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Thread: The Lost Cabin Mine

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  1. #1
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
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    The Lost Cabin Mine

    The Lost Cabin Mine

    The most famous lost mine legend of Wyoming is the Lost Cabin. The story goes that several prospectors, from three to seven, had ventured into the Bighorn mountains in quest of gold. They built a cabin to live in and a flume or sluice to work their discovery, a rich gold placer and amassed a considerable amount of gold when they were suddenly attacked by Sioux or Cheyenne warriors who killed all but one survivor.


    The lone survivor made it out to a fort where he told his story and showed gold, the fort usually named is Fort Reno on the east flank of the range. There are two versions of what happened next, the survivor either sickened and died without giving a map or good directions to the mine, or he had assembled a group of partners to accompany him back to the mine, but on their trip they were all massacred by Indians with no survivors.



    The mine has been found and lost repeatedly, and in several cases the person who discovered the cabin and mine was unable to find it again. The search area is huge - for the Bighorn range runs a considerable distance. Fort Reno no longer exists but as the mine was some three days travel from the fort, it could be almost anywhere in the range. Key points are that it was a running stream, that there was a cabin built which was still standing some years later, and that a flume or sluice had been built.

    By this time the cabin may be long gone - or the Indians may have burned it, but the gold would still be there waiting for a lucky treasure hunter to dig it up again.



    I would like to hear any theories or ideas, opinions etc. My wife and I have hunted this lost mine in the southern part of the range some years ago, and had no luck but that should not discourage you. Thank you in advance,
    Oroblanco

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  2. #2
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
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    Hmm - over two years and no one was interested in discussing the famous Lost Cabin mine of Wyoming's Bighorn country? Strange! Oh well, good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  3. #3
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    Dennis

    Jan 2012
    Montana
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    I have been intrigued by this story since I first read about it. I don't live that far from the Big Horns and have heard that some gold was found in the northern region of the range, but that area is within the Crow reservation. And according to the written account the cabin was in the vicinity of Crazy Woman Creek.
    I just haven't been able to check it out yet, but will have to get in gear and have a look.
    ''CONTENTMENT; Is not getting what we want, but being satisfied with what we have.!''

  4. #4
    um
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    Jan 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by old digger View Post
    I have been intrigued by this story since I first read about it. I don't live that far from the Big Horns and have heard that some gold was found in the northern region of the range, but that area is within the Crow reservation. And according to the written account the cabin was in the vicinity of Crazy Woman Creek.
    I just haven't been able to check it out yet, but will have to get in gear and have a look.
    Here is one of many many articles that appeared over the years:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    <from Aspen Daily Times (Aspen, Pitkin County); Date: Sep 19, 1897; Page: 4 >

    Here is another one, claims the mine is found (1906) and in the Shoshone reservation
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hope you enjoy these, have quite a bit on the Lost Cabin that accumulated over the years. My wife and I met a fellow who thought he may have found the mine on a little stream in the Bighorns over twenty years ago, had no cabin and was in a rough spot though.

    Good luck and good hunting amigos I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
    Oroblanco
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  5. #5
    us
    JP Gold Guy

    Jan 2014
    Buffalo Wy
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    Oroblonco, I also share a common interest in the "Lost Cabin"..... I have been on horseback for two years looking, have come across some very interesting sites, but what i keep coming up with is nilll, i cant really even find significant gold.....or silver.....or platinum.... a few gems, I have a completely mobile prospecting set up, have been taught mining my whole life, and the grounds here are just not very promising to a prospctor. Any ideas, thoughts, or comments would greatly be appreciated!! Thank You
    Oroblanco likes this.

  6. #6
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
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    I wish I had some good hints to find the mine amigo but I had no luck either. A friend of ours did find some placer gold in a tiny little stream you could literally step over, but not enough to get excited about, it was on the E side of the mountain range but he did not give any details.
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
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  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2014
    Buffalo, Wy
    Fisher Gold Bug, F2, Whites Coinmaster, dowsing, sluicing, hand dredging, highbanker, recirc sluice.
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    Heres some links I have been studying.
    1923 Account- http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub...esand16gms.txt
    Original NY Times Story - LOST "CABIN" GOLD MINE AGAIN LOCATED. - Discovery of the Fabulously Rich Mine Causes a Stampede -- Wyoming Town Almost Deserted on Account of the Find. - View Article - NYTimes.com
    The Legend of the Lost Cabin Mine- Wyoming?s (Better) Version of ?National Treasure? - Wyoming Attitude

