Monday, February 16, 2009

The Legacy of Superstition Mountain

February 16, 2009 © Thomas J. Kollenborn. All Rights Reserved.

The legacy of Superstition Mountain would be the stories about those individuals involved with the mountain’s early history. This is what Jim Swanson and I have tried to capture in our books. We have been co-authoring books on the history of the Superstition Wilderness and Apache Junction area for the past twenty-eight years.

We love working on material about people, places and events associated with the history of the Superstition Wilderness Area and Apache Junction. Our first book was Superstition Mountain: A Ride Through Time published in 1981. Our second effort was a book titled Circlestone: A Superstition Mountain Mystery published in 1986.

Our third book, The History of Apache Junction was published in 1990. Jim and I talked and worked on another sequel to Superstition Mountain: A Ride Through Time for several years. We finally published our fourth book; that sequel, Superstition Mountain: In the Footsteps of the Dutchman in 2008.

We can’t say it took twentyeight years to do the research and writing because it didn’t, however we were both very busy during these years. Our second part of Superstition Mountain was a continuation of the human history of Superstition Mountain and the Apache Junction area.

We found interesting research and writing when it came to the various individuals we wrote about. These individuals included men like Amos Hawkins, Peter Carney, Ray Howland, Bud Lane, Billy Clark Crader, Robert A. Aiton, George Miller, Abe Reid, Superstition Joe, “Crazy Jake”, Elisha M. Reavis, Charles Kenworthy and many more. Did you know Bud Lane, our local cowboy survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941? Did you know Charles Kenworthy was a close personal friend of John Wayne? Wayne was a treasure hunter like Kenworthy and his partner.

Did you know Elisha Marcus Reavis was a school teacher in El Monti, California and also a Deputy United States Marshal in Arizona Territory 1869-1872?

Did you know “Crazy” Jake (Robert Simpson Jacob) raised close to nine million dollars in his scam about treasure in the Superstition Mountains? Some sources estimate Jacob’s raised closer to thirty million, but we couldn’t find any documentation to support these statements.

The book contains a brief but thorough history of Jacob Waltz’s life from Germany to Arizona. There is a chapter about the military action in the Superstition Mountains during the Indian Wars. This chapter includes quotes from military field notes written by the officers who served in these campaigns.

The original story of Alfred Senner, and his first and only love composes one of the chapters in this book. Senner allegedly high-graded rich ore from the Mammoth Mine and hid it high on the top of Superstition Mountain for his girl friend. We write about Charley Williams and his cave of gold found in the Superstition Mountains in the middle 1930’s. You can read about the phenomenal rescue of James Stevens from being buried alive in the Mammoth Mine for thirteen days in the summer of 1897. No man has ever survived this long trapped underground in a mine. Jim Swanson made actual contact with descendents of James Stevens.

Jim and I have worked together researching and writing books for many years. He took the material and stories I have written down and meticulously put them into their correct prose so we can all understand them better. Jim did a great job making this book very readable and grammatically correct.

Superstition Mountain: In the Footsteps of the Dutchman is available at the Goldfield Museum, Goldfield’s Mother Lode Mercantile Store, & Pro Mac South, ProMack, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, The Book Bank, Globe, AZ, Gila County Historical Society, Globe, AZ, Spring Creek Store, Highway 188, Tonto National Monument, Tortilla Flat, Superstition Mountain and Lost Dutchman Museum, Mining Camp Restaurant, Wide World of Maps, Mesa, AZ, Crazy Horse Saddle & Tack and several other local outlets in the area.

For more information please email or Superstition Mountain Press, P.O. Box 1535, Apache Junction, AZ. 85119