Twenty Nine Palms & Tales of treasures

    The district of the Twenty Nine Palms is placed along with Lost Horse, Hexie, Gold Park, and Pinon by the State of California Department of Mines and Geology. These mines and groups of claims are located on the south of Twenty Nine Palms in the mountain ranges and hills. The mining in this area mainly consisted of lode mining however it is still possible to obtain some gold in the washes by placering with a dry washer. This area has some lode deposits that are mainly narrow quartz veins with a good amount of iron oxide in it and pyrite. This place had a good amount of production during the 1860’s. Almost all of the diggings are located in the Joshua Tree National Park and have been closed to public mining. There still remain to be open areas though and there are prospectors that go to this area to see if they find luck.

    Tales of treasures
    It was said that there used to be a prospector by the name of John Lang that travelled the hills but whom had not had much success in the turn of the century. He met up with another prospector whose name was Diebolt given that Diebolt had made a rich find. Diebolt was interested in selling this claim and Lang and another partner of his decided to buy it and started to mine the ore. This area ended up being called the Lost Horse Mine given that Lang had lost a pack horse in the mine area. The Lost Horse Mine ended up being one of the greatest gold producers in the area and has been estimated to have had around half a million to one million dollars worth of gold. This mine was booming and it was decided that there would run two shifts every day. Lang would take on the night shifts and his partner (by the name of Ryan) would run the day shifts. The crew working for them soon came to the realization that trouble was occurring between the two men. The crew was told to compare how much gold the crews were reporting and Lang’s was always a few ounces less than Ryan’s. Therefore Ryan was convinced that Lang was robbing him. A big discussion went on about this problem and Lang’s partner Ryan, had Lang forced out of the property. Lang then went on looking for a new strike. By this time he had already used up all of the money that had been given to him for his half of the mine and had to beg for water when the vein at the Lost Horse no longer supplied. When this occurred the Lost Horse Mine closed down and suddenly Lang began to spend a great amount of money but nobody knew how this was possible. There was one person who was aware though and his name was Bill Keys. After Lang passed away Bill Keys told the story. Bill owned the Desert Queen, which was a mine during that time. Lang was in charge of bringing gold to Bill, and he would include it in his shipment to the bank and pay Lang. keys was not worried where Lang was getting the gold from though. At one point Lang told Keys that he had buried a great amount of gold close to his old cabin at the Lost Horse Mine. For around ten years, Lang took care of bringing around a thousand dollars worth of gold every time he passed by. Lang got caught in a snow storm. He decided he would wait out the storm inside his bag and remained there were he was found three months later dead. It is said that Lang’s friend buried him with his pockets full of the gold he had stolen. The Lost Horse Mine is now the property of the Joshua Tree National Park.