One of the top treasure legends in America is that of the lost San Saba Mine (or the Lost Bowie Mine, as James Bowie himself went looking for a mine near the San Saba River several years before he died at the Alamo). It is distinct from the Los Almagres Mine–although the stories are intertwined.
My interest in the San Saba legends started when I discovered that an ancestor of mine, Samuel Flemming, and three companions (i.e., the San Marcos men), went looking for it in 1868. Their search was popularized by J. Frank Dobie in his 1930 book, Coronado’s Children. A while back I determined to get to the bottom of it, and spent a lot of time researching every lead, visiting the town of Menard itself, and the nearby egg-shaped basin, where the San Marcos men searched over 150 years ago.
I ended up writing the book that I wished existed when I took up the study of the legend. The San Saba Treasure, Legends of Silver Creek was published by the University of North Texas Press in December 15, 2018 and is on sale now. It was published by a university press, and I do not expect it to sell a great number of copies, but if the right people get it, then it was worth writing.
Lots of illustrations, maps, and hundreds of end notes. Buy one for everyone you know–maybe they will find the treasure and share it with you! Well, actually, no one will find any treasure from reading the book, but they will treasure the legends, the two-hundred and fifty years of history, and the unique characters in the book.
If you are near San Angelo, TX, Cactus Books has it in stock (and you can call Cactus Books at 325-659-3788 and purchase a copy that way as well). It can also be ordered from Barnes and Noble in Nook and print. Amazon has it on Kindle and print as well.
There will be a book signing at the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera, TX sometime this Spring–check back for an exact date.
The book has a number of maps and illustrations, nearly all of them done by Ricky Blalock. I think he did a great job. In most cases I provided him with an old photo, sometimes from a eighty year old newspaper, and he took it from there. I think he may have made Wenonah look a bit more glamorous than she was, but I am sure she would not mind. His website is here.
If you are interested in the story, then get the book. In the meantime, articles related to the story, that did not make into the book, can be found on this site by clicking here. The most important of those articles are these:
- The second search in 1832
- Observations regarding the February 2019 Lost Gold episode on the Bowie Mine
The most interesting treasure hunters:
- (and another Wenonah article here)
- Old Man Mullins (not connected to Silver Creek, but still interesting)
Silver Mines in Texas:
The San Saba Mine in Literature:
- In works of Fiction
- Coronado’s Children
- Hunter’s Rise and Fall of the Mission San Saba and J. Frank Dobie
All site contents Copyright 2019 David Lewis
Last Update February 16, 2019
Keywords: San Saba Mine, San Saba Treasure, Lost Bowie Mine, William Longworth, Julius Norton, Wenonah, J. Frank Dobie, Jim Bowie, James Bowie, Menard, Coronado’s Children, The Broken Metate.