The Legend Of Arizona’s Lost Dutchman Gold Mine Is Downright Deadly
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? With Arizona’s wild and violent past, you can bet there are quite a few that exist in our Southwestern state. One of the most popular Arizona legends also happens to be one of the most deadly: the Lost Dutchman’s gold mine.
Supposedly tucked away in the rugged trails of the Superstition Mountains, the legend of unfathomable riches has numerous versions and characters and each insists on being the correct story, with some dating to the first trek Spanish conquistadors made into the northern reaches of the Sonoran desert. However, the most popular dates to the late-19th century with a German immigrant, Jacob Waltz, or the Dutchman.
Waltz was indeed a real person but how much of the real and fictional aspects of his life kind of belnd together. Waltz emigrated from Germany to the United States in the 1840s and later settled in Arizona two decades later. He did some prospecting and operated a farming homestead near Phoenix until a flood wiped it out in 1891. Later that year, Waltz died from pneumonia.
It was during one of Waltz’s prospecting trips that he somehow discovered the location of hidden gold in the Superstitions. He kept the location hidden, perhaps in hopes of one day being able to take advantage of its riches when the timing was right. Whatever his reasoning, Waltz was never able to cash out. Instead he punched out without ever harvesting the hidden gold.