Shoot, Scoot, and Bury the Lootby John Scott on Apr. 11, 2012, under Uncategorized
There’s gold in them thar hills. Naw, this isn’t about the Lost Dutchman Mine. This is about stolen outlaw fortunes hidden away so that no one will find it except the outlaws who stole it to begin with. What happens if the posse catches up to them and they refuse to reveal their unlawful gains only to be hanged from the nearest cottonwood? Well, my friends, that’s why we have “lost treasure”.
This does not mean that you should pack a truck and go hunting for loot because some octogenarian sitting in a bar tells you where to find stolen bandit booty. Many of these legends follow a string of inaccuracies; mostly due to the unreliability of human recollection. Plenty of lore leads you to an area, usually many square miles in diameter, with little to go by.
Where the point of the Sawtooth Mountain casts a shadow at the warmest part of the day, travel East past the giant Saguaro to the rock that looks like a mare’s ear…
Yeah, that’s gonna be hard to find. Better type in “Mare’s Ear” and hope the GPS can locate it.
Hashknife Charley stole 38 gold bars somewhere in Mexico. I’m sure that can be a heavy load. Apparently, so did Charley. Once he got over the border, he buried them. Later on he was captured for stealing horses and died in prison. To this day the gold bars have never been found. Old Hashknife took the secret to his grave.
Also in the 1880′s, five outlaws robbed a saloon in Mineral Park (now a ghost town), followed by a fruitful stagecoach robbery. Like Hashknife Charley, they weren’t keen on hauling the loot, so they also buried it. Shortly thereafter, they succumbed to lead perforation and the 400 lbs. of gold dust, nuggets, and passenger’s valuables was never recovered.
Tucson has its hidden loot, too. The El Tejano treasure legend speaks of stagecoach plunder hidden in a cave near Cat Mountain and protected by the ghost of a slain highwayman. If you find it, El Tejano will appear and tell you that you have to take it all, or nothing. Anybody who has found it hasn’t been able to take the vast treasure in one trip, so the specter employs amnesia so you forget the exact location. Most likely this is based on Bill Brazelton, who Sheriff Paul and posse aerated in 1878. With 10 bullet holes in him and seconds to live, the last thing on his mind was revealing where he left his fortune.
Although these are just a couple of examples, tales of lost or hidden treasure exist in every region of Arizona. If you are going to search for it, be very careful and take plenty of water. Let people at home know where you are. Most importantly, if you meet up with El Tejano…run screaming like a little girl.