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Thread: "Lost Gold Cache Near Redding, California"

  1. #1
    Johnnie's Avatar
    Johnnie is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Smile "Lost Gold Cache Near Redding, California"

    "Just Getting There" Is just what a Wagon Train of Mormons most likely said on their way out west in the 1850s. As they pass through the Reddings fertile valleys on their way to the tiny settlement of Horsetown, When they were forced to stop on the banks of Clear Creek by a swirling, Muddy, torrent of rageing flood waters.

    The usually quite creek and local area was being hit by a flash flood which forced the wagon train to stop and camp for a while to wait for the waters to subside. After losing several days of valuable traveling time they became impatient and decided to chance a crossing. Most of the wagons got across the river safely, But when the Bishop's wagon started across disaster struck.

    When Bishop's wagon entered the swollen river just a a little ways down from where the others crossed is where the river was deeper and one of the wagon wheels fell into a deep hole .Without warning the wagon tipped over on to side and was carried by the swirling water downstream about half mile, As the driver and the team of horses struggled to safety they watch all the cargo be wash away in the rageing water.

    According to the artical these old-timers told a reporter of the Redding Free Press issue, dated Dec.1910 and this was some 60 years later after the event, But to this reporter it sounded very interesting for upcomeing history artical he was planning to write. The story begins with an old prospector by the name William Dreestelhorst who had found a ten dollar gold coin in his sluice box in Clear Creek a small stream just north of the town of Redding, California and not far from the Whiskeytown Dam.

    The story of Drestelhorst's find would probably have gone unnoticed if he hadn't used the coin to pay a long overdue feed bill owed to McCoy Fitzgerald for keeping his burros for him, while he was out panning for gold in Clear Creek. Fitzgerald's wife took the gold coin into town and showed it to another store owner and remarked how her and husband aquired the coin, and how they wondered exactlly where this poor old prospector found this coin.

    After taking a closer look at the coin the merchant offered to buy the coin from Mrs. Fitzgerald and explained to her that this coin was not a regular minted coin but was a rare one made in hand mold by an assayer. In the early days it was common before there were mints established, for assayers to make their own coins from raw gold that miners sold to them, certifying their value by putting their inntials on the coin.

    The coin found by Drestelhorst had the words "California Gold" around the rim, a term then used by many assayers in California and this ment the coin was pure gold. It also had the initials "SMV" inscribed on it. Eventhough it apparently had laid in the stream all those years.

    Several old-timers that got wind of the find, got greatly excited with the merchants story and tried to find out where the coin was found but the two merchants keep the details of the find a secret.

    Now according to the story pass down through the Mormons, the items lost in the 1850s during thr wagon crossing was a small wooded chest containing $40,000 coins with many of them with the isitials "SMV" on the coins.

    Although the Mormons camped near the river for about a week and searched along the banks for miles up and down the the river they could not find the missing treasure chest of valuables so the search was abandoned. but later on when the stream returned to normal the search continued with no luck, So the whole incident was forgotten. That is untill this 1910 story in the Redding Free Press was released.

    This is when the most of the old-timers remember the merchants story and that started another search for the old treasure but they too had no luck. and the story was soon forgotten. Later on the merchants tried to locate the old prospector and find out more information but he had since dissappered from the area.

    Soon the two merchants search became fruitless also and they too gave up the search, and the story was forgotten once again. Now we all know the old wooden box has since rotted away, allowing the coins to settle into the sand, and gravel, and holes of the river bottom over the years. Now could all these coins still be hidden in the muddy river bottom awaiting to be rediscovered, But just like the sunken treasures that are lost and found at sea, are always known to be in great condition no mater how much time had pass. So with all the new gagets available today. Just maybe someone with a little luck, might be able to locate this lost sunken treasure of Clear Creek hear in Northern California.

    Happy treasure hunting
    Your fellow ghosttowers
    and old west researchers
    Johnnie & Sheila
    Last edited by Johnnie; 12-01-2004 at 03:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sounds fishy to me. Those old coins were made mostly around San Francisco. You say the Mormons' wagon upset near Redding as they were migrating to Calif (from Utah I suppose), so how did they acquire those coins before they arrived? BTW those old coins didn't have numismatic value until the 20th Century, so I doubt a banker or anybody else would pay a premium for it.
    If Clear Creek is as muddy as you say, those gold coins are on bedrock beneath the mud. How deep is the mud? If the creek changed course over the past 150 years (they do, ya know) those coins could be a hundred yards away from the current bed.
    If yer still determined to try out yer metal detector, search the river bank for a cutbank or dugway. The old trail makers cut out the river or stream bank with shovels to allow their wagons easy entry/exit. Although the old trail no longer exists spotting the cutbanks on both sides of the creek can pinpoint where the old crossing was.
    If you find em, let me know and I'll send you my address. Happy huntin.

  3. #3
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    Default Low Down Dirty Trick!

    Aw Geeze! Dirty Dog, why did you have to spoil it! I was so entranced and excited, i even worked out that the treasure has got to be worth at least a couple of million $$$$$$, and even got of my backside to get a shovel and a bank bag

    Then again, maybe you dont want any of us city slickers out there, maybe you are trying to keep it all a secrete again, maybe you are out there everyweek looking for the GOLD.

    Its amazing that with all the technology in the world that we still struggle to find lost treasure. How much money everyday is lost out of peoples hands and pockets throughout the world!

    I hope that there will be allways lost treasure and ghosttowns forever!

    Johnnie, thanks for a great read.

    rev dr g
    " LOVE MANY - TRUST FEW - ALLWAYS PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE " (Gilbert Banyon, ww2 Digger)

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    You have good points. There are some other problems with this story. First, Horsetown was far from the Whiskeytown dam, which was built in the early 60's. It was actually closer to the Sacramento river. This area was so heavily mined, it's an absolute mess. The ground is nothing but mountains of old mine tailings for miles. Quite possibly the ugliest waterfront I've seen. Also, the clear creek is exactly that... clear... at all times of the year, flood or not. This is because the ground is all rock, and a little sand, with basically no dirt waterside in this area. There are cliffs on the south side, with few places to cross near Horsetown. A dam was near there for 90 years. I suppose that could have kept treasure hunters from finding it for a time, even if the story was true, but I doubt anyone would look only weeks for that much gold, and then leave, when it would take a lifetime of labor to acquire $40,000 at that time. It all sounds unbelievable... unfortunately. If I thought it was possible to find, I'd be out there every day.

  5. #5

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullboy View Post
    You have good points. There are some other problems with this story. First, Horsetown was far from the Whiskeytown dam, which was built in the early 60's. It was actually closer to the Sacramento river. This area was so heavily mined, it's an absolute mess. The ground is nothing but mountains of old mine tailings for miles. Quite possibly the ugliest waterfront I've seen. Also, the clear creek is exactly that... clear... at all times of the year, flood or not. This is because the ground is all rock, and a little sand, with basically no dirt waterside in this area. There are cliffs on the south side, with few places to cross near Horsetown. A dam was near there for 90 years. I suppose that could have kept treasure hunters from finding it for a time, even if the story was true, but I doubt anyone would look only weeks for that much gold, and then leave, when it would take a lifetime of labor to acquire $40,000 at that time. It all sounds unbelievable... unfortunately. If I thought it was possible to find, I'd be out there every day.
    You don't think it could be found on a other Place?
    He could have killed anyone,who had that Gold Coin,or anyone lost it

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