TeXas marks the spot! Get it? Okay, that was a really bad joke. Anyway, buried treasure isn’t just something fictional. It really exists, and due to our rich history with Spanish and Mexican invasions, it makes sense that there would be a lot hidden here. Nobody knows for sure if these legends are true, but they’re interesting to read about nonetheless. Here are seven stories of supposed buried treasure in Texas.
1. Lost Silver Mine (Llano)
Treasure hunters have been searching for a mine along the San Saba River since 1756, when Indians told the Mexicans that a strain of pure silver ran through a hill in Central Texas. Stephen F. Austin sent soldiers to look for the mine in the early 19th century, but they came back empty handed. Finally, a historian named Herbert Bolton interpreted the journals left behind by the Mexicans and uncovered a mine on Honey Creek around the same location the Mexicans predicted it to be. No silver has yet to be found, but treasure hunters remain hopeful.
2. Sam Bass Loot (Denton)
According to legend, the infamous robber Sam Bass stole 3,000 gold bars worth $20 each from the Union Pacific Railroad. Some of the loot has been recovered, but the rest has mysteriously disappeared. Rumor has it that some of the money is hidden in Cove Hollow, near Denton.
3. Jean Lafitte's Booty (Sabine)
People claim that a $2 million fortune stolen from the Spanish by Jean Lafitte was buried in the Sabine River. Most people wrote it off as another myth until a magazine published a story about long forgotten silver, causing treasure hunters from everywhere to rush to the area. Oil workers actually picked up readings that metal was to be found at the bottom of the lake. They send a probe down and it hit metal just before a giant storm hit, destroying the raft and any other evidence. Many believe the treasure still lurks under the water, just waiting to be discovered.
4. The Mine in the Mountains (El Paso)
The majestic Franklin Mountains just might be harboring the secrets of old Hispanic conquistadors that passed them many a time on their way to colonize other regions. Apparently, some of them hid tons of silver and others hid gold, jewels, and codices in a mine deep within the mountains before filling in the shaft so that nobody else could uncover their treasures. Legend has it that El Paso's Guadalupe Mission was built in such a way that sends the noon sunlight shining straight on the mine.
5. Money Hill Treasure (Padre Island)
Back in the 1860s, a man named Isaac Singer started a clothing manufacturing company in Texas. His brother, wanting to make something of himself as well, went exploring the coast of Texas to find buried treasure. Apparently, he found a chest full of Spanish coins and jewelry amounting to over $80,000. He then buried it in a sand dune he deemed Money Hill. When he returned to claim his riches, he could no longer find the spot where he buried them because the wind had ruined the dune and any identifying markers around it.
6. Cypress Creek Gold (Upshur County)
In the early 19th century, the Texas army pushed Cherokee Indians from Tyler to Upshur County. The Mexican government promised the Indians a large sum of money if they could defeat the Texans, but upon realization that that was not going to happen, they buried the gold and silver and ran. Rumor has it the money is somewhere underneath Little Cypress Creek in Upshur County.
7. Google Earth Sunken Ship (Corpus Christi)
A man named Nathan Smith thinks he's found the remnants of a sunken ship from an 1822 hurricane north of Corpus Christi - thanks to Google Earth. He was reading a book about lost treasure that inspired him to do some digging online, where he found supposed evidence that a ship was lurking underneath the water. He visited the site with his metal detector and it did in fact pick up gold and silver, but the owners of the land won't let Smith dig unless the federal court rules in his favor. More info on that
I’m ready to break out my metal detector! Have you ever heard of any of these buried treasure stories?