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  #1  
Old 04-19-2008, 07:51 PM
Westernlegend1 Westernlegend1 is offline
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Default Oregon Treasure Stories

Josephine County
Tales From Merlin


This site was started with the Southern Pacific rail road creating a station called Jump-Off Joe. The original post office name was “McAllister,” but that was crossed out for whatever reason and Brandt was used in its place. In 1891, the town name was changed to Merlin due to the numbers of pigeon hawks in the area. By 1886, there were two schools. The first was the Jump-Off Joe district and the second was the Louse Creek School District. A single brick school was built in 1912, at the site of the present elementary school. Merlin grew fast but in 1915, a fire destroyed a whole block of important buildings including the post office and train depot. Located nearby is the famous Hellgate Canyon where Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) and other Westerns were filmed.
Several treasure tales exist in this area. The first involves Indians who raided a wagon train and took $40,000 in gold bars and coins. The Indians are said to have taken the gold and tossed it into the Rogue River north-west of town. Some say that it was buried, whatever happened to it, it is somewhere in the area to this day. The second involves a stagecoach robbery that took place about 1890. The incident happened near Louse Creek, the robbers were captured or killed, and they claimed the loot was buried close to the hold up scene, it was never recovered. The last happened before there ever was a town of Merlin. In 1861, a man named Lockhart made a very rich gold strike on Louse Creek. But his partner had a much richer strike in Idaho. So he covered this over and left the area. If this is so, then Merlin still has some magic left in it.
Photos Included:

A black X marks the location of Merlin. The Hellgate Canyon and the Rogue River, this region holds lost mines, stage coach loot and gold bullion tossed into the river by an Indian war party.
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:08 PM
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Clackamas County
A New Era


I did some checking into this listed ghost town of Clackamas County. The place was called New Era, I guess that was due to the pioneers heading out there to settle the land. What I found was it does show up on a map dated 1895, but does not appear any more after that. It could be that it was renamed, I am not sure. I checked down to townships and it is not listed there either. Cemetery search also pulled up nothing. So this might be a true ghost town, with little on it. One source I did find, mentioned a religious meeting ground was once there. I read that those places can be good hunting for older coins, so someone might want to do some further research into it and possibly check the location out.
Photos Included:

A black X marks the location of New Era on this 1895 map. The Barlow Road just might lead to New Era, many pioneer's traveled it, some portions are still visable while other sections are overgrown today. Otherwise just by searching for the site you might run across a tempting place to swing your coil such as this old barn.
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:10 PM
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Washington County
The Lost Tillamook Mine


In the 1800’s, the Indians would often bring in gold to the trading posts for supplies. When asked where they obtained the gold they always refused to tell. They say an Indian woman gave a clue once, “in a black canyon where water runs into a lake, you can find it.” Some believe Skookum Lake could be the location, an area of the Wilson River is also known for box canyons and some believe the lost mine is located in this region.
Photos Included:

One view is the Oregon Coast Range, somewhere in this mountain range is where the Indians found their gold. The lake is Skookum Lake where some believe the gold was obtained.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:24 PM
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Wasco County
A Short Boom, A Longer Bust!


In the 1860’s Antelope was a cattle town, it’s post office was established in 1871 and it grew for a brief period until the railroad decided to go north to the next town. It did have a stage station which must of seen some tough times judging by the bullet holes that can still be seen today.
Photo Included:

A few buildings look nice and are kept up, but the one down the street is almost forgotten.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:27 PM
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Curry County
The Port Orford Meteorite Mystery


Back in the 1850’s a Man named Evans was seeking a likely route for a railroad line. His explorations lasted a couple of weeks and during that time he also collected various samples. During this adventure he came upon a strange rock several feet across. He chipped off a piece and continued on. Several years later the sample was analyzed and discovered to be a rare pallasite meteorite. Evans claimed it had to weigh somewhere around 20,000 pounds. Two years later Evans died, he never had a chance to go back to his discovery and it remains lost on top of a mountain with a bare top.
Photos Included:

