Malad, Idaho

Courtesy, Norma South 1963

I doubt If the good Samaritans who live in the village southwest of Malad hare ever thought much about legends and folklore. I doubt if any of them realize that the leading character in their tall tale could become as famous as Paul Bunyan or Casey Jones.

All they need is some bright young native to write a ballad about Glispy Waldron and the iron door he found in the Samaria mountains.

The way I heard it -- Out in the Samaria Mountains there is a mine with an iron door. It guards two skeletons and $250,000 worth of gold bullion. The reason nobody has ever broken the door down and taken the gold is that nobody can ever find it a second time, when they have tools to do the Job.

One man found it while riding for horses, He hung his Levi Jumper nearby for a marker, but when he got back the jumper and the door had disappeared. A sheepherder found it. He tied a ewe to the bushes thinking the bleating would lead him back. But when he returned, the sheep was dead and the door was gone.

Glispy Waldron, deceased, was a good and honest man whose word was as good as his bond. One day in hia youth he was looking for horses which had been turned out on the range. He. rode over the top of the Samaria Mountain and down a short way on the other side to a place where several similar canyons originate. While going through the loose shale and thick underbrush he discovered what appeared to be an Iron door made of old wagon tires. He assumed that some forgotten prospector had built It to guard his claim.

Glispy's Job, that day, was to find the horses, so he moved on. It was a couple of years before he found time on a good day to come back with friends and tools to break down the door. They looked in vain.

About that time a neighbor went to visit a "peepstone lady." It was she who told about the two skeletons and the gold bullion. She saw the whole thing in her crystal ball.

She said the two robbers had been left to guard the gold by "pals" who did not trust them. They were locked in. The other robbers went into the valley to rob another stage coach and bring back more gold, but they were killed.

But what I would like to know is: Do we have here a myth, a folk tale, a legend, or a fish story? A fish story with a stage robber in it? Now, really!