Could the Lost Dutchman, Black Maverick and Doc Thorn mines be one in the same?

Rich specimen of gold in quartz

Gold in quartz

The Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, could it really be the same as the Black Maverick, or Doc Thorn?

Every once in a while, someone comes forward with a theory that links the famous Lost Dutchman gold mine with other legends of the southwest, or even farther afield.  Among the legends that have been so linked, includes the most famous lost mine group of Mexico, Tayopa, or the group of mines associated with the Jesuit mission at Tumacacori, or the lost Adams.  These examples all have quite different histories and other important differences not to mention the general locations are quite far apart.
Rarely do we ever hear of anyone proposing other lost mine legends as being one and the same with the lost mine of Jacob Waltz, mines which are not believed to be located in distant regions and with interesting similarities.  There are lost mine legends that fit this bill, such as the lost Doc Thorn (also spelled Thorne) mine.

The story of Doc Thorn goes that he was captured by Apaches (or in one version by Navajos) and in return for successfully treating a number of them for sickness, was then blindfolded and led to a narrow, rocky canyon where he was allowed to pick up all the gold he could carry on his horse.  He noticed the ore vein in the canyon, a white quartz loaded with visible gold, around a foot thick, which ran from the floor of the canyon up onto the side.  According to the story, he could clearly see the outline of Four Peaks on the horizon, and he believed that he could return to the spot quite easily.  He was mistaken and never managed to find it again.
Then there is the lost Black Maverick gold mine.  The story goes that a Yaqui Indian working as a cowboy for a ranch located on the east side of Four Peaks was chasing a maverick black bull, and as he lariated the young bull the animal’s foot broke through a covering on top of an old mine.  (One version has it that it is the cowhand’s horse that puts a foot through rather than the bull.) The logs which had made up the cover had rotted.  The mine was not large nor deep, perhaps a dozen feet or so, and had a vein of white quartz loaded with visible gold, about a foot thick.  When he returned to the ranch and showed samples of the ore, others tried to entice him to lead them back to the mine but he could not be swayed.

Other mines which have some interesting similarities are the Lost Pick, which had that same description of the ore and vein, and drew the name from a rusted pick head found nearby.  The Pima Gold legend is also similar, but the location being near the top of a ridge is quite different, and the finding of two skeletons is another point of variance.  Another mine with some notable similarities, but located in fairly distant country is the lost gold mine of Squaw Hollow.

Is it possible that others had found the same gold vein as Jacob Waltz, perhaps coming in to it from a different direction, and thus on returning and telling of the find, creating what appears to be a separate and different lost mine legend?   I strongly suspect this is the case.  I did a careful point by point comparison a few years back and came to the conclusion that the Black Maverick is very likely the lost Dutchman, Doc Thorn’s ledge is quite possible, and the lost Pick may also be the same mine.  The fact that the locations where these mines are supposed to be are not all concentrated in one spot may be due to the routes taken by the people who discovered them; and we really don’t know where any of them are truly located.  We don’t even know which side of the Salt River they might be on for that matter, for you can easily see the prominent mountain Four Peaks over a vast area.

Thinking that the Lost Dutchman is one and the same with the Black Maverick has not proven to be any help in locating the mine, at least not for me.  My wife and I have gone looking for most of these lost mines in the belief they were a separate mine.  In retrospect perhaps if we had kept the various clues associated with Waltz’s mine in mind, we may have noticed something that could lead to a discovery.   In earlier days of Dutch-hunting, a fair number of treasure hunters were of the opinion that the lost Doc Thorn was the same mine as that of Jacob Waltz, the differences in description being attributable to the fact that Thorn had visited it years before Waltz had been to it, which explains why there was no mine shaft or other indications of having been worked.   Today this idea seems to have fallen out of favor, though perhaps without good reason.

This theory could be completely wrong, and the western states as well as northern Mexico have many hundreds of lost mines and ledges which are certainly not related, so it could be oversimplifying to be associating several lost mines with the Dutchman’s.  Thousands of people go searching for the Lost Dutchman every year, with the others one rarely ever encounters a treasure hunter or prospector actively looking for them.  About the only thing which could ever prove this theory true and settle the question would be when someone should find the lost Dutchman mine, and then some comparisons could be made with the various points concerning the Black Maverick, Doc Thorn, lost Pick and perhaps the Pima and Squaw Hollow as well.

Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.  And should you find the Lost Dutchman gold mine, please let me know if you find a rusty pick near by?


~ by Oroblanco on December 5, 2011.

One Response to “Could the Lost Dutchman, Black Maverick and Doc Thorn mines be one in the same?”

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