More Nevada Treasures Just Waiting to Be Found
Churchill County – In western Nevada, along the 70-mile-long Stillwater Range, the Shoshone Indians once roamed freely. Hidden somewhere in this remotely populated area is said to be a source of rich silver ore called the Shoshone Lost Ledge. The range also extends into Pershing County.
Elko County – In the winter of 1846 and 1847, the ill-fated Donner expedition was stranded in the High Sierras. Legend has it that money was hidden in the region of Shafter in Elko County that has never been recovered.
Columbus – Near the old remnants of Columbus is said to be a hidden cache taken from highwaymen when Columbus was a prosperous mining town. Columbus is five miles southwest of US 95.
Another mining operation continues about two miles south of the original site, which houses a few 1950’s style buildings. The original townsite is in the nearby hills, where you can find a few foundations.
Goldfield – On September 3, 1913, a flash flood struck Goldfield and reportedly washed two safes containing hundreds of gold coins down a gully west of town. The flood created a lot of mud, and the two safes were undoubtedly buried in the muck and the mire. To this day, they have never been found.
Goldfield – Twenty sacks of high-grade gold ore valued at $1,000 each were reportedly buried by two prospectors in 1910 in a mine dump between Goldfield and Diamond Field. Before they could recover their hidden cache, both men died, and according to the legend, the gold remains hidden there somewhere.
Goldfield – During Goldfield’s mining heydays, one of the mines employed a man named Harry Bishop, a geologist and mining school graduate. During a cave-in at the mine, Bishop’s leg was trapped beneath the rubble, and after having been rescued, his leg had to be amputated. Unable to work in the mines any longer, Bishop was forced to take a lower-paying job at the smelter.
Bitter at losing his leg and income, the geologist blamed the accident on greedy mine owners. To satisfy his revenge, Bishop began to smuggle gold out of the smelter in his hollowed-out wooden leg. The geologist was eventually caught, arrested, and sent to prison. During the investigation, authorities searched his home, finding some 90 ingots hidden in a false wall in his basement. Valued at approximately $50,000, the amount was found to correspond with the company’s, which had valued its loss at well over $100,000 worth of gold. Bishop never returned to Goldfield; many believe it is still hidden there.
Sandspring – In the 1860s, William Henry Knight, a mapmaker for the United States Department of the Interior, was gathering data for maps of the Pacific States when he came upon a cave where the walls were said to have been laced with gold. But, even a mapmaker can lose his sense of direction in the many mountains of western Nevada. Once he left, he was never again able to find the cave, allegedly in a small mountain range near the Sand Spring known as Painted Hills. Sand Spring is on the northeast side of the White Mountains of Esmeralda County.
Lincoln County – Lost gold from a Mormon caravan traveling between Cave Valley and Ash Meadows near Carp, in Lincoln County, has never been located.
Mineral County – A payroll intended for workers at the Candelaria Mines was stolen long ago and is said to be hidden near Mina in Mineral County.
Nye County – One of Nevada’s more interesting treasure tales is the lost Whiskey Cache. Around 1880 a freighter was hauling a wagon load of 100-proof whiskey casks from northern California to the mining camps of northern Arizona. However, he encountered a terrible sandstorm about 23 miles south of Beatty. Taking shelter under his wagon, the storm raged through the night. The next morning, he awoke to find his animals gone and, after several days, made it on foot to a ranch in Oasis Valley. When he returned to retrieve his wagon, it was gone. Thought to have been buried on the shifting sands of the dunes, the wagon was never found. So, what good is a load of century-old whiskey, even if it could still be intact? Oddly enough, the desert has a way of preserving everything, and that old load of casks would be worth a lot of money to today’s whiskey connoisseurs.
Pahranagat Valley – About ten miles south of Hiko, Nevada, in the Pahranagat Valley, $50,000 in gold coins are said to be buried in several zinc-capped jars. Supposedly, a camper buried this cache in 1867 under an old oak grove of trees.
Spring Mountains – Near Mountain Springs in the Spring Mountains are said to be buried two chests of silver coins.
Storey County – Long ago, a large gold cache was stolen from Virginia City and is said to be buried near an arch of stone that stands five feet wide and five feet tall. The arch is located in the rugged country northwest of Virginia City.
A bank robber’s treasure is said to be hidden near Six Mile Canyon near the road from Carson City to the ghost town of Ramsey.
Washoe County – In the 1880s, a prospector working near Tohakum Peak allegedly hit paydirt and buried some $250,000 in gold ore. The hidden cache is thought to be located about two miles northeast of the north tip of Pyramid Lake.
White Pine County – Pogue’s Station, southeast of Eureka, was the only water source for miles back in the 1870s. The adobe stage station was built to serve Pritchard’s Fast Freight Route, where the stock was exchanged and also provided water to travelers between Palisade and Pioche. A man by the name of Jim Pogue was hired as the stationmaster and soon built a barn, corrals, and a simple cabin nearby. Though the freight route continued only into the 1880s, Pogue lived there until he died in 1915. Almost immediately, rumors began that the stationmaster had hidden a fortune in gold coins nearby. Treasure hunters flocked to the site, destroying the old station and outbuildings and pocking the land with holes, only to come up with nothing. Though the site has been thoroughly searched repeatedly, the legend continues. The site, which has been reduced to nothing more than traces of the station’s foundation, is on SR 20, 16 miles south of its junction with US 50, about 67 miles west of Ely.
© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated May 2023.