All year two very dedicated students have been working on the American History Film Project to bring local history to their community. These girls published newspaper articles and then wrote a script to be filmed later in the year. Well, later in the year has arrived! We are excited and so thankful to be able to work with Superstition Mountain Museum and film students led by Russ Young at our high school, AJHS. The museum allowed us to film on location using the artifacts and buildings. This helped bring our movies authenticity! The film students under the teaching of Russ Young will create a quality product. Thanks to both of these groups for volunteering your time.
There are many tales about the Superstition Mountains. These mountains are the setting of legends based on some facts and some exaggeration. Some of these stories make people chuckle and others tell of mysteries not yet solved. Hi, my name is Campbell, and I will tell you about one of the most famous tales-Jacob Waltz and the Legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine.
First, let me tell you some facts about the Superstition Mountains and Jacob Waltz. The Superstition Mountains are 1,708 square miles. People mine in the Superstition Mountains because they think there is a lot of gold. It is believed that Jacob Waltz is one of those people. Jacob Waltz was born in Germany around 1810. He came to America from Germany around 1839 and to the area that is now Apache Junction around 1872. There is very little factual information about when he was young. Today, we know facts about Jacob Waltz because of papers found with his name on it. Waltz was great at spreading false information and this caused some of the legends. The reason why he spread information is because he didn’t want anybody finding his gold mine.
A picture of the Superstition Mountain from our school. They usually don’t have snow on them!
According to Jim Swanson, a local historian, “Many people tried to follow the old prospector to his mine in the Superstitions, which is known as the Lost Dutchman Mine, but Jacob managed to escape them all,” said Mr. Swanson. People today don’t know the exact locations of where Jacob Waltz found his gold (due to his stories), but there are a lot of theories and stories going around.
What stories could you make up if you had a treasure of gold to hide?
Did you know our community once was the home of several Native American tribes? My name is Peta, and I would like to tell you some information about some Native Americans that lived in our area of Apache Junction.
Some of these tribes were the Apache tribe, the Hohokam tribe, the Salado tribe, and the Pima tribe. These tribes all lived in our area. The Apache and Pima are still in our area, but the Salado and the Hohokam are not because they are ancient tribes. We know they lived in our area because people have found pieces of jewelry, hunting tools, petroglyphs, and pottery. “The petroglyphs are figures of people and animals,” said Jim Swanson, a local historian who volunteers at Superstition Mountain Museum. Jim Swanson allowed me to interview him about the history of the Native Americans in our area. He also said that the Native Americans used petroglyphs to tell stories and remember historical events.
The Native Americans used petroglyphs to tell their stories.
When school memories come to mind one of the best memories is the school field trip. Take a trip down memory lane with the third graders in our class and see what we learned at the Superstition Mountain Museum.
Mysterious events, creatures hidden among cracks and crevices, unforgiving terrain, and the thunder god watching over those who seek the gold. All of these help describe the mysteries of the Superstition Mountains. Our school is nestled amongst the foothills of this mysterious mountain and the Peralta Trailhead, and is home of the Legend of the Lost Dutchman.
The picture below shows us in front of the mountains. They are shrouded in clouds.
We are fortunate to have such a famous location just outside our window.
Watch our video for more facts and legends about this magnificent mountain.
Do you think their is a lost gold mine in the Superstition Mountains? Let us know what you think.