Treasure Mountain, CO - Lost Frenchmens Gold

cyzak

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Jul 14, 2018
2,340
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Mountains of Western Colorado
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Miss. Smith here! Still searching?
Are you still going up on the mountain Miss Smith.
IMG_5473.JPG
 

cyzak

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2018
2,340
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Mountains of Western Colorado
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Garrett, General Mathematics, Geometry,Pentax,,Do the math it's there.
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Pretending doesn't get you governmental authority to dig! Just saying :)
By the way so happy to see you post on here very exciting. You and your family were a great inspiration for me you are a true treasure hunters.
 

Ryano

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Feb 16, 2014
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By the way so happy to see you post on here very exciting. You and your family were a great inspiration for me you are a true treasure hunters.

(To Atfinder) Count me in too ! Really enjoyed watching your YouTube videos. Beautiful countryside you have out there and one day I hope to hike and explore the mountain. Until then, your video diaries, Cyzak, UncleMatt, and other's photos fuel the imagination ! 🙏🤘
 

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cyzak

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2018
2,340
3,802
Mountains of Western Colorado
Detector(s) used
Garrett, General Mathematics, Geometry,Pentax,,Do the math it's there.
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
(To Atfinder) Count me in too ! Really enjoyed watching your YouTube videos. Beautiful countryside you have out there and one day I hope to hike and explore the mountain. Until then, your video diaries, Cyzak, UncleMatt, and other's photos fuel the imagination ! 🙏🤘
Yes it would be interesting Ryano, but what I found is as soon as they know you are familiar with the area all information ceases unfortunately.
 

cyzak

Bronze Member
Jul 14, 2018
2,340
3,802
Mountains of Western Colorado
Detector(s) used
Garrett, General Mathematics, Geometry,Pentax,,Do the math it's there.
Primary Interest:
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Miss. Smith here! Still searching?
You bet I am still searching I will never give up to much time invested. Reach out to me and it will be nice to talk with you, I know you to be a true treasure hunter.
 

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Joshua9900

Tenderfoot
Apr 4, 2019
8
16
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All Treasure Hunting
Where did these excerpts/passages come from?
I have everything ever written about this treasure, including the original Spanish version of these, and I still can’t figure out where they originated from. I suspect the copy of the Spanish version I have is in a church archive in the SLV.
 

sdcfia

Silver Member
Sep 28, 2014
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For those new to the subject of treasure legends of southern Colorado, I would comment that this thread may be the best place you can start. There is a wealth of material here and the entire thread is excellent.
 

mdog

Bronze Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,325
4,380
I have everything ever written about this treasure, including the original Spanish version of these, and I still can’t figure out where they originated from. I suspect the copy of the Spanish version I have is in a church archive in the SLV.
Do you know when the name Citadel Mountain was changed to Treasure Mountain?
 

Joshua9900

Tenderfoot
Apr 4, 2019
8
16
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Do you know when the name Citadel Mountain was changed to Treasure Mountain?
I don’t know, I assume it was after Asa Poor and Leon Montroy did their searching. The first news paper article about it was written in 1911, in that article they interview Montroy and Don Archuleta who both refer to it as Treasure Peak. In the article Poor’s widow, Della, never mentions the name of the mountain in her interview but states Poor found all the clues for the treasure when he was searching for James Brophy, a friend of his who was lost in the woods.
 

tamrock

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Jan 16, 2013
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Odd that I pretty much reviewed this entire thread last week. It's interesting to stitch some of them together. I can't find it now where I believe I read online, but it mentioned that Treasure Falls was renamed to Treasure Falls shortly after the story of this legend was told in the Denver paper or some publication in the 1930s. I'm thinking it may have been done to draw tourists over the newly completed Wolf Creek Pass for vehicle traffic, which was in 1936 I believe. So maybe the name of the Citadel mountain was renamed around then also. I once took my middle daughter with me on the road and we took a little time to hike up to Treasure Falls. Its one of her favorite memories of her hitting the road with me. I have a different idea on this story than the popular version, but I've not completely checked off the idea of the legend is somehow coupled to the geographic areas it's often referenced to.
 

mdog

Bronze Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,325
4,380
I don’t know, I assume it was after Asa Poor and Leon Montroy did their searching. The first news paper article about it was written in 1911, in that article they interview Montroy and Don Archuleta who both refer to it as Treasure Peak. In the article Poor’s widow, Della, never mentions the name of the mountain in her interview but states Poor found all the clues for the treasure when he was searching for James Brophy, a friend of his who was lost in the woods.
Thank you. Is the Treasure Mountain Frenchman's gold legend the only treasure legend associated with the area around Treasure Mountain. Have you ever heard rumors of any treasure recoveries made in the past?
 

mdog

Bronze Member
Mar 22, 2011
2,325
4,380
Odd that I pretty much reviewed this entire thread last week. It's interesting to stitch some of them together. I can't find it now where I believe I read online, but it mentioned that Treasure Falls was renamed to Treasure Falls shortly after the story of this legend was told in the Denver paper or some publication in the 1930s. I'm thinking it may have been done to draw tourists over the newly completed Wolf Creek Pass for vehicle traffic, which was in 1936 I believe. So maybe the name of the Citadel mountain was renamed around then also. I once took my middle daughter with me on the road and we took a little time to hike up to Treasure Falls. Its one of her favorite memories of her hitting the road with me. I have a different idea on this story than the popular version, but I've not completely checked off the idea of the legend is somehow coupled to the geographic areas it's often referenced to.
Does Hwy 160 pass right by Treasure Mountain? I'm looking at google Earth and it seems that there is a road that climbs the mountain, is that right? Here's an excerpt about Hwy 160's history.

