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Twelve and One Nevada Lost Treasure Tales

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JD400   Friday, 05/31/19 12:04:07 AM
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Twelve and One Nevada Lost Treasure Tales

MMGYS*Lost Treasure by State Series

Nevada Lost Treasure

Gold coins are said to be hidden in the hills of Genoa, Nevada, photo 1890.

There are a number of treasures said to be hidden in Nevada.

Here are just some of them waiting for you to find them



Lost Nevada Treasures Just Waiting To Be Found

Churchill County – In western Nevada, along the 70-mile long Stillwater Range, the Shoshone Indians once roamed freely. Hidden somewhere in this remotely populated area is said to be a source of rich silver ore called the Shoshone Lost Ledge. The range also extends into Pershing County.

Elko County – In the winter of 1846 and 1847 the ill-fated Donner expedition was stranded in the High Sierras. Legend has it that money was hidden in the region of Shafter in Elko County that has never been recovered.

Esmerelda County:

Columbus – Near the old remnants of Columbus, is said to be a hidden cache taken from highwaymen back in the days when Columbus was a prosperous mining town. Columbus is five miles southwest of US 95.

Another mining operation continues about two miles south of the original site which houses a few 1950’s style buildings. The original townsite is in the nearby hills, where you can find a few foundations

Goldfield – On September 3, 1913, a flash flood struck Goldfield and reportedly washed two safes containing hundreds of gold coins down a gully west of town. The flood created a lot of mud and the two safes were undoubtedly buried in the muck and the mire. To this day, they have never been found.

Goldfield – Twenty sacks of high-grade gold ore valued at $1,000 each were reportedly buried by two prospectors in 1910 in a mine dump between Goldfield and Diamond field. Before they could recover their hidden cache, both men died and according to the legend, the gold still remains hidden there somewhere.
There are a number of treasures said to be hidden around Goldfield, Nevada.

There are a number of treasures said to be hidden around Goldfield, Nevada.

Goldfield – During Goldfield’s mining heydays, one of the mines employed a man named Harry Bishop, a geologist and mining school graduate. During a cave-in at the mine, Bishop’s leg was trapped beneath the rubble and after having been rescued, his leg had to be amputated. Unable to work in the mines any longer, Bishop was forced to take a lower paying job at the smelter.

Bitter at the loss of both his leg and his income, the geologist blamed the accident on greedy mine owners. Finding a way to satisfy his revenge, Bishop began to smuggle gold out of the smelter in his hollowed out wooden leg The geologist was eventually caught, arrested and sent to prison. During the investigation, authorities searched his home, finding some 90 ingots hidden in a false wall in his basement. Valued at approximately $50,000, the amount was found to correspond with the company’s, who had valued its loss at well over $100,000 worth of gold. Bishop never returned to Goldfield and many believe it is still hidden there.

Sandspring – In the 1860’s, William Henry Knight, a map maker for the United States Department of the Interior, was gathering data for maps of the Pacific States when he came upon a cave who’s walls were said to have been laced with gold. But, even a mapmaker can lose his sense of direction in the many mountains of western Nevada. Once he left, he was never again able to find the cave that was allegedly in a small mountain range near the Sand Spring known as Painted Hills. Sand spring is on the northeast side of the White Mountains of Esmeralda County.

Lincoln County – Lost gold from a Mormon caravan, traveling between Cave Valley and Ash Meadows near Carp, in Lincoln County, has never been located.

Mineral County – A payroll intended for workers at the Candaleria Mines was stolen long ago and is said to be hidden near Mina in Mineral County.

Nye County – One of the more interesting treasure tales of Nevada is the lost Whiskey Cache. Around 1880 a freighter was hauling a wagon load of 100-proof whiskey casks from northern California to the mining camps of northern Arizona. However, when he was about 23 miles south of Beatty he encountered a terrible sandstorm. Taking shelter under his wagon, the storm raged through the night. The next morning, he awoke to find his animals gone and after several days made it on foot to a ranch in Oasis Valley. When he returned to retrieve his wagon, it was gone. Thought to have been buried on the shifting sands of the dunes, the wagon was never found. So, what good is a load of century-old whiskey, even if it could possibly still be intact? Oddly enough, the desert has a way of preserving everything, and that old load of casks would be worth a lot of money to whiskey connoisseurs of today.

Pahranagat Valley – About ten miles south of Hiko, Nevada in the Pahranagat Valley, $50,000 in gold coins are said to be buried in several zinc-capped jars. Supposedly this cache was buried by a camper in 1867 under an old oak grove of trees.

Spring Mountains – Near Mountain Springs in the Spring Mountains is said to be buried two chests of silver coins.

Storey County – Long ago a large gold cache was stolen from Virginia City and is said to be buried near an arch of stone that stands five feet wide and five feet tall. The arch is located in the rugged country northwest of Virginia City.

A bank robber’s treasure is said to be hidden near Six Mile Canyon near the road from Carson City to the ghost town of Ramsey.

Washoe County – In the 1880’s a prospector working near Tohakum peak allegedly hit paydirt and buried some $250,000 in gold ore. The hidden cache is thought to be located about two miles northeast of the north tip of Pyramid Lake.

