We’ve all heard the stories and seen the movies about pirates, robbers, and adventures who dig up treasures decades after they’re buried. Oregon’s history is full of bandits and robbers and even some pirates, and we have our own set of legends concerning hidden treasures that are yet to be found. Thanks to
Legends of America, we were able to put together this list of incredible stories about hidden treasures in Oregon that may still be there for the taking… or even in buried in your own back yard!
10. Coos County
"According to legend, some forty thousand dollars in gold bars were buried by miners during an Indian attack halfway between Sugar Loaf Mountain and Coquille."
9. Clatsop County
"Overlooking the river in Astoria is a landmark on Coxcomb Hill called Astoria Column. Before the 125 foot monument that commemorates westward expansion was built in 1925, a cabin stood along Coxcomb Hill Road. Here, lived an elderly man who upon his deathbed, revealed that he had placed $10,000 in a coffee can and hid in a tree stump near his cabin. The cabin stood along the edge of a hill. Though at the time of his death in the 1920s, searches were made for his buried money, it was never found."
8. Curry County
"Where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach, a number of treasures have been found in the past, leading to possibilities of more."
7. Crook County
"In the 19th century there was a popular campsite for miners and settlers located on the north side of the Ochoco River near Skeleton Rock and about two miles east of Prineville. Legend has it that buried in the area is an estimated $50,000 in gold bars and coins."
6. Douglas County
"Near the small town of Days Creek, miners were said to have buried pouches of gold nuggets in the late 1800s. The old mining camp sits at the confluence of Days Creek and the South Umpqua River about seven miles northeast of Canyonville."
5. Harney County
"In the Owyhee Desert, an arid region of canyons, volcanic rock, sagebrush and grass, that lies not only in Oregon, but also in northern Nevada and southwestern Idaho, is said be a hidden mine. In the 1870s, soldiers stationed at Fort Harney were called to fight an Indian uprising. While camping in the Owyhee Desert, one of the soldiers found gold nuggets. With more pressing duties, they were not allowed to explore further. Upon their return to the fort, they told of their find, but anyone who searched was not able to locate the mine again. Some four decades later; however, a sheepherder came upon the same location. While lying on his deathbed, he told about finding the mine, but didn’t provide the specific location. After his death, numerous gold nuggets were found with his belongings."
4. Josephine County
"Fifty thousand dollars in gold nuggets was said to have been buried by a miner within three hundred yards of the ghost town of Golden."
3. Lincoln County
"There is a pirate treasure that is said to be buried near Cascade Head near Lincoln City on the Pacific Coast."
2. Tillamook County
"Somewhere on the base of Neahkahnie Mountain, now located north of Manzanita in Oswald West State Park, is said to be a buried pirate treasure, hidden in the late 1500s. Clatsop Indian legend says that the pirates buried a treasure chest on the slopes at the base of the mountain and marked the spot with an inscribed rock. Legend further has it that the treasure is guarded by the ghost of a man who was killed and buried with the loot."
1. Umatilla County
"In Umatilla Meadows between Pendleton and Stanfield, at a place called Stage Gulch, a stagecoach was robbed in the early 1900’s. The bandits made off with about $1,200 in gold but were quickly captured. The two were to be hanged for their crimes, but before their execution took place, one of them confessed that the loot was buried near the scene of the holdup. Though, he surely hoped for a reprieve the pair were hanged anyway. Though the treasure was searched for, it was never found."
Have you ever gone treasure hunting in Oregon? Do you know of any other hidden treasures? Share your stories in the comments.