Even after all of these years, people still travel to try to find Old Jakes mine. “Old Jake” would be Jacob Waltz, who was born in Germany around 1810. He immigrated to America some time around 1839. He initially arrived in New York but travelled to the goldfields of North Carolina and Georgia. From there, he went on to Mississippi. In that day and age, you had to be a citizen of the U.S. to stake a mining claim. He filed a letter of intent to become a United States Citizen on November 12, 1848. He then went west to California. This was the beginning of the legacy of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.
Jacob AKA the Dutchman did become a citizen on July 19, 1861 in the Los Angeles County Courthouse. From there, he went on to Arizona where there are several documents to prove his presence there. He filed a homestead claim on the north bank of the Salt River. It is from there that he began his expeditions into the mountains. He was said to have prospected every winter from 1868-1886 and died in Phoenix in 1891.
Jacob is said to have discovered a rich gold mine in the Superstition Mountains and it is referred to as the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Immediately following his death, people began searching for the treasure. Near where he had prospected, the rich Mammoth mine was discovered on April 13, 1893 and produced more than three million dollars of gold in four years.
So, Jacob Waltz was indeed a real person. It is whether he actually discovered a rich gold mine that is yet to be proven. He left many maps and etchings of his digs and they are most often used to try to discover the hidden wealth that many believe he had found.