could be claimed by the authorities as the property of the United States Government, while the enterprising prospector would, very likely find himself in the hoosegow at Belton with plenty of leisure to meditate on the vagaries of the temperamental lady, 泥ame Fortune. THE EMMONS LOCATION In 1920, Andrew Hepler, of Shelby, was whipping the waters of Lee痴 Creek on the north flank of the mountain with a trout line, when his attention was attracted to a lodge pole pine upon which was inscribed the following notice of location: 展e, the undersigned, citizens of the United States, locate the Fish Straight placer claim from rim to rim and up and down Lee痴 Creek from Hell to breakfast. Signed, C. L. Emmons, Sam Emmons. EXPERIENCE OF EMMONS BOYS About the time that Shelby was making its bid for fame in the world of fistiana in other words, about the time that Tom Gibbons conceived the idea that he could knock the block off地 Jack Dempsey if the bout could be staged out 的n our wild, woolly land. Of cactus, sagebrush and sand, where the coyotes howl and the silvertips prowl, and the horse is too small for his brand. Charles L. Emmons, President of the Kalispell Kevin Oil company, and well-known geologist, was introduced to Mr. Hepler. Said the latter: 添our name is familiar, it seems to me I saw it at the bottom of a location notice on Lee Creek. Charley had no difficulty in remembering the location notice. Among the 鉄ooner who invaded the ceded strip when it was opened to the public was this same Charley Emmons and his brother, Sam. They had heard of the lost placer mine and determined to search for it. They became enmeshed in an extensive thicket of second growth lodge pole pine on the north side of the mountain. The young trees were growing so close together it was with the greatest difficulty that the prospectors were able to make their way. Evening found them so far from their camp that they were compelled to spend the night on the bank of Lee痴 Creek. They had no food with them and it began to look like a 24 hour fast for Charley and his brother. The latter, however, found among his effects a piece of string and a fishhook. With these, he succeeded in catching a sufficient number of trout for supper. While Sam endeavored to replenish the commissary, Charley tested the banks of the creek with a gold pan. He had noticed a number of old stumps and on closer examination found axe marks that in his judgment, had been made 30 or 40 years before. With his gold pan he found much black sand, but no gold. Before leaving camp, Charley squared a lodge pole pine and wrote thereon the notice of location above quoted, giving the claim the name of 擢ish Straight in commemoration of the fact that while they were in camp fish straight without even salt constituted their diet. The Emmons boys never returned to their prospect, and the field is still open to the ambitious treasure seeker. Geologists say that the cretaceous formation of Chief Mountain is unfavorable from a gold mining standpoint. Still, geologists are not necessarily oracles. The pick and shovel, the hammer and drill, and the judicious application of giant powder have more than once exploded the most carefully worked out geological thesis and exemplified the old saying that 敵old is where you find it.

    The Blackfeet held Chief Mountain in superstitious awe because they believed that a great cavern near its summit was the home of the Thunder Bird, which caused the thunder and lightning. The Blackfeet have a legend that the Thunder Bird was once overcome by a snowstorm and that he descended into their camp. It was taken to the lodge of the head chief, where many of the tribe assembled. Its feathers had many colors like the rainbow and its claws were long and green. When it suddenly flew from the lodge, the Indians rushed out and saw it disappearing among the storm clouds. The Indians believed that the clouds were the vehicle of the Thunder Bird and that he moved behind them and through the air, making peals of thunder as he flapped his wings, and shooting forth lightning flashes by the blinking of his all-penetrating eyes.
    Chief Mountain also figures in a story which has to do with the Blackfeet secret society of Brave Dogs, called Mutsaix in the native language. The Brave Dogs were composed of men of the tribe who were admitted to membership because of their bravery in war. One of the traditions of the order was that a Brave Dog must always face the enemy, no matter how greatly out-numbered, and he could not turn back unless one of his relatives got in front of him and drove him back. For this reason, many members of the society were killed in battle; but the Brave Dogs had a great reputation as warriors, and their enemies came to know them as foes who would fight to the death. Once the Blackfeet were camped near Chief Mountain when they were attacked by a war party of the Pend d丹reilles. The first Blackfeet warrior out of the camp to meet the attack was a Brave Dog named Nose, and in a minute, he was far out ahead of any of the other of the fighting men. His mother, Red Flower, saw his peril and knowing the rules of the society to which he belonged, she realized that his only chance for escape from death was for one of his relatives to risk death by riding out ahead of Nose and turning him back.
    Red Flower quickly untied a pony that was picketed near her lodge, and in a few seconds, was riding out ahead of her son, who stood far out alone, shaking his war rattle and taunting the Pend d丹reilles, calling upon them to send out their best warrior to fight him. But the Pend d丹reilles declined the challenge and a dozen of them started out at once to get his scalp. It was a race between the Indian woman and the enemy, and she won. Riding in front of her son, she struck him four times, as the rules of the society required, before he could turn back. Then he jumped up behind her on the pony and they dashed back to the line of the oncoming Blackfeet. A charge was formed on the enemy and the Pend d丹reilles were soon defeated and scattered with heavy losses, and because of his bravery in this fight, this warrior痴 name was changed from Nose to Brave Dog. In later years, Chief Mountain stood as a beacon for many border outlaws, both Canadian and American, who were escaping justice from one side of the line or the other. Many a horse and cattle thief and whiskey trader, hard-pressed by a sheriff, has ridden for miles with Chief Mountain in view, knowing that it stood only four miles from the Canadian line, which spelled safety. Many a Canadian fugitive from justice has beaten the red coated mounted police to the line in a desperate race for freedom within sight of this silent sentinel of the plains. Today, silent and mysterious with its wealth of historic legends and traditions, Chief Mountain stands, as ever, a sentinel on the border, but instead of watching mounted red warriors of the olden days riding by with scalps dangling from lances; or wary outlaws, urging weary horses toward the border, the eagles circling its peak now watch tourist automobiles streaking along the road leading to Glacier Park resorts; with, in the distance, the forest of Toole County痴 hundreds of oil derricks, taking from the earth her riches; the steam railroad trains which run east and west and north and south, forming the arteries of a new civilization. It remains, as yet a sentinel on the edge of the great divide holding forever sealed its many secrets, such as that of the Lost Cabin placer mine.

