Arizona Ghost Town Treasure Tales


Remains of the Burfind Hotel in Gillett, Arizona

Remains of the Burfind Hotel in Gillett, Arizona

Gillette Treasure Trove

Gillette, Arizona, a milling town for the nearby Tip Top Mine began in 1876 and like so many towns of the Wild West was filled with lawlessness and violence.

The town’s blacksmith, a man named Henry Seymour, had a side job of robbing the Wells Fargo stagecoach outside of town. In 1882, he held up three different stagecoaches on the, obtaining a total of $69,000.

His lawlessness was suspected when he used some of his proceeds in a local saloon’s poker game and soon he was caught trying to hold up a fourth stage.

Seymour was then sent to prison, never revealing where he had hidden the loot. After he was released from prison he dropped from sight and allegedly never returned to Gillett to recover his treasure. Gillett is now a ghost town with only the ruins of the Burfind Hotel left behind.

Bumble Bee Hidden Cache

A building in Bumble Bee, Arizona

A building in Bumble Bee, Arizona

According to legend, two hundred pounds of raw gold lies at the bottom of a creek near the junction of Slate and Squaw Creeks close to Bumble Bee. In Bronco Canyon about four miles east of Bumble Bee, it is said that almost $80,000 in gold lays waiting for discovery. In the 1800s two miners had set up camp in the canyon, prospecting the area. Soon, the prospectors got lucky, finding a rich vein of gold quartz. Mining the vein they began to take out loads of gold, storing it under a large rock near their camp. As winter approached, they began to make plans on returning to their homes. However, before they could leave, a party of Apaches attacked them, killing one, while the other managed to escape.

The surviving miner did not attempt to return to the site until the Indians had been subdued. However, he was an old man by then and before he could make the trip he fell ill, telling the story of the gold on his deathbed.

Several years later, a Mexican sheepherder found the campsite in Bronco Canyon but didn’t know of the mine or treasure. Other visitors to the area have reported seeing a crude arrastre in the same region. However, the mine and buried treasure, located about 4 miles east of Bumble Bee, has yet to be found.

Bumble Bee is in Yavapai just north of Black Canyon. The old ghost town has many remaining buildings, some of which have been restored.

Mineral Park, Arizona Ruins

Mineral Park, Arizona Ruins

Mineral Park

In the 1880s five bandits robbed a saloon in this booming mining camp. Not finished with their thievery, they then robbed a stagecoach of a strongbox containing 400 pounds of gold bars, dust, and nuggets, then relieved the passengers of any valuables. Because the strongbox was too heavy to take with them they buried at the side of the road. Within no time at all, a posse caught up with the desperados and every one of them was killed in the gunfight that followed. The posse later found the stagecoach and its passengers not far from Topock, Arizona and while they made a thorough search for the gold, it was ever found. The location is along the Yucca-Needles stage road to the west of the Yucca Stage Station.

The cemetery and a few buildings are all that left of Mineral Park. Located on private property, you should get permission from the current mining operation on the land.

Sonora Gold

An outlaw called Hashknife Charley once stole 38 bars of gold in Mexico. Charley was said to have buried the gold bars between a spring and the boundary line between Arizona and Sonora near Sonoyta (Mexico) on the Arizona side of the border. The outlaw was soon captured by lawmen for stealing horses and died in prison. To this day the gold bars have never been found.

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated March 2017.

Also See:

Treasure Hunting In Arizona

Arizona’s Many Lost Mines

Mining and Miners in Arizona