An old mining town lives on

One of the local attractions in Apache Junction, AZ was The Lost Dutchman’s Mine. This is considered to be a “lost mine”, but the primary story is that the “Dutchman” kept it secret then he, himself disappeared. In any case, today it is said to be right here by those who want some of that easy tourist gold! It appeared to be a real, old mine and was spread out across three or four miles beneath the craggy Superstition Mountains. The buildings were authentic, old wood floors, huge beams, dusty roads, and a trip down into the actual mine…if you’re not claustrophobic and want to spend the money. We decided to stay above ground and just enjoy what was left of the town.

Entrance to what used to be a busy gold mine.

Entrance to what used to be a busy gold mine.

Mining town in the shadow of Superstition Mountains.

Mining town in the shadow of Superstition Mountains.

Why are they called Superstition Mountains? Well, there are lots of stories, most of which end with a lost mine. People have been looking for this mine for years and so far, no one has found it, officially. It is believed to be here, near these mountains, but one tale says it may be as far away as Mexico. Another reason for the name comes from Wikipedia: “According to many versions of the tale, the mine is either cursed, or protected by enigmatic guardians who wish to keep the mine’s location a secret.” Well, there is something real here based on the creakiness of the wood floors.

When you’re in a tourist trap, beware and take advantage of anything that is free, like wandering around imagining how life used to be in the good old gold rush days. Here’s some of what we saw:

Customers? What customers?

Customers? What customers?


This girl was selling little cactus arrangements in southwest style pots. I almost bought one from her, but she was pretty busy talking to her friend, so I decided she didn’t really want to sell me anything after all.

But there was a very talented blacksmith right across the street.

Every miner needs a good shovel.

Every miner needs a good shovel.

And every mining town needs a jail. Just be aware of the strict rules, OK?

And every mining town needs a jail. Just be aware of the strict rules, OK?

Yes. They're real and they played real old timey, boot stompin music.

Yes. They’re real and they played real old timey, boot stompin music.

*****
The church was the focal point once you got inside the “town.” It sat at the top of the hill and at the end of the “street.”

The most serene building in town...the church.

The most serene building in town…the church.


Right next door was the Bordello. I have to say it was the most beautiful building I had seen in the Arizona desert. We took several pictures of it.

Bordello and church side by side.

Bordello and church side by side.

Sign says, "Fine Tobacco, Whiskey and Women." Well now! Is there anything else you might need, sir?

Sign says, “Fine Tobacco, Whiskey and Women.” Well now! Is there anything else you might need, sir?

Who wouldn't want to walk up those stairs?

Who wouldn’t want to walk up those stairs?

Just in case you want some privacy, there's a nice back door too.

Just in case you want some privacy, there’s a nice back door too.

Or, you might just want to take a bath!

Best deal in town! Sorry, no jacuzzis.

Best deal in town! Sorry, no jacuzzis.

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