Monday, July 23, 2012

The Legend of Ed Long, and the City of Rocks Stagecoach Robbery!

Along our route back from Sturgis, lies the City of Rocks National Preserve in southern Idaho, bordering near Twin Falls. While most people associate Idaho with Golden Potatoes, LRS is investigating a different kind of gold. The real kind. This area is said to be the home of multiple hidden gold caches in it's twisting canyons and rocky outcroppings. The Oregon and California trail both passed near this area, and as a result, so did multiple settlers. These settlers often found gold in these ore rich areas. And with gold, comes outlaws! Follow LRS as we dig for the truth behind these buried treasures on this section of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road...

It's estimated that nearly 100,000 people passed through this area on their way westward during the great rushes starting in 1840. These people were often prospectors and had been collecting gold and silver all along the Oregon and California Trails as they wind their way westward. While there's numerous tales of hidden treasure in the area, perhaps one of the best known, is the legend of outlaw and thief Ed Long and his golden stagecoach robbery of 1863!

    Gold was first discovered in the area in 1861. The gold rush would not only bring prospectors, but outlaws to the area. In 1863 an outlaw named Ed Long, and another crony stole almost $100,000 in gold dust as well as nuggets from a stagecoach stop in Eastern Idaho. Legend has it that the stage coach was headed from the gold camps in Pocatell and McCammon, Idaho. Long allegedly spent months learning about gold shipments, and when he finally hit the coach, he was overwhelmed at the amount of gold that he stole. Realizing that they were not equipped to run from the assured posse that would be on their trail with that amount of gold, they allegedlly ran for City of Rocks National Preserve just south of modern day Twin Falls, Idaho. They managed to bury the gold, but they didn't escape. A posse from Brigham City caught up with Long and his partner. Although Long attempted to surrender, his partner opened fire on the posse, and a gunfight ensued.

While Ed Long fell during the gunfight, his partner managed to survive. He was taken to Utah and questioned, but refused to give up the location of the gold. He was eventually expedited to Texas on a warrant, and maintained his silence until the day he died. There's no record of his gold ever being found.
     So as we trek through this history filled area on our way back westward from Sturgis, we might just strike it rich! Unfortunately, we might not be equipped to make the run with $100,000 in gold nuggets either. Whether we find a hidden treasure or not, we'll stay on the hunt for the lure of gold as we ride through Southern Idaho. Follow us next time, as we explore another LRS Myth, Legends, and Tales from the Road...

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