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Aaron Daniels Sacred Mine

Aaron Daniels knew plenty about the sacred mine of Carre-Shin-Ob. He knew, also, where several of the Rhoades Mines were located. He never talked about them while he was alive and well, due to the fact that he'd sworn an oath to the Indians and to Caleb Rhoades that he would not. But on July 26, 1895, shortly before his death when he was old and ill, he revealed much of what he knew of the mines in a journal which he dictated to his daughter, Caroline Amelia Mills. In that journal he spoke of his oath in the following manner;

"I am bound by an oath not to reveal what I know of it (the mines), but my oath, like my flesh, ends with my death and it is my hope that someone of you in my family will someday profit from my knowledge. "

He then continued to tell what he knew concerning the Carre-Shin-Ob and Rhoades Mines. However, his wife, Rose Daniels - being Indian - destroyed much of his material soon after his death, including many of his maps and notes, but his journal and several maps and notes were carefully preserved by his daughter Caroline. From these we learn some astonishing facts concerning the descriptions of the mines as well as their hidden locations. In speaking of the Carre-Shin-Ob Mine, he said;

"I first saw the Sacred Mine in about the year 1889 when I was told by my wife's people (the Indians) that I might see it from up close but only if I didn't know where it was located. In the company of Happy Jack, Sagoosie Jack, Ungastonigets, David Copperfield, Cessapoonch, and some other, I was taken blindfolded to an old Indian trail near the chalk cliffs just below the old boundary of the Indian reservation.

"I was not allowed to see the route by which we ascended the mountains, but at one point we left the trail and climbed the mountain at a place which was very steep, so much so that I had to cling to the horse's back to prevent falling off.

"The Indians then took off my blindfold and showed me many old Spanish signs on the trees. Happy Jack tried to explain the history of the Spanish signs, saying that many years earlier, in his father's time, the Spanish had forced the Utes to work the mines for the Gold Ore. Happy Jack said that he himself had killed several Spaniards in his youth and knowing him as I came to, I never doubted his statement.

"Just down the slope of the hill from the Spanish trees there was a mine tunnel which was well hidden and seen only by going up a small draw where the tunnel supports could be seen protruding above the tailings which had been drawn out, in a vein which was dark gray but immediately behind the gray vein were long white cliffs of Caleche Clay.

"I was blindfolded again before leaving the Spanish trees, but before I was, I could see in a direction which was to the southwest, the Chalk Cliffs where we apparently had started off the trail earlier.

"We came down from the mountain and stopped to water our horses, at a place I suspected was probably Indian Springs. These two places I have always felt certain of.

"When next they unblinded me I found myself sitting on my horse on a bluff near the edge of a swiftly sloping hill or ridge. To the North of me was a series of three large knolls, two were westwardly, rounded, and close and a third eastward and separated from the other two by a little distance.

"The trail wound its way up the Eastern slope of the ridge and stopped where I sat. In front of me, below the hill where I sat, were two long ridges running parallel to each other, with a dissecting cut in the Southernmost or lower ridge.

"Happy Jack pointed out to me an area to my right, closer to the knolls, where the vein was exposed in a crumbling gray vein in yellowish soil. There is seen thousands of small crumbled nuggets of Gold like pieces of corn tossed to chickens on the top of the ground. I have never quite forgotten that sight and I have never seen anything any other place to match the corn Gold.

"I jumped down from my horse and picked up several pieces of the metal, but Sagoosie Jack knocked them out of my hand and reprimanded me severely for doing it, saying. 'YOU TOUCH NOTHING - JUST LOOK!'

"We had to leave the horses on top of the hill and descend down over the first ridge on foot. When we were between the two ridges, I could see cedar trees in a large grove at a place far to the right, at the head of the two ridges, and I made a mental note of it because I believed that l had seen those same trees once before from another angle where Mill Canyon comes down through the lower breaks.

"As we descended the canyon wall to the bottom between the two ridges, my Indian companions became very nervous and at one point, withdrew to themselves and talked in low whispers. They finally came to me and Happy Jack told me that they couldn't take me any closer because TOWATS (the Great Spirit) guarded the Sacred Mine and that he would kill us all if we went there.

