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here to return to the State Treasure Index
!! To start this site off great
I've listed about 250 treasure leads---some for every state! Each month
I will add more stories. My goal is to have at least 1,000 treasure leads
listed here within a year. Use this information as your first step to begin
your research on your favorite treasure story.
If you have any short stories that you would like to contribute, please
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SUBMITTED STORIES FROM VARIOUS AUTHORS
1861 storekeeper Jerome Peyron was
killed by a gang of Mexicans after he refused to divulge where his wealth was
located. Peyron was known to have made frequent trips into the hills in J back
of his store at Poker Flat and it is believed that this is where he buried his
Pioneer Peter Lassen became a very wealthy land owner and rancher in
the 1820s and amassed thousands of acres along the south bank of Deer Creek.
He is known to have buried his gold coins and dust in iron pots on his
property near his home, at the confluence of Deer Creek and the Sacramento
River at Vina, or along the Lassen Trail which follows Deer Creek. Lassen was
killed by Indians at the age of 30 and his treasure hoard was never found.
- Bandits buried a cache of loot in 1893 at Adams
Point on Lake Merritt. One of the bandits was killed and the other was
arrested and sent to prison where he died. The cache has yet to be found.
On a little flat, in the hills above Lake Isabella, are the
- remains of an old fireplace. Buried in it, or
nearby, is the life savings of an old man who died suddenly from food
poisoning. The miner was known to have had several thousand dollars in coins
and bills which was never found after his death.
- A wagonload of gold, which was stolen from the
northern mines by the Mexican outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, was being driven along
the clay hills east of the old stage station at Carrizo by members of his gang
when it was ambushed by Indians. The gold and other items were stashed by the
Indians in an old burial cave under the projecting rock of a ledge.
A group of Mormons were crossing Clear Creek in the vicinity of Horsetown when
the creek was running high. They lost a chest containing $40,000 from the
tailboard of a wagon and it was impossible to recover, because of the raging
storm waters in the creek. Mormons returned the following Spring to recover
the chest, but all traces of the ford were gone and sand, rocks and gravel
covered the area. The hoard of gold coins remain lost.
A party of emigrants lost their only wagon along the old Applegate Trail, when
a lynch pin broke and it careened over a cliff. On foot, they had to bury a
large cache of gold coins somewhere S of the Cook and
Green Pass. The group lost their way and never returned to dig up the coins.
"Rattlesnake Dick" Barter and his gang is believed to have cached over $40,000
in loot from their robberies between 1852-1856 somewhere in the acreage
between Iron Mountain and Sugarloaf Peak along the ld Shasta-Yreka mule train
A stagecoach carrying 2 boxes of $50 gold slugs worth $128,000 was held up at
Weed in 1859. A posse from
Mt. Shasta came upon the scene less than a 1/2 hour later and took off after
the outlaws. They came upon 2 pack animals on the western slopes of Mt.
Shasta with empty saddlebags and, 3 miles beyond this point, overtook the
bandits and all were killed. It was reasoned that the gold, too heavy for a
fast getaway, was buried and part of the posse searched the area for a week,
but failed to locate the treasure.
An army mule train carrying $200,000 in gold coins was held up and robbed by
Modoc Indians near the old Castle Crags RR station. The gold was taken into
the crags and concealed in a cave.
- The outlaw Rattlesnake Dick and his
gang are said to have buried $106,000 in gold stolen from two stagecoach
robberies at the western foot of Mt. Shasta.
- The outlaw Rattlesnake Dick Barter
buried $40,000 in gold bullion near an old muletrain trail on the side of
the Trinity River in 1856. It has never been recovered.
In 1876, outlaws made off with
$123,000 in gold bullion from a stagcoach. The bandits reportedly buried
the treasure somewhere in the vicinity of Mytrletowne, about 8 miles E
Eureka. It was never recovered.
- $40,000 in gold coins are buried in
a cave near Castella.
