There is an abundance of stories about lost or hidden treasure in South Carolina. Apparently there are big bucks to be had from digging in the right spots in the Palmetto State. Read on to find out about some of the hidden treasure here in South Carolina.
1. Gold Mines -
Nearly 300 of them!
The website US-Mining.com lists a whopping 288 gold mine claims in the state of South Carolina. Maybe we'll get our own Discovery Channel show soon? If you're wondering which county has the most wanna-be gold miners...it's York. York County has 107 of the 288 gold mine claims, according to US-Mining.com. All but 10 of these are on private land; three of the ten are within a South Carolina State Park. You may want to consult mining laws in the Palmetto State before you start digging.
But then call me - and let's go get some GOLD!
2. Hunts Bluff, SC
During the Revolutionary War a barge carrying supplies for the British troops overturned in the bend in the Great Pee Dee River at Hunts Bluff. The unconfirmed story is that the load contained a payroll for the soldiers. As far as we can tell, it's never been recovered. According to the site revolutionarywararchive.org a soldier in the British Army during the time of the Revolutionary War was paid 8 pence per day.
3. North Island, SC
North Island is located in Winyah Bay. Winyah Bay is in Georgetown County and is where several rivers and estuaries converge at the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean. In 1781 a group of the King's soldiers raided nearby plantations. They buried the loot here on North Island in the Winyah Bay. But they were killed before they could come back and dig it up. The legend of this famous treasure is that it contains much gold and silver. In fact, some of it has already been found by treasure hunters but we can never be sure they've gotten it all, can we?
4. Mulberry Plantation - Moncks Corner, SC
In 1714, the house at Mulberry Plantation was built on top of a cellar fort, complete with slits for firing built right into the foundation walls. During the Yamassee War (1715-1716) colonists fled to the fortification for safety, taking their valuables with them. But none of those valuables are in question in the treasure that's supposedly buried here. Instead, a renegade band of American Indians supposedly buried gold and silver somewhere on or near this site. The treasure trove in its entirety has never been located.
5. Williamson Plantation - Historic Brattonsville, SC
In one of the most significant battles of the Revolutionary War for the South, the Patriots raided Williamson Plantation in 1780 and killed or captured the Tory raiders that had been holed up there collecting plunder for five years. That's a lot of loot! No one has ever claimed to have found the buried treasure at the site of this historic battle. Good luck!
6. Columbia, SC - Congaree River
During the Civil War General Sherman and his men raided Columbia and burned a third of the city. Before they moved on, they seized all of the weapons and ammo they could locate. But it turned out it was more than they could reasonably carry for any distance. They threw what they couldn't take with them into the Congaree River where the loot has been for more than 150 years. Unfortunately for you, it looks like it's now covered in 40,000 tons of black tar that seeped into the river a few years ago from a nearby (now defunct) power plant. Recent sonar conducted during preliminary cleanup efforts for the tar spill indicated a whole lot of something. If it is the actual site where Sherman's men dumped the cannons and munitions then its worth could be in the millions.
7. Hampton Plantation - McClellanville, SC
The British used Hampton Plantation as a base during the Revolutionary War. Some treasure hunters are convinced there's a stash of gold coins buried in a treasure chest somewhere on or near Hampton Plantation. There are tales about how in 1937 Archibald Rutledge, the owner of the plantation, found a hidden room beneath the stairs of the home containing a treasure map. The map showed a drawing of a shovel, a cross and a treasure chest. Rutledge never reported finding the treasure chest, although he did find a small crock with gold coins.
8. Murrell's Inlet, SC
The legend of Captain Jack Murrell includes tales of laying in wait with his band of pirates in the creeks around Murrells Inlet. When the merchant ships would arrive with goods, Murrell would order the loot to be stolen. It's said that much of that loot is still buried in and around Murrell's Inlet today. Happy plundering through that marsh - be sure to bring your waders!
9. St Stephen, SC - Lost Union Payroll ($100,000-$200,000 in Gold Coins)
There's a Civil War story circulating that the Confederates managed to take a sizeable Union Payroll ($100,000 - $200,000 worth of gold coins) on the Santee River near St. Stephen, SC. Eventually, the Union found and killed the Confederates who'd stolen their gold, but not before the Confederates buried it somewhere near St. Stephen. To our knowledge, no one has ever claimed finding this stash. Happy hunting!
Would you ever hunt for lost treasure? What if you had a map that showed you exactly where to dig? We’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in lost war treasure and relics that are buried in South Carolina – not to mention the number of gold claims. Do you know any stories of lost treasure near you in the Palmetto State? Feel free to share them in the comments below.