Wolf Creek Gold
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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    299 times

    Wolf Creek Gold


    What would you do if you almost knew where the gold was buried?

    "My mother used to tell us a story about a stagecoach being robbed somewhere near Sunny Valley," said Dottie, in an e-mail from Ashland.

    If you go digging
    Treasure-hunting on a freeway is not recommended, but if you'd like to get a look at the territory, drive north on Interstate 5 to Exit 76 and follow the signs to Wolf Creek, less than a mile off the freeway. If you continue up the grade on I-5 and look to your left, you'll catch a glimpse of a green field that begins to slope up. McLane said the old stage road once ran through the middle of that field.
    "Her version said before he got caught and sent to prison, a bandit buried a strongbox of gold that no one has ever found.

    "Every time I drive by on I-5, I remember Mother's story and wonder how much of it is true. Perhaps you can come up with some information about it. I'll try not to wait with baited breath."

    Because buried-loot stories are the kind of tales people keep close to their chests, with neighbor whispering to neighbor and children sworn to secrecy, the truth is sometimes hard to find.

    "Just about everybody knew that story when I was growing up near Wolf Creek," said local historian and author, Larry McLane.

    "The stagecoach used to run up the hill behind town," he said.

    "There used to be a wooden culvert there where they found the robber's shotgun."

    Authorities caught the man so quickly, McLane said, that the locals knew he didn't have time to go very far to bury the gold.

    "For years," said McLane, "they dug around every tree up there, but it turned out they were digging too far up the hill."

    Although he's never been able to find a newspaper account of the holdup, McLane said he's sure the story is true, and the proof came in the 1960s when I-5 was being built.

    The old highway had twisted its way up a very steep grade, but planners of the new freeway wanted a straighter road, and that required moving a lot of dirt.

    "That was a pretty deep fill," said McLane, "and it took quite a while."

    But, that's when the loot reappeared nearly 100 years after the holdup.

    "Workers were making their final grading before paving," said McLane, "and a construction worker named Stewart was standing there while a grader went by, pushing dirt.

    "All at once he saw something shiny. He walked over, reached down and picked up a gold double-eagle."

    Stewart began "scratching around" in the loose dirt.

    He didn't find another coin, but he did pull out a rotted leather money bag.

    After that, Stewart spent quite a few weekends looking for the rest of the gold.

    "He'd take a pick and shovel and have his wife drop him off," said McLane. "He'd get down beside the fill where nobody could see him and he'd dig hole after hole until they finally caught him and he had to stop."

    The remaining gold is "probably scattered and buried inside that fill as you go down into Wolf Creek," McLane said. "That solves the mystery, but nobody's ever going to get to the rest of it."

    A weekend treasure hunt sounds like a lot of fun. Too bad about all those cars, but, at least we almost know where the gold is.

    Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.

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    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    Sea'mus King of the Leprechauns

    Jan 2009
    Found under a rock, in Washington State.
    Garrett Scorpion, Garrett pro pointer
    8 times

    Re: Wolf Creek Gold

    I'd be tempted to do some research and go looking for it if I had the opportunity that you have.
    Sea'mus King of the Leprechauns

  3. #3
    Dec 2005
    Eugene, Oregon
    Fisher CZ5, White's GM VSat
    132 times

    Re: Wolf Creek Gold

    Now you are getting really close to good gold Gypsy- My old stomping grounds right there. Neat old tavern too. And great panning within a stones throw of it!

  4. #4
    da book worm--researcher

    Feb 2007
    delta 4000 / ace 250 - used BH and many others too
    3610 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Wolf Creek Gold

    theres gold in more than one way in wolf creek it seems.

  5. #5
    Dec 2005
    Eugene, Oregon
    Fisher CZ5, White's GM VSat
    132 times

    Re: Wolf Creek Gold

    Yup- and Larry Mclane wrote one of the best historical books I have ever read. "First there was TwoGood- a pictorial history of Northern Josephine county" The man has a way with words and pictures for sure. Even if you're not from this area, it's worth checking out if you can lay your hands on a copy.

    I had been stomping around that country for years before I laid my hands on a copy. It was kinda unnerving reading some of the stories that happened a hundred+ years ago on ground I had pretty much taken for granted..... His book really got me interested in the research end of things, I guess you could say it was like a starting point for me, lol!

  6. #6

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    3321 times

    Re: Wolf Creek Gold

    I have found reference to another cache supposedly in the immediate area. It had nothing to do with a stagecoach, though, but rather the first recorded cattle drive in the United States, from the Willamette Valley to the gold fields of California. The blazed trail over Wolf Creek pass was narrow, treacherous, and fraught with danger. After successfully selling the herd in California, an early rancher (I'm not going to give his name, but he was a relative) returned to the Willamette Valley with 2 ranch hands. Knowing of a particularly dangerous spot on the trail where it was cut into a near cliff-face with a perfect place for a robber to hide, the proceeds of the cattle drive were buried SOUTH of this dangerous spot, and the three men proceeded cautiously. Good thing. There were robbers waiting for them. Once it was determined that they had not gold with them, however, the 3 men were let go, and they proceeded to Wolf Creek Inn. There they reported the attempted robbery, and returned, where the story gets a little fuzzy. At that time, robbers were customarily either shot or hung if caught. At any rate, they were driven off so that Wolf Creek pass was made safe for travel again, the gold was buried gold was recovered (often left out of more stories), and the rancher returned to his home.

    Is it possible there was more than one robbery at this site? Quite possible. The Knights of the Golden Circle including the Plumber Gang and most other organized West Coast robbers were a fairly tight-knit group. They were stake out particular trails where returning miners were likely to travel, and waylay any likely candidates. They could have buried valuables for later retrieval, and never survived to get the goods. That's just conjecture, though, and not a real solid reason for spending a lot of time in the area. UNLESS you know where that particular bend in the original road was at, and it wasn't covered by the new freeway, which covered at least part of the original trace.



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