|In 1933, a number of newspaper articles appeared across Southern California extolling the grandeur and beauty of recently discovered massive limestone caves within the Mojave’s Providence Mountains near the old Bonanza King Mine. Known today as Mitchell Caverns.|
|Legend has it that miners first learned of a vast hidden treasure from three Indian brothers -- Oliver, Buck and George Peysert. Inspired by tribal lore, the Peysert brothers had set off sometime between 1903-05 in search of riches, said to be centered around the 6,037-foot Kokoweef Mountain.|
Kokoweef is situated three miles south of Mountain Pass in California and about 19 miles west of the Nevada state line on Interstate 15.
Photograph of the Mitchell Caverns on October 17, 1934
|Within six weeks of their arrival the Peysert brothers had gained access to a subterranean cave system via Kokoweef’s Crystal Cave -- one of three solution cavities inside the peak that developed along fault contacts. After exploring miles of serpentine labyrinth interspersed with deep vertical karst and vast limestone ledges, an enormous underground river materialized. The black sand was rich in placer gold.|
With as much gold-laden sand as they could carry, the three began their ascent out of the cavern -- but tragedy struck when brother George plunged into the river to his death. The two brothers made their way back to civilization, then allegedly deposited more than $57,000.