Tales of hidden treasures are indeed thrilling to hear, especially if that treasure is believed to be lost in your own state
There are many states in the United States that are riddled with tales of lost and buried treasures. We are going to focus on today is Texas!
Quick Recommendation for treasure hunters: There are so many ways and tools that can help you find treasures. The tool that I actually recommend is using a Metal Detector. Indeed, while there so many expensive models out there costing 1000s of dollars, I still recommend using a mid-level machine that should not cost you that much. In fact, if you don’t have a big budget, I recommend using this quality metal detector that should be affordable for most average hobbyists out there. It has more than enough features you will need to find most treasures buried in the ground.
Without further ado, here are some of the most popular tales of lost treasures in Texas …
1. Lost Silver Mine (Llano)
Perhaps the most famous lost treasure of Texas is the Lost Silver Mine. This lost treasure of Texas is one of the most sought after, and treasure hunters have been looking for this mine along the beautiful San Saba River since 1756.
It was in 1756 that the Native Indians told the Mexicans about a strain of pure silver that ran through a hill located in Central Texas.
Since then, Stephen F. Austin sent many soldiers to search for the mine during the early 19th century, but none of them had any luck and came back empty handed.
Finally, it was a historian by the name of Herbert Bolton who interpreted the journals that were left behind by the Mexicans and uncovered a mine located on Honey Creek.
This was roughly around the exact location that the Mexicans had predicted it to be at. However, no silver has been found as of yet here, and treasure hunters remain hopeful and continue to search for the elusive silver mine of Llano in Texas.
2. Sam Bass Loot in Denton
There is a local Texan legend that states that the infamous robber Sam Bass stole 3000 gold bars that were estimated to be worth $20 each from the Union Pacific Railroad.
While some of this stolen loot has been recovered over the year, but the remaining gold bars have mysteriously disappeared.
There are many rumors about where this loot could be hidden, one of them even suggesting that some of the treasure is hidden in Cove Hollow, near Denton in Texas.
However, treasure hunters have not had any luck in finding the remaining gold bars of Sam Bass, and the hunt is still on to locate this lost treasure.
3. Jean Lafitte’s Booty in Sabine
Many Texans claim that there is a $2 million lost treasure that was stolen from the Spanish by Hean Lafitte buried in the Sabine River.
While many people simply dismissed this as another myth of a lost treasure, it was with the publication of a story in a magazine about the long forgotten silver that caused a massive treasure hunt in the area as huge numbers of treasure hunters landed up at the Sabine River.
What was interesting about this lost treasure is that oil workers in the area actually picked up readings with metal detectors that indicated that there was metal to be found at the bottom of the lake.
They even sent a probe down, and it did hit some metallic item, but it happened just before a major storm hit the area, which destroyed the raft and any other evidence of what lay underneath.
Many treasure hunters still firmly believe that there is treasure under the waters of the Sabine River just waiting to be found if you have the right equipment.
4. The Mine in the Mountains in El Paso
Just by glancing at the majestic Franklin Mountains, you are unlikely to think that there might be some hidden treasure there.
It is believed that the Franklin Mountains are home to the secrets of the hold Hispanic conquistadors that used to pass through there many times as they made their way to colonize other regions across the US.
Legend has it that some of the mountains here in El Paso are home to hidden treasures that contain tons of silver, while other treasures are believed to be the hidden gold, jewels, and codices by the conquistadors.
These are said to be hidden deep in a mine located within the mountains. To ensure that no one could find these treasures, the mine shaft was filled up.
There is also a myth that El Paso’s Guadalupe Mission was built in such a manner that the noon sunlight would shine straight upon the mine, thus showing the way.
However, to date, no treasure hunter has been able to find this legendary mine or the other reported treasures in the Franklin Mountains.
5. Money Hill Treasure on Padre Island
Now, this is one lost treasure with a fair bit of history behind it. It was all the way back in the 1960s that a man by the name of Isaac Singer who began a clothing manufacturing company in Texas.
