Jan 19, 2008, 02:46 PM
Castle Gate Lost Treasure
Castle Gate, Utah got its start in 1886 when the Pleasant Valley Coal Company began mining operations. This company town of miners was surrounded by rock formations, cliffs, mountains, and valleys, as well as another interesting element – outlaws. The remote region was a perfect hideout for cattle rustlers and train robbers, including one of the Old West’s most famous characters – Butch Cassidy and his gang of bandits.
On April 21, 1897, the train from Salt Lake City coasted into Castle Gate carrying the payroll for the Pleasant Valley Coal Company. Shortly before the train arrived, a lone cowboy had hitched his horse in front of the saloon and sat inside waiting for the sound of the train whistle. When he heard it, he left the saloon and made his way down to the train. As the lone cowboy sat watching, two other cowboys were loitering near the stairway of the company office.
As the baggage was unloaded from the train, three men, including the company paymaster and two guards, gathered the payroll, consisting of three bags, estimated at $8,800, emerged from the Baggage Room and headed to the Company office some 75 yards away.
However, before they reached the office, the lone cowboy held the three at gunpoint, taking the largest bag from the paymaster. In the meantime, the two other men had also approached, relieving them of another bag. In broad daylight, the three men had stolen the company payroll, with only one person attempting to interfere. When a customer at a nearby store tried to interlude, he was met with a gun.
The three cowboys, now known to have been Butch Cassidy, Elza Lay, and another by the name of Fowler, got on their horses and rode south, pursued by two citizens, one in a buggy, and the other on horseback shouting, "Bring that money back!" But it was too late, the trio was gone, along with an estimated $7,000.
Immediate attempts were made to reach the Sheriff by telephone, only to find the lines had been cut. Cassidy and the other men fled to Robbers Roost, cutting telegraph lines along the trail to prevent the news of the robbery from spreading to lawmen along their escape route.
The outlaw loot was never recovered and many believe it was hidden by the gang somewhere near Robbers Roost located along the Outlaw Trail, in southeastern Utah.
The town of Castle Gate was dismantled in 1974. All that's left today is the cemetery.
Castle Gate, Utah in 1913
Jan 19, 2008 02:46 PM
Jan 19, 2008, 02:55 PM
Re: Castle Gate Lost Treasure
Thanks for sharing this story with us.
I sometimes wonder about the facts of some of these stories. For instance. The sum of money was $7000, but it does not say if it was in paper currency, gold or silver. No matte what form it was in, with three robbers sharing in the spoils, it would not be much of a problem for each man to carry one third of the robbery loot. That makes me wonder why it is thought that the money was buried or hidden somewhere. Why not just carried off with the robbers, who apparently were never caught for this hold up.
Interesting robbery tale, thanks for sharing.
Ray S ECenFL
Wolf Pack Member
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