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Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:15 pm
by DesertWRX
historik951 wrote:Thx Somehiker,
and on Dec 14, 1962 the park closed the area. Between 1980 and 1993, another 3500 lbs was removed including some 500 pounders, the Navy contends that the area is 90% clean. But with 10% still remaining the park prefers to keep it closed, I have some friends that have been in the area with special permission and it is absolutely beautiful. Historik
You would have to assume that the area is fairly safe with the thousands of illegals that travel through there. After heavy rains explosives are sometimes exposed which makes me wonder how often does State Parks or the govt search the area for these hazards?

Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:16 pm
by somehiker
I would bet,with all the news reports of scrap metal collectors and thieves stripping anything of value,that few large pieces would be laying around.Might be fewer thieves as well....... :mrgreen:

"Hey guys,look what I found.Must be a five hundred pounder!!!!!!"

Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:10 pm
by pojotex
I think this is where Pegleg's gold is to be found. Their are Three butts in a row. This is the third one to the south. I can not go there myself due to health reasons. If someone does make it there and finds something, please let me know.
Look on Google Earth 32°56'51.34"N 116°36'27.23"W

Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:41 pm
by Jim_b
During their journey through the desert, Pegleg had gathered some pebbles which he found on top of a butte in the Colorado Desert.The butte was one of three, thus entering the significant landmark of three buttes in most versions of his story. He gathered the black pebbles thinking they were copper and carried them to Los Angeles where he later discovered they were gold. The gold is believed to be near the Anza Borrego desert in southern California

For more information on Pegleg Smith and Jacob Waltz

The area you located is not in the desert, it is too far west.

Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:37 pm
by gollum

You are absolutely correct.


You should read up on the main routes from Yuma to Los Angeles before the Salton Sea was there (pre-1905). To save you some time, the primary route was to cross the Colorado, then head into the Anza-Borrego Desert, traveling Northwest passing between Superstition Hills and Fish Creek Mt. Then go around the North side of Borrego Mt. Head up Grapevine Canyon to Warner Hot Springs, then on to L.A.

The two most possible prime locations of Pegleg's three buttes are the Superstition Hills and Borrego Mountain. The Superstition Hills consist of three good sized hills all joined together. The North side of the hills comprise a goodly chunk of the Carrizo Naval Bombing Range. Lots of unexploded ordinance there. Search the are aat your own risk. I have been through there several times, and seen a lot of these signs:


I know personally of two places where correct black nuggets have been found. Not too far apart, but accurate searching requires a few feet of blow sand to be removed first.


Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:24 am
by pojotex
Think outside the box and you will see. There was another route to the south. AND Pegleg was a mountain man.

Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:14 pm
by gollum
No need to think outside any boxes. Your spot is waaaaaaaaaay too far West of ANY route to Los Angeles.

There were only two:

1. The one I previously described

2. A little South of the first route. In the valley between the Coyote Mountains and the Fish Creek Mountains, around and up through Vallecito.

You might want to read up on the story again. Pegleg climbed to the top of those three buttes to get his bearings during a very bad dust storm. Dust storms as described DO NOT occur along route number 2. Your buttes are in the forest near Lake Cuyamaca. There is not a lick of desert anywhere near there.

Also you probably haven't read the book "Golden Dreams". I highly recommend reading it if you want to really discuss Pegleg's Black Nuggets. You will find that after drinking up the money from the gold he had, he got investors to back a couple of expeditions to try and refind those buttes. He didn't go anywhere near your spot. The search locations were from Borrego Mountain to the Colorado River, and South of there.


Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:22 pm
by Jim_b
I found this letter to editor in the 2/66 issue of Desert Magazine page 38, while working on new story for DUSA.

This letter is in reference to the story about the man who claimed he found some of PegLeg black gold nuggets.

Pegleg Mine Location . . . To the Editor: Now that the Peg-leg Mine has been found, everybody is telling everybody else where it is. This is quite funny, since nobody could find it before. From the author's statement, he knew of the mine after reading an article written by the late Henry E. Wilson in a 1946 issue of DESERT. Henry spent a lifetime seeking that mine and interviewed many people closely connected with it—Tom Cover's wife, Bill Russell, Fred Wilson who ran the Wilson's Store below Warners Ranch, where the Half Breed traded. He knew Jim Green, Fig Tree John Razon, and many, many more. Now, as long as the mine has been found, I can give the area where I hunted with Henry E. Wilson. Whether we were right or wrong, Henry is long since gone, while I have other interests and never get out to the desert any more. I am going to put down a location and maybe the mystery man who has found the mine will tell me if I am right or wrong: South of 17 Palms; north of the Convict Road (Highway 78), west of Highway 99; east of San Felipe Creek where it runs in a north and south direction before it hits Carrizo Wash. One more bit, the road the man spoke of in his story winds up at Bensons Dry Lake, but it crosses San Felipe Creek. It is north of this road. As to his story, I believe it. I sure wish he'd let us know if the above location is right. RAY

Link to Wilson story PDF ... 46-Nov.pdf

Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:51 pm
by gollum

That's a heckuva big search grid there. Almost from SR22 down to the 78, then East to the 86 and back North. From the story, it does fall within the area that needs to be searched, but it doesn't take in Borrego Mt at all. That is something I have a problem with.

As we have seen regarding the Lost Dutchman, many times people will publish inaccurate information hoping it will keep other people searching in places away from where they believe the trail ends.

The reason I like Borrego Mountain is because, according to the story as told in Golden Mirages, (short version) as the party being led by Pegleg was crossing the desert, a big Churasco blew up. Now, because of the Salton Sea, Churascos don't occur any more, but a Churasco was a very big and violent alkali sandstorm. Pegleg climbed to the top of the middle of three buttes to get his bearings (paraphrasing here) when he found the heavy black rocks. Now, officially, Borrego Mt. only has an East and West Butte, but if you were looking at it from the ground from Southeast to Northwest (this was how the group was traveling), you can see three buttes. In a big sandstorm, hills smaller than Borrego Mt, would likely not have been tall enough to get above a Churasco.

There is another reason I like Borrego Mt, but can't go into it publicly.

That search area also does not include Superstition Hills. Another place I used to like a lot for the Pegleg. Three small mountains/large hills that are seen as three buttes from the Southeast (again the direction Pegleg's Party would have been traveling). A big reason I used to like the Superstitions was because a big portion of them has been closed to the public since the late 1930s as the Carrizo Naval Bombing Range. Very few people have had the opportunity to diligently explore that location.


Re: Pegleg's Lost Mine

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:48 am
by fred cortez
I read that the story of the mailman or however found the nuggets in the posted photo was a scam if you look at his wrist you can see what do you think is it a hoax...????