A Guide to Treasure in Missouri

A Guide to Treasure in Missouri
A Guide to Treasure in MissouriA Guide to Treasure in Missouri

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Although very little mining for precious metals has ever taken place in Missouri, several of its lost mine and treasure stories are attributed to the mining of gold and silver by the Spanish. These stories would appear to be purely legendary in origin, with the exception of one or two which may have some basis in fact. Other Missouri treasure stories have their backgrounds in the robbing of stagecoaches, trains and banks by outlaws, and treasures buried or hidden as a result of the Civil War and the bands of marauding guerrillas spawned by it. As in all areas of action of the Civil War, perhaps more personal fortunes were buried than have ever been reported. Barry County—In the hill country of southwestern Missouri, legends of lost silver mines and stored Spanish gold and silver have existed since the first American pioneers reached the area, and they have been handed down from generation to generation. A number of these stories are so similar in details that they may be one and the same story set in different locations. Like many Spanish lost mine stories of the West, there are seldom original documents upon which to establish verifications, but the fact remains that early-day Spanish adventurers did conduct certain mining operations in what is now Missouri. History does not record how productive these mines were, or that their entrances were concealed, as most stories state, when the Spanish abandoned them. Unlike most treasure and lost mine stories in the United States of Spanish origin, this one has some verification in a map and two diaries found in St. Louis in 1830. Experts who examined the documents are said to have pronounced them authentic. The map and diaries concern a lost silver mine once worked by Indians and later by Spanish miners. The Spaniards also stored gold and silver in the mine that they had transported from Colorado.

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