Possible region of the Meteorite. The Kansas metal detector find.
On a similar note, in October 2005, Steve Arnold, a professional meteorite hunter, discovered a 1,400 lb. pallasite meteorite in Kansas. Using a metal detector mounted on his ATV he traversed a barren field, over and over, stopping to dig when his metal detector sounded. The huge meteorite was located seven feet underground. Only two larger pallasite meteorites have been found, a 3,100-pounder in Australia (1937) and a 1,500-pounder in Russia (1749). Arnold's pallasite has been estimated to easily be worth seven-figures. The Kansas rock was found in the same area that in 1949 produced a 1,000 lb. meteorite now on display at the Celestial Museum in Greensburg, Kansas.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:29 PM
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Josephine County
Wild Times At Waldo


Sailor’s Diggings and Waldo, two separate Oregon ghost towns that go hand in hand when it comes to the early history of Josephine County, are covered here. They were part of the mining district that started in 1851. Sailor’s Diggings received its name when some men from a ship jumped over-board and discovered gold. Several thousand miners called the place home, least till the gold ran out. Then outlaws moved in and took the place over. One of the most ruthless gangs in the area was the Triskett gang. They went on a shooting spree in 1852, killing 17 men, raping two women, and killing another woman they had no use for. They then robbed the bank and assay office as an after-thought. A posse chased them down and caught them outside of O’Brien where they buried the loot at the top of a small hill. All gang members were killed in the shoot-out and the estimated $70,000-$80,000 in gold was never recovered. The loot is still believed to be up on the top of the hill yet today. Waldo also boomed and at one time was the county seat and peaked at 30,000 residents. Waldo had three hotels, a Chinese boarding house, livery stable, several blacksmith shops, a bowling alley, many saloons, and a brewery in 1860. Besides the cache of stolen loot, old coins, relics, artifacts, and bottles should be abundant in the area.
Photos Included:

Josephine County, Waldo is next to the state line. These three pictures are labled as Sailor's Diggings or Waldo, no one is sure after all these years. The ruins are just over 100 years old in the photos, which were taken in the early 1950's. Are any of these ruins still visible yet today? I have heard that all that is around is the old Waldo Cemetery.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:23 AM
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Yamhill County
Gopher an Oregon Ghost Town

The first settlers who came to this region of valley land named the area Gopher Valley, some tried to change the name but the name Gopher Valley stuck, it was a pride issue with the folks who roughed it out and lasted here. Most cabins were crude, made of rough logs, clothes were made with spinning wheels. Electricity did not reach some of the folks here until the 1940’s. With these interesting facts it would be safe to say that many did not bank in town due to travel time. After all the men folk worked the woods so they were busy all day. There are some sites of interest when it comes to hunting down the old schools. The first school was halfway up the valley, once called Lebanon Valley school district 36 in the 1880’s, it later was called the Gopher Valley school. The Fremont school or McKinley school was near the intersection of Grauer and Gopher Valley Road. Yet another school known as Ryan’s Mill started in 1894 it was 10 miles up the valley, in the 1930’s the name of this one was changed to Osman school and later to Deer Creek school. Word is two of the schools later burnt to the ground. Gopher does not appear on the 1895 atlas I check with for finding locations, it had a post office from 1899 to 1905. Prior to this a man named Taylor handled the mail starting in 1895, folks came to his house to pick it up. There were many lumber mills operating in the valley during these early days that are also worth searching for.
Photos Included:

One picture is of the Gopher Valley, the map has a black X where i believe the site of Gopher is located near. When it comes to finding those old sawmill sites, get a local map and check for roads that cross a stream with a good flow of water.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2008, 09:11 AM
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Clatsop County
Spanish Coins Washing Ashore

Clatsop Beach has legends that were handed down from the Indians of the area that say a Spanish galleon wrecked many years ago. The few crewmembers that lived through the ordeal completed the rest of their lives among the tribe. It is known that in 1725, a Spanish vessel did wreck a couple of miles off shore, this is most likely the source of the old Spanish coins that have been found washed up on the beaches.
Photos Included:

The beach has had many shipwrecks over the years, this old post card is said to be of the Galena which a storm drove onto the beach. The Galena most likely was battered to pieces by a proceeding storm. Cannon Beach was name after a cannon was discovered sticking out of the sands.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2008, 11:10 AM
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Douglas County
Used As Currency Good As Gold!

