LOST TREASURE LEGENDS
Along with the thousands of ghost towns scattered throughout the
there are legends, stories, and hints of lost treasure.
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One caveat: PLEASE read and adhere to the Ghost Towners’ Code of Ethics..
This code of ethics also applies to treasure hunting in general.
The Lost Gunsight Lode
Gary B. Speck
was a snowy New Year's Day in 1850 and a party of Motherlode-bound emigrants were camped in an area
Towne-Martin group had separated from the rest of the emigrants and hiked
directly up and over the Panamints, wandering for
several days before finding White Sage Flat, and establishing a camp. The Jayhawkers and Briers left the
Bennett-Arcane and Wade parties, and two days after leaving Poison Springs on
the floor of
Due to the life and death situation the group was in, having nearly exhausted all their food and water, they were more interested in survival, than in silver mining. A month later, the nearly starved emigrants stumbled into Mariposa, at the southern end of the gold country. Here they started a new life, most fading into obscurity. But the memories of that rich silver remained. As the years went by, the telling and retelling of the horrors of the Death Valley Fortyniners and their lost silver ore created a legend that refused to die.
Shortly after the scattered and decimated emigrant groups had arrived in the gold country, one of the Towne group members, a Mr. Turner returned to search for the silver, but failed. He ended up at Dr. French's ranch, and in September 1850 mounted a second expedition to search for the lost silver outcropping. He took Dr. French with him. They poked and prodded and eventually ran across the remains of cattle bones and old campfires. Unfortunately their supplies were running low, so they had to return to Dr. French's ranch.
A number of other prospecting parties returned to the area also to search for the Lost Gunsight lode, but none were successful.
To actually be fair, there are several versions of the story. Numerous claims by members of the various parties differ as to who actually found the silver. The general where and when is not disputed, but the finder is.
But no matter who found it, and under what circumstances, the fact remains that the original discovery, and the several half-hearted attempts to locate it in 1850 were the key that eventually opened up the desert region for prospecting a mere decade later in 1860.
Ghost Town USA and Gary B. Speck Publications endorse the mission, purpose and goals of the FMDAC and support the rights of metal detectorists, treasure hunters and relic hunters to responsibly enjoy their hobbies as long as they abide by the “Treasure Hunters Code of Ethics,” AND our own Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics. This support DOES NOT either imply, endorse or condone violations of that code of ethics, nor does it give permission for anyone to damage or destroy historical sites; violate any local, state or federal laws; trespass or infringe on the legal rights of landowners.
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FIRST POSTED: February 07, 2004
LAST UPDATED: December 17, 2007
information posted here-in is
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by Gary B Speck Publications
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