The Blue Bucket Mine is one of the legends of lost treasure in Oregon. This is the story as it's been passed down.
In the late fall of 1846 a wagon train was nearing Oregon on the Oregon Trail. The destination was the fertile Willamette Valley. The common route was to cross the rugged Blue Mountains, then to float down the Columbia River on rafts. This was a dangerous route. A man named Steven Meeks convinced part of the party that he knew of a better route, one that would take them through the Oregon desert and bypass the dangerous mountain crossing. So the group left Fort Boise and crossed the West bank of the Snake River. It soon became apparent that Steven Meeks was hopelessly lost, and with winter coming fast, the party became desperate.
One night the party camped at a small creek. A small girl was sent to fetch water in a blue bucket. As she got the water she also collected some pretty, shiny stones that she found in the stream. This being prior to the Gold Rush of California, it was not common knowledge what gold nuggets looked like, so no one in the party recognized what the girl had found. The nuggets were packed away among the girls toys, and one man used some for fishing weights, due to their heaviness.
Eventually the party safely reached their destination. The gold nuggets that the girl found were identified and sparked a gold rush to the area where it was believed the camp was. The actual stream was never positively identified however, due to the wandering and confusion of the party at that time. The nearby city of Baker, Oregon became the headquarters for many of the gold rushers, and grew to a large town in a short time. The Blue Bucket Mine is one of the lost treasures of Oregon.