I just finished a short story for a Christmas anthology where an old woman tells about a silver mine. Everyone knows there were no gold or silver mines in Texas. Or were there?
Near Menard, Texas a legend has existed ever since the 1830s about a lost silver mine belonging to Jim Bowie. He moved to San Antonio in 1828 and promptly became a Mexican citizen. He spent a great deal of time prospecting. He was famous for carrying a large knife that was forged from a meteorite. I don’t know if that meteor part is true or if it was something someone made up. It would be really cool though. Anyway, James married the daughter of the vice-governor of Mexico—Ursula Veramindi.
Rumor has it that Bowie noticed Indians trading silver in the square so he left his wife behind and went to live with the Lipan Apaches to try to learn the source of the silver. And he found it at the Presidio de San Saba in Menard County.
Excited, he returned to San Antonio for workers and supplies, but he was followed by one of the Apache warriors who wore a human hand necklace. They fought and Jim Bowie wounded the warrior severely with his knife. Long story short, the warrior made it back to his tribe and recovered.
By the time Bowie returned, two hundred warriors met him and his workers near Calf Creek in 1831. They had a fierce battle and there is a Texas historical marker there today. Although Jim Bowie lost one man, they delivered a resounding defeat against overwhelming numbers.
When Bowie took the wounded back to San Antonio, he found his wife and children very ill with cholera. In a desperate bid to save them, he hurried them to Mexico but they soon died.
As we all know, Jim Bowie wound up fighting at the Alamo in 1836 and lost his life. The location of the mine died with him.
People have searched for over a century in an effort to find the lost San Saba mine but to no avail. Was it all just a hoax or was it real? No one really knows.
This is the stuff of legend and great for a rainy night around a campfire. Do you have family stories passed down that you might tell?
My parents totally believed in ghosts told and once during the Depression when they watched a man walk into a bush and never come back out. They searched and searched around and in it but never found hide nor hair of the man.