- California outlaw Joaquin Murrieta
buried $175,000 between Burney and Hatcher Mountain Pass not far from Hwy.
299. His cache has never been found.
- The Rattlesnake Dick outlaw gang
allegedly buried $80,000 in gold coins in the area of Clear Creek.
- $50,000 in gold dust and nuggets
remains buried on the old Soda Creek Trail near Soda Springs.
- Charles Stewart buried a cache of
treasure on Yerba Buena Island.
- Bandits robbed a Wells Fargo stage in
1856 and were chased by a posse to an area at the base of Mt. Shasta where they
lost the trail. They picked it up later and overtook the outlaws, killing all 3
in a shootout. The loot, worth $30,000, was not found and is believed to have
been somewhere around Mt. Shasta.
- Several sacks of gold dust and nuggets
were dropped into a narrow wash and covered over with rocks and dirt by a band
of Ute Indians who stole the gold after attacking a party of 5 prospectors. The
location of this treasure, worth $50,000, is at Chimney Rock on the banks of the
- A sailing ship carrying a large amount
of gold to the San Francisco mint sailed into Shelter Cove to wait out a storm,
but ran around and washed up on the beach. Indians and renegade whites seized
the gold and carrried it up the cliffs to a small flat where the treasure was
buried. They marked the spot by placing the ship's bell in a nearby tree. When
they returned to the boat for additional salvage, soliders had arrived at the
scene and a fight had ensued. All but a few small children and women were
killed. Many years later, a group of deerhunters came upon the bell and took it
home without knowing the story. When they learned of the treasure later, efforts
to relocate the site failed. The cache is still there.
- In 1894, a worker at the San Francisco
mint made off with 290 pounds of gold and buried it near Shelter Cover. He was
captured and sent to prison for his crime, but refused to reveal the exact
locationof the loot. It was never found.
- In July of 1928, the small post office
at Willow Creek was robbed, the men escaping with $2,800. The cash was
supposedly buried either at the Cedar Flat Bridge across the Trinity River about
4 miles upriver from Burnt Ranch, or at some point up New River Canyon on the
first ranch above the mouth of New River.
- Around 1849, a man named Davenport
worked a bar on the Trinity River about 9 miles W Helena, later known as
Davenport's Bar. He took out as much as $500 in gold per day and employed a
Negro and Scotsman to help him. Both men knew that Davenport's buried his gold
somewhere around the camp and plotted to rob him of his gold. A year after he
suddenly disappeared, his body was accidently found, the skull crushed. Some 15
years later, the Scotsman confessed that the Negro had killed Davenport for an
estimated $50,000 in gold which they both dug up and reburied, intending to
recover it when things quieted down. They were the prime suspects in Davenport's
disappearance and they never returned to the site. These are his directions to
the gold cache: It is buried on a large bar on the Trinity River,
semi-circular in shape. Before you reach the bar you will come to a gorge
through which the river runs with great rapidity. It is impossible to pass
through with a mule. You will find a trail, however, leading over a steep
mountain which rises from that bar very abruptly and on the first bench you will
notice a big cliff of bluish-looking rock. Not far from the cliff stood a large
pine tree, and at the center of the distance between the cliff and the tree you
will find the gold. There are 10 to 12 stone bottles filled with gold dust, and
a canvas bag filled with coins. This treasure has never been recovered.
- Del Loma Cave is located near the base
ofa rocky ledge overlooking Hwy. 299, 30 miles W of Weaverville and extends
underground for almost 28 miles from here on New River, but it was dynamited
shut by soliders in the 1850's. In the 1850's, hostile Indians plagued the
California miners stealing their gold and, in some instances, killing the gold
seekers in an effort to force them to leave their lands. Soliders were finally
brought in and traced these hostile Indians to Del Loma Cave where it is
believed all the stolen gold and other valuables were hidden.
