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Southeast Idaho

THE IRON DOOR

      Local legend claims that in the Samaria Mountains there is a cache of gold and silver bars stolen during a stage coach robbery. The Gold Road, where the robbery occured, traveled through the area and linked the Montana gold mines to Salt Lake City, Utah. The following legend is one of many renditions of the event.

THE LEGEND BEGINS

    The low horizon shimmered in the hot mid-day air, and dust devils danced over the valley floor.  From their homestead cabin on the western bench of the valley, they could see for miles to the north and to the south.  But for some minutes now their attention had been drawn to the southwest, and they watched with apprehensive interest as a man on horseback approached. 

    As he came closer they sensed that something was wrong.  The horse moved at a slow pace, and the rider nearly collapsed in the saddle.  Soon they could see that he was wounded.  they hurried to the horse, helped him down, and carried the almost unconscious man to their cabin.  He had been shot at least twice, and had lost a lot of blood. As they laid him on the bed he began to talk. The story he told was this:

     He was an outlaw and for several years had robbed the stage lines which sent their coaches through the valley.  He had thrown in with two others, and the three of them had accumulated a great deal of stolen gold.  they hid their stolen wares in a cave in the mountains south of the town called Samaria.  they had sealed the entrance to the cave with an iron door.  

    As he explained his story the homesteaders learned that he had been shot by the other robbers during an argument. However, he had killed the other two and placed their bodies in the cave with the gold and sealed it with the iron door.  He had been too weak to take the gold with him.  As he continued to worsen he offered  a poor description of the caves location, only saying that it was near the top of one of the peaks where the view offered escape from any approaching posse.

THE SEARCH

    Some local residents still search for the lost gold, urged on by past sightings.  One sighting in 1891 was made by 13 year old Glispie Waldron during a roundup.  As he was an honest, reputable, and hard-working man his statement was generally accepted as fact.  Glispy died in 1962 at the age of 84. Glispy described the door as being made from two wagon wheels and a thin sheet of Iron.  Glispy's description of the area placed the Iron Door at a point similar to the robber's description.  And the description fits with that of a site worked by a local man who believed he had found the actual site.  

A local man who was well acquainted with Glispy has spent a considerable time over the years searching for the Iron Door using Glsipy's description.  this same man has found evidence that coincides with the legend.  Digging with hand tools and blasting with dynamite, he uncovered an assortment of bones and bone fragments that were later sent to a nearby university for analysis.  The bones were found to be human remains.

 

       

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