Lost Dutchman Chapter 5917 Arizona

Humbug Angelo "Clamper Guido" Fauci
Plaque dedication at Apache Junction AZ..
Spring 1997


Goldfield Mining District lies just west of the towering cliffs of Superstition Mountain in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Originally named Superstition Mining District, this area has yielded millions of dollars worth of gold and silver.

In November 1892, a year and a month after the death of Jacob "Dutchman" Waltz, four prospectors from Mesa, Arizona searched the area west and north of Superstition Mountain. They found the crumbling remains of mine shafts on a very old mining camp believed to have been Old Spanish activity. Thus encouraged, J.R. Morse, C.R. Hakes, Orrin Merrill and Orlando Merrill staked claims, the first of which was the "Lucky Boy". Morse finally found a quartz vein outcrop containing gold. This led to the location of the Black Queen, Black King, Tom Thumb, Mother Hubbard and Mammoth claims.

In 1873 Charley Hall and Dennis Sullivan of Denver, Colorado leased exploration rights on these claims with option to purchase. For six months the Black Queen produced modest returns.

Then, on April 8, 1893, a cloudburst storm sent a flash flood down Goldfield Wash. An area of bedrock was exposed that was laced with gold! This was on the Mammoth claim. A shaft was sunk that followed a lode so rich it was called "The Glory Hole" and later "The Mormon Stope". This ore body was 30 feet wide, 200 feet long and 100 feet thick

By October 1893 the town of Goldfields boomed with about 30 buildings and 1500 residents. Stamp mills pounded the gold from the ore and production was phenomenal!

Nature struck again in November 1897 when another storm caused the failure of a local dam and the water flooded the Mammoth Mine. The mine was closed and after only four years the town of Goldfields was abandoned. Hall bought out Sullivan in 1904, then he died in Denver. Hall's sister sold the Mammoth and other claims to George Young.

Young re-opened operations in 1910 by setting up a large steam driven electric power plant and three pumps that drained the Mammoth. Goldfields came to life again! Young died in 1925 and the waters once again reclaimed the Mammoth.

After Young's death Mr. Severinghaus, mine superintendent, re-opened the Black Queen. An extremely rich gold vein was found which led to highgrading by the miners. The Sheriff was called in, the miners scattered and the Black Queen closed down.

In 1929 and 1933 the Apache Trail Gold Mining Company attempted to work the Mammoth with little success.

During World War II the Shumway Company bought the claims, tore down the town and sold the machinery for scrap.

In 1949 Alfred Strong Lewis and three partners set up Goldfields Mines Incorporated. Lewis had been a young mining engineer at Goldfields in 1912 - 1913. A ball mill and cyanide open pit mine was put into operation. During the earth removal at the pit area, a drag line dislodged a large rock slab close to the original Mormon Stope shaft. Under this slab was discovered an ancient mine shaft timbered with axe-hewn ironwood logs. The shaft was filled with rock rubble. Was this one of the old Spanish mines of legend ? The open pit was operated until 1950, then closed.

Sporadic mining activity continues to this day. The production of Goldfield Mining District from 1893 to 1986 is reported to be 60, 226 ounces of gold and 21, 402 ounces of silver. The three greatest producing mines were the Mammoth, Bull Dog and Black Queen. The list of mines in the Gold field Mining District include :

Mammoth, Bull Dog, Black Queen, Old Wasp, Bluebird,
Mammoth 2, Tom Thumb, Golden Hillside, Fair Strike,
Copper Crown, Palmer, Treasure Vault, High Flyer, Gold
Bond, Lazy Doc, Gold Strike, Iron Horse (Lucky Boy)
ANGELO "clamper guido" FAUCI, NGH

REFERENCES: Superstition Gold Mines and the Lost Dutchman

John D. Wilburn copyright 1978 3rd ed. 1984.

Gold field Mining District Geology and Ore Deposits

John D. Wilburn copyright 1997 1st ed. 1997

Superstition Mountain - A Ride Through Time

James Swanson and Tom Kallenborn copyright 1981 5th ed. 1993


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Last Modified: January 01, 2015