The Lost Dutchman Mine in Arizona's Superstition Mountains has eluded treasure hunters for 100 years. In the mid 1800s a large party of Mexican miners rode north from Chihuahua , Mexico and traveled 300 miles north to work gold deposits they had exploited for decades. It would be their final trip to the sacred mountains of the Apaches. Treaties and land transfers between Mexico and the United States would soon bar the Mexicans from returning to the Superstitions to work their fabulously wealthy gold mines.
In the late 1800s a prospector named Jacob Waltz—aka the Dutchman—began bringing in extremely high--grade gold ore for assay and sale. According to history and legend, it came from a discovery he had made in the Superstitions.
Many men—and a few women—attempted to talk the Dutchman into revealing the location of the rich ore. A score of men attempted to follow him to the site of his mine. Several died as a result. Following the Dutchman's death, clues and maps to the whereabouts of the treasure began making the rounds. The obsession to find the Lost Dutchman Mine had begun and men kept dying well into the 1950s.
In 1962 four friends from Arizona State University decided to trek into the Mountains to explore the lore and legends surrounding the century-old mystery about the location of the Dutchman's treasure trove.
What began as an adventure for the four ended as a disconcerting incident which left the friends both intrigued and concerned about what the final encounter might mean for their safety should they go back to the wild, dangerous and forbidding mountains.
Over the years, "new" maps and clues have surfaced. How many of those are based on fact and real and how many are outright fraud will probably never be known. Several people have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars searching for the mine. Others claimed to have found the mine but history but little evidence exists that any of that was true.
The lore, lure and location of the fabulously rich lost mine has never been resolved. Perhaps it never will.
The four friends—including the author—of this book never returned to the mountains. The first draft of this book was completed in the mid 1970s and filed away in a box of personal papers. A revision was completed in the mid 1980s and the manuscript once again packed away by the author to languish in storage; until now!
Many books have been written about the Lost Dutchman Mine. Many more will likely follow and the legend will remain alive on for another hundred years. Lust for Dutchman's Gold includes information and insight never before seen in print.
The character of the Superstitions has changed dramatically over the five decades since the four friend's adventure of a lifetime took place. In the 1970s it was designated as a federally protected Wilderness Area. With such a designation came more people. With more people came the need to "manage" their activity. With management came the loss of the true wildness of the Mountains the federal designation was supposed to preserve. Wilderness management has made access easier to people. However, it has also immensely eroded the lure of the area and pretty much ended serious searches for the gold found there. It is a beautiful and exciting area for visitors and hikers. But sadly, most of the mystery, legend and intrigue that existed 50 years ago is now gone forever.
Although Lust for Dutchman's Gold is a non-fiction work, it reads more like a novel. The reader will become immersed in the intrigue from beginning to end.