The LDM Mine of Bill Hughes

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The LDM Mine of Bill Hughes

Post by Roger » Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:36 pm

Every once in a while I run across an item in doing LDM research that is extremely interesting and could related the LDM in an indirect way. One such item was an article I found in the Archives in the basement of the Az State Capital building. The article was published in the Arizona Republic 10/30/62 in a weekly column by staff writer Don Dedera. The article was fairly short and titled "Dutchman's Gold Lost No Longer, Bill Says". Here is the text of the article:

"At least Bill Hughes' story about the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine is different.

He says he has found it.

"Give me a washpan of water and I'll prove it," he said. So supplied, he shook some black sand into his gold pan. He dipped up some water from the wash basin, and swirled and swished. Presently along the crease of the pan appeared some golden freckles, from pinpoints to small nuggets , perhaps 30 in all. Seventy-five dollars' worth, he said.

An artist couldn't imagine a character more like the popular conception of a desert prospector. Bill dresses in ragged khaki and denims. He is lean and gnarled. But although he is in his 60's, his gray eyes are clear and sharp and his beard frames an elfish face.

A Pennsylvania mine and mill worker, Hughes came West 18 years ago to prospect from Nome to Mexico City. He had nothing but misery in 1952. His left arm was crushed in a skip loader. He had three heart attacks. Discovery of cancer meant the removal of his stomach and a lung.

"After all of that, when I got out of the hospital eight months later," said Hughes, "I had run up a bill that looked like the German war debt. I was brke."

"That's when I seriously began the search for the Dutchman's mine. Today, thanks to the gold, I don't owe a dime. I've got my own place out near Peoria. I own my trucks. I've put my daughter through Carnegie Tech, and she's working on her master's degree in chemical engineering at University of Iowa."

"I have stockpiled four tons of concentrates that I have packed out of the Superstitions on my back."

As a prospector, Hughes is more standoffish than most. He said he found the Lost Dutchman only by good luck. One day he was sampling some rim rock when he peered into what looked like a cave, but proved to be a tunnel into a small box canyon. There he struck a placer deposit "so big you could sluice 100 tons a day for the next 50 years."

Hughes has been satisfied to make quick, nighttime trips to the mine. He keeps the tunnel camouflaged.

"My own illnesses have shown me that man brings nothing into the world and takes nothing out," he said.

"I don't need partners, and I don't want any help. I'll work this out my own way. Right now I've got plans to drive a busload of my sand back to New York City, and let the people pan up some gold. I'll be it will be the first time gold has been panned in Manhattan!"

"When I've got $1 million, I'm going to create a trust which will either set up a cancer research clinic or will directly support the cancer fund. I don't know exactly how it will be, but when I've got the million, I'll let you know."

These are the large facts of the discovery. Further details may be had by direct inquiry of Bill Hughes himself, at the Arizona State Fair midway, beginning Friday. He will run a booth where customers may take a $1 chance on panning gold.

Dutchman's gold, says he.

The article included a picture of Bill with a pan of concentrates and a line of gold with the caption: FOUND DUTCHMAN -- Displaying placer concentrates he claims are from the Lost Dutchman Mine is William H. Hughes of Peoria. Hughes says he has taken out thousands of dollars worth of gold, and there's plenty more to come.

End of Article
At first glance, one would write this off as another crackpot or scam artist claiming to have found the LDM. However, the few details on the mine in the article are very close to those an avid Dutch Hunter would come up with:

1. Bill was "sampling some rim rock". This would indicate that he was high up on a mountain in the Supers to be sampling rim rock. The LDM clues say that the mine is high up, but one has to go down to get to it.

2. Bill looked into what looked like a cave, but proved to be a tunnel. The Bark Notes' Deering story says that one had to go through a cave to get to the mine. It was small such that animals could not go through it. The Dr. Thorne story is similar.

3. Bill said the tunnel led into a small box canyon. The LDM clues say that the LDM is in a high, narrow, and steep ravine but not that clear on it being a box canyon. However, the great earthquake in the late 1800's could have closed it's lower end so that it was boxed. It would have filled up with silt and runoff over the subsequent 70 years and created a gold concentrate at the bottom. Regardless, there could be a significant amount of gold placered into the ravine below the mine from it's millions of years of weathering.

Quite an interesting tale on a possible LDM find.


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Bill Hughes Placer deposit

Post by redison » Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:59 pm

Nice post Roger!

A LOT of typing too! The only thing I can add is that some stories about the Dutchman include Waltz saying that there was also a placed deposit in the vicinity of his hard rock mine.

With placer that easy to get, and the Dutchman hard rock mine probably not visable (because it was covered), ole Bill could have been a lot closer to it than even he believed and not known it.


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Bill Hughes

Post by bill711 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:52 pm

Jake; did purpordedly have another german make him a rocker in florence or phinix?? bill 8) nice post!