The Lost Tayopa Silver Mine

In the Sierra Mountains of Mexico in a mountain range at the east of Nacori hides the Tayopa silver mine, this mine was said to have been of such wonderful riches that blocks of silver taken from it had to be cut into several pieces so that mules could carry them to sea coast for shipment to Spain. Many stories, legends and myths surround it as well as articles and books describing the search for it.

The early Spaniards, after the conquest of Mexico, went through the country and found many rich mines and began to work them by enslaving the Indians and forcing them to work the mines. Two very rich ones were the Guaynopa mine and the Tayopa mine. The Guaynopa mine is well known and is located in the deep Graynopa canyon that flows into the Rio Aros.

The Tayopa mine was very rich in gold and silver and the Spanish set up a mill and foundry to smelt the gold and silver into bars to facilitate the transportation of these bars back to Spain. The Catholic Priest came in and built a church so the Spaniards could worship and for the conversion of the Indian slaves. As time went on transportation became a big problem and some of the mule trains of gold and silver bars never arrived at the coast to be loaded onto the waiting ships. So there was quite a back log of shipments that were stacked just inside of the mine. The Priest built a special cellar under the church and stored the portion for the church in this vault under the church. This treasure was made of not only gold and silver bars but also of gold crucifixes and statues of silver and gold. Details of this treasure have been read on original letters written by the Priest detailing the Tithes that he had collected for the Church and at that moment they were stored under the church in the vault, this lists declare fabulous amounts of treasure that had been accumulated.

One of the stories says that one night some wandering Apaches secretly contacted the Indian slaves and told them that they would come on a certain night with guns and weapons and help them kill the Spaniards and free the slaves. True to their promise the Apaches came and armed the slaves. They killed all of the Spaniards and the Priest and put all of the bodies in the mine. They then covered up the mine entrance and destroyed the buildings.

According to history there was a general uprising of the slaves in all of the mines about this time. After things had settled down the Spaniards had not heard anything from the ones that had been operating the Tayopa mine. They sent a party to go see about the mine and the men who were running it. The problem was that none of them had ever been to the Tayopa mine consequently even though they spent many days searching they could not find the mine or their companions that had been stationed at the Tayopa.

The Catholic Church put out a list of the treasure that belonged to the Church and offered a great reward to entice adventurers to find and recover the treasure for the church. Another story tells that the Apaches attacked the place one day when the men were nearly all away at a party (fiesta) in Rio Bavispe, killed every one in the camp, destroyed the buildings, and blew up the entrance of the mine. Some still say that at night one can hear the dogs bark and the church bells ring in Tayopa.

Truth been said many have searched through the years but the great and fabulous treasure still remains in the lost mine of Tayopa waiting to be found.

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