Riverside County Treasure

Jack Hamilton

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I found this story in a book I am reading.

The desert town of Sage is located on State 79 between Radec and Hemet, in southwestern Riverside County. Juan Chavez, a lieutenant of the bandit Juan Murrieta, made a camp here one night while en route to Mexico with a pack of mules carrying an estimated $200,000 stolen from the northern California mines. During the evening, while most of the men were engaged in gambling, the man assigned to guard the pack mules led them up a canyon, still carrying their packs. Quickly removing the gold from the packs, he buried it at the foot of a tree and started back with the mules. Before he reached camp, however, the mules were missed and a party went out in search of them. When they were found, Chaves killed the disloyal guard, unaware that he had removed and hidden the gold. Not until Chavez and his party had traveled many miles to the south was it discovered that the gold was missing, and by this time none of the party could retrace their steps to the camp site and make a search for the buried gold. Presumably, the treasure is still there at the base of a tree marked with a cross.

This would be a fun one to hunt for =) I am only 30 minutes or so from this town.
 

S

stefen

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Lets understand the story...the discover that the gold was missing was made hours after they left camp...

And that the guard was killed by Chavez...

Then how does the story teller know that the gold was buried under a tree marked with a cross in a remote canyon?

I realize that the story was found in a book...mornlikely a book of fairy tales...

The story does not pass the sniff test :icon_scratch:
 

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Jack Hamilton

Jack Hamilton

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Yeah, this story has definitely got its holes. I'd still be interested in taking a look out there. Also, I'd
like to hear any other versions of the same story to try to fill in those holes. The book is "A Guide to Treasure in California" By Thomas Penfield
 

S

stefen

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If I sound sceptical, its because the story does not add up.

In my opinion, if all of the facts were unquestionable and true, then it may be worth the effort to scour the area, but when the facts are unreliable at best, then I'd leave the hunting to that renown Riverside County Explorer, Ben Dover.

Treasure stories are like rumors...there is always a grain of truth in them. Two facts are for certain;
1) The guard was killed, and
2) The gold is missing...

What is questionable is:
1) What was the real reason that guard killed (certainly if Chavez knew that the gold was missing, why then did he kill the guard?)
2) Was the others in the party not informed that the gold was missing before they trod for miles aftwards? and...
3) Who told that the gold was buried under a tree? Chavez?


The only treasure found by the author; Thomas Penfield, are the publication royalties...
 

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Jack Hamilton

Jack Hamilton

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I wont argue about it. I thought it might interest some so cal folks. Thats all. It would be great to
see a treasure found that all the skeptics said didn't or couldn't exist because a story didn't add up.
Even stories change, I knew there were holes in the story and its exactly why I posted it. I would
like to know if there are other versions of the story out there. Cheers!
 

Treasure finder

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HI Jack,
I checked that story out 15 years ago and have been by the area recently also.
The story doesn't add up for me either. Who knew there was a cross on the tree?
Why was he killed if they didn't know the gold was missing?
Even more trouble. Part of the area is a lake, now fenced in and camping allowed.
The area you would be interested in is at the edge of the fenced area and under water.
Across the fence is posted private property! I considered camping and boating there
once, but the area in question is probably up the canyon on private property.
But, take a look, you are close. I drove 80 miles to get there.
Have fun, and it is never a bad idea to post. THanks
Rich
 

pegleglooker

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Hey Gang,
Been through this area alot and I agree it would be tough to locate. BTW Radec is actually Cedar backwards, when the town was formed they wanted to name it Cedar but later found out that was taken so they spelled it backwards... As far as the guard being shot, I would assume that Chavez questioned him and he most likely REALLY didn't know so out of anger he was shot... The story was probably continued by someone in the gang that heard the guard that night. f anyone wants to TRULY understand just how ruthless these guys were I would suggest getting the book Six Gun Sound by Sven Crongeyer here's a link

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bo...4953980-_-Googe Book Search (non-B&N Imprint)

It Is a GREAT read, begins with Los Angeles' first sherriff and ends in the early 1900's. It's a sheriff by sheriff account of the bad guys and in detail what they did and how they died. Talks about Chavez, Murrieta, Vasquez, Sontag and many others, a collection of small stories.... Great read...

