Arizona Stories: The Lost Dutchman and the Lost City

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The Lost Dutchman Mine

The Lost Dutchman Mine garnered worldwide attention with the 1949 movie, Lust for Gold. Located east of Phoenix in the Superstition Mountains, the Lost Dutchman Mine is one of the most popular legends among lost mines. People from all over the world came to visit the city of Goldfield to experience the old western atmosphere for themselves. 


The lost city of Sonora now exists only in the pictures and memories of the people who once called it home. The town took on its own identity, celebrating traditional Mexican holidays like Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day. America’s pastime was extremely popular in the city. Families would go watch the team made up of miners from the city play various teams across the state. 

Unfortunately, the thing behind Sonora’s rise was also behind its downfall. When the mines started affecting homes, families were given two years to pack their belongings and leave the city. The city was officially demolished in 1969, but a historical marker was placed in 1999 in memory of the town that once stood there. 

The Orpheum Theatre

Built in 1929, the Orpheum Theatre was known by many as a “movie palace.” The Orpheum created an unforgettable experience for those who stopped in. Not only could you cool off from the desert heat with the air conditioning, but before every movie, the ceiling came alive with the illusion of moving clouds across a blue sky.

Every year, the Orpheum hosted a dance review. In the 1930s and ‘40s, numerous kids took dance classes. Once a year they showcased their talents in front of an audience at the theater. 

Taliesin West  

Meanwhile, Frank Lloyd Wright made a name for himself in architecture. Wright combined environment and architecture to create a masterpiece. Taliesin West, one of the 20th-century artist’s most famous buildings, was created and ridiculed for its unnatural nature. Wright believed that not all that was natural would be architectural, but what is architectural must always be natural.

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