- "Big Jim" Fisher built a cabin in the
late 1890's at the big bend of Canyon Creek, about 200 yards up the hillside. He
took on a mining partner, frank Keenan, who built a cabin on the lower end of
Keenan Ditch, and a third named Frank Howell who moved into a cabin at the mouth
of Fisher Gulch. The men worked the rich placer area and aquired many lard and
tobacco cans full of gold nuggets which they hid at various spots around their
respective cabins. They enlisted a blacksmith to construct 3 copper boxes, each
10 x 12 x 12 inches, and each man had his own chest. Fisher buried his
gold-filled chest in the blue slide below the ditch near his cabin. Keenan
buried his box near his cabin in Butcher Gulch, near the end of the ditch.
Howell's chest was buried in the rocks behind his cabin. Howell died of a
rattlesnake bite a short time later and his chest of nuggets was never found.
Fisher and Keenan continued to work the rich creek for years afterwards and
there is no record of these frugal partners ever having spent, or removing,
their chests of gold. The two died of natural causes and their chest of gold
were never recovered. It also is believed that many smaller caches of gold
remain secreted in the same area, about 20 miles NW of Weaverville and just N of
the Canyon Creek Bridge.
- In the middle 1800's, 2 prospectors were
robbed and killed by 2 Indians of $40,000 in gold ore. Slowed by the weight of
the loot, the Indians were captured by a posse near Hall City Cave in the
Klamath Range, near Hwy. 299 W of Weaverville. In exchange for their lives, they
confessed that they had thrown the gold into a pit inside the cave, but the
posse hanged them on the spot anyway. The posse searched the cave and found the
pit to be filled with water and seemingly bottomless. They failed to recover the
gold. Some believe the treasure was buried elsewhere in or near the cave.
- About 1860, the sheriff of Trinity
County was engaged in collecting taxes and crossing a stream. His horse stumbled
and a saddlebag containing $1,000 in gold was lost. The county offered a reward
for the recovery of the saddlebag, but despite damming up the creek, it was
never found. The creek was located near Weaverville and is easily located. These
tax payments were often paid using $50 gold slugs, in common use at that time.
If so, this cache could be worth as much as $1 million to collectors today.
- In the 1850's, outlaw Rattlesnake Dick
Barter and his gang robbed a mule train of $80,600 in gold bullion while it was
traveling from the Yreka and Klamath River Mines down the Trinity Mountains. At
a rendezvous in the foothills of the mountains, 2 of the gang split half the
loot and buried the remaining $40,000 in the uplands. As the pair traveled
towards Auburn they ran into a posse and George Skinner, the one who buried the
cache, was killed and the gold never recovered. The lawmen confiscated $40,600
on the gang at that time of the capture but searchers failed to uncover the
balance. The treasure is somewhere on Trinity Mountain, part of which is in
Trinity County, with the major portion in Shast County. The holdup scene was
right on the Trinity-Shasta line at the head of Clear Creek, but the treasure
was buried an estimated 12 miles S of there, making it possible the $40,000
could be in either county.
- A freeway in Sacramento was built over a
hoard of $200 million in treasure. The huge cache is attributed to the Civil
War-era secret society known as the Knights of the Golden Circle.
- $50,000 was stolen in a robbery of a
Southern Pacific Overland Express robbery in 1894 out of Sacramento. One half of
this hoard was buried near Sheep Camp, a hobo jungle that was close to the city
at the time of the robbery. It was yet to be recovered.
- Somewhere on the hillside S of Vacaville
are buried the gold filled saddlebags of an old prospector who stopped one night
at the Pena Adobe in the 1850's. He cached his gold and died the next day
without revealing his hiding place.
- In 1884, J. William Wilcox died after
burying $50,000 in gold coins somewhere on his homesite on Andrus Island,
located in the Sacramento River opposite Rio Vista. His cache has yet to be
- In 1901, the Selby Smelter at Vallejo
Junction was robbed of $283,000 in gold bars. John Winters, an employee,
confessed that he committed the crime, removing the bars one at a time from the
vault and buried on the beach at water's edge at low tide. All of the bars were
recovered except $150,000 worth which still have yet to be located.