PLL
 

gollum

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All the Joachin Murrieta Stories are good reading, but not based in much fact.

If he had actually buried all the treasure he is said to have, you could buy an island with it!

I wouldn't go out of my way to look into it, but if I was in the area, I might stop and check it out for a bit.

Best-Mike
 

pegleglooker

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gollum said:
All the Joachin Murrieta Stories are good reading, but not based in much fact.

If he had actually buried all the treasure he is said to have, you could buy an island with it!

I wouldn't go out of my way to look into it, but if I was in the area, I might stop and check it out for a bit.

Best-Mike

Agreed.... Mike you would LOVE that book !!!! It tells how each sheriff continued to search for over 20 years, before they finally got at the bandits from the Barton murders....

PLL
 

treasurechest

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A similar story is in a book called "Where to Find Gold in Southern California" by James Klein. It says that there's buried gold out there too. While it is possible, how could you even find a tree that's old enough for something like that out there? It burns too much. I don't think any tree could survive. It would be fun to look for though. I know a place out towards Anza that keeps calling my name. I'm drawn to it and I don't know why. I've searched the area numerous times and I've never found anything. One of these days, I'm going to steal my dads metal detector, and go wander around in there again.
 

Atoscano8

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Nov 16, 2023
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All the Joachin Murrieta Stories are good reading, but not based in much fact.

If he had actually buried all the treasure he is said to have, you could buy an island with it!

I wouldn't go out of my way to look into it, but if I was in the area, I might stop and check it out for a bit.

Best-Mike
But you can't know! Sorry but history won't lie to us. It may tell us stuff we don't like to hear but hey can't do anything about that. The very part is he has a whole city named after him!
If he had actually buried all the treasure he is said to have, you could buy an island with it!

I wouldn't go out of my way to look into it, but if I was in the
Best-Mike
 

Atoscano8

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Nov 16, 2023
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I found this story in a book I am reading.

The desert town of Sage is located on State 79 between Radec and Hemet, in southwestern Riverside County. Juan Chavez, a lieutenant of the bandit Juan Murrieta, made a camp here one night while en route to Mexico with a pack of mules carrying an estimated $200,000 stolen from the northern California mines. During the evening, while most of the men were engaged in gambling, the man assigned to guard the pack mules led them up a canyon, still carrying their packs. Quickly removing the gold from the packs, he buried it at the foot of a tree and started back with the mules. Before he reached camp, however, the mules were missed and a party went out in search of them. When they were found, Chaves killed the disloyal guard, unaware that he had removed and hidden the gold. Not until Chavez and his party had traveled many miles to the south was it discovered that the gold was missing, and by this time none of the party could retrace their steps to the camp site and make a search for the buried gold. Presumably, the treasure is still there at the base of a tree marked with a cross.

This would be a fun one to hunt for =) I am only 30 minutes or so from this town.
Just curious did you ever go and spend a day of two out there? I'm here in lake elsinore. Whenever you want I'm down. Around here anywhere. About that story. The way I see it is, the white cross part was added in to descredit don't you see? That way you get almost no one looking for it. When yo don't play lottery you don't win lottery I'm thinking it could be along Stanley Rd. Have you seen that road on maps? Check it out. It's in sage.
 

robertk

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Just curious did you ever go and spend a day of two out there?
The post you responded to was made fourteen years ago, and the person who posted it was last online ten years ago. I doubt they will see your post or reply to it.
 

robertk

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Do you reckon they perished?
I have no idea. People come and go from forums all the time for all kinds of reasons. I'm just looking at the age of the posts.
 

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