Old Spanish Mines by Kristy McCaffrey and a Give Away!

We are thrilled to welcome guest author Kristy McCaffrey to the Junction today.  Kristy will be giving away a copy of her new book Rosemary to one lucky commenter!

Long before the westward expansion of the United States, the Spanish were present. Markings on a canyon wall in central Utah consisting of a cross symbol bear the date ‘1667’. Hieroglyphics and pictographs originally thought to be placed by Native Americans are actually markers along the Spanish Trail, which led from Mexico to the Uinta Mountains (in Utah) and beyond. This trail was the main link between Mexican and Spanish outposts, and it’s posited that they were religious outposts. The Spanish presence lasted well into the 1800’s, when packs of Mexicans were reportedly leaving the Uinta Mountains laden with gold.

Until the 1800’s, the tales of the Spanish gold mines were the subject of Native American history, with few white men knowing of the mines. The Spaniards used the Native Americans as slave labor, and after many years of oppression it’s believed that they revolted and killed most of their Spanish captors. Supposedly the Native Americans returned the gold bullion to the earth and sealed it in the very mines from which it had come.

Thomas Rhoades, a close assistant to Mormon Church leader Brigham Young, was one of the first white men to fully understand the implications of the Spanish mines. Young had become a religious mentor to a Ute Indian named Chief Walkara, who spoke of a secret cache of gold in the Uinta Mountains. The chief agreed to give the gold to the church, and Rhoades was selected to transport it to Salt Lake City.

Unfortunately, the Indians refused to remove the gold, believing it to be cursed. But it was easy for Rhoades to transport since it was already mined and left in bullion form. His first trip was said to have lasted two weeks, yielding more than sixty pounds of pure gold. For several years, Rhoades continued to transfer gold until, in 1887, he discovered additional mines located off Indian ground. This spurred interest in the lost Spanish gold mines, since it appeared there wasn’t just one mine to be found but many.

Prospector With Donkey



Searching for the mines could be deadly. In the early years, stories circulated of prospectors being shot and killed, often by Native

Americans protecting the sacred mines. Even as recently as 1990 there have been reports of modern-day prospectors being fired upon as a warning by Native Americans who protect the land near historic mining operations.


Old-timers in the Uinta Mountains have claimed there are seven mines lined with pure gold that supplied the Aztecs, serving as the basis for the seven golden cities of Cibola sought by early Spanish explorers.

In ROSEMARY, Book 11 of the Widows of Wildcat Ridge Series, Rosemary goes in search of the fabled Floriana mine in the wilderness of the Utah Territory in 1884. While The Floriana is a fictitious mine, I based it on tales of the time.

Rosemary Brennan is recovering from the loss of her husband five months prior in a devastating mine accident that took the lives of nearly all the men in Wildcat Ridge. The mine owner, Mortimer Crane, has given the widows an ultimatum—find husbands or he will evict them from their homes and businesses. Desperate to keep the assay office that her deceased husband had managed, she heads into the hills in search of an old Spanish mine called The Floriana in the hope she can lay claim to a bonanza of gold.


Ex-U.S. Deputy Marshal Miles McGinty arrives in Wildcat Ridge to pay his respects to Jack Brennan’s widow. He and Jack had a history, and Miles is heartsick over the loss of the young man he had come to think of as a brother. When he learns of Rosemary’s problems with the piggish Crane, he will do anything to help her—even offering marriage. But when it becomes clear that Crane knew of Jack’s criminal past and was blackmailing him over it, Miles must decide whether to tell Rosemary the truth, because doing so may drive her away. And to his surprise, Miles has fallen in love with his new wife.

A sweet romance set in 1884 Utah Territory.

Available at One commenter will win a digital copy of Rosemary!


Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances brimming with grit and emotion, along with contemporary adventure stories packed with smoldering romance and spine-tingling suspense. Her work is filled with compelling heroes, determined heroines, and her trademark mysticism. Kristy holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, but writing has been her passion since she was very young. Her four children are nearly grown and gone, so she and her husband frequently pursue their love of travel to the far corners of the world. Kristy believes life should be lived with curiosity, compassion, and gratitude, and one should never be far from the enthusiasm of a dog. An Arizona native, she resides in the desert north of Phoenix. To learn more about her work, visit her website.


(Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos)


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46 thoughts on “Old Spanish Mines by Kristy McCaffrey and a Give Away!”

  1. Such an interesting post. I haven’t read this series yet but I liked this excerpt and will start reading. Thank you Kristy for the post.

  2. Welcome to the Junction. That’s for such an amazing blog. You have a great weekend. Your book sounds delightful.

  3. Makes you wonder how many mines of value were mined here in the united states. Because there are many abandon mines through out this country.

  4. Hi Kristy and welcome to Petticoats & Pistols! So glad to have you with us today! I look forward to reading this new tale of yours (always love your stories) and I really enjoyed this post about the mines. I didn’t know this! Very interesting stuff.

  5. Welcome, welcome, Kristy!! Loved your post! Can you imagine finding a secret cache of gold? And there’s seven mines lined with gold?? Who knew? Fascinating stuff!

    Congratulations on the release of ROSEMARY! Wishing you many sales, friend!

    • Hi Pam,
      It’s fun to find a bit of research and then imagine it even further. I guess everyone will have to read ROSEMARY to find out what she discovers. 🙂 I had such a great time working with you on this project. Cheers!!

  6. Hi Kristy,
    I didn’t realize you were doing a series. Rosemary sounds intriguing. Love your writing and will have to check out the others.


    • Hi Ruthi,
      Yes, my book is part of a multi-author series, but each story can stand on its own. Although we tried to overlap storylines a bit to make it fun for the readers. I hope you’ll check it out.

  7. Hi Kristy! Thanks for popping in even though you’re on your great trip. I hope you’re having fun! Welcome back to P&P. We’re so happy to have you. This Widows of Wildcat Ridge is a great series with lots of very interesting stories. I know Rosemary will captivate me when I get time to read it which I do plan on. I just love this premise.

    Big hugs!

  8. Loved your back history on the old Spanish mines, Kristy. Fascinating stuff, isn’t it. I have seen a couple of documentaries on these “lost” mines, and they’ve always been so interesting to learn about. Great blog and background for your new book!

  9. Thanks Kristy. This is a very cool article and it goes well in this series. I hope to win your book even if I’m behind in this series like all the others out there. LOL
    Interesting stuff and even in 1990 someone was shot at by the Native Americans. wow.

  10. Hi Kristy,
    I enjoyed reading your post. I am excited to discover a new author and a series that I have missed out on. Rosemary’s story sounds like a great read. I love historical western romance and I love the cover of your book, so pretty.

  11. Interesting information on the Spanish Trail and the “phony” hieroglyphics and pictographs. Sadly, I am not surprised the Native Americans were used as slave labor. They did not fare well with any of their dealing with any of the European settlers. To a degree I understand their returning the gold to Mother Earth and protecting it. In a way they were respecting her and making her whole again. However, they did use silver, turquoise, and other elements from the Earth without concern. Gold was never on their radar to use, I guess. I did not realize the mormon Church had accessed some of the gold taken from the Spanish.
    I like the premiss of the Widows of Wildcat Ridge Series and ROSEMARY is going to be a good addition.

  12. Fascinating research and great fodder for storytellers. Good on you, Kristy. A few months back there was a series on either History channel or Discovery channel about searching for treasure and your descriptions sound like the same location. There were five men, I think but never saw the end of the series, but there was danger, too. I look forward to reading your story

  13. Sounds like an exciting book cannot wait to read it. I really enjoy reading these types of these types of books.

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