Captain Rick: The Mining Camp in Apache Junction, Arizona is world famous for its restaurant, museum and spectacular view of Superstition Mountain.
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The world famous Mining Camp Restaurant is part restaurant, part historical museum and opened its doors to the public in 1961. The complex is located at the base of the beautiful and mysterious Superstition Mountains and along the romantic Apache Trail in Apache Junction, Arizona.
The restaurant’s unique exterior is made up of roughly sawn ponderosa pine hauled from brought down from the Mogollon Rim.
Today, the restaurant still follows the theme of the early mining camp cook shanty. The decor is authentically styled shanty town with mining equipment strewn here and there.
Visitors can learn about the colorful history of the area, as newspaper and magazine clippings adorn the walls and provide a historic glimpse into the legend and lore of this area. These articles include rare tellings of the stories of treasure hunters, Spanish gold, murder, mystery and intrigue.
The legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine centers around the Superstition Mountains. According to the legend, a German immigrant named Jacob Waltz (some sources offer other spellings of his last name, such as "Walz") discovered a mother lode in the Superstition Wilderness and revealed its location on his deathbed in 1891 to a woman who had taken care of him for many years. Several mines have been claimed to be the actual mine that Waltz discovered, but none of those claims have been verified.
Since the mid-1800s, well over 100 people have died among the craggy peaks. Some of those deaths were murders associated with the fabled Lost Dutchman Mine; but many were due to falls from its breathtaking – and dangerously steep – precipices. The high death toll prompted state officials in 1983 to outlaw any serious mining efforts in the Superstition range.
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