White Pine County – Pogue’s Station, southeast of Eureka, was the only source of water for miles back in the 1870’s. The adobe stage station was built to serve Pritchard’s Fast Freight Route where stock was exchanged and also provided water to travelers between Palisade and Pioche. A man by the name of Jim Pogue was hired as the stationmaster and soon built a barn, corrals, and a simple cabin nearby. Though the freight route continued only into the 1880’s, Pogue continued to live there until he died in 1915. Almost immediately, rumors began that the stationmaster had hidden a fortune in gold coins nearby. Treasure hunters flocked to the site, destroying the old station and outbuildings and pocking the land with holes, only to come up with nothing. Though the site has been thoroughly searched time and time again, the legend continues. The site, which has been reduced to nothing more than traces of the station’s foundation, is on SR 20, 16 miles south of its junction with US 50 about 67 miles west of Ely.



Stolen Loot at the Truckee River

Virginia City, Nevada, 1866

It wasn’t just gold and silver miners who flooded Nevada in the late 1800s in search of their fortunes. Nevada, like other states of the Wild West, attracted its share of outlaws and bandits. One such man, named Andrew Jackson “Jack” Davis, led a gang of thieves involved in robbing stage stops, bullion wagons, and trains in Western Nevada.

First arriving in the area in 1859, Davis led two different lives. To the outside world he looked like a legitimate business man when he set up a livery stable in Gold Hill. However, in his “spare” time, Davis and his gang took to the bandit road, taking gold and bullion from any source they could find.

Davis built a small bullion mill in Six Mile Canyon east of Virginia City, Nevada and melted down his stolen gold, selling it as legitimate gold bars. He then buried his proceeds so people would not notice or catch on to how wealthy he really was.

On November 4, 1870 the gang robbed the express car of the Central Pacific Railroad near Verdi, Nevada taking some $40,000 in gold coins and bullion. Pursued by lawmen, they were said to have buried the stolen cache along the north bank of the Truckee River, between Reno and Laughton’s Hot Springs west of town, near the site of the long-abandoned River Inn.

The entire gang was apprehended and all were sent to the Nevada State Prison, but would not tell where they had hidden their stolen loot.

In 1875, Davis was paroled but two years later, he was shot in the back during a Wells Fargo stagecoach robbery near Warm Springs, Nevada. If Davis ever returned for his cache is unknown, but many believe it is still hidden in Six-Mile Canyon or in the vicinity of the Truckee River. Treasure hunters have long searched these two locations without success.

Another legend abounds that the ghost of Jack Davis protects his treasure in the canyon. Many who have looked for the treasure have been frightened away by the white screaming phantom that is said to sometimes sprout wings and rise into the air

Big Jack Davis – Nevada Outlaw

Virginia City, Nevada, 1866


Though Andrew Jackson “Big Jack” Davis started out as an honest miner, shortly after he moved from California to Nevada, the course of his career changed. A well-educated and intelligent man, “Jack” Davis had been mining in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but when he didn’t find his fortune in gold, he moved on to the Comstock Lode in Nevada Territory in late 1859. This time; however, rather than working as a miner, he felt that his fortune might be made in providing services to the miners, rather than carrying on the back-breaking work of actual mining, and soon built the first stable in Gold Hill.

As he soon tired of shoveling hay, grain and manure, Davis then leased a small bullion mill in Six Mile Canyon east of Virginia City, Nevada. The mill, in addition to providing services to area miners, was also doing a bit of underhanded work.

By all appearances, Davis was a legitimate businessman, but he was surreptitiously rounding up a gang of thieves that was soon be involved in robbing stagecoaches, bullion wagons, and trains in Western Nevada. Using his mill to melt down the stolen gold, he was soon selling “legitimate” gold bars.

Train Robbery

On November 4, 1870, Davis led the gang in holding up the Central Pacific Railroad between Verdi and Reno, Nevada. Along with gang members, John Squires, James Gilchrist, Tilton Cockerill, and R.A. Jones, the robbers boarded the train at Verdi and when it reached a deserted stretch of track paralleling the Truckee River, the robbers slipped the pin behind the express car, and the passenger coaches fell back. As they entered the Express car, the Wells-Fargo messenger gave the outlaws no trouble. They then ordered the engineer to pull to a stop at an abandoned stone quarry and the robbers rode off with nearly $40,000 in gold and silver coins.

Though the outlaws had done a “good” job robbing the train and getting the lead on their pursuers, they would be undone by R.A. Jones, when he began to spend his share of the loot foolishly. Unable to explain his newly found wealth, he was picked up for questioning in the robbery, soon confessed and named the others. Much of the stolen cache was said to have been returned to the company, but the rest was allegedly buried along the north bank of the Truckee River, between Reno and Laughton’s Hot Springs west of town, near the site of the long-abandoned River Inn. (see Stolen Loot at the Truckee River)

All five of the men were sentenced serve time in the Nevada State Prison. Davis was sentenced to serve ten years. In 1871, 29 prison inmates broke out in the largest prison escape in the West. The inmates included three of Verdi train robbers, but, though Davis could easily have left with the others, he refused. Later, he cooperated with prison officials on providing information on the escapees. The prison warden, P.C. Hyman later wrote to the Board of Pardons, explaining Davis’ assistance and requesting his release. He was let go on February 16, 1875.

Though Davis had been a model prisoner, it didn’t take him long to return to his old ways after his release. He was soon robbing stages again. He was very careful to rob only those stages that carried one shot-gun messenger, but his cautiousness in the end, would not be enough. On September 3, 1877, he went to rob a stagecoach at Warm Springs, Nevada. During the attempted robbery, he was shot and killed.

Treasure hunters have long searched in Six-Mile Canyon and along the Truckee River, looking for the gold that Davis was said to have buried, without success. Another legends abounds that the treasure is protected by the ghost of Jack Davis who appears as a white screaming phantom to scare the hunters away.



Wishing Everyone A Nice Safe Weekend

Thank You

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