Sand Dune Whiskey Cache !
Bob and Brian Exploring
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Sand Dune Whiskey Cache!

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Now when someone tells lost treasure stories you might think of Gold and Silver, but there are other things that get lost as well. Would you consider whiskey as a treasure? Well if it's 100 proof and 122 years old it just might be a treasure!

Around 1880 an indepentent freighter contracted to carry a load of casks of 100-proof whiskey from northern California to mining camps in northern Arizona. No one was ever sure of where he started from or his route, but he did stop for a few days at a ranch in Oasis Valley. He did head south upon leaving there and was forced to stop when he got caught up in a storm near the sand dunes 23 miles south of Beatty, in southern Nye county. The sand storm made it impossible to continue, so he hobbled his animals and took refuge under his wagon.

The storm lasted all day and well into the night. It was the following day when the skies cleared, and the wind died down that he could continue his journey. It was then that he found that his animals had drifted away in the storm and left no tracks to follow.

He then packed all the water he could carry and set out for the ranch in Oasis Valley. This trip took him some day and a half to make on foot. After arriving there he explained his problems and borrowed a hitch of draft horses to use for recovering his outfit. Upon returning to the dunes he found not a trace of his wagon, concluding that another storm had shifted the huge dunes and covered all of his cargo. After searching to no end, he returned the horses to Oasis Valley and went his way!

Now Oasis Valley is some 100 miles to the northwest of the sand dunes and the freighter could not have walked it in a day and a half. In 1880's freight shipped from northern California to northern Arizona was routed through central California by rail to Needles and Kingman. That makes a lot of it inaccurate!

A version accepted by the residents of the area places the date earlier in the century and the stop-over site as Rose's Well, a then active stage station about 18 miles south of Beatty. Stanley W. Paher concisely relates to this tale in his NEVADA GHOST TOWNS and MINING CAMPS, claiming that the teamster left Rose's Well after a short stop in 1910. When the big storm hit him at the sand dunes, he cut the horses loose. Abandoning the wagon, the teamster took his animals back to Rose's Well to ride out the storm. Then after the storm had cleared returned to find no trace of his wagon or cargo.

Now it does not make any difference which version you like, the wagon was never found or it's cargo. A heavy freight wagon loaded with casks of 100-proof whiskey still makes this a sensational story. The desert has a way of preserving everything, there just may be a load of whiskey still buried out there somewhere. That would be another great story if someone someday finds it. It's still one of Nevada's most unusual "treasures'.

Another one out of the Nevada Lost Mines and Buried Treasures !

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