By Roman Malach
Here are a couple of interesting tales for those interested in lost mines...
All the information about this mine came from a report of the Arizona Department of Mineral Resources written in August 1940. No information about the present status of the mine was available.
The name of the mine was North Star, formerly known as Silver Triangle, and the ore was showing free gold, silver and copper. The mine was located 30 miles northeast of Bouse, Arizona, about 4 miles from the abandoned Swansea mines, and approximately one-half mile north of the Williams River in a rugged country between the Rawhide Mountains and the river. The mine property, which was owned by V.C. Marks of Glendale, Arizona, consisted of four unpatented mining claims. In one place a gold bearing ledge, approximately 50 feet wide, exposed high grade ore. A 1,000 foot ledge in another spot showed veins running down five inches wide, and lengthwise from five to ten inches.
The silver ledge has been worked off and on since 1900. The ore was transported by wagon to Bouse, then by rail to San Franciso. The operators paid $20 per ton to get the ore to Bouse, and still more money to ship it to San Francisco, but they were making good money.
From about 1924 until 1932, the mine was owned by Gus Zamorano of Azusa, California. History reports that two men, Hayden and Hart, were living on a homestead opposite this mining property on the Williams River. In 1932, they were murdered by a man named Douglas, who later was executed for these murders in the Florence prison. Douglas, was assisted by two New York gangsters. The gangsters received lighter sentences, and in 1940 were out of prison.
B.M. Reynolds of Bouse told V .C. Marks that he had seen the ore that caused ,the death of two men. Hayden showed Reynolds the ore; it was a piece as large as his hand with wire gold interwoven throughout. The wire gold was as large as a matchstick. When Reynolds asked Hayden why he was not working the mine, he answered that it belonged to another man. Hayden explained that he had been at one time prospecting all day and had sat down to rest when he accidentally knocked the piece off the ledge he was sitting on. Hayden also said that no one would ever be able to find the ledge; he had covered it so it would not be possible to see. Reynolds then asked Hayden who the owner of the property was, and he answered that it belonged to Gus Zamorano.
Was the vein hidden by Hayden ever found again? There is no indication of it if he did, but a similar wire gold was found on the North Star property. Free gold, as panned, showed up prominently, and the vein was wide running into indefinite depth.
At the time of the 1940 account, there was a road from the mine to the Bill Williams River which could be negotiated by low-clearance cars. Detours had to be made in two or three places on account of high centers. And, in the Rawhide mountain range area were also many other mines, such as Rawhide, Cleopatra, New England, Cactus Queen, Deer Trail, Bonanza, Little Kimble, Big Kimble, McGuffie, Shanno, Lake, Maggie and Loves, while in the nearby Artillery Mountains were mines American, Priceless, Neebe and Black Diamond. So the area produced quite a few metals, including gold and silver.
The site of the Rawhide camp can be visited today, and many mine sites inspected, which were discovered in the 1870s.
The McCracken silver mine, for example, was discovered in 1974. High on the southeast end of the McCracken Peak, not many feet below its summit, is the entrance tunnel to the '"Palace Chamber," where $875,000 worth of silver was extratcted from an enormous hole in the mountain. The ore from the McCraken mine averaged 13 to 300 ounces of silver per ton. From the Palace Chamber the ore reached $2,700 in silver per ton. The McCracken mine is on the road to the Bill Williams River and the area where the North Star mine is located.
The general geology of the North Star mine area is schist, lime and conglomerate deposits. The silver tends to run in rich pockets; in several places the silver ran to an unknown depth. The ore occurred in quartz. The North Star mine area is in a really rugged country, where anything unexpected can happen, and travel with caution is advised, not in a regular passenger car but in a four wheel drive vehicle.
Another story was told of a group of travelers on the road to California who found a rich ledge of gold at the junction of the Santa Clara and Magotsu streams near St. George, Utah. The place was marked, but because of heavy floods it could not be found again. Known as ."The Lost Lead," it was the object of much searching. Time and money were spent in vain searching for this gold.
The following story was confirmed by the descendants of James Holt. One day, when James Holt was riding in the hills near his ranch on the edge of the desert, he came upon a ledge of richly colored rocks. As he was interested in mining, he broke off a piece of the rock and took note of the landmarks to guide him back to the spot. The assayer assured him that the rock contained an unusually large amount of gold. The same afternoon that Holt found the gold, a small man with a white beard, riding a burro, asked for food. Holt obliged him, and engaged him in a conversation while his wife prepared dinner. The first words uttered by the stranger were to the effect that Holt had found a rich mine. Holt confirmed, and, in surprise, asked how the stranger knew it. The man evaded his question, and merely said, "You had better forget about this mine. If it develops, it will be the ruination of your boys." Holt went into the house to see how the food was coming. In a few minutes he returned to find the stranger had vanished, as if into the thin air.
Nothing has been found of the mine, although the rock with gold was kept in the Holt house, and efforts have been made to locate the spot. Holt believed it was all for the best, for he never revealed the spot to any member of his family. Some of his descendants continued to be- interested in locating this mine. Such were tales as presented by Arthur Knight Hafen in his Pioneer Memoirs, published in St. George in 1961.