The Iron Door Mines

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The Iron Door Mines

Post Number:#1  Postby Uley Bauer » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:56 pm

The Iron Door Mines held a lot of interest when magazines ruled, but I haven't seen any mention of them on this site. There was one in Kansas & two that were talked about in California. Anyone know of any updated information? Back then, they were always LOST or somewhere over the next ridge some where.
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Re: The Iron Door Mines

Post Number:#2  Postby Randy Bradford » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:32 am

This is an interesting topic, mostly because it's a great example (I think) of what I refer to as "folklore diffusion." Nearly every states in the Southwest has at least one legend of a "mine with an iron door." I can't prove it using anything but common sense, but for me the "folklore diffusion" piece comes in by the sheer volume of these types of tales over a wide geographic area. This tells me either iron doors were so common this sort of thing was normal (unlikely) or these stories, many of them at any rate, have "traveled." t's not hard to imagine a story told as true in say, Arizona. Slowly being told and retold over time. think of a story like a virus...it travels, takes on a life of is own and occasionally, people telling the story hundreds of miles from it's origin begin to attribute the story to the current locale and not the one where it started. It's easy to imagine these sorts of stories being overheard by others who naturally assume the story was about their region and not one far flung.

Again, this is pure conjecture, but it certainly makes sense when you have a basic understanding of human nature. Think of how quickly false stories hit and propagate on the internet. Just read yesterday on dozens of Facebook posts How McCauley Culkin had died...guess what...he didn't. The Internet has become the "saloon" of the 21st century where yarns are spun and travel forth at frightening speed.

Most of these stories, the iron doors are usually attributed to the Spanish who dug the mines or to outlaws who frequently steal the iron doors from a bank vault or some such thing that they just robbed. The idea of bank robbers dragging a several hundred pound iron door into the wilderness to secure a cache is rather entertaining, but strains the limits of likelihood. This is made even more apparent when you consider they had to take the iron door into a region so remote that it's eluded detection for 1one or two centuries.

The most well known of these stories is probably the Oklahoma version and the Arizona version. Oklahoma, this story has been covered in a fantastic book by Steve Wilson called "Oklahoma Treasure Tales." Anything by Steve Wilson is worth reading, he's an impeccable researcher that documents his material thoroughly and reading anything he writes guarantees two things: You'll learn something and you'll have about 500 new resource leads to chase down if you're so inclined. Arizona is probably the most written about location, I don't recall the details offhand as it's not a story I've studied.

Thomas Penfield and Glenn Carson wrote state by state treasure guides. They each contain literally thousands of treasure leads, usually arranged by county. The upside is it's a tremendous amount of information easily accessed and most are cheap to buy. Downside is none of the stories provide substantial detail, most are less than 10 sentences long per "lead." There is also not one spot of attribution to source material. Clearly they got the leads from some source but you're on your own chasing those leads down.

This is just a very, very quick google search that uncovered some individual stories. 10 or 15 minutes doing state specific searches might yield a lot more results if you're interested.

Arizona
http://www.in-the-desert.com/irondoormine.html
http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/treas ... -mine.html

Oklahoma
http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/treas ... tians.html

New Mexico
http://okietreasurehunter.blogspot.com/ ... -door.html

Idaho
http://www.maladidaho.org/irondoor.htm

Colorado
http://nuggetshooter.com/articles/MyPer ... Story.html
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Re: The Iron Door Mines

Post Number:#3  Postby sanpete » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:44 pm

which comes first ---The legion or the truth. Or is it the truth then the legion?
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson
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Re: The Iron Door Mines

Post Number:#4  Postby Randy Bradford » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:07 pm

sanpet wrote:which comes first ---The legion or the truth. Or is it the truth then the legion?


I'd say the truth always proceeds a legend...how far from the truth the legend travels, literally and figuratively, is definitely the deal breaker...
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Re: The Iron Door Mines

Post Number:#5  Postby SilenceIsGolden » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:48 am

Fascinating reading, Randy. I have always had an interest in how treasure stories grow and spread for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite books on the subject is "Fantasies of Gold" by E.B. Sayles. As an archaeologist he had an interesting insight into how these tales got started, and accidentally started a couple lost treasure stories of his own.

But back to the iron doors...

I was going to relate a tale of an incredibly rich gold mine behind an iron door in the area of the Crestone Needle here in Colorado. The story is related in the book, "Buried Treasures of the Rocky Mountain West" by W.C. Jameson.

However I took a second to read the Colorado link you posted and realized that this guy had stumbled on that same fabulously rich gold mine! And gave some really good directions to it. I wonder if he knows what he saw? Truly fascinating....
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Re: The Iron Door Mines

Post Number:#6  Postby SilenceIsGolden » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:50 am

I notice he lives a few miles from me.
I may have to contact him. Seems he may have struck it rich.
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