Robber's Roost and Hidden Gold

Road agents who regularly terrorized the stage line, chose several areas along the Overland Trail as hide-outs, sometimes even went so far as to building a cabin. Such a cabin was built on the top of "Robber's Roost", or Table Mountain, about a mile to the northeast of the Stage Station. It was a perfect hideout, as it was very difficult to climb, and has a rim of shale and practically perpendicular cliffs. It was a widespread rumor that Jack Slade, the Station Master at Virginia Dale was in reality the leader of a gang, and was definitely suspected of having too intimate of a connection with some of the road agents.

A gold shipment that amounted to $60,000 (about a million dollars today) was being shipped by the US Government, and represented several month's of back pay for soldiers at the station. Masked men ambushed the stage carrying the gold, and made off with the entire booty only about a mile from the Virginia Dale station. The robbers were pursued and killed by the US Cavalry, who found the iron strong box in the creek, the sides and bottom gone, riddled with bullet holes--and empty. The stage line suspected that Slade was the mastermind for the holdup, but couldn't prove it, so they just fired him. Slade went very meekly. Quite uncharacteristic of him. Perhaps he was tired of the job. Or, maybe he had all the money he needed.

Also read about the Musgrove Gang-- horse thieves and cattle rustlers who hid out along the trail.

Send comments, suggestions or inquiries: Virginia Dale

[Overland Trail | Links | Virginia Dale]

Created and maintained by Elizabeth Larson
Copyright 1996-2000