- After robbing the Napa-Sacramento stage
of an unknown quanity of gold, 3 bandits fled the scene with a posse in pursuit.
About to be overtaken, the 3 bandits hurriedly buried the treasure at the summit
of a slight hill about 6 miles NW of Napa. The outlaws were killed in the
shootout and the loot was never recovered.
- Antoine Rosselet came to the U.S. in
1917 and operated a successful speakeasy during the Prohibition years in San
Francisco. After the depression he sold the restaurant and bought a bar on the
North Beach and moved into an upper-middleclass section of the city with his
wife, the former Helen Riley, and changed his name. In 1948, he died of an brain
tumor, but not before he buried $750,000 worth of diamonds in a metal box in his
backyard of his home. The gems, worth an estimated $3 million today, have never
- $1 million worth of gold bullion stolen
from Ralston's Bank of California by alderman and wealthy lumber tycoon Harry
Meiggs, was buried about halfway between the old 1850's road that led from the
offices of the California Lumber Company to the Broadway Wharf in the North
Beach area of San Francisco. The gold was never recovered. The vicinity today is
built up with night clubs, restaurants and other business establishments.
- During the uprising in Peru in the
1850's, some wealthy Peruvian families loaded chests of valuables and treasure
on board an American whaling ship at Callao for safekeeping. Not wanting to wait
out the revolution, the captain sailed to Yerba Buena Island where he unloaded
the treasure and buried the hoard, intendind to pick it up on his return trip
from the Artic and deliver the valuables to their owners in Peru. The ship was
lost somewhere in the Artic whaling grounds and the treasure went unrecovered.
- In the late 1700's, a cache of Spanish
treasure contained in 2 barrels and an iron-bound chest and consisting of gold
and jewels, was secreted on Yerba Buena Island.
- In 1834, the priests of the Mission
Dolores in San Francisco placed the treasures of the mission on a vessel for
shipment to Spain. The ship capsized in a squall on the N end of Yerba Buena
Island and sank in shallow water. The chests containing the valuables were taken
ashore and buried and never recovered.
- A German whiskey smuggler named Carl
Hause had a base of operations on Point Reyes Peninsula at the edge of Drake's
Inlet just S of Inverness in the 1920's. He buried $500,000 in large gold-backed
currency somewhere between Inverness and the old Heims Ranch and was found shot
to death in his car a short time later. His cache of currency was never
- A great Mexican treasure is buried on
Angel Island. In 1870, a dying Negro said that he was the servant of a wealthy
Mexican family in the early 1850's and had helped them bury the hoard somewhere
on Angel Island. Before he could give further details of the cache, the man
- There are stories that say an Indian
buried a sack of gold coins in the vicinity of Goat Rock which has never been
- In 1892, while delivering a mine payroll
of coins to the Great Western Quicksilver Mines over a steep road below the
mine, the horses became frightened and backed the wagon over a steep grade,
scattering money all over the hillside and canyon. Some of it was never
- A large cache of coins worth $20,000 or
more and mostly gold, lies about 6 air miles NE of the Donner Party Monument,
located at Donner's Lake near Truckee and along Hwy. 40. The ill-fated Donner-Reed
party wintered in 1846-1847 at the monument marker under the most trying of
circumstances. Many of the group died of hunger, and for many years afterwards,
artifacts of this group and at least one cache of money was discovered all along
their route of travel. Another search area for the cache of coins is near the
Prosser Creek encampment where the Donner brothers died. This campsite is
located precisely within 1 mile NW of where Hwy.89 crosses Prosser Creek or
about 1/2 mile NW of Prosser House. Another suspected area is somewhere along
the deep-sand section of the trail near Humboldt Sink. Another search area is
at the Truckee Meadows campsite of the emigrants.