    THE DILLON EXAMINER Dillon, Montana July 14, 1926
    This article which has to do with another of the mysteries of old Chief Mountain comes from the pen of Sidney M. Logan, a prominent Kalispell attorney. Mr. Logan, who comes from one of the state痴 most noted pioneer families, is an authority on historical topics. He is the son of Captain William Logan who was killed August 17, 1877, by the Nez Perce Indians at the Battle of the Big Hole. This Chief Mountain, of which Mr. Logan writes, is one of the best-known landmarks in Northern Montana. It is situated four miles south of the Canadian boundary line and plainly visible from the north end of St. Mary痴 Lake in Glacier Park. It stands far out to the east of the main chain of the Rockies, appearing to rise from the plains very abruptly. In addition to harboring the secret of a lost cabin mine, there is, around this Chief Mountain, woven more wealth of Blackfeet Indian legend and mysticism than is associated with any other mountain in what was formerly their exclusive hunting ground. One of the saddest of the Indian stories told of this age-old landmark is as follows: Long, long ago, there was of the Blackfeet a young man who was known for his bravery in war. He was made a chief, and later fell in love with a girl of the tribe and married her. They were greatly in love one with the other, and she was his only wife. Soon the Blackfeet and the Crows were engaged in bitter conflict. In battle, the Crows were successful. The morning that the Blackfeet left for battle, the bride was very sad and desired to accompany her brave, but was forbid the privilege. When the warriors returned to the camp near the base of Chief Mountain, they carried the body of their leader who had been killed in the thickest of the fighting. When his bride learned of his death she became crazed with grief, or, as the Blackfeet said, 鍍ouched by the Great Spirit. She wandered everywhere looking for her husband, calling his name. Her people watched over her, but one day she slipped away with her baby and was far up the side of Chief Mountain before anyone saw her. Runners were sent out, but she was too fleet of foot and gained the top where she signaled to those below her in sign language that she had found her husband and that they should not follow her. She then threw the baby far from her out over the precipitate cliff that forms the face of the mountain. As the tiny form hurtled downward to the cruel rocks, the mother leaped to her death hundreds of feet below. The tragedy was witnessed by almost the entire band from their camp below, and now the women, walling, and singing a tribal death dirge, climbed to the point where the battered bodies of the mother and little one lay, and carried them to a beautiful point on the side of the mountain, where they buried them after the Indian custom. The body of the chief was also brought and placed beside them. The mountain was called from this time Nin-Ais-Tukku (Chief Mountain).

    THE RIVER PRESS Fort Benton, Montana May 24, 1899

    PROBABLY A MYTH. 末末末末末末末末 A Dakota Woman Searching for a Lost Mine Discovered Twelve Years Ago. 末末末末末末末末 [Great Falls Leader.] Camped near the bridge over the St. Mary's River, near the mouth of Swift Current, on the ceded strip are a Mrs. Dickison and son, from North Dakota, and one man from Lethbridge, in search of a lost mine. They arrived there about a week ago and expect to camp until summer, when they will go into the mountains hunting for treasure. Mrs. Dickison told the following story to a Leader correspondent: About 12 or 13 years ago her two brothers and a Chippewa Indian left Dakota and came to Montana, to the vicinity of Chief Mountain, prospecting. After traveling around the mountains and prospecting for some time, they got onto the west side, where they struck rich placer diggings. They mined a short time and took out considerable gold, but with winter coming on and being short of grub, concluded to go back to Dakota, and bring Mrs. Dickison and some other relatives out with them the next spring to share their good fortune. Accordingly, they put their gold in empty cartridge shells, plugged them up and carried them in their cartridge belts. But the brothers never reached home for, when near the Dakota line, both were murdered and robbed, the Indian alone escaping. She did not see the Indian for three years after the murder, as she had moved from the place at which she was residing when the party left. But when she did see him again, he told her of the finding of the rich diggings and the murder of her brothers. He also gave her a map showing Chief Mountain, with directions on how to proceed from there to find the mines, the distances, etc., marked on the map. Also marked were the different streams they had crossed on their journey, all mapped out in such a manner that in case anything should happen to him she might someday be able to find the place. The Indian died about two years ago. Mrs. Dickison has implicit confidence in the Indian and believes he was telling the truth.
    When asked why she had delayed so long before making the trip, she stated that she was afraid of Indians across the line, but having lately read about the ceded strip of the mountains being thrown open for prospectors and of rich copper lodes having been discovered in the vicinity of St. Mary's Lake and Chief Mountain, made up her mind that she would make the trip and try, if possible, to find the lost placer mines.
    IAMZIM likes this.

  2. #2

    Oct 2016
    1358 times
    Researching Treasure Stories Author
    Now this one could have been posted in installments. It is from a PDF sample that I normally email to locations in NW Montana to look at so they can determine if they want to carry the book. This story is for the Glacier Park region, that gets a couple of million visitors a year.



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