Legend of the Lost Dutchman

The Lost Dutchman Coffee Company website would not be complete without a word or two describing its namesake. Legend has it that located somewhere around 40-50 miles east of Phoenix Arizona in the awe-inspiring Superstition Mountains, is a hidden gold mine that has been sought by many. More than several individuals claimed to have found it over the years, only to have met with grave misfortune when they had gone back to retrieve the gold presumably hidden there.

During the 1840's the Peralta family from northern Mexico were said to have developed a rich gold mine in the Superstitions. The last expedition they made to carry gold back to Mexico was in 1848. According to legend, the large party consisting of a 200-mule train carrying ore was ambushed by Apache Indians, and all were killed except for one or two Peralta family members who escaped into Mexico. This area is known today as the Massacre Grounds.

A number of other people knew of the mine's location and some had even worked it. Numerous maps have surfaced over the years, only to “mysteriously” become lost or misplaced when interested parties pressed for facts and evidence. Men who claimed to have found the Peralta mine were unable to return to it or some disaster occurred before they could file a claim, all adding to the lore of a "lost mine."

Enter Jacob Waltz in the 1870’s. Known as "The Dutchman" (actually a native of Germany), he was said to have located the mine through the aid of a Peralta descendant. Waltz and his partner, Jacob Weiser, worked the mine and allegedly hid one or more caches of gold in the Superstitions. Most stories place the gold in the vicinity of Weaver's Needle, a well known landmark in the middle of some very rugged terrain. Weiser and two other miners were killed by Apaches, or according to some, by Waltz himself. The Apache curse had claimed its first three victims.

Some years later and in failing health, Jacob Waltz moved to Phoenix and died around 1891. He supposedly described the mine's location to Julia Thomas, a neighbor who took care of him until his death. Neither she nor many other mine seekers were able to find the "Lost Dutchman's Mine” in the years that followed. Subsequent searchers have sometimes met with foul play or even death, contributing to the superstition and legend that surround these mountains.