"I was disappointed and told them so, and finally Happy Jack relented and took me to a place near the bottom of the ridge and said, 'TUNNEL IS THERE.' I couldn't see anything and asked him to take me closer, but he refused and said, 'YOU GO BY SELF, UP THE SLOPE TO HEAVY BRUSH. WHEN YOU GET CLOSE, YOU WILL SEE IT.' He told me to uncover the rocks that were there and I would see the tunnel going back into the ridge, but he tried very hard to talk me out of going any closer. I was not about to make such a long trip and not see the famous mine.

"I climbed back up the slope to a place where it leveled off at the foot of the ridge, and I could see back in the heavy growth a pile of rocks which did not look natural to the trained eye of a prospector. I knew this was a cleverly concealed tunnel entrance. I rolled a few of the top rocks away and there was a tunnel entrance as I predicted, easily large enough to stand in.

"I continued to roll the rocks away carefully, occasionally glancing back across the bottom of the little valley dividing the ridges to see my Indian friends nervously walking up and down, obviously anxious for me to come away.

"I made an entrance large enough for me to crawl through and entered on my hands and knees. It was too dark to see much of the interior, except that it was larger that I had supposed and coursed back into the hillside beyond my sight. My years of prospecting experience told me that this was the same gray vein which I had seen on top of the ridge, and there in the crumbling gray rock l could see a vein of pure yellow Gold ore running up the side of the tunnel and out of sight in the ceiling of the shaft. Near the back l thought l could detect another vein, perhaps even larger, but it was too dark to be sure and I had no light at all.

"As I walked around, examining the walls, my foot struck something which made a strange sound and I stooped down and felt about to discover that there was a pile of leather bags or sacks with straps secured to the tops, and they were apparently filled with heavy gold ore and some which felt much like gold bars. I tried to open one but found that the top had been sewed shut with stiff rawhide. I didn't dare tear one open with my pocket knife for I had been warned about bothering anything and I knew that they meant it.

"Near the front of the tunnel, which might have been a natural cave at one time, excavated by the Spaniards to expose the vein, I removed more rocks to make my crawling out easier and the light from the entrance fell upon the exposed bones and skull of at least one human skeleton and beneath these there was armor and I suspected that these were some of the Spaniards that Happy Jack told me about. Seeing these, I hastened to get out of there myself, wondering if I might not have gone so far as to provoke my Ute friends into leaving my carcass with the others.

"I returned the rocks to the entrance of the tunnel as much as I found them and slid down the slope to the bottom of the ridge to discover that my Indian companions were nowhere to be seen. I suspected the very worst until I heard someone hoot and looked up to see them on top of the second hill, mounted and ready to ride. They motioned me to come up which I did and I was again blindfolded and hastened away two times as fast as I had been taken there. Not one of the Indians said a word as we dropped down out of the mountains and I felt that they were very scared as an impression, since an Indian will tell you nothing of their feelings.

"In conclusion, I might state that l returned to the Sacred Indian Mine only once some several years later to discover that I was being followed and watched and therefore abandoned any opportunity I might have had to ascertain if my directions were correct. I now feel, however, in looking back upon those experiences, that I was correct in every detail of my suspicions as to the location of the tunnel and I would know it again immediately if I were to see it, even at a distance, except that it can only be seen from very close...."(See Map #022, 023.)--Lost Gold of the Uintah, pp. 51-54

I asked on one of the forums on the Internet if the cut that is shown on Aaron Daniel's map could be the same one as the cut that George Thompson says can be seen with infrared photography in the same area--"There is something of interest about those old stone monuments overlooking Crow Creek. Infra-red surveys of that area have revealed an unusual trench-like cut on the mountain near one of those rock markers. There is about two feet of the top of a ladder sticking above the surface in that trench, but what it leads to no one knows, for if there is a shaft there, it was filled in long ago. Why else would there be a ladder sticking up out of the ground?"--in Faded Footprints on page 150. Steve Shaffer gave this reply: "The 'Cut' is easy to find. It is exactly where it shows on the map. Now that the area has been burned off it is much easier to locate. Gale Rhoades and I spent quite a few weeks in that area. never found the mine though. Found monuments, lots of pyrite, symbols, arrowheads, one shaft further to the east and some strange rock piles. Hummm."

See also a map from AC Wilkerson’s Book Guide to the Lost Rhoades Gold Mines.

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