Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for X Marks the Spot

For you treasure seekers out there, how about a few places where stolen loot was said to have been hidden by outlaws of the Wild West?  I chose a few favorites in various states.

marks the spot!

Kingman, Arizona (Canyon Station) - In 1873, a man named McCallum, along with a partner, robbed a Wells Fargo stagecoach of its strongbox, which held $72,000.  They buried the strongbox when a posse came after them, and refused to ever say where they'd buried it.  When McCallum was dying in prison, he told another man, who went in search of a specific marker.  When he got there, he found that someone owned the property and had planted an orchard.  To this day, no one has reported finding the strongbox.  The ruins of Canyon Station, a stagecoach station, still stand near Kingman.

Davis Mountain (in Arizona) - Before you look, Davis Mountain cannot be found on a map.  There is no such named mountain these days, but at some point there was.  It is described as dome-shaped, and it's said that one can see Sugarloaf Mountain and New Mexico from atop it.  There, you will supposedly find diamonds and a ton of gold, stolen by an unnamed bandit, who robbed a smuggler's train (in other words, the bandit robbed another bandit).  Search around online and you can find precise directions to the treasure.  Only thing left for you to do is figure out what peak is Davis Mountain!

Murrieta's Caches (California) - Joaquin Murrieta was a Mexican Patriot, forced off his land by American settlers in California.  He became a desperado, leading a group called The Five Joaquins.  They stole cattle and committed robbery and murder in the 1850's.  He is said to have hidden several large caches of stolen gold: 1. $175,000 hidden off HWY 299, between Burney, California and Hatcher Pass.  2. $200,000 off HWY 36, between Susanville and Freedonyer Pass.  3. $140,000, buried in a strongbox by the Feather River, in a canyon south of Paradise, California.  4. This is the one that got Murrieta killed.  The amount is not mentioned, but it was said to be a wagon load of gold.  He and his men had stolen it from a mine, but a group of Indians ambushed them and took it, hiding it in a burial cave near the Old Carrizo Stage Station in the Anza Borrego Desert.

Maybell, Colorado (Browns Park, Irish Canyon) - $30,000 in silver is buried somewhere in this area, thanks to the Wild Bunch.  In fact, it is said that much more treasure is in this area, courtesy of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch.

Fort Collins, CO (Virginia Dale Station) - In 1863, a stagecoach carrying $60,000 was robbed by six bandits.  They shot the box to open it and buried the treasure.  The U.S. Cavalry chased them down and killed them, finding only the bullet-riddled strongbox.

Stevens County, Kansas (Cimarron River) - Remember Belle Starr?  Well, her nephew Henry Starr came to fame as the Cherokee Bad Boy, a robber of banks, train depots and stores, along with his gang.  Before he died, shot during a robbery in Arkansas on February 23, 1921, he claimed he had robbed 21 banks, for more than $60,000, some of which was hidden along the Cimarron River in SW Kansas.

There are a ton more if you want to look them up at Legends of America.

<b>Up for a little treasure hunting?</b>

May you find your Muse.

*Letter X courtesy of Mohamed Ibrahim,
**Wells Fargo Express Co. Deadwood Treasure Wagon and Guards with $250,000 gold bullion from the Great Homestake Mine, Deadwood, S.D., 1890; John C. H. Grabill [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


soggy in the corner said...

I swear I did not see your subject before I did mine. Thankfully my treasure is not one of yours. I will enjoy reading more about the ones you have mentioned. I love a treasure tale!

Dino said...

I love history and folklore and found this quite fascinating. Thanks!

Julie Flanders said...

Very cool! Wouldn't it be something to accidentally come upon one of these treasures?
Love the photo, I just love old pics.

Susan Oloier said...

I am fascinated by hidden treasures. I even wrote about the Lost Dutchman Mine in my recent YA.

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow! It's amazing how many treasures are out there!

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

I'm in Az. all the time. I had better watch where I walk, I could be missing out on treasure!

Andrew Leon said...

The Davis Mountain one kind of sounds like Last Crusade.

cleemckenzie said...

I love legends because there are always bits of truth inside them. I have a small claim to fame as far a legends go. I met the daughter of a man who rode with Joaquin Murieta. In fact, she lived in a house near my mom and dad's, and Murieta hid out there during some of his notorious escapades.

I always loved talking to the daughter. She was about a hundred years old and she amazed me with her stories.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like there is some treasure out there just waiting to be found. Interesting post.

Chuck said...

I guess all this loot is the cause for saying, "there's gold in them thar hills". Seems like a lot of money out there in the dirt.

Rebecca said...

another post well done and informative

Empty Nest Insider said...

Great stories about buried treasure, and an eXcellent picture! I just wanted to drop by and thank you for co-hosting an eXceptional A to Z! I can't believe it's almost over! Julie

Shannon Lawrence said...

Soggy, oh, I'm betting we aren't the only two who chose that as our X! But I'm also betting they're all quite different.

Dino, glad you enjoyed it!

Julie, in utter awesomeness, there is an update on one of the treasure quests that says a guy found a huge portion of it!!

Susan, I would love to go look for the Lost Dutchman Mine. I thought about putting it on this post, but it deserves a full entry of its own.

Jemi, oh, there are so many! We're driving right past Virginia Dare this summer. I'm thinking we may have to stop to at least visit.

Debra, seriously! There are a lot out there.

Andrew, it does a bit, doesn't it?

Clee, that is so astoundingly cool! What a wonderful experience to have gotten to have.

Susanne, definitely! And I'm betting if you look outside the wild west there are more for varying reasons.

Chuck, and diamonds!

Becca, thank you!

Julie, neither can I! This month has really flown by. And thank you!