- In 1901, a stagecoach was robbed above
the American River Canyon between Auburn and Foresthill. Several years later the
Wells Fargo strongbox was found on a sandbar in the depths of the American River
Canyon, empty. A good many of they old timers believed that the treasure was
secreted near the site of the holdup and still remains there. The robbery site
is near a grave marked "Old Joe" above Auburn, the name of a horse shot and
killed during the holdup.
- An unnamed miner buried a quanity of
gold near his cabin which stood near the present site of Lake Vera Lodge. He
went into town for supplies and mysteriously disappeared. his cache of gold was
- In 1853, a stagecoach was held up at
Clipper Gap above the North Fork of the American River. One of the passengers
was carrying a satchel containing $4,000 in $50 gold slugs from the Mount Ophir
Mint. During the robbery, the stagecoach plummeted to the bottom of a ravine
along the North Fork of the Forest Hill Road at Clipper Gap. The satchel broke
open and the $50 slugs spilled out. All of the gold coins were found and
recovered except 3 which still await recovery today. These coins are worth about
$50,000 each to collectors today.
- $27,000 in gold contained in 2
strongboxes was stolen during a stage robbery between Nevada City and the
Sacramento wharf in 1856. The treasure was buried a few miles from Nevada City
and never recovered.
- Prospector Bill Snyder struck it rich on
his claim along one of the branches of Oregon Creek up the ridge back of
Camptonville. He amassed a large quanity of gold over the years and just as his
claim began to run out, he became seriously ill. he buried his gold, estimated
at $30,000, between 2 large pine trees in the flat area below his cabin before
seeking medical attention. the treatment took over a year before he could return
to recover his treasure. When he returned, his cabin was gone as were all the
pine trees and a sawmill now stood there and only stumps of trees remained. He
was never able to locate his cache and later died in the county home.
- A miner named Mayberry took over $40,000
in gold from his claim at Bloody Run and buried it near his cabin. Robbers
attempted to learn where his gold was buried and, when Mayberry refused to tell
them where it was, they killed him. His gold has never been found.
- In 1895, two outlaws stole$50,000 in
gold coins from a Wells Fargo shipment in a Union Pacific RR train robbery and
buried the cache in the area of a hobo jungle just outside Washington. A hobo
named John Harmons witnessed the burial, dug it up and took $5,000 from the
sacks, reburying the rest a short distance away. Harmons went on a long drinking
spree and when he returned for more money, he was unable to relocate the burial
site and the $45,000 was never recovered.
- A man by the name of Hines lived in the
area of Strawberry Valley area in the late 1800's. He is known to have
accumulated about 30 pounds of gold from his prospecting trips which he buried
somewhere in or near his house. Hines died in 1897 and his cache of gold was
- Between $18,000 and $22,000 in gold
coins was buried by a Basque sheepherder about 7 miles from Loyalton, a short
ways up Six Mile Canyon near a large, tall pine tree. The cache has never been
- In 1849, Granville Swift settled at
Bidwells Bar and hired a large number of Indians to mine his property. The mined
gold was placed in earthen jars and buried somewhere on the property. He once
made the remark that he had hidden so many jars that he could not remember
either the exact number, or their locations. Swift died in 1864. All sorts of
mysterious holes appeared on his land and around his old stone cabin. A few of
his jars were found, but the majority of seekers came, dug and departed
empty-handed. An unknown number of gold-filled jars still await recovery.
- A retired, highly-successful prospector
converted all of his gold into gold coins and settled at Yankee Hill where he
buried his hoard in the corner of the house. He accidently knocked over an oil
lamp and the house burned to the ground. A neighbor tried to help the badly
injured man, but he refused medical attention but, instead, asked for help to
dig up his money. The neighbor assisted in uncovering a tub full of coins, then
went for help. When the neighbor returned, the old man was dead and the tub
missing, presumably reburied somewhere in the area during his absence. It has
yet to be found.
