Lone Ranger's Lost Treasures of the West

Illustration of three lost gold mines from United States western lore
Three fabled lost gold mines

Geronimo's Lost Mine

After a disastrous fight with the U.S. Army, Geronimo, the great Apache warrior chief, found himself imprisoned in the stockade at Fort Sill. He told one of his guards of a fabulous mine where the Apaches mined the "green bads" that they used for ornaments -- and where they mined their gold.

The guard promised to help the Chief escape if the Indian would guide him to the mines. But the plot was later discovered and the guard was sent to prison. Later, Geronimo himself was exiled to a reservation in Florida, far from his secret mine. Even today, prospectors search for the mines of the Apaches.

The gold mine is said to be located in the bottom of a deep box canyon near an old adobe house. The Apaches regularly traded gold for guns and ammunition, food, and clothing. The mine must have been very rich, but to this date remains undiscovered.

The Lost Cowboy Mine

About 60 years ago, an old corral stood on the banks of the Colorado River north of Yuma, Arizona. It was built of adobe blocks. Cowboys used it to gather wandering steers until they could muster enough cowpunchers to drive a herd back to their home ranches. Near the corral was a low round hill covered with black, rounded pieces of heavy stone or metal. The cowboys often threw the stones at the half-wild steers to frighten them through the corral gate.

Gradually, as permanent settlers came into the territory, the corral was abandoned. One of the cowboys went back East to his childhood home and took a few of the strange, heavy stones with him. Years later, a friend of his who was a mining expert examined them and discovered that they were almost pure lumps of solid gold, although tarnished black due to long exposure to the weather.

Since then, hundreds of people have tried to find the Lost Cowboy Mine and its acres of gold nuggets. None have succeeded. Either the old corral was gradually washed away by stones, or someone secretly destroyed it to conceal the mine's location.

Adams' Buried Treasure

Many years ago a man named Adams and six others discovered a rich mine near the headwaters of the Gila River in Arizona. They built a small cabin and worked the mine hard. Their greatest danger lay in being discovered by the raiding Apaches.

One day, Adams and one of his partners left the camp for town. The first night they camped on a high hill and looked back toward the mine. The cabin was in flames and the blaze of gunfire lit the surrounding sky. The Apaches had killed all their friends. After struggling on for many miles across the desert, the two men were discovered, half-starved and in a delirious state.

Adams' partner was killed a short time later. For years, Adams could not re-enter the territory which was rampant with hostile Indians. When he finally went back after many years, he was unable to locate the mine. His landmark, the cabin, had been completely destroyed. There must be $600,000 worth of gold buried under the site of the cabin.

From Lone Ranger's Golden West, 1955

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