Google the Blue Bucket Mine worth a read,
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The Lost Malheur River Mine
HARNEY COUNTY – Passing through the Malheur Mountain country in 1845, a wagon train of settlers heading west stopped to rest on the Malheur River. There, James McBride picked up a strange piece of metal he couldn’t identify.
Sometime later, McBride saw a piece of native gold from California and realized that what he’d found on the river in 1845 was pure virgin gold.
Twelve years later, in 1857, and again in 1858, McBride led two expeditions back to the site where he’d found the virgin gold. The first expedition never arrived and fled under attack from hostile Indians.
The second, a 26-man expedition, also failed to find gold after spending months in the area searching. The Wallen Expedition followed in 1859 and did find placer gold on the river, but hostile Indians forced the expedition to abandon everything and flee for their lives.
After the Indians were eventually subdued, thousands of men were mining on the Malheur, Powder, Grande Ronde, and Burnt Rivers. They averaged from $3 to $15 per day, but no one ever discovered the rich gold deposit that would explain the virgin gold found by McBride 165 years ago.
The Thrill Killers' Treasure
JOSEPHINE COUNTY – An innocent man is murdered in broad daylight…in cold blood…on the town’s Main Street. His killers are five well-armed fugitives – all loaded on testosterone, adrenalin, and liquor; they are known as the Triskett gang.
Wanted in the northern mines of the California Mother Lode for robberies and homicides, they attacked their victims less than 5 miles north of the California State Line in the mining camp of Sailor’s Diggins.
The camp is occupied by miners and their families, mostly settlers who arrived in the Oregon Territory sometime after 1841. It’s Tuesday afternoon, August 3, 1852. Most able-bodied men are working their claims or prospecting in the hills.
With the exception of a few merchants, the village is virtually defenseless. The Triskett Gang, Jack Triskett, Henry Triskett, Fred Cooper, Miles Hearn, and Chris Stover, spend their afternoon in the saloon where they got drunk on territorial liquor.
After murdering their first victim in front of the Main Street saloon, they walked from one end of camp to the other “killing anyone in sight.”
Eighteen men, women and children lost their lives in the massacre. Two women survivors were found beaten and raped.
The last stop for these 19th century thrill killers was the assay office. After relieving the assayer of $25,000 in gold dust, he became murder victim # 18.
It's said the gang appeared to be leaving town when they returned and robbed the assay office, “like it was an afterthought,” leading many to believe the massacre may’ve occurred on a mere whim, without pre-planning or premeditation.
And their capture was so incredibly pathetic it testifies to their lack of any fore planning at all.
Afterthought or not, plenty of miners heard the gunfire from the surrounding hills and were already racing towards Sailor’s Diggins.
Within minutes, a miner’s posse was formed and quickly cut the track of the fugitives heading west towards O’ Brien, a mining camp less than six miles away. Being intoxicated and hauling the gold on two stolen horses certainly slowed their escape.
About one mile east of O’Brien, the Triskett gang was forced to flee up a “low hill” after being overtaken by the posse. From atop the hill, they watched as the posse surrounded them and each knew their day of reckoning had come. The miners were itching for a fight; many had friends or family at Sailor’s Diggins, and all they knew was that several of them had been left to die and these five strangers were responsible.
Most believe the stolen gold was buried at or near the top of the hill; others claim the gold never got this far and was buried at a predetermined location in the immediate vicinity of Sailor’s Diggins. Perhaps we’ll never know.
With the first shot, a fierce firefight erupted that resulted in the deaths of four of the five thrill killers, save Chris Stover.
Stover was transported back to Sailor’s Diggins while other posse men searched for the stolen gold.
Unable to locate where it was cached, the posse returned to town only to learn that Stover had died; he never revealed where the gold was buried.
Several searches over the years have all ended with negative results. Hidden somewhere on this low hill it is still believed lies a treasure cache of gold.Linkback:
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Treasure is a Harsh Mistress