Is there treasure buried beneath the Hollywood Bowl? Could be!

It’s Hollywood Bowl season. I’ve been pouring over the schedule for weeks now. As soon as the brochure arrived in the mail I began circling all of the artists and concerts I know I would enjoy. That presented a little bit of a problem, however. There weren’t any I wouldn’t enjoy.

Hollywood Bowl Marquee

We visited the box office–saving additional handling fees by purchasing tickets on-site rather on-line!  The trip across town also gave me an opportunity to walk around the beautiful Bowl property without the crush of people on a concert night–up to 18,000 people. Really!

Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the Bowl is quite a treasure. I’ve written about some of its illustrious history in a previous post, but there is another story of a treasure associated with the Bowl that maybe you don’t know.

Hollywood Sign is visible from inside the Bowl.
Hollywood Sign is visible from inside the Bowl.

It helps to remember that long before the first Los Angeles Philharmonic performance at the Bowl on Easter, 1921, the Hollywood Hills were beautifully open and uninhabited.

And it also needs to be remembered that gangs and violence in early Los Angeles were part of the lawlessness of a very transitional era. As the Gold Rush ushered in thousands of miners into a county with the absence of much of a legal system, Los Angeles was known as the most lawless city west of Santa Fe.

Hollywood Hills

So the story goes that in 1861 three Mexican government agents traveled north strapped with $200,000 in gold, silver and jewelry, expecting to purchase guns for the democracy struggle of Benito Juarez. Fearing for their safety, they buried the wealth in the hills of San Mateo.

A shepherd named Diego Moreno witnessed the burial and dug up six packages, fled south to Los Angeles, and supposedly buried the loot in six different holes under an ash tree near the Cahuenga Pass.

View of Hollywood Bowl from Mulholland Drive
View of Hollywood Bowl from Mulholland Drive

Moreno took ill and went to the home of his friend, Jesus Martinez, where he was treated kindly during his illness, and shared the secret of the buried treasure with his good friend.

After Moreno died, Martinez, accompanied by his stepson, Gumisindo Correa, set off to find the treasure. As soon as Martinez approached the tree where it was believed to be buried, he dropped dead–and Correa ran away, believing the treasure was cursed!

View of Mulholland Drive from inside the Bowl
View of Mulholland Drive from inside the Bowl

Twenty five years later a shepherd unearthed a package with gold coins and jewels, and delighted with his bounty set sail for Spain. Unfortunately, his story also ends badly. As the ship docked, he fell into the sea and drowned–the weight of the coins and jewels sewn into his clothing, held him down and the curse continued.

Hollywood Bowl Shell Hollywood Hills

Remember the stepson Gumisindo Correa? He became a respected Los Angeles lawman and later decided to look for the treasure again. That also didn’t go too well. Before he found anything he was shot down in the streets of Los Angeles.

Seating at Hollywood Bowl

I love the lore of this story, but I’m greatly amused that it persisted as possibility long into the 20th century. Enough so that in 1939 special arrangements were made to dig up portions of the Hollywood Bowl parking lot, believed to be the site of the buried treasure.

No treasure was found.

Too bad, but it’s a great story. Stirs the imagination a bit, doesn’t it? The believers are still out there, but the county won’t be issuing any more permits to mining engineers anytime too soon.

And what tickets did we purchase? Well, if I told you that now, it might spoil future posts. I will get back to you with that.

But if you live in Southern California, it is just about the perfect time to get to the box office–save yourself the added Ticketmaster fees, and enjoy one of the best summer bargains in outdoor musical entertainment.

Seating the Hollywood Bowl upper deck

Travelers to the Los Angeles area would certainly enjoy this iconic location for some of the best in classical, jazz and pop performances. There’s something for everyone.

Take a look at the schedule HERE, and tell me which tickets you’d like to purchase. Maybe we can get a price break from group sales?

Above Los Angeles from Mulholland Drive…quiet and peaceful!

This year Los Angeles commemorates the 100th anniversary of William Mulholland’s engineering marvel, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which delivers about half of the city’s water supply traveling  more than 200 miles from the Owens Valley.

The Los Angeles region’s gain has never set well with Owens Valley residents, and controversy and discord is still a relevant topic.

But we’ll stay away from anger and bitterness, and take a little road trip.

References to the famous civil engineer are everywhere. But nothing is more iconic than the famed Mulholland Drive, nicknamed “Bad Boy Drive” because at one time famous residents, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Marlon Brandon all lived along the route.

Mulholland Drive offers views of the Los Angeles Basin on one side, the San Fernando Valley on the other, and on clear days you can spy the Pacific Ocean. This 21-mile stretch of Santa Monica Mountain ridgeline is a hot spot for locals as well as tourists.

A large portion of the road isn’t paved, but is popular with mountain bikers and hikers.

From one Mulholland overlook it’s possible to see three well-known Los Angeles icons. The Hollywood Sign recently enjoyed a facelift and looks bright and shiny.

THe Hollywood Sign

And typically I’m seated at the  Hollywood Bowl, enjoying the evening view of the hills above, but from Mulholland Drive the Bowl sits empty waiting for June and a full summer music season.Hollywood Bowl

Sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood is the Griffith Observatory. Three iconic Hollywood symbols all visible from one Mulholland Drive Lookouts!

Griffith Observatory

Some days you can see Catalina Island, but not today!

Downtown Los Angeles

No, that isn’t air pollution. Marine layers often linger long into the day and burn off by mid-afternoon. It might obstruct a perfectly clear view of downtown Los Angeles, but the weather is just about perfect.

Hollywood HillsThe Hollywood Hills are an amazingly beautiful and almost unexpected topographical feature that many Southern Californians never explore. They tend to be seen as anchors to hold up the famous sign, or house the Bowl, or divide coastal Los Angeles from inland San Fernando Valley.

The chaparral-covered hillsides provide hiking tails and unparalleled views.

Several thousand feet below one of the lookouts is a wonderful view of the 22-mile long San Fernando Valley with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel and Santa Susana Mountains.

It also offers an aerial view of Universal Studios.

Universal Studios

San Gabriel Mountains

Hollywood HillsNBC Universal

This 36-story office building is the tallest building in the San Fernando Valley, and home to NBCUniversal, owners of NBC, Telemundo, USA Network and SyFy.

Does the vicinity look a little crowded to you?

Approximately 10 million people live in Los Angeles County. That’s a lot of cars on the road! And there are times when I fantasize about living somewhere else, perhaps a little less congested–BUT…


When we exited the Hollywood Hills we headed right for Santa Monica.

Ocean, sand, sun–February!

Santa Monica BeachDoesn’t this look inviting? If I get my way I’ll be returning soon, book in hand.

Santa Monica Palm TreesHollywood Hills and ocean breezes all before noon.

Oh, and over 300 days a year of sunshine. That’s reason enough for me to put up with  accept that we live in a very beautiful, but yes, congested, landscape.

I find it interesting that everywhere I go I seem to find postings with information connecting to my interest in learning about Southern California’s Native People.

Native Story

So I must share it with you!

And at my next opportunity to take advantage of a clear, sunny day, I’ll be back to take more pictures from the top of Mulholland Drive. There were more lookouts and trails I’d like to explore.

And I  am eager to explore the many beautiful canyons along the route–Laurel Canyon, Coldwater Canyon…there are so many!

I definitely need more weekends.