Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese
Mission San Miguel
Mission San Miguel

Missing Treasures

Over the centuries California has gathered a large list of lost gold mines, buried treasure chests, and sunken ships.

Some are mines that were lost and never found again; prospectors told their story around campfires and many an expedition to find these lost mines never returned, swallowed up by the harsh climate of certain regions of California. At other times random travelers would show up with hunks of gold, silver, or other precious metals, telling tales of the mysterious mine they found it in, but unable to give concrete details on how to get back.

Others are treasure troves buried by one of the multitude of bandits that have traveled throughout California. Joaquin Murrieta, Black Bart, Rattlesnake Dick, Tiburcio Vasquez, and others are all said to have robbed treasure and later buried it, taking the location of the treasure to the grave.

Some like Peg Leg Smith's lost hills of gold as well as the lost Spanish ships loaded with pearls in the Mojave Desert have reached infamy, their legends numerous and tales widespread.

  • Lost Ship of the Desert
  • Mission San Miguel
  • The Lost Gold of the Ada Hancock