History[edit]​

The creation of the first road along Wolf Creek Pass began in 1911 and finished construction in 1916. The project's engineers were J. E. Maloney and Ed Riley.[4] The 12 feet wide road was doubled in width in 1930 and was paved 20 years later.[5]

If you're willing to share, I'd like to hear your thoughts about the legend and the geographic area it's referenced to.
 

mdog

Bronze Member
Mar 22, 2011
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4,380
Can anybody verify this story, about the two young men and their deaths in 1993?

The Legend of Treasure Falls​

We all know about the alluring waterfall right off of Highway 160. What most people don’t know is where “Treasure Falls” derives from.
The waterfall is suffused from legend and oral literature. Backed into Treasure Mountain, this is one of the most populated and frequently visited attractions located near Pagosa Springs. If we dig a little deeper than the innate beauty of this location we find several accounts of original tales dictating the origin of The Falls.

During the 18th Century, Spain and France disputed over the Southwest region. France believed their land, Louisiana, extended south to the Rio Grande. Contradicting France, Spain claimed that their northern boundary was the Missouri River.
As the story goes, Frenchman immigrated over the San Juan Mountains, through Wolf Creek Pass roughly around 1750. There they began to prospect and pan for gold- collecting a worth of $33 million of unscathed pure gold.
They were attacked by Indians and their rivals, the Spaniards. Refusing defeat, the Frenchman hid their glorious earnings in three different locations near “a great water fountain.”
During the 1840’s, a group of Frenchman returned to our mountains with directions to the loot. They were attacked and all killed- but one individual, Le Blanc. The survivor relocated to Toas where he was arrested. He professed the Indian Massacre and the history of the treasure to the authorities.
Over the years, several maps surfaced claiming the whereabouts of the riches. A man named William Yule led a group of men as they searched the entire Western Slope to no prevail. Accounts reveal different records of travelers attempting to recover the prize, with no success. However, in 1993 two young gentlemen, native of Fort Collins, CO, began a trek up and over Treasure Falls, into the Volcanic Mountains surrounding the rapids. Sometime during the adventure, the young men found themselves lost deep in the peaks of Treasure Mountain. As search and rescue missions began to look for the two; the youngest of the two men was bitten by a rattle snake and died a few hours later. As time passed, people of the town began to mourn the lives thought to be lost. Just as hope began to wain, the second young man was found- barely alive, suffering from severe dehydration as well as bodily wounds he endured while lost. Discovered in the pockets of his jeans were two large gold nuggets. The boy died before anyone was able to obtain the location of the treasure.

Living somewhere so rich with history (and GOLD) is seldom. We are privileged enough to call Pagosa Springs home- and with it comes the legend of Treasure Falls.

-Daryn Butler
 

tamrock

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Jan 16, 2013
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Does Hwy 160 pass right by Treasure Mountain? I'm looking at google Earth and it seems that there is a road that climbs the mountain, is that right? Here's an excerpt about Hwy 160's history.

History[edit]​

The creation of the first road along Wolf Creek Pass began in 1911 and finished construction in 1916. The project's engineers were J. E. Maloney and Ed Riley.[4] The 12 feet wide road was doubled in width in 1930 and was paved 20 years later.[5]

If you're willing to share, I'd like to hear your thoughts about the legend and the geographic area it's referenced to.
It's a story I heard among others about hidden treasures in Colorado. What's fact and what's fiction is something I tossed around in my head going back into the early 1980s. It was then I worked at the Climax Mine, up on Fremont Pass. Working then at the mine you'd have 5 days in a row off working a shift schedule every 3rd week. I spent many days hiking, looking for artifacts, sampling rivers and steams for placer gold and simply checking out all the various sites that are now long abandoned. Many other times me and my buddy John would venture off in my 1964 Intl' Scout going over the various back road mountain passes. No internet then and as a single guy living and working in the freezing cold you'd read a lot. My take is very little is known of the mining activities in the Rockies prior to the boom of the late 1850s. All of what was going in the Rockies before that is very intriguing to me. I've recently retired and had for the last 30+ years traveled selling a wide variety of mining related products to the many come and gone and still operating mining companies throughout CO, NM, UT, NV, AZ, NM, MT and even into Old Mexico at one time. I've driven probably close to if not more than a million miles in these regions. My take is this story out of most I've ever read about, thought about or heard about seems to be the one I feel the most about being true fact. I think about it all the time and try to invasion how it all went down. I'm gonna hopefully have time to check out some of what I believe could've happened and where it may of happened. So many theories, but I'll start with what is most logical imo.
 

