Lost Mines of the Black Hills, Dakota Territory



The famous lost mines known as the Lost Dutchman, the Lost Pegleg, the Lost Adams, Lost Tayopa, Lost Breyfogle or even the Lost Blue Bucket gold mine are frequently the subject of some of the treasure forums I spend time on, yet there is little discussion of lost mines of Dakota even though there are a fair number of them.  Only one or two has much “fame” in the world, the secret gold mine of Jesuit Father DeSmet or the lost gold of the Thoen Stone, both of which have so few clues to find them (and several theories that they have already been found) that a search for them would be tough to say the least.  There are some others though that would warrant a search – such as the Lost Standoff Bar.  The directions to find this one are quite specific – it is supposed to be only a mile from Jenney’s Gulch on Spring Creek.  Unfortunately there is no Jenney’s Gulch on Spring Creek. 

Then there is the lost silver ledge of a prospector named Bailey, found while hiking down from a mountain peak, the ore was so rich that it assayed $15,000 to the ton (silver @ $1 per ounce) or nearly one-half silver.  Our hero Bailey then proceeded to go back to stake his claim, only to be unable to ever find the ledge again. 

The Lost Raspberry gold mine seems like it should be so simple to find .  An old prospector who earned some extra money by picking raspberries to sell in town discovered an ancient mine tunnel with some unusual looking reddish ore on a tailings pile so took a piece in to have it assayed, an the result was astonishingly rich in gold.  The old man took sick, unfortunately, and died before being able to give directions on how to find it.  A store owner in town then discovered the ancient tunnel and told his partner about it – even drew him a map before returning to the mine.  The store owner was found dead a few days later, killed by angry Indians (this was during the 1876-77 Sioux Indian war) but the partner sold the map to an adventurer for enough money to get out of town and left.  The adventurer headed to the mine, and as you would expect was found filled with arrows a few days later not far from town.  A Frenchman believed he found the very mine a few months later, telling everyone in town that he would soon be very rich  – and he was also soon dead at the hands of hostile Indians.  So the Raspbery mine remains lost, with few even bothering to look for it.

Over on the Wyoming side of the line, a grateful Indian gave a map to his white friend as a reward for his help.  The mine was said to be in the midst of a high plateau, in a country that would not look promising for gold.  The white friend went to look for the gold bonanza but never found it.  (This may be on or near Black Butte, where recent gold discoveries may yet turn up this one.)

There are several lost silver mines supposed to be somewhere around Pactola lake – in one case two men mined the silver and sold quite a bit, only to be found murdered at their cabin – so their silver mine has never been found. 

This is only a smattering of the lost mines and ledges of the Black Hills, none so famous as those mentioned earlier, yet for a guy like me it is the medicine that was needed.  Coming to Dakota was really only a sort of “last resort” for us, hoping to sell our place in Arizona but I missed the many opportunities to search for lost mines and treasures of the Grand Canyon state – so learning we have many great lost mines (and treasures) to hunt for literally in our “back yard” has given me new incentives to get our house and other work done as soon as possible, so as to be able to go hunt these bonanzas as soon as the weather breaks. 

That is it for this edition.  Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you all find the treasures that you seek.



~ by Oroblanco on February 23, 2009.

3 Responses to “Lost Mines of the Black Hills, Dakota Territory”

  1. Hola Oro de Tayopa. excellent reading my friend. I like rasberrys, hint !

    Don Jose de La Mancha

    • We are sunk for this year due to the huge fires and drought, no raspberries to be seen. Foiled for now on that one. I hope all is well with you and yours, looking forward to seeing those stacks of gold and silver bars you are hauling out! (hint)

  2. Found a old map, Dunno if everyone in your field of interest has seen it. I do Ancestry and did a stumble upon. Just thought it may interest someone. I found it under States that tried to be in America, the search first took me to Transylvania, which oddly enough was originally most of eastern Tenn and Ky. but following my nose it brought me to “Lost Dakota” it was a little piece of land that belonged to Wyoming but was across the state line into Idaho. So oddly, Montana owns it. it is small, has no roads and according to the article, is plagued by bears. I have no interest in this except to pass along what I stumbled upon. The website says http://www.inter-connections.com and says reference to “These actual proposed stated tried to be in America, but just couldn’t make the cut”, referring to the many suggestions for states and where their boundary lines originally were as America spread west of the colonies. If you cannot locate the site I refer to, email me, I saved the picture shown on the website, indicating where the small area was originally. It was called “Lost Dakota”.

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