Treasure Mountain, CO - Lost Frenchmens Gold

cyzak

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2018
2,115
3,259
Mountains of Western Colorado
Detector(s) used
Garrett, General Mathematics, Geometry,Pentax,,Do the math it's there.
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I am friends with members of the Cornelius family. I would be very interested in hearing more about this. I have been all over Temple country, found many many old blazes, and even a few fresh fake blazes people have cut in recent times to look like what is described in Temple's stories.

I would love to come along when you return.
Have you been to this place this guy described were he found this carving. You go in on Piedra road then take forest road 633.
 
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UncleMatt

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2012
2,389
2,486
Albuqerque, NM / Durango, CO
Detector(s) used
Garrett Infinium & Gold Bug II, Bazooka Super Prospector Sluice
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Have you been to this place this guy described were he found this carving. You go in on Piedra road then take forest road 633.
That isn't the road he mentioned, but that is an area I am familiar with. I even found a huge 18" inch wide vein of blue mineral way above Piedra Falls. I hope he gets back to me so I can verify the authenticity of what he describes.
 
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cyzak

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2018
2,115
3,259
Mountains of Western Colorado
Detector(s) used
Garrett, General Mathematics, Geometry,Pentax,,Do the math it's there.
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
That isn't the road he mentioned, but that is an area I am familiar with. I even found a huge 18" inch wide vein of blue mineral way above Piedra Falls. I hope he gets back to me so I can verify the authenticity of what he describes.
Yes I found some of that too when I was up there I knocked a chunk off and brought it home what do you think it is.
 

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sdcfia

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Sep 28, 2014
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Any chance of getting your hands on that photo, or perhaps point me to the person who had it?
Impossible, I would say. I saw that assay in 1974 in an old miner's house in Ouray, in a frame on the wall. I was doing some work for the old guy on a mining claim of his outside of town. As I remember, he was known as Buddy and was getting pretty rickety. At the time, I lived at the corner of 8th Street and the highway in Ouray and Buddy lived somewhere east of there. He told a lot of stories and the Lost Carson seemed to be important to him. I left there before winter and haven't been back since.
 

UncleMatt

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Jul 14, 2012
2,389
2,486
Albuqerque, NM / Durango, CO
Detector(s) used
Garrett Infinium & Gold Bug II, Bazooka Super Prospector Sluice
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Yes I found some of that too when I was up there I knocked a chunk off and brought it home what do you think it is.
That looks different than what I found, I will post some photos when I get home tonight. Last time I was up at that vein in 2017 I found an orange Home Depot bucket there with tools to work the vein, but I left them undisturbed. There was sky blue chips littering the ground all around. I have video of it all.
 

UncleMatt

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Jul 14, 2012
2,389
2,486
Albuqerque, NM / Durango, CO
Detector(s) used
Garrett Infinium & Gold Bug II, Bazooka Super Prospector Sluice
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It will be interesting to see those photos. That's the area were that Gary and Emily Smith were goin into they were American Treasure Finders. Gary had filed a treasure trove permit back in 2012 with the USDA for up in the head waters I never could figure that one out they were way up in there a ways.
Yeah, I watched their videos and as near as I could tell they were pretending natural rock formations were pointers to treasure.
But the place I found the blue vein was not in the headwaters, it was on the side of the mountain 900 feet above Piedra Falls on the north side of the Piedra.
 

UncleMatt

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2012
2,389
2,486
Albuqerque, NM / Durango, CO
Detector(s) used
Garrett Infinium & Gold Bug II, Bazooka Super Prospector Sluice
Primary Interest:
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Ok, I got my hands on a first edition copy of Perry Eberhart's Treasure Tales of the Rockies, and read the chapter starting on page 11, The Lost Ute Mine. Both books were published in 1961, and there were few clues as to which came first. There are differences on details like some dates, but most of the names mentioned match. Now, I don't know much about Eberhart, and I don't want to cast aspersions where none may be due. But comparing the account by Temple Cornelius in the book Sheepherder Gold to Eberhart's is like comparing the Mona Lisa to a color by number Mona Lisa. The story La Mina Perdida de la Ventana by Temple is a fully detailed account in every respect, while Eberhart's Lost Ute Mine almost seems like crib notes taken from Temple's writings.

Now, we all know that many treasure tale books have a lot of stories in common, and such things are never really objected to. And it may very well be that back in the 60's this tale was common knowledge in that part of the country at that time, and both authors had heard of it. And maybe Temple was just more skilled at spinning a yarn than Eberhart when both had access to the same root story.

But if I had to guess based on an honest and objective comparison, the account by Temple is the basis for what Eberhart wrote. So I encourage anyone who thinks of or finds a source for this story that predates 1961, please post about it.

