The Note in a Bottle: A Tiny Tale of the Lost Dutchman Mine

6 Sep
From: Ephemera-Mines and Mineral Resources-Lost Mines-Arizona-Lost Dutchman. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

From: Ephemera-Mines and Mineral Resources-Lost Mines-Arizona-Lost Dutchman. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

We often get research questions on the Lost Dutchman Mine. The allure of lost mines captivates many people and every now and then we’ll get a call or visit from someone either interested in lost mines in general or someone who’s interested in trying to find a lost mine. The Lost Dutchman Mine is definitely the most popular lost mine request. The Lost Dutchman Mine has a very long and interesting story.

This mine, located somewhere in the Superstition Mountains, is supposed to be rich with gold ore. It was discovered by a man named Jacob Waltz in the late 1800s. Waltz came out of the mountains with a significant amount of gold, telling tales of a rich gold deposit he had found. Unfortunately, Waltz died without ever revealing the location of this gold mine. Over the years thousands of people have searched for the mine and hundreds have claimed to have found it. Although records exist to prove that Jacob Waltz himself was real, many of the details around the Lost Dutchman Mine remain mired in legend. Countless theories swirl around the location and origins of this mine.

Researching a reference question on the Lost Dutchman Mine, I happened upon the newspaper article you see above (sadly there was no legible year on it). The article was found in the Ephemera File “Mines and Mineral Resources-Lost Mines-Arizona-Lost Dutchman.” This is the first note in a bottle story I’ve come across in the archives here in Tucson and it gave me a good chuckle. Most likely, as the Deputy Sheriff says, it was a prank, but part of me can’t help but imagine poor Jake Lee stuck on the Salt River with a broken leg. I hope he got out okay.

If you want to read more about the Lost Dutchman Mine you can come into the Arizona Historical Society at our Tucson or Tempe locations (we both have information on this mine) and take a look at any materials we have. You can also check out the Apache Junction Public Library’s excellent History and Bibliography on the Lost Dutchman Mine for a brief history and an excellent suggested reading list. Happy Mine Hunting!

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