Recent content by aw11mr2

  1. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    Many of the stories have Maurice LeDuc accompanying Pegleg Smith on the trip across the Imperial Desert in 1829. There might be a memoir or interview filed away in some library or historical society that could verify that this trip actually happened.
  2. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    The Warner Ranch House is located 3.3 miles southwest of the junction of Highways 79 and S-2 (San Felipe Road), at 33° 14’32.03”N 116° 40’00.27”W. John Turnball Warner became a naturalized Mexican citizen in 1844 and changed his name to Juan José Warner. From Anza-Borrego Desert Region, 6th...
  3. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    This is a simulated 3-D view looking east over the Borrego Basin. This is a recent view of the Borrego Desert. 33° 12’47.73”N 116° 25’24.77”W I searched Mindat.org and pinned the locations of gold prospects and mine near the Borrego Basin. Most were small exploration excavations or tunnels...
  4. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    The Superstition Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Looking at the southern slope of Superstition Mountain 32° 57’39.17”N 115° 49’52.66”W People have been looking for the Pegleg Smith gold deposit for a long time. It was lost almost 200...
  5. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    This is map showing the Superstition Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area and surrounding land use. Some of the signs seen along Huff Road to Superstition Mountain OHV Area. Photo taken looking south from Huff Rd just before the Wheeler Rd. turnoff to Superstition Mountain OHV Area...
  6. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    Now that we are on the western side of the Imperial Valley, let me introduce you to the map Desert Magazine often printed showing the suspected search area for Pegleg Smith’s lost black gold nuggets. This is an excerpt showing an example of articles in Desert Magazine that evaluate the Pegleg...
  7. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    Butterfield Overland Mail and Stage carried mail between Saint Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco, CA, from September 1857 through March 1861. It followed an ancient Indian trade trail that led to the Pacific Ocean. It was known as the Gila Route from Sonora, Mexico to California and the...
  8. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    This is a view of the Chocolate Mountains, taken near its northwest end, and looking toward the southeast. Some Pegleg hunters think that Pegleg Smith traveled along the western edge of the Chocolate Mountains and exited the Imperial Valley over the San Gorgonio Pass to San Bernardino. The...
  9. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    This is an aerial of the Imperial Valley, hovering southeast of Yuma, Arizona and looking northwest towards Los Angeles, California. In the 1800s, the Salton Sea and the green agricultural fields did not exist. The Algodones Dunes were a serious impediment to vehicle travel up the early 1900s...
  10. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    Traveling south along the Colorado River to the confluence of the Colorado and Gila Rivers, Pegleg Smith was traversing the same area he traveled in 1826-27. This map prepared in 1850-53 shows how little was known of the geography. Note that in 1829, Fort Yuma and Warner’s Ranch did not exist...
  11. The Discovery of Black Gold Nuggets in the Imperial Valley Area

    Thomas L. “Pegleg” Smith is associated with two lost gold deposits. One occurred near the confluence of the Virgin River with the Colorado River during the 1826-27 trapping season. The second gold discovery was allegedly somewhere in the Southern California desert during the 1828-29 trapping...
  12. Gold Discovery near the confluence of the Colorado and Virgin Rivers

    A recent aerial view of the water level in Lake Mead. This is map showing the water level of the Colorado River and Virgin River before the construction of Hoover Dam. Note that at Temple Bar is the notation “Temple Bar Mill” and upriver there is “Senator Mill (abandoned).” The National Park...
  13. Gold Discovery near the confluence of the Colorado and Virgin Rivers

    Next to the Temple Basin Ranger Station and Visitor Center Is this nature trail. 36° 01’47.33”N 114° 19’40.89”W The first exhibit is an arrastra, a primitive method of grinding rock and ore. A National Park Service archaeology report of the area indicates that the arrastra was relocated...
  14. Gold Discovery near the confluence of the Colorado and Virgin Rivers

    The estimated location of the Dutch George placers is now underwater within the Lake Mead National Recreational Area. I drove to the general area see the type of topography those trappers traversed. The closest I could drive to the confluence of the Virgin and Colorado Rivers (without 4-wheel...
  15. Gold Discovery near the confluence of the Colorado and Virgin Rivers

    Back to the 1826-27 trapping expedition. The red dash line indicates the expedition traveling north to the confluence of the Virgin and Colorado Rivers. The yellow line potentially encloses the area that George Yount claimed to have found the placer gold deposit. The green dash line indicates...
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