Jim Bark (Sims Ely’s partner) heard of a woman who claimed to have seen the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Sims Ely interviewed her during the summer of 1910. He found her in a mining camp called Big Bug, Arizona (near Humboldt and Prescott). Her name was Maria Rables, and she ran a boarding house. She was 14 when she made the trip from Sonora on a mule with her sweet heart Juan Gonzales to the Superstition Mountains.
Juan Gonzales was one of Don Miguel Peralta’s peons who accompanied the work force to the Superstition Mountains years before. He had once again returned to the mine showing Jacob Waltz (the Dutchman) and his partner Jacob Wiezer the mine. This time, Juan was with Maria and three other companions. The idea was to work the mine, remove as much gold as possible, and head for New Mexico to retire. They had stolen the mules from Don Miguel. However, there is another story that says that Juan received a grub stake from a saloon owner at the Silver King. The mules were provided in exchange for a share in the gold, but Juan never returned with the mules or the gold.
Maria stated the mine shaft (Pozo) went down on the vein to where the workers had to climb short ladders on terraces. They worked in their bare feet, and the gold ore was transported to the top of the shaft by sacks that had straps that went over their foreheads and the bags rested on their backs. The ore was then passed through a sieve to be concentrated. She commented that sometimes she would occupy herself by taking a handful and blowing away the waste and holding the gold in the palm of her hand. They were like grains of wheat.
They stayed at the mine for a few days and then departed for New Mexico where Maria and Juan were married. Juan couldn’t settle down, and eventually turned bandit. He was killed a short time later. Maria soon met a man Jose Rables, whom she married and they moved to Big Bug. Jose eventually died, but the cause was not stated.
Maria talked about her trip to the mine. She stated they entered the mountains near Miner’s Needle and went down a slope (falda). She repeated this several times and Sims Ely thought this would put her somewhere in La Barge Canyon. (Two more canyons over and they would be in Fishcreek.)
When asked what she saw at the mine she stated a few miles away there were three peaks, the middle being the further away.