Visit the Superstition Mountain Museum
Most people in the Valley of the Sun have heard the story of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. People all over the world have come to the Superstition Mountains to risk their lives searching for it. On top of that, the area is loaded with historical significance dating back to the times of the Apache tribes. If you want to learn more about the legends and history surrounding the Superstitions, head out to the Superstition Mountain Museum!
History of the Superstition Mountain Museum
Since 1979, the Superstition Mountain Historical Society has collected and preserved the history and legends of the Superstition Mountains and the surrounding region. In 1989, the society moved into the Goldfield Ghost Town on the Apache Trail and opened a museum to the public in 1990. After 13 years in the original location, Superstition Mountain Museum moved to its new home in the foothills at the southwest end of the awe inspiring Superstition Mountains.
More on the Superstition Area
The rugged 160,000 acre Superstition Mountain range sits in the Tonto National Forest in Central Arizona. Archeological evidence indicates that civilizations existed here 9000 years ago. Later inhabitants included the Salado, Hohokam and Apache tribes, followed by Spanish explorers and Mexican Gold Miners. Early American trappers and adventurers migrated to the area and were soon followed by cattlemen and farmers. Eventually, the U.S. Cavalry was sent in to establish forts to protect this rapidly growing population. As modern times approached, men and women began searching for what they believed was the richest gold mine in the world.
The Lost Dutchman
Legend has it that a prospector named Jacob Waltz had a rich gold mine deep in the mountains east of Apache Junction. The story tells of a prospector who made periodic trips into the Superstition Mountains and returned to Phoenix with quantities of bonanza gold ore. The Dutchman took the secret of “his mine” to the grave in 1891. To this day, treasure hunters scour the mountains searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine, but now they’re surrounded by campers, hikers, horseback riders and conservationists in what has officially become the Superstition Wilderness Area.
To learn more about the history and legends of the Superstitions, pay a visit to the Superstition Mountain Museum. Directions and a current listing of special events can be found by visiting www.superstitionmountainmuseum.org.