Back during the early trapping days of the Pacific Northwest companies such as the Northwest Company set up trading posts in the region and also a store for the selling of items to the Indians who brought in furs to sell. An agent would look the furs over and give a value based on the condition of the pelt. After all was added up, an equal value in tokens was given to the Indian (course this was in the favor of the company). The Indian could then go over to the Company store and trade his tokens for items that were for sale there (no doubt the items were high priced there in favor of the company once more). The system was used for many years, but the tokens are very rare and hard to find and bring high prices in today’s collector’s market. There have been reports of these tokens being found on occasion, one such incident was according to reports back in the 1950’s, when a treasure hunter dug into an Indian burial mound somewhere along the Umpqua River. He found an old kettle of the tokens, of course such an action is not approved today. But one never knows where one of these tokens could have been lost. So if you live in an area where they were once used, it would be wise to know a bit about these rare tokens, so you don’t part with it to cheaply.
Photos Included:

A picture of a token used by the Northwest Company, I picked this photo due to it shows wear in my view and fits the story well. The river picture is of the Umpqua River, it was in an area such as this that the treasure hunter dug his tokens out of the burial mound and I am sure it was a place where beavers were trapped for trading by the Indian fur trappers.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2008, 04:52 PM
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Wallowa County
An Unbelievable Lost Deposit

One of the richest deposits ever found and lost in Oregon, is somewhere along an old Indian trail that runs along the Walla Walla River. The deposit is composed of gold, copper and silver and was assayed at around $100,000 per ton! Someday someone will find this long lost deposit and when they do, there is little doubt that a modern boom will take place at today’s current gold prices!
Photo Included:

A portion of map showing the rough location of the long lost deposit.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:56 AM
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Malheur County
Lonely Malheur City

This is now a lonely spot of desolation in Oregon, but some folks like it that way. The town was founded around 1872 and became a profitable gold mining camp. It like many others was played out in time. Some considered it richer in gold than other locations that sprung up close by. Today little remains to be seen, the cemetery on the creek and a couple of foundations.
Photos Included:

One map shows the location marked with a red dot, the other shows that today it is a place named along side a county road. There should be some traces of the former inhabitant’s lives if one takes the time to search.
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:31 AM
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Jackson County
Gold Hill Tales

The town of Gold Hill has a few tales of treasure, one is money the other is gold ore. The money one was buried somewhere in town by a brothel owner back in the days when this sort of business venture was overlooked. To this day, everyone has overlooked where the treasure was buried. The second one concerns a man who did some mining on his own. He kept his best ore as a reserve for bad times, bad times came when he passed away and the ore went unrecovered. All folks and relatives knew was he had a mine shaft he worked, but not where it was at. No doubt there could be other treasures cached away in the region.
Photos Included:

A section of Jackson County with Gold Hill marked with a red dot. Also a picture of the Rogue River which flows close to Gold Hill, and a photo of Gold Hill as it appears today.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:19 PM
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Morrow County
Searched For Many Times

A man who owns a ranch near Heppner has one of the best search areas in all of Oregon for buried treasure. The whole focus of the search has been a particular pond on his land. It seems an early settler buried some money before he ever owned the land. Two searches have resulted in success, both times caches were found, and the search still continues because more is still believed somewhere in the area.
Photos Included:

A map showing where Heppner is located at, and a photo of an early settler in the region sowing his oats, a man much like this one, name now unknown once placed his money in the ground for safe keeping.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:25 AM
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Multnomah County
The Humboldt’s Missing Bullion

A steamboat named the Humboldt was robbed of a shipment of gold bullion by a gang of thieves in the early 1900’s. One of the members named Lafferty hid out in a rooming house in Portland. Fearing discovery he buried his share of the loot somewhere close to the rooming house. As his arrest drew ever closer, he decided not to be taken alive and took his own life. Researching further one could find more information on the exact date of the robbery and then figure which rooming houses were in operation at that time. Who knows, you just might discover some gold bars.
Photo Included:

A map with Portland marked, this is the city where the buried loot is hidden.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:37 AM
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Columbia County
Deer Island’s Gold Coin Cache