There is also the Treasure Mountain tale in this book, Chapter 24 starting on page 91. It has the same story we are all familiar with, though it did offer some details about those that have searched for it that I had not seen before. But I am still of the opinion the story was completely fabricated by a writer for a Denver newspaper to increase circulation.
 
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3fan

Tenderfoot
Jan 7, 2007
5
5
Ok, I got my hands on a first edition copy of Perry Eberhart's Treasure Tales of the Rockies, and read the chapter starting on page 11, The Lost Ute Mine. Both books were published in 1961, and there were few clues as to which came first. There are differences on details like some dates, but most of the names mentioned match. Now, I don't know much about Eberhart, and I don't want to cast aspersions where none may be due. But comparing the account by Temple Cornelius in the book Sheepherder Gold to Eberhart's is like comparing the Mona Lisa to a color by number Mona Lisa. The story La Mina Perdida de la Ventana by Temple is a fully detailed account in every respect, while Eberhart's Lost Ute Mine almost seems like crib notes taken from Temple's writings.

Now, we all know that many treasure tale books have a lot of stories in common, and such things are never really objected to. And it may very well be that back in the 60's this tale was common knowledge in that part of the country at that time, and both authors had heard of it. And maybe Temple was just more skilled at spinning a yarn than Eberhart when both had access to the same root story.

But if I had to guess based on an honest and objective comparison, the account by Temple is the basis for what Eberhart wrote. So I encourage anyone who thinks of or finds a source for this story that predates 1961, please post about it.

There is also the Treasure Mountain tale in this book, Chapter 24 starting on page 91. It has the same story we are all familiar with, though it did offer some details about those that have searched for it that I had not seen before. But I am still of the opinion the story was completely fabricated by a writer for a Denver newspaper to increase circulation.
Hi Matt,

Frank Dobie mentions the La Mina Perdida in Coronado's Children (first printed in 1930). The story is in the Chapter on the Pecos. He doesn't go in depth in the history of it like Cornelius. But seems to believe it could be in New Mexico rather than Colorado.
 

sdcfia

Silver Member
Sep 28, 2014
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Hi Matt,

Frank Dobie mentions the La Mina Perdida in Coronado's Children (first printed in 1930). The story is in the Chapter on the Pecos. He doesn't go in depth in the history of it like Cornelius. But seems to believe it could be in New Mexico rather than Colorado.
Dobie was a superb folklorist, but cannot be considered a treasure legend researcher in the traditional sense, IMO. He gathered, dramatized and condensed versions of popular campfire tales and published highly entertaining books, yes.
 

UncleMatt

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2012
2,389
2,486
Albuqerque, NM / Durango, CO
Detector(s) used
Garrett Infinium & Gold Bug II, Bazooka Super Prospector Sluice
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hi Matt,

Frank Dobie mentions the La Mina Perdida in Coronado's Children (first printed in 1930). The story is in the Chapter on the Pecos. He doesn't go in depth in the history of it like Cornelius. But seems to believe it could be in New Mexico rather than Colorado.
I have Coronado's Children, and in my humble opinion the reference you are referring to simply means "lost mine". La mina perdida. But not the Lost Mine of The Window along the Continental Divide in Colorado. That would Be La Mina Perdida La Ventana.
 

Joshua9900

Tenderfoot
Apr 4, 2019
6
14
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
The alleged treasure is interesting but any French expedition to that area is what I'm interested in. If you ever run across anybody who knows about that expedition, and has some evidence that describes it, please let me know.
DM me if you are still looking for info about a French expedition in this area around the same time.
 

John2

Newbie
Jan 5, 2022
3
3
I am friends with members of the Cornelius family. I would be very interested in hearing more about this. I have been all over Temple country, found many many old blazes, and even a few fresh fake blazes people have cut in recent times to look like what is described in Temple's stories.

I would love to come along when you return.
Good Morning Uncle Matt,
Ute Mine Cashe update:
My planned hike into Pagosa Peak country never happened last summer.
I had always hiked alone with a dog.
But, due to my age (78), I wanted a hiking companion this time. I chose a nephew and a stepson-in-law as likely candidates. The nephew died unexpectedly and the son-in-law declined my offer (health reasons).
So, I decided to do my THing from an easy chair this time.
Your acquaintance with the Cornelius family presents an interesting possibility. Perhaps they would like to have this pic I have of THC's name carved in an ancient aspen.
You and I could easily meet up as I am located about three hours north of Albuquerque.
Try contacting me if you like via this disposable address:
simplelogin.v6xyy@simplelogin.com
Looking forward to your reply...
John2
 

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