    On page 40 of this WY geological Survey Report from1994 Dan Hausel makes reference to the Lost Cabin.
    http://www.wsgs.uwyo.edu/public-info.../docs/R-56.pdf

    This is a strange book, they say the lost cabin is in the Wind River Range and the next story is the Lost Bighorn Placer. The 2 stories are similar and what is told today looks like a mix of the two.
    Buried Treasures of the Rocky Mountain West: Legends of Lost Mines, Train ... - W. C. Jameson - Google Books

    I also live in Buffalo but have never looked for it. Heck, it could be on my property!
    Chris
    Oroblanco, RockRaven and DiceOne like this.

  8. #8
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    Joe

    Mar 2015
    Arvada Colorado
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    Only 6 replies on this post, interesting since this is a big reason I joined this site. What do we know of the Indian Res in this area? Rumor is the mine may be in Res Territory. My team and I have been looking into this and we have lots of info, but more is always appreciated, we are just some old Colorado and Wyoming boys who like exploring. Sometimes we find goodies, we want a big exciting one though. Prolly hafta camp for a week at least on this one.
    Oroblanco likes this.

  9. #9
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiceOne View Post
    Only 6 replies on this post, interesting since this is a big reason I joined this site. What do we know of the Indian Res in this area? Rumor is the mine may be in Res Territory. My team and I have been looking into this and we have lots of info, but more is always appreciated, we are just some old Colorado and Wyoming boys who like exploring. Sometimes we find goodies, we want a big exciting one though. Prolly hafta camp for a week at least on this one.
    Howdy DiceOne - and I am pretty surprised at how little interest there is on the most popular treasure forum, to discuss one of the most famous lost gold mines in history. I did a blog post a while back:
    http://oroblanco.wordpress.com/2013/...-cabin-mine-s/

    Another surprise about this lost mine is that is has been "found" repeatedly, and yet so often the person(s) whom claimed to have found it, either can not find it on returning, or the place turns out to NOT be the famous lost mine. Example:

    LOST "CABIN" GOLD MINE AGAIN LOCATED.; Discovery of the Fabulously Rich Mine Causes a Stampede -- Wyoming Town Almost Deserted on Account of the Find.
    LOST "CABIN" GOLD MINE AGAIN LOCATED. - Discovery of the Fabulously Rich Mine Causes a Stampede -- Wyoming Town Almost Deserted on Account of the Find. - Front Page - NYTimes.com

    My wife and I had a great time hiking in the southern part of the Bighorns looking for the mine but I was shocked at how UN-promising the geology was. Most of the rock types were volcanic, did find a little bit of quartz but it was totally barren.

    The thing that leads me to discount the reservation as the location is the distance from old fort Reno. According to the oldest version I could find, the sole survivor had travelled from the mine on foot for three nights to reach fort Reno.

    Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
    Oroblanco
    DiceOne likes this.
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  10. #10
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    Joe

    Mar 2015
    Arvada Colorado
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    Thank you, Oroblanco
    Oroblanco likes this.

  11. #11
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
    Tesoro Lobo Supertraq, (95%) Garrett Scorpion (5%)
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    Just realized that I posted the same newspaper article Chris had put up earlier - sorry about that! I will try to make up for it.
    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  12. #12

    Nov 2012
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    I'm not normally one to look for lost treasure or mines since there are so many actual real "found" ones around that are ignored and profitable for me to explore and work.

    But I found this thread searching for the Lost Cabin Mine story which I had read about when I was younger and was thinking about tonight. There used to be a book in the Natrona County library that showed a "map rock" with a boy holding a rifle standing next to it which the locals claimed was related to the Lost Cabin Mine. I found that rock some 15 years ago, and I had pictures of it too on a phone which I may still have. It is on private land which I used to have permission to explore but it's probably changed hands now.

    Found a few colors panning but nothing that held my interest, tons of dark purple garnets, and I found a few old trenches and an adit. Also the remains of about a 15x15 wooden cabin but it looked late 1800's to me and not mid 1800's. There was an old beatup tin pot there which I used to pan since I hadn't brought my pan with me - I wasn't looking for gold at the time but exploring for old abandoned homesteads to metal detect.