- The Eskridge outlaw gang buried the loot
taken from2 successful stage robberies near the Upper Bear Creek Crossing in
1881. The treasure has been estimated at between $50,000 and $120,000 and has
never been recovered.
- The outlaw Joaquin Murrieta buried
$200,000 somewhere between Susanville and Freedonyer Oass near today's Hwy. 36.
- A prospector is known to have buried
$25,000 in gold nuggets somewhere along the banks of middle creek, 5 miles
upstream from Redding. It is still there.
- Toby Bierce was an elderly stockman who
sold horses in the Sacramento Valley around 1900. On one of his trips, he
returned to his camp at Bierce Meadow, now called Cleveland Meadow, on the S
Fork of the Trinity River with 800 silver dollars which he buried near his
cabin. Shortly afterwards he became ill and was taken to Redding where he died.
His cache of silver dollars was never found.
- In the 1860's, 2 miners were attacked
and robbed of $40,000 in gold along Beegum Creek near today's Wildwood. Later
captured by lawmen, the Indians confessed that the gold was placed in a pool of
water in limestone cave along Beegum Creek, but were hanged when they refused to
take the posse to the site. It has never been found.
- In 1863, 8 soliders played a
long-session poker gameusing their 7-months' back pay as their stakes. Lt. Jonas
Wilson won all the gold coins, some $10,000 worth, and buried the money in the
roots of a "two pronged black oak charred by lightening" for safekeeping, not
wanting to take the heavy coins into battle with the Indians. Wilson was killed
the next day and his cache went unrecovered. The search area is at the foot of
Hamen Ridge at the upper end of Hoaglin Valley near Zinia.
- In 1911, a train was robbed at a curve
within sight of Delta. A large quanity of gold was taken from the Wells Fargo
box and from a large number of loggers on board who had just been paid their
wages in gold coins. Because of the considerable weight involved, it is believed
that much of the loot was buried in the immediate area.
- An expressman was robbed of $17,000 in
gold dust at the base of Trinity Mountain in 1856. The 5 outlaws took off with
the gold and, near the head of Clear Creek, split up the loot, each burying his
own individual share. The bandits were all captured later and the confessions of
the men sent the sheriff to the site where he recovered $14,000 in gold. The
other $3,000 was never found.
- When in route from Redding to
Weaverville, an army payroll detachment was attacked by Indians. The gold
payroll was buried and only one solider managed to survive the ambush and he was
badly wounded. He marked the payroll site by sticking a rifle into the ground
and crawled away from the site. He was found and taken to French Gulch. Before
he died he told the stories, but subsequent searches failed. Many years later, 2
deer hunters came across the rifle in the French Gulch area without knowing the
- In 1892, John Ruggles and his brother
Charles robbed a stagecoach in the Blue Cut. One of the men was wounded in the
holdup and a guard on the stage killed. The 2 were captured by lawmen later and
revealed that they had open the Wells Fargo strongbox, taken out enough money to
make their getaway and buried the rest down the side of a gulch to a creek which
paralleled the stage road to Redding on Red Bluff. After their confessions, the
pair was lynched by an angry mob and the search was underway for the treasure
cache. It was never recovered and remains buried somewhere in the area of what
is known today as "Ruggles Boys Gulch". Some sources place the value at $17,000
in gold bars while others claimed it contained between $25,000 and $75,000 in
- Loot from a September, 1890 stage holdup
was buried in the vicinity of the robbery, 1/2 mile off the road and about 6
miles out of Redding heading towards Centerville. A large cache of gold coins
were taken from the strongbox as well as about $800 in passenger's valuables.
None was recovered.
