Bingham County has a couple of tales of gold waiting to be found. One told in the 1937 Federal Writers Project book Idaho, a Guide in Word and Picture, tells of a ne'er-do-well freighter named Blackie who was known to imbibe more than was strictly prudent. Acquaintances of his goaded him into robbing the stage coming from the Salmon mines to Blackfoot. Fortified with a bottle of courage, he did so, only to find that a box full of gold bars is too heavy to pack around.
The story is short of details such as what year this took place, what happened to the stagecoach driver, and what Blackie’s last name might have been. I found nothing about it in a search of newspapers from a 30-year period. Leaving aside that lack of evidence, for the sake of a good story, let’s just stagger forward.
Blackie buried his heavy box of loot among the lavas at the side of the road, then went into Blackfoot to have a few drinks with his buddies. Wound up by the tale of so much gold one couldn’t carry it, his friends convinced Blackie to take them to the hiding spot.
Upon reaching the robbery site, the men were greeted by gunfire from sketchily described law enforcement officers. Whether or not any of his friends caught a bullet is left out of the story. Blackie, in true tales-of-the-West fashion was wounded, living only long enough to give a vague description of where the gold was buried.
The gold was never found. Or never there. Or, there, but found and spent in some tropical paradise. Maybe you’ll write the ending to this one.
This post appeared originally as a column in the Blackfoot Morning News.
#idahohistory #binghamcountyhistory #idahogold