One of the top treasure legends in America is that of the lost San Saba Mine (also known as tbook_coverhe Lost Bowie Mine).

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 (as an imprint of the Texas Folklore Society) in December of 2018.

Lots of illustrations and  maps.  Information about the legend never before printed.  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.

Update: will be presenting a paper related to the story at the East Texas Historical Association at 9AM October 12, 2019.

The book can be ordered from Barnes and Noble in Nook and print.  Amazon has it on Kindle and print as well.  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).

Reviews of the book: Midwest Book Review

Book Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Legend
  3. Silver in Texas? 1680 – 1756
  4. Spain on the San Saba 1757 – 1810
  5. Bowie Looks for a Mine 1829 – 1832
  6. Comancheria and the Germans 1832 – 1867
  7. Los Almagres, and other Silver
  8. The San Marcos Men 1868 – 1869
  9. The Legend Builds 1870 – 1911
  10. William Longworth 1912 – 1925
  11. Judge Norton 1911 – 1949
  12. Princess Wenonah 1930 – 1943
  13. The End of the Mine 1949 – 1990
  14. Theories
  15. Ezell’s Story
  16. The Ghosts of Silver Creek

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:

Story synopsis:

Jim Bowie:

The most interesting treasure hunters:

Silver Mines in Texas:

The San Saba Mine in Literature:


All site contents Copyright 2019 David Lewis

Last Update August 21, 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.