legends of the creek

creek of goldDuring the winter of 1881,outlaws Henry Corey and Ralph Gaines stole eight large gold bars from the Black Hill Mine near Cave Creek, Arizona. Each of these bars, which were three feet long and four inches wide, were buried near a cabin adjacent to the swift currents of Cave Creek. The pair then headed to Prescott, where they relieved a stagecoach of $25,000 in gold and silver coins. Returning to the cabin with the treasure, they dug up the gold bars and placed these, along with the stagecoach loot, into four large wooden crates. It’s the legend that Gaines being the better swimmer, swam to the bottom of Cave Creek and buried all four crates.

The outlaw pair was holed up on the edge of Cave Creek when both men spotted the approaching lawman, Sheriff Bob Anderson and his posse. The bandits made a hasty retreat, leaving the treasure behind. Later, Gaines was killed in a knife fight in Benson, Arizona and Corey was arrested during a holdup near Globe, Arizona and sent to Yuma Territorial prison. When Corey was released 24 years later, he made repeated searches for the loot but it was never found. Corey died in 1936. During summertime, the dry bed areas of this low level creek can be easily searched but fortune seekers have seen the ghostly apparition of a man wading about madly in the creek with a shovel in hand as if he is looking for something.

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