Deer Island received its name from the Lewis and Clark Expedition; they stopped here twice, once going west and on their return trip. Venison was plentiful and why the name Deer Island was chosen. The town of Deer Island is on the mainland and was founded prior to 1887, which is the year it had a post office open. The area has an interesting treasure story involving an old man who lived in a shack. His shack is said to have been on the land owned by a woman named Zimmerman. The old man is supposed to have buried a large amount of gold coins near an old tree stump. There is no record of its having ever been found.
Photos Included:

A map of Columbia County with a red “X” marking the site of Deer Island, a google map also shows the location of the town. Somewhere in the area is at least one old cache of gold. The cache was supposedly buried in the 1920’s, so land records should help pinpoint the correct area.
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:22 PM
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Wasco County
A Bad Apple

The old town once known as Ortley, did not live for very long. The Hood River Orchard & Land Company platted the town site somewhere around 1911 and named it Ortley, after a variety of apple grown in the region. Lots were sold and soon there were around 300 residents living here. But things did not work out as planned, the prevailing winds were too strong for the apple trees to do well and water was also scarce. By 1922, most had left the area seeking better places. The site once had a post office, hotel and several stores, what remains could be worth looking into today. Imagine what coins could be found in a town that only existed from 1911 to 1922!
Photo Included:

A portion of map for Wasco County with a red “X” marking the general location of yet another forgotten town.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:37 AM
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Sherman County
Mysterious Disappearances

Just to the West of the old crossing of the John Day River, there was a stage station on the Oregon Trail. The operator a man named Leonard is believed to be behind the murders of some of the travelers. The motive appears to have been due to they had gold in their possession. Leonard was later killed and any gold he had hidden was never found.
Photo Included:

A map of Sherman County with a mark in the region of the old stage station, close by could be the hidden gold of the murdered people.
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  #18  
Old 09-14-2008, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Westernlegend1 View post
Curry County
The Port Orford Meteorite Mystery


Back in the 1850’s a Man named Evans was seeking a likely route for a railroad line. His explorations lasted a couple of weeks and during that time he also collected various samples. During this adventure he came upon a strange rock several feet across. He chipped off a piece and continued on. Several years later the sample was analyzed and discovered to be a rare pallasite meteorite. Evans claimed it had to weigh somewhere around 20,000 pounds. Two years later Evans died, he never had a chance to go back to his discovery and it remains lost on top of a mountain with a bare top.
Photos Included:

Possible region of the Meteorite. The Kansas metal detector find.
On a similar note, in October 2005, Steve Arnold, a professional meteorite hunter, discovered a 1,400 lb. pallasite meteorite in Kansas. Using a metal detector mounted on his ATV he traversed a barren field, over and over, stopping to dig when his metal detector sounded. The huge meteorite was located seven feet underground. Only two larger pallasite meteorites have been found, a 3,100-pounder in Australia (1937) and a 1,500-pounder in Russia (1749). Arnold's pallasite has been estimated to easily be worth seven-figures. The Kansas rock was found in the same area that in 1949 produced a 1,000 lb. meteorite now on display at the Celestial Museum in Greensburg, Kansas.
Actually the Port Orford specimen was proven to be a pseudometeorite, or "An object that has been claimed to be a meteorite, but which is nonmeteoritic in origin." Here is a link to the Meteoritical Database describing The Port Orford find.

http://tin.er.usgs.gov/meteor/metbul...=no&code=18870

Rocco

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  #19  
Old 09-14-2008, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for your reply to the Port Orford Metorite, another fellow I talked to on the phone, said that the original discoverer lied about finding it, supposedly to get the government to send him back into the area. So does it exist or not? I believe folks still search for it.


  #20  
Old 09-15-2008, 08:17 AM
GlassJAw667 GlassJAw667 is offline
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No problem! I was just looking it up, since I hunt meteorites and hadn't heard of it. Truth be told I was checking to see how big the piece he turned in for testing was, and what kind of meteorite it was supposed to be. If it were something like a mesosiderite or pallasite, and it was 20,000lbs+, I'd say get out there and hunt it right now!

Rocco

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