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mdog

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Mar 22, 2011
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It's a story I heard among others about hidden treasures in Colorado. What's fact and what's fiction is something I tossed around in my head going back into the early 1980s. It was then I worked at the Climax Mine, up on Fremont Pass. Working then at the mine you'd have 5 days in a row off working a shift schedule every 3rd week. I spent many days hiking, looking for artifacts, sampling rivers and steams for placer gold and simply checking out all the various sites that are now long abandoned. Many other times me and my buddy John would venture off in my 1964 Intl' Scout going over the various back road mountain passes. No internet then and as a single guy living and working in the freezing cold you'd read a lot. My take is very little is known of the mining activities in the Rockies prior to the boom of the late 1850s. All of what was going in the Rockies before that is very intriguing to me. I've recently retired and had for the last 30+ years traveled selling a wide variety of mining related products to the many come and gone and still operating mining companies throughout CO, NM, UT, NV, AZ, NM, MT and even into Old Mexico at one time. I've driven probably close to if not more than a million miles in these regions. My take is this story out of most I've ever read about, thought about or heard about seems to be the one I feel the most about being true fact. I think about it all the time and try to invasion how it all went down. I'm gonna hopefully have time to check out some of what I believe could've happened and where it may of happened. So many theories, but I'll start with what is most logical imo.
This looks like the Du Pratz map and Pike's route into southern Colorado. Du Pratz had a gold mine marked on the Arkansas River and I believe the fort you have marked is located somewhere in the area of present Fort Leavenworth. There was an earlier map that showed a Padouca village where Spanish gold miners came out of the mountains to trade for food with the Indians. I think that map was made during the early 1720s. If I remember right, the Indian village was just east of the Rockies and almost straight of the place you show as Oro City.
 

tamrock

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Jan 16, 2013
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This looks like the Du Pratz map and Pike's route into southern Colorado. Du Pratz had a gold mine marked on the Arkansas River and I believe the fort you have marked is located somewhere in the area of present Fort Leavenworth. There was an earlier map that showed a Padouca village where Spanish gold miners came out of the mountains to trade for food with the Indians. I think that map was made during the early 1720s. If I remember right, the Indian village was just east of the Rockies and almost straight of the place you show as Oro City.
My thinking is the spot that's labeled Mine d' or, is the upper Arkansas near what would be Oro City, which for all I know could of been given the name Oro City, because it was what some of the early prospector of the 1850s may have known it as a place the early mountain men had known it to be as a name the French had always called it. The name was just passed along as Mine d' Or then later on to be Oro City. The translation of mine d'or – French–English dictionary goldmine, A place where gold is mined. That location was put on this map in 1767 which I believe is the upper Arkansas river of Colorado. Thats 92 years before Oro City became the booming mining town its known as today. My thinking is it had been known by the French that placer gold could be found in abundance, but it wasn't going to be economical to mine, unless it was done with a large force of men. Like as many as 300. This was because the gold found in the Arkansas river is probably 99.9% all fine or dust and a large workforce would be the only way to recover a valuable enough quality of gold in the short seasons in the high Rockies. Note this statement I've highlighted. Mentions only bars which were more that likely made from smelting gold dust. There's no mention of nuggets, just gold bars and gold dust. Biggest piece of gold I ever found in the Arkansas was the size of a grain of rice. There's still plenty of gold dust in the river today but you need to wash a lot of gravel to recover any worthwhile amount. I'm pretty sure it would've been a little better with virgin placers deposits in 1767. Especially with a large workforce focused on the recovery of it all.
 

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mdog

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My thinking is the spot that's labeled Mine d' or, is the upper Arkansas near what would be Oro City, which for all I know could of been given the name Oro City, because it was what some of the early prospector of the 1850s may have known it as a place the early mountain men had known it to be as a name the French had always called it. The name was just passed along as Mine d' Or then later on to be Oro City. The translation of mine d'or – French–English dictionary goldmine, A place where gold is mined. That location was put on this map in 1767 which I believe is the upper Arkansas river of Colorado. Thats 92 years before Oro City became the booming mining town its known as today. My thinking is it had been known by the French that placer gold could be found in abundance, but it wasn't going to be economical to mine, unless it was done with a large force of men. Like as many as 300. This was because the gold found in the Arkansas river is probably 99.9% all fine or dust and a large workforce would be the only way to recover a valuable enough quality of gold in the short seasons in the high Rockies. Note this statement I've highlighted. Mentions only bars which were more that likely made from smelting gold dust. There's no mention of nuggets, just gold bars and gold dust. Biggest piece of gold I ever found in the Arkansas was the size of a grain of rice. There's still plenty of gold dust in the river today but you need to wash a lot of gravel to recover any worthwhile amount. I'm pretty sure it would've been a little better with virgin placers deposits in 1767. Especially with a large workforce focused on the recovery of it all.
Here's a section of the map that shows the Padouca village. It seems to be about 15 miles NE of Pueblo. Santa Fe seems to be a degree to high on latitude.
santa fe and padouka village 700.png
 

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