Tag Archives: miner

Montana Mine Correspondence

22 Nov
I love the letterhead symbol on this one. 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.

Honestly, I just love the letterhead symbol on this one. If you look closely you can see parts of a tank. 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.

Lately I’ve been working my way through the correspondence series of the Montana Mine Collection. The majority of the correspondence, outside of that which is related to the financial business of the mine, is actually from a later period of the mine’s existence, when it was owned by a Mr. Hugo Miller. Most of this is the Miller family’s personal correspondence, offering an interesting insight into the lives of this entrepreneurial southern Arizona family.

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.

Living with a miner is never easy! 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.

Miller owned an assay office in Nogales and mined on the side. It was not uncommon in the past for men and women with minds for business and an eye for good opportunities to work a mining claim into their business investments. Even now it’s not unusual for private citizens here in Arizona to have ownership of a small mine in the area that they work on periodically as they have free time. The letter you see below is an excerpt from a letter from Mrs. Gladys Miller to a friend and mentions the reality of living with the sort of jack-of-all-trades entrepreneur of a man that Mr. Miller was. From the excerpt you can tell that the Millers had great business acumen, even taking  boarders in their house to make some extra money. This correspondence suggests that the Miller family was a hard working one.

The letter below was interesting because of the context of the attached newspaper clipping. Again, this is a rare glimpse into the daily realities of living in past times. In this case, wartime rationing takes center stage as a friend, Edna, writes to ask whether the newspaper article is true and then asks her friend, Gladys, to purchase extra Nylons for her! Rationing during wartime meant people had to get creative in their daily lives to continue on as normally as possible. Having a friend who could easily get across the border to purchase stockings in Mexico definitely would have been an advantage. This is just another example of how people worked together and created good relationships during times of hardship.

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.

A clever way to circumvent wartime rationing. 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.

These letters are all great examples of how the correspondence in a collection can yield really interesting insights into the past. Whether it’s fun snippets such as these I’ve shared above or more serious historical connections, correspondence is always a treasure trove of historical moments.

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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!