- A prospector once came upon a cave in
the area of Bear Creek SE of Redding a few miles N of the county line. Crawling
into the narrow entrance he found it to be filled with relics, gold and a large
fortune of an undescribed nature. He took all he could carry and concealed the
opening. When he tried to return to the place to recover the balance of
treasure, he was unable to retrace his steps. It is believed that the cave was
the depository for loot stolen by Indians.
- Bloody Springs is located a few miles SE
of Pittsville and above the bank of the Pit River. Indians massacred an emigrant
train here that was carrying $60,000 in $20 gold coins. A lone survivor made his
way to Fort Crook and told the story, also relating that he witnessed the
Indians held a "contest" to see which of them could throw the coins across the
gorge. It ended when all the coins were either in the river or lodged in the
rocks of the gorge walls. An occasional gold piece is still found here today.
- In 1853, the Bentz and Company store in
Long Bar was robbed of 3 silver pocket watches, 2 gold pins, one ring, $500 in
$10 and $20 gold pieces, several hundred dollars in retorted quicksilver and
several dollars in gold dust and nugget specimens. The robbers are believed to
have buried the loot just N of East Biggs, 60 miles N of Sacramento.
- Highwaymen robbed the Shasta-Marysville
stage of $16,000 in gold in 1860 at Battle Creek near Lowrey's Ranch. It is
commonly believed that the strongbox was buried somewhere near the holdup site
near a dry slough. A knife and some old clothes have been found, but the gold
- The outlaws Three Fingered Jack and
Joaquin Murrieta buried a strongbox containing 250 pounds of gold nuggets worth
$140,000 on the banks of the Feather River, a few miles S of Paradise. This
hoard was never recovered.
- The outlaw Joaquin Murrieta is credited
with burying over $250,000 in loot before he was killed in 1853. In one of his
forays, he robbed a stagecoach of several hundred of pounds of gold nuggets
which he buried in a canyon a few miles S of Paradise along the Feather River
where, according to Wells Fargo officals, it remains to this day. Most of the
treasure stolen by Murrieta and his gang was cached in the area of their
robberies, primarily in Shasta and Calaveras Counties. Much has yet to be found.
- $150,000 worth of gold nuggets weighing
250 pounds, along with valuables and cash stolen from stagecoach passengers, was
buried on the muddy banks of the Feather River near the robbery and massacre
site, 5 miles S of paradise.
- The Langley family operated a paying
gold mine at (GT) Cherokee in the 1860's in the Cherokee Hills. In their
workings they found a sizeable quanity of raw diamonds and had accumulated quite
a large amount of gold dust and nuggets. The Langley's hid 2 saddlebags filled
with their raw gold and diamonds about 1/2 hour's horseback ride upthe creek
above their camp for safekeeping. The family was attacked by bandits and the
brother who hid the treasure was killed. Not knowing exactly where the cache was
made, the family never recovered the treasure. The remains of an arrastre and a
wash-out dam mark the location of the old Langley campsite today.
- In 1888, a $2,000 payroll was stolen
from a stagecoach at a point on Hwy. 29 S of Middletown and just N of the Napa
County line. The strongbox was buried either near the summit of the
Calistoga-Middletown Stage Road (Hwy. 29), or at a similar spot on the
Ida-Clayton Toll Road, SW of Middletown and just N of the Sonoma County line.
The cache of gold coins is still there. The robbery is attributed to the outlaw
- Charles B. Sterling was a rancher and
miner in 1849. He buried $5,000 in gold dust contained in a gin bottle in the
banks of a slough near French Crossing on Butte Creek for safekeeping while he
took a wagonload of produce into the mountains where he panned for gold. His
stay was longer than usual and when he returned he found that a fire had swept
the area and obliterated his landmarks. He searched for, but never found, his
bottle of gold.
