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Monday, September 4, 2023

A Letter from my friend Steve... Rest in Peace


Several times have I written in my articles about “a friend” who has shared information with me… some of you know well and good who it is… but others don’t really need to know do they? 

a clip from the Espiritu Santo Minas Map of 1588

Received June 15th 2013


In the years after I returned from my stint in the Army I ventured out into the Uinta Basin once again having missed my friends and Ute companions. Meeting with those people was and always will be something I will keep close to my heart.

Richard Riddley was a man of integrity and honesty. He would never tell just anyone something to appease them. He used to play tricks on Rhoades all the time and he and I would laugh when Rhoades would take the bait. I never told Rhoades of the trickery because to Richard it was an honorable thing to do to you enemies. Richard never liked Rhoades but tolerated him because Rhoades was friends with his youngest son Hoby. He treated me like a son.

Bishop Arrowchis was the same. He took more of a liking to Rhoades than Riddley did. Richard and Bishop were cousins and rode as Ute Rangers back in the 40's and 50's. They knew were many mines, treasures and battles took place.

Paul Cornpeach was of the same cut. I first met him while prospecting Rock Creek back in 1969 when he came upon me near Miners Gulch. We met several times after that.

Neil Wyaskit was another one that taught me much. I met him back in 1965 and rode with him in the Uinta Mountains to mines he used to work. He showed me smelters, massacre sites, mines and cache sites, mostly on tribal land. He once took me to a site where an old Spanish barrack once stood. All that was left was the foundation but around the area were pieces of armor sticking up out of the ground. He told that the Ute's rode up the hill and killed the Spaniards while they slept. They took a large cannon that was there and pushed it down hill into an old air shaft where it remains today. I was taken to the shaft but it is full of derbies.

Richard Mountain was another man of knowledge but not to be trusted. He tolerated me but did show me and tell me a few things. He was a Ute Ranger as well. We met when I was poking around Treasure Hill back in the early 70's. The reservation wasn't so closed up as it is today.

Tabiune was another. He took me to smelters up Dry Gulch now called lime Kiln Springs. The were still pretty much intact then. He told me how the Spaniards built them and why. A few miles upstream were two mines that they gold good gold from. At that time water ran down the wash were the smelters are, but today it is dry.

I still have friends out there but most have gone the way of the spirit. I am blood brothers with some and one not of the Utes but of the Apache. I have kept my word with them for years by not showing or telling anyone what I have seen and what I've been told. I laugh at those who THINK they know when I know full well they don't! But I keep my mouth shut and let them rave on making fools of themselves. Richard and Bishop taught me how to read Spanish signs and symbols. Gale Rhoades taught me as well. The Indians were taught by their fathers who learned from the Spaniards themselves.

          This sets the stage of two of the many mines I've either been shown or told about. These two stories will give you something to look for. It won't be easy but I can give you some clues to help you. I've looked for one but not the other.

Excerpt from Bishop: "Someone - when surveying the Indian boundary line of the west side of the _______ River found a small opening or hole and inside was found a lot of gold bullion & artifacts stacked up. This was found by Indians and then left as was found. The cave or hole is just off the line...on Forest Ground. They stacked rocks over the hole but first laid medium sized trees down."

          I hiked that fence line several times and then one day as I was walking the fence line and keeping my head down with eyes fixed so as to notice anything out of the ordinary an Indian came up on me from the thick trees before I even heard him. He was on horseback too. He stopped and asked "What are doing?" I said, "Looking for gold." He looked at me for a moment they added "You are too far down, you need to go higher up" "Why" I asked.  "You are a friend of the Arrowchis' so I tell you, you are too far down, go up."  I said, thank you and asked his name. He said it didn't matter and then wished me luck. I did go further up but darkness over took me so I abandoned that venture. Time, money and other things got in my way so I never did go back.

<Hand Drawn Map>


                                    Arrowchis' map drawn by his wife for me.

<USGS Map>

Also withheld

The Indian Fence line and where I think the hole might be. I was 1/4 mile short of the ridge.

          Riddley told me about a mine that was once worked by Aaron Daniels and maybe Caleb Rhoades however he did not know about the later.

          He said that when he was a boy the Daniels' sons and grandsons used to look for the Lost Rhoades Mine but he said "They were way off.".  He took me to a place up in ______ Creek not from the _______. There in a hillside he pointed and said "Look there, this is a old Spanish mine that Daniels worked and got much gold out of, however I think it might be behind us because some old Indians say he drew the map like Indians do, always in reverse."

          I asked him if he was sure about this. He said, "I know what came out of the mine and I know what is still in the mine because of Daniels telling his wife and her people know. I don't know if the mine is there or behind us."

          Dan, these two sites should produce good gold for you. I leave these in your hands. I hope you can benefit by them. I know it will be a burden to go after these but if you do and spend the time needed you'll find them.

<USGS Map>


                   Two possible sites for the Daniels' Mine dubbed #3 on his map.


It has only been recently that I discovered that the mines in question are located on the Espiritu Santo Minas Map of 1588 If we can find them, we will have two more locations found on the previous mentioned map, aka Antonio De Espejo Map.

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