In 1858, there was a
wagon train traveling through the southeast part of
in what is now Las Animas County, which was carrying 1,500 pounds of
gold Ingots. Suddenly, the wagon train was attacked by a group
outlaws and renegade
Indians. At first, the wagon train
prevailed, driving off the would-be thieves and, in an effort to elude
their tormentors; the travelers detoured through Chacuaco Canyon.
However, the outlaw gang continued to pursue the wagon train with a vengeance. Three members of the wagon train quickly loaded the gold ingots onto
six mules and led the loaded animals to a rock outcropping along a
nearby creek. While the three were hiding the gold, the outlaws caught up with the wagon train and, furious, they
slaughtered each and every member of the party.
While the massacre was taking place, the three men escaped to a
Mexican nearby village. However, when they returned to retrieve the
gold, they were killed by
Ute Indians before ever reaching their
To this day, the
has never been found.
Update! June, 2009 - From one of
our reader's, Legends of
America has learned that though the facts of our tale are
partially incorrect, the legend of the treasure is true. Doing his own
research for a number of years, our reader has determined the "real
story" and has located the vast majority of the treasure which
included small gold bars with Spanish insignias.
ago, a party of four French Canadians were said to have been trapping
on the Snake River near Round Mountain. However, the Canadians
were discovered by American trappers who took their furs and traps and
ran them off. The four traveled south into western Colorado
and one of them found a gold nugget in the headwaters of the Gunnison
Here, they spent the next
month successfully panning the gravel in the creek beds. Ute Indians
discovered the Frenchmen and attacked them. In the running battle, which
lasted several days, three Frenchmen were killed. The fourth managed to
escape over Cochetopa Pass (just west of Saguache). Sensing that his
pursuers were closing in, he buried the gold on Round Mountain with the
hopes of later returning for it. The Indians caught and killed the lone
French-Canadian near the summit of Poncha Pass.
was never found, but the story endures, hundreds of years later.
the late 1800’s Irish Canyon was a popular hideout of outlaws
and the Wild Bunch,
Matt Warner, Isom Dart, and
many others as they spent time in the Browns Park vicinity in Moffat
County. Supposedly, $30,000 in silver coins remains buried somewhere in
While you are looking for the treasure,
you can also enjoy many excellent trails, hiking and mountain
opportunities. You can also visit the Irish Canyon Rock Art
Site, where you can see the Fremont rock art from an elevated platform.
Moffat County is in the extreme northwest part
of Colorado. Irish Canyon is northwest of Maybell. From Maybell, take US-40 to
318. Turn northwest onto 318 and continue to Moffat County Road 10N, which
runs through the canyon.
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