- The Ruggles Brothers robbed a stagecoach
in 1892 of $50,000in gold on the old stage route between Weaverville and
Redding, the holdup taking place about 1 mile past Shasta. Charles, one of the
brothers, was badly wounded in the holdup and left behind as John Ruggles rode
off with the loot. Somewhere between Shasta and Woodland on a lonely 125
mile-long trail, John Ruggles buried the $50,000 in gold. It has never been
- Henry Gordier accumulated a fortune in
gold as a miner and, in 1857, retired from prospecting and purchased a herd of
cattle, settling down on a farm on Baxter Creek on the N side of Honey Lake and
just outside Wendel. Even with his miserly ways, Gordier was well-liked by his
neighbors and, in 1858, turned up missing. 3 unsavory characters moved into the
ranch house and claimed that they had purchased the farm and Gordier had left
the region. When his body was found in the Susan River, however, the 3 were
arrested and, after a quick trial, the men were hanged for his murder. It was
presumed that Gordier buried his accumulated gold somewhere in the area of his
cabin on Baxter Creek, estimated by friends to total some $40,000, but searchers
failed to find it.
- John Ellison Trueblood came to
California in 1852 and settled on a farm on the outskirts of Red Bluff. He
buried his money in an iron pot somewhere on his farm, 100 to 200 rare octagonal
$50 gold slugs. He was killed in an agrument over the Southern Pacific RR coming
on his land and the secret of his hidden gold died with him. This cache is worth
between $500,000 and $1 million today.
- Pioneer Peter Lassen became a very
wealthy landowner and rancher in the 1820's and amassed thousands of acres along
the S bank of Deer Creek. He is known to have buried his coins and dust in iron
pots on his property near his home, at the confluence of Deer Creek and the
Sacremento River at Vina or along the Lassen Trail which follows Deer Creek.
Lassen was killed by Piute Indians at the age of 30 and his treasure hoard was
- In 1873, Tiburcio Vasquez and his
outlaws raided the stage stop of Kingston. The bandits bound 39 men and robbed
three area stores before the alarm was given. In their mad dash to their horses,
3 were shot and killed. The man carrying the loot was wounded but managed to
make his way across the river. Finding no horse, he buried the money and tried
to escape on foot. A skeleton was found years later and the treasure was never
recovered. The town of Kingston is no longer in existance in Lassen County and
does not appear on any of this author's maps.
- Cape Mendocino has been the scene of
numberous shipwrecks. One of these vessels was supposedly carrying miners from
Alaska and $65,000 in gold bullion. The captain managed to get the ship's safe
ashore and buried it within sight of Hwy. 1. The safe and its contents were
never recovered and most searches for this treasure have concentrated in the
area just N of Mendocino while some researchers claimed it was buried in Russian
- In 1867, Henry Sung How was employed by the Southern Pacific RR as a
construction worker laying tracks. He became involved with an outlaw gang and
robbed the RR of its payroll. With a posse in hot pursuit, the gang split the
loot, each member getting $10,000 in gold coins. The other members of the gang
were shot and killed by the posse and their share of the money recovered, but
How holed up and managed to fend off the lawmen for quite some time until he was
finally shot and killed. The posse searched for his share of the loot but it was
never found. The location is about halfway between Blue Canyon and Placerville,
about 4 miles N of Balderston Station and 16-18 miles N of Placerville.
- In the 1880's, Hiram Neal owned 600 acres of land near Bottle Hill.
When he was in his 70's, he confided to his nieces and nephews that there was a
rich gold deposit on the property and showed them a gallon jug filled with acorn
sized nuggets. Shortly afterwards, on his deathbed, he refused to reveal where
the rich gold ledge was located, nor where the gallon jug of gold nuggets was
buried, saying only that it was "buried nearby." After his death, and for many
years, the relatives searched for both the mine and jug, but neither was ever
- A stranger camped below an overhanging ledge and discovered a rich
outcropping and took out 37 pounds of gold. Before an emergency trip of some
nature to Napa Valley, he covered the site intending to return but was killed in
an accident. His ledge, in the hills near Garden Valley, has yet to be found.