The Superstition Mountain Historical Society was formed on December 27, 1979. We are a non-profit 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 9000 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.
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.
Attractions & Photo Opportunities
The 12.5 acre Museum site offers untold photo opportunities with it’s reproductions of 19th Century businesses including a Wells Fargo office, stage coach stop, barber shop, assay office and other displays of authentic relics of the 1800’s.
Visit the Elvis Memorial Chapel and the Audie Murphy Barn, museums in their own right, which were moved to the museum piece by piece, following the second fire which destroyed the Apacheland Movie Ranch.
This 20 stamp ore crusher, was donated in 1989 by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Jones of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Twenty eight days were required for five men, all volunteers, to disassemble and move the mill to Apache Junction, Arizona. This mill was state of the art technology for recovering gold in the 1800s. Rare, historical, surviving equipment of this nature today, can be counted on one hand, let alone in such great condition.
The Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum is located at 4087 N. Apache Trail, 3½ miles NE of Apache Junction. Get a feeling of what the “old west” was really like back at the turn of the century. The museum has a variety of exhibits and is open 362 days a year.
For hours and directions, call 480-983-4888. You can also follow us on Facebook.