It should come as no surprise to anyone that lost gold mine and treasure tales are part and parcel of Arizona's tumultuous history. For example, the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine is arguably the most famous and persistent lost mine or treasure tale in the United States.
Gold Prospecting Books
But the famed Lost Dutchman Mine is not the topic of this post. I am here to relate to you the story of Bumblebee's Lost Gold.
Bumblebee? Yes Bumblebee, Arizona, a small ghost town tucked away in the Bradshaw Mountains of Arizona's Yavapai County. Named for a nearby creek of the same name, Bumblebee started as a stage station in 1863 and went on to service the U.S. Army as well as miners heading to and from the mines and diggings in the Bradshaws.
Two Miners and 200 Pounds of Gold in Quartz
Although many went home broke, some miners did quite well for themselves in the various gold discoveries and subsequent mining enterprises that took place in the Bradshaws during the latter part of the 1800s. The legend of Bumblebee's Lost Gold centers around two of these miners, partners who struck a rich quartz vein at an undisclosed location in the nearby mountains. How rich? Well, the ore the two "pards" mined out was so riddled with gold that it literally held the quartz rock together.
After mining out approximately 200 pounds of this fabulously rich gold in quartz and with the bitterly cold nights of winter rapidly approaching, the two miners made the decision to leave their diggings for civilization where they could sell off their ore and spend the winter in leisure, warm and well-fed. Before packing their gear the pair buried their gold nearby as a safety precaution just in case strangers with prying eyes straggled by.
Apaches, Death, and Lost Gold
After packing and camouflaging their diggings to the best of their ability, the mining "pards" prepared to depart. Without warning they were suddenly set upon by Apaches, the most ferocious and feared Native American warriors in the entire Southwest. In the ensuing struggle one of the miners was killed and the other just managed to escape, making it to the stage station at Bumblebee. There the surviving miner described the attack and the demise of his partner, but said nothing of the gold.
With fear of miserable death outweighing greed, the survivor departed the Bradshaws for safer climes. It wasn't until he was old and on his deathbed that he finally told those close to him about the 200 pounds of gold ore and what happened that fateful day. With his memory and his breath failing, the oldtimer gave directions to the treasure from a fading and somewhat cloudy memory. Despite this, no one to date has been able to locate Bumblebee's Lost Gold.
Where is the Gold?
Obviously, If I could answer that question I wouldn't be writing this post. And, chances are, I would be a man of means and wealth. But the legend of Bumblebee's Lost Gold does contain the general location of all that gold in quartz:
The gold is buried near a small wash or creek near the confluence of Slate and Squaw Creek, 3-5 miles east of Bumblebee.
There you have it. Find this location and break out your metal detector or 2-boxer. Who knows, you might just be the person who finds Bumblebee's Lost Gold.
I hope you do.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "The Lost Nuggets of Red Hill"
(c) J.R. 2008
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