    Anyone else found that rock? It's not a widely published part of the Lost Cabin Story, even some of the locals don't know its there. Maybe I'll try to get permission to go out there again and get another photo and see if someone can make more sense of it then I can, but I'm really curious if anyone else ever found the same thing and if they explored that area more.

    Edit: Forgot something I wanted to say, which is that I've only ever found gold in 3 places in the Bighorns, and none of them have been any place I'd consider working further or economic in any sense. So I think this mine is probably mislocated or a fable. But you never know I guess, and it's an interesting part of local history anyways and fun to look into especially since so few other people do. Comstock himself searched, failed, and then killed himself over it. It was much more famous in the 1800's, nowadays its kind of forgotten if you aren't in Wyoming.
    Last edited by JasonG; Jun 18, 2015 at 01:00 AM.

  13. #13

    Nov 2012
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    I went back, found the map rock again and found the adit again, which is actually a vertical mineshaft and not an adit but got confused in my memory. I'm almost confident that this adit is the "Lost Cabin Mine" of the Southern Bighorns legend. But it's kind of underwhelming. Someone has obviously gone in and worked it in the 70's or 80's ninja style, trying to remain hidden. No ore remains on the dump, but I was able to uncover a very small extension of the vein and I took a few samples to crush. No visible gold anywhere though but that part of the vein may have been barren, who knows. The shaft is completely caved in and part of the dump washed back into it. There is the top foot or two of a ladder still sticking out which is clearly modern, probably 70's/80's, as well as a very old shoring timber which is not structural anymore and is probably part of the original mine. It's likely the latter miners collapsed part of the dump back into the shaft intentionally but I'm not certain.

    I did find a stone foundation and an old mid 1800's bedframe in the middle of the foundation though which was about 100 yards from the mine. I missed it completely the first time, it was hidden. Also an old campfire ring. It was probably built by whoever discovered the mine originally and is where they lived while working the mine. No bones around, and oddly not a single piece of trash anywhere except a few cans which are also probably from the 70's/80's and located closer to the mine. Generally in those cases in Wyoming especially it means it was pre-1880's from my experience, since goods with disposable packaging (cans, bottles, etc) were quite rare before then out here.

    I panned around again and this time found no gold. There is a large amount of gold mica though. Also a large paleoplacer/bench which is clearly remants from an earlier time when the stream carried much more water, or a different and larger watercourse occupied the canyon. The bench gravels are incredibly rich in garnet, almost the entirity of the "black sands" in the pan are garnets and not magnetite, ranging in size from peas to extremely fine sands. The current streamcourse gravels have much less garnet. There are a few trench prospects near the creek in these bench gravels.

    Near the mineshaft there stacked cobbles which to me looks very much like someone was drywashing the gulch below the mine. They are not extensive and easy to miss though, I recognized them immedietely since I spend much of my time metal detecting in arid and desert environments.

    There is evidence of depression era mining in the hills above scattered over a large area of many square miles, almost all concentrated on pegmatites which generally seem to be associated with what looks like diorite intrusions in the country rock which is mostly gneiss. It is difficult to drive up into the hills but it is possible. I found another shaft up there but was unable to reach it in time. Most of the prospects are done with a smaller bulldozer and the work on the veins appears to be done entirely by hand. The prospects seem mostly barren except for a couple scattered occurences of either garnet or some other dark gemstone. They may have just been mining the mica though.

    Anyways, I'm not going to give exact locations because it's clear that other than the people who were working that mineshaft in the 70's/80's, virtually no one else has found this yet. I'm fairly certain the last person down there was me, almost 15 years ago. But anyone who's searched the Southern Bighorns seriously for this mine has probably at some point come across this area I am describing. If you have, or someone reading this in the future does, I would be interested to speak with you. Especially since I also suspect that the people who did the later work on that mineshaft may also be lurkers on this forum or one similar...? Would love to talk history with you as well as mining.

  14. #14

    Nov 2012
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    13 times
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    Just for fun since the only other photo in existence of this is in a very obscure local history book about a local homesteading family, here is the "map rock". At first I didn't think it was Indian because the peckings look fairly contemporary, as in the last few hundred years, and the boulder is also some kind of Click image for larger version. 

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    Still, what is it? No clue. Probably not a map to the mine though as legend goes. And doesn't look like any pictograph I've ever seen. Maybe someone recognizes it.

 

 

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