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Legends of Lost Treasure; Weber County, UT

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Presentation on theme: "Legends of Lost Treasure; Weber County, UT"— Presentation transcript:

1 Legends of Lost Treasure; Weber County, UT

2 Many books have been written about the treasures supposedly buried and lost in the state of Utah.

3 Fortunes and treasures have been “lost” throughout history in many ways: * The locations of productive mines were kept secret but then forgotten as years passed. * People hid or buried their money or treasures to keep others from getting it, and then they died before digging it back up. * Robbers hid their stolen loot to keep law officials from finding it, but then were unable to retrieve it for one reason or another.

4 Here are Somes Locals Legends of lost Treasure…

5 The McDonald Mine in Taylor Canyon
Around 1899, a man named McDonald found a lucrative gold mine in Taylor Canyon around the top of 27th street. He went into the mountainside about 100 feet, built a cabin on the floor of the canyon below, and worked the mine for several years. He had to leave for California in 1911, and he didn’t return until 1937. He was old and sick and couldn’t get around well, so he told his two sons how to find the mine, but they hunted for many days and could never find it or the cabin. The mystery in this story today includes not only the location of the missing mine and cabin, but the reason for McDonald’s return: had he left some treasure still hidden in the mine (or around it) that he came back to retrieve? If so, is it still waiting to be found?

6 Call’s Fort; Brigham City
Call’s Fort; Brigham City * In 1870, George Witherell was a stage coach driver between Ogden and Corrine. A few days before Christmas, 4 men boarded his coach in Ogden with a heavy trunk, which was placed at the rear of the stage. Just south of Brigham City, the coach was stopped by several tough-looking guys claiming to be “the law.” They didn’t show badges, but they took the 4 men and their luggage and waived Witherell on. No one mentioned the trunk, so it was still aboard when the coach took off. * His curiosity aroused, Witherell opened the forgotten trunk, once he reached Corrine. He was amazed to find it packed with bundles of paper money, along with a small chest full of gold coins. Not above a little thievery himself, he loaded the trunk into his buckboard and drove off into the night with it. It was snowing, and Ed Neal, the stableman, later recalled that Witherell headed toward Call’s Fort near Brigham City, which was odd because it was no longer in use. He returned two hours later without the trunk. * The “lawmen” that captured the 4 men later showed up and demanded the trunk. Witherell swore he knew nothing about it. They told him not to leave town. Scared, however, he decided to hide out for a while in a sheep-herding camp in CO. There he killed an old sheep-herder one night for his gold watch and was sent to prison. He was released in 1887, but within days he killed another man in a drunken brawl, and he was hung from a telegraph pole before law officials could arrive. The secret of his buried cache died with him, and while the paper money would certainly have rotted away by now, the gold coins would be worth a LOT more today!

7 Stolen Army Payroll In 1858, General Albert Johnston’s Army camped near Salt Lake. Old newspaper accounts tell how a lone bandit stole one of the army’s payroll deliveries of gold. An army posse pursued him, and his horse fell and broke a leg. The posse found the horse, but the bandit got away with the gold. * In the morning the posse tracked down the bandit, who was hiding in the waist-high brush. He was killed in a gunfight, but the gold was never found. He must have hidden it nearby, and since it was a big enough payroll to pay 2500 soldiers, there must have been a LOT of it!

8 Spanish Treasure Cave In 1888, a young miner named Herschell Hill was prospecting in Black Rock Desert near Fillmore. A storm came up, and Hill, who’d become lost, found shelter in slit-like opening in a low-lying wall-like cliff. He inched his way through the opening until he entered a room-like chamber. In it were animal hides and rotted leather pack sacks. The sacks were stacked upon each other, and strange yellow grains the size of wheat spilled from them. Hill picked some up, was surprised how heavy they were, and realized they were gold. He filled his pockets with as much as he could carry. When the storm was over, he wandered for a long time before he finally reached Fillmore. He was never able to find the treasure cave again. Then in 1929, a sheep-herder who had spent the winter in the Black Rock Desert, quit his job and showed up in an Ogden pawn shop to sell a sack full of gold that looked like grains of wheat. Federal officers wanted to question him about the gold, but he disappeared before anyone could.

9 And there are many MORE stories!

10 FYI-- Other Weber-Area Forts in the 1800s:
Fort Buenaventura became known as Brown’s Fort after Miles Goodyear moved and James Brown was placed in charge of it. Farr’s Fort was built in 1850 at the mouth of Ogden Canyon where Lorin Farr located his grist mill. Brigham’s Fort, built in 1853, was north of present-day 2nd Street and west of Washington Blvd, on the banks of Ogden River. Mound Fort was located between 9th and 12th, west of Wash. Blvd. In 1884 it boasted a population of 100 people!

11 Now, OUR JOB: Use our research from today to
Create a story from the past in which treasure is hidden or lost, and Combine with a story from the present in which the treasure is found!

12 Treasure-Story Idea Examples:
LOST / HIDDEN by: FOUND by:___________ * The payroll robber who was * A girl in a newly built home killed by another robber on acres out near the lake. * A miner trying to protect his * His 2 great-great-nephews fortune from thieves after they find his journal. * A trapper who stumbles upon * A group of school friends a Spanish treasure in cave, who hear of the legend and but then forgets where it was set off to find the cave.


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