Background about the Superstition Mountain Museum and area

The Superstition Mountain Historical Society was formed on Dec. 27, 1979. It is a nonprofit corporation under Section 501(c)3, organized to collect and preserve the history and legends of Arizona’s Superstition Mountains, and to support research, education and publications involving the region.

The Superstition Mountain Museum collects, preserves and displays the artifacts, history and folklore of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction and the surrounding region.

About the Superstition area

Perhaps nowhere in the entire United States is there an area full of legend, history and intrigue as the rugged 160,000-acre Superstition Mountain range in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona. Archeological evidence indicates people were here some 9,000 years ago. Later inhabitants included the Salado, Hohokam and Apache Indians, followed by Spanish explorers and Mexican gold miners. Early American trappers and adventurers migrated to the area and were soon followed by cattlemen and farmers. Eventually, the U.S. Cavalry was sent in to establish forts to protect this rapidly growing population. As modern times approached, men and women began searching for what they believed was the richest gold mine in the world.

Lost Dutchman

This mine was made famous by Jacob Waltz, known as “the Dutchman,” who took the secret of “his mine” to the grave in 1891. Even today, treasure hunters scour the mountains searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine, but now they share the region with campers, hikers, horseback riders and conservationists in what has officially become the Superstition Wilderness Area.

For hours and directions to the museum, call 480-983-4888 or visit its website.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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