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Thread: Blue Bucket Mine

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  1. #1
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
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    Blue Bucket Mine

    The Blue Bucket Mine is the stuff dreams are made of. This following is from Coffman's "1001 Lost, Buried or Sunken Treasures," c. 1957, p. 181: "1. The famed Blue Bucket Mine is located in the area near Rome, Malheur County, Oregon, first found by immigrants to Oregon. Later the location was searched for but could not be relocated. Nuggets were picked up by the bucketful at this site. Indians soon drove the immigrants away. The county is mountainous; there are many ravines and gorges, which are misleading; and topographical changes continually alter it."

    If you search Malheur County, Oregon for the Blue Bucket Mine, you are doomed to failure before you start. Start with the facts, which are:
    1. gold nugget(s) found by members of the Lost Meek Wagon Train 1845, somewhere between leaving Ft. Boise on the Snake River, and The Dalles.
    2. Nuggets were found by accident by children searching for water, near where water was finally found, probably North of Wagontire Mountain near the South Fork of the Crooked River.
    3. Called Blue Bucket, because all well-provisioned pioneers of the time were supposed to carry a bucket for water, usually painted blue for water.
    4. No Indian problems at this site: the train had run out of water because the leader of the train, Stephen L. Meek, had never been on it before and was blazing it as he went.
    5. Best source of information on this historic "lost mine" that was never mined, is "Terrible Trail: the Meek Cutoff 1845", by Keith Clark and Lowell Tiller, copyright 1967 by Caxton Printers, Caldwell, Idaho. Both of Ruby el Hult's books have sections on this "lost mine" as well: "Lost Mines and Treasures of the Pacific Northwest", c. 1957 and "Treasure Hunting Northwest", c. 1971.

  2. #2
    us
    Dec 2010
    2

    Re: Blue Bucket Mine

    The wagon train left alkili lake and preceeded towards wagontire mt. Then went on north that would put them near camp creek and beaver creek by the crooked river. They according to my research camped near gold mt. which was later renamed powell mt. (not to be confused with powell butte).
    Then went west down the crooked river. could it be under prinville reservior? much of this area is owned and are large ranches with very little access. I have done extensive research on this because it is my backyard. If anyone has any other info I am willing to share more.

  3. #3
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
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    Re: Blue Bucket Mine

    At Wagontire Mountain, the train found a very small seep of water. Several scouts were sent north, and reported water at or near the (south fork?) Crooked River, 15 miles north. According to a diary by one of the pioneers named Herron, it was here that a small girl found several heavy golden rocks which were beaten on a wagon tire.

    The coincidence is maybe not much coincidence: Wagontire Mountain/golden flattened on a wagon rim?

    Interesting that you mention Powell Butte, which is nearby, but probably not where the wagon train traveled. El Hult mentions some gold being found at Powell Butte.

    It is necessary to track down as many diaries from the Lost Meek Wagon Train of 1845 to verify the places and distances covered from day to day. I think the rather terse notations from Samuel Parker's diary as most reliable. Not the only source, but pretty close to actual mileage and features of the trail.

  4. #4
    us
    Jun 2011
    1

    Re: Blue Bucket Mine

    I first heard about the legend of the lost blue bucket mine last year and have been researching it ever since. In Ruby El Hult's book she mentions the grave of a woman who died along the trail and that the 'mine' was found two days after her burial. I found a source that states that the grave was found about 30 miles north of Drewsy, Or near the north fork of the Malhuer river. Two days west (about 30 more miles) from that location lies the town of Canyon City. To this day over 800,000 ounces of gold have been taken out of Canyon creek. Could the lost mine actually be Canyon creek??

  5. #5
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    4,047
    702 times

    Re: Blue Bucket Mine

    Quote Originally Posted by Vista Hunter
    I first heard about the legend of the lost blue bucket mine last year and have been researching it ever since. In Ruby El Hult's book she mentions the grave of a woman who died along the trail and that the 'mine' was found two days after her burial. I found a source that states that the grave was found about 30 miles north of Drewsy, Or near the north fork of the Malhuer river. Two days west (about 30 more miles) from that location lies the town of Canyon City. To this day over 800,000 ounces of gold have been taken out of Canyon creek. Could the lost mine actually be Canyon creek??
    No.

    The reconstruction of the Lost Meek Wagon Train of 1845 (when the Blue Bucket was supposedly found) does not go within 50 miles of Canyon City.

    However, the site is nearly exactly 50 miles or so south of Canyon City, so not that far away either.

    The best and most comprehensive work on the Blue Buck is in Terriflbe Trail: The Meek Cutoff, 1845, by Keith Clark and Lowell Tiller, c. 1966 by Caxton Press. The logical location of the Blue Bucket would be near the current G.I. Ranch and the south fork of the Crooked River. There has been a gold nugget found at Hampton Butte. The above book checks almost all of the reliable information on the trail and is exhaustive. I have been able to verify almost all of the citations in the book, which includes several diaries written during the time the train was lost.
    krautstyle likes this.

 

 

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