Skip to comments.Body of man who hunted legendary 'Lost Dutchman's' gold mine believed found in Arizona mountains
Posted on 11/29/2012 12:58:04 PM PST by smokingfrog
Three years ago, a Denver bellhop ventured into Arizonas Superstition Mountains determined to find the Lost Dutchmans Mine, an elusive, vast gold reserve that has lured prospectors since the 19th century.
Jesse Capen, 35, had made finding the hidden treasure an obsession fueled by more than 100 books and maps on the legendary and perhaps nonexistent mine named for German immigrant Jacob "The Dutchman" Waltz. On Saturday, years after Capens Jeep, wallet, backpack and cellphone were found by hikers, volunteers from the Superstition Search and Rescue finally located what they believe is Capens body.
We call em Dutch hunters out here, said Superstition Search and Rescue Director Robert Cooper. Theyre infatuated with all the lore and the history of the lost Dutchman mine and he was part of that.
While the remains have yet to be positively identified, Cooper said hes confident the remains are that of Capen based on where the body was found, clothing found nearby and other identifying characteristics. The body, Cooper said, was found in a crevice roughly 35 feet up a cliff face in the southern portion of the Superstition Mountains, near the 4,892-foot Tortilla Mountain.
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I didn’t realize the Lost Duchman mine was located just outside Miami.
My dad did some cowboying in the area in the 1930s, he was shot at once when looking for the mine, he always wanted to do more searching on the mountain, but went into the Navy instead, in 1939, looking for some peace and quiet perhaps.
It's not too difficult to get shot out in that area especially since it's become a fairly popular area for some rather illicit "farming".
Did they check “Gold Canyon” on the map?
Thats a bit far from the Carribean
Any time I start thinking I’m gonna win something, or stumble up on a gold mine, or somebody’s gonna give me something (except maybe Obamaloot); I get in front of the mirror early in the morning right after I just wake up, before I brush my hair or my teeth, don’t hold my belly in, drool a little down my chin - then I realize I’m not going to be likely to stumble up on the Lost Dutchman Mine that particular day. It keeps me grounded. - Being a Twinkie; I’m already humbled by my circumstances.
What illicit farming were they doing in the mountains, in the 1930s?
There are still some places reasonably close to civilization in this country that it's insane to wander into without a posse or at least a horse.
You can visit the Superstition Mountains and search for the lost Dutchman's mine. The Superstition wilderness area lies about 30 miles east of Phoenix just past Apache Junction and near the reconstructed mining town of Goldfield. Lost Dutchman State Park with its campground lies at the foot of the mountains. Jerry Gargalione, proprietor of the Goldfield Bed and Breakfast would be happy to rent you a room in Goldfield and regale you with tales of the Dutchman's gold. The best time to visit this area is late fall through early spring when the temperatures are more bearable. Intense heat and lack of water makes the Superstition Mountains inhospitable and dangerous during the summer. Be careful! There are still a lot of crazy gold seekers crawling through those rugged mountains.
—lunch and a sasparilla is always good at Tortilla Flats—
Seriously doubt “farming” of anything was going on in those days....................
Ahh, my old stomping grounds.
Sure miss it sometimes, and the way politics in CO are going, I may go back.
Headed down in a couple of weeks for Christmas.
I love this story. I have the books going back to an original Sims Ely. I have hiked the range just for fun and like to think the story is still real. AG Bob Corbin has a book that is supposed to close it out. It doesn’t.
It’s under Canyon Lake. The government covered it with the lake many years ago to keep it for themselves
The restaurant at Tortilla Flat serves great chile.
Tortilla Flat is a pretty cool little “town”. plus the road there is a crooked as politician.
Around February, a Renaissance festival is held outside Apache Junction, practically in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains, which seem to be an odd backdrop for such an event.
Growing up, I could see Weaver’s Needle from my back yard. There were a lot of very successful mines over the last 150 years. My hometown, Superior had the Magma Mine, the Silver King, Silver Queen, LS&A (Lake Superior and Arizona Mine - thus the name of the town and a great place to play, I thought), and the Belmont (a gold mine). Miami and Globe had almost a dozen different mines.
The Superstitions, at least the part most often searched, don’t really have the geology in which one would expect an ore body. Superior was near Picket Post Mountain, an ancient and now eroded volcanic plug. There were many mineralized areas and several viable ore bodies near it.
The Barnett brothers, Joe and Walt were known to make moonshine in the early 1930’s but I doubt they grew their corn. They reportedly believed that Waltz got his gold from the Apaches in exchange for guns and ammo. Barnett canyon (sp?) was their ranch location and a shallow cave near the foundations of their old house has (or had fifty years ago) the coils and boiler of their still.
I have hiked out in the Supes 20 times this year. Went out June 30th and the next day a guy went out on the same trail we did and ended up dying out there.
The Supes are beautiful but deadly and oh so hot. You get out there in the late spring to early fall time period and run out of water and it’s curtains for you.
Practice safe hiking!
I always heard that the Dutchman had stumbled on a cache of stolen ore and never really had a mine. Was always fascinated with the story though.
It's about finding the gold.
The Lost Dutchman mine is bogus. Someone who knows a bare minimum about prospecting looks for gold where there are veins of quartz. And the Superstitions have those.
But otherwise, the Superstitions are completely wrong for gold mining.
Another false lead in the area is Weaver’s needle, a volcanic tower that was the core or a now eroded volcano. Fools prospect around its base, and find nothing, but were they to go further away, and locate its volcanic “skirt”, where the volcanic rock greets the metamorphic or sedimentary rock, there *might* be some gold, but only at depth, not on the surface.
In my 50’s (the first trip to Alaska) I wanted to find an old prospector with a mule and grubstake him for 3 months and the both of us will go gold mining, just working the streams in Alaska and you can find gold. Talked to a couple of permanent residents that go out every week end looking for gold...they find enought to keep them going back...that would be a great vacation...
If you study the legend hard enough, you come to the conclusion that the “mine” is a Mexican legend of hidden treasure.
You are correct that the crystal outcropping is not present.
Walter Brennan - Dutchman’s Gold
My dad did some prospecting and dirt biking in the Superstitions in the ‘60’s and got shot at. He and the guy he was with returned fire,and the shooting stopped. He speculated that he was near the Dutchman and was shot at by the Indian tribe charged with guarding the mine.
Funny thing is - I’ve heard similar stories from others who have been in the Superstitions. There’s something strange going on in them there hills and it goes way back. That’s why they’re called the Superstition mountains.
If someone wanted to start camping and searching that area, can you recommend a direct line to the most interesting place?