Monday, April 5, 2010

CryptoWA #16 - Lost Lakes of Gold



When Captain Ben Ingalls was separated from his army unit in 1855, he must have thought it was his lucky day. His misplaced survey expedition was replaced with a gold strike of epic proportions. Ingalls claimed he found a series of lakes, each surrounded by heaps of high yield gold quartz. The lore around this tale usually includes a huge earthquake driving Ingalls from his camp in the middle of the night.
 
Ingall's hastily hid a map, but neither it or the lakes were ever seen again. Ingalls himself was killed by a firearm mishap during his first attempt to locate the strike in 1861. Subsequent trips by friends and their descendants have never revealed the location of this fabulous lost treasure.

The story of that earthquake has since merged with ones from a huge earthquake that rocked Washington in 1872. That temblor reshaped a number of peaks in Washington's interior, and temporarily dammed the Columbia River (allowing local tribes to stroll across the river bottom). Many familiar with Ingall's tale think the three lakes, if they were ever real, are now buried beneath vast piles of rock, not to mention heaps of myth, hearsay and rumor.

CK