His brother, John Singer who also had the zeal to make something of himself, went ahead to explore the coast of Texas in order to look for buried treasure.
As per the many stories that float around, he apparently found a chest full of Spanish coins and jewelry that is believed to be worth over $80,000.
He then proceeded to bury the treasure in a sand dune that he named as Money Hill. However, when he returned to claim his treasure, he could no longer find the spot where he had buried them as the wind had ruined and eroded the sand dune and the identifying markers around it.
So to date, the missing treasure of Money Hill remains lost, and many treasure hunters scour that area in hopes of finding the Spanish treasure.
6. Cypress Creek Gold in Upshur County
It was in the early 19th century that the Texas army pushed back Cherokee Indians from the Tyler region to Upshur County.
The Mexican government had promised the Indian tribes a large sum of money if they could defeat the Texan army, but when they realized that this was not going to happen, they buried all the silver and gold and ran away.
There are many rumors that this treasure is still buried under Little Cypress Creek in Upshur County, and you will find many detectorists trying their luck with their metal detectors around the area of Little Cypress Creek.
7. Sunken Ship in Corpus Christi
A man named Nathan Smith sitting in Los Angeles believes he has found the remnants of a sunken ship hailing from 1822, which was sunk due to a hurricane just north of Corpus Christi – all thanks to Google Earth.
As the legend goes, Nathan Smith was reading a book on a lost treasure that inspired him to do some more research online.
This was when he came across evidence that a ship was hidden underneath the water. He even visited the site with his metal detector, and it even picked up gold and silver signals.
However, the owners of the land did not allow Smith to dig there unless the federal courts ruled in his favor.
8. The Lost Nigger Bill Gold Mine
This is a legendary mine that has its origins in many folklores of the US. As per the legend, it was in 1887 that four brothers from Dryden in Texas, Frank, John, Jim, and Lee Reagan, hired an illiterate Seminole man by the name of William Kelly to help them with their work on their ranch.
William Kelly was also known as Nigger Bill, and he used to work as a cook and a horse wrangler. He was only 14 while working with the Reagans.
While working at the Reagan ranch, Kelly announced that he had discovered a gold mine. However, he was met with jeers. He even showed the Reagans a lump of gold ore he got from the mine the next day, but nobody believed him.
After getting rejected over his claims, Kelly went to San Antonio to get the ore analyzed. However, the account of what happened afterward varies widely.
One report states that he came back to Dryden, where the Reagans received a letter that was actually for Kelly and which confirmed that the gold was precious.
They then proceeded to kill Kelly and dumped his body in the Rio Grande. Another account states that after returning to Dryden, he took a horse and fled. Whatever happened to Kelly, no one really knows, but it is known that the Reagans then dedicated their lives to trying to find this gold mine.
Apart from the Regans, many other expeditions set out to search for this elusive mine, but either the explorers died before they could pass on the information or make a profit, or they returned disappointed.
The search for the Lost Nigger Gold Mine continues till today.
9. The Lost Silver Ledge Mine
Another great lost treasure is believed to be the Lost Silver Ledge Mine. Located in the Croton Brakes Canyon, this mine has eluded even the most professional treasure hunter. You can search this area with your metal detector and set it on finding silver.
10. The El Copono Ruins
El Copano was the first port to be in use in South Texas. The port was officially opened in 1785. However, the port and the surrounding towns were all abandoned after a devastating series of hurricanes in 1869, 1875, 1886, and 1887. Many of the ruins of the original shellcrete buildings are still visible from the Copono Bay.
The ruins of El Copono are located on Copono Bay, nearly 20 miles north of Corpus Christi, on route 136. There are many stories of lost treasures being buried here during the Mexican War.
You can take your metal detector and search the area for different types of metals and antiques.
11. The Ghost Town of Tascosa
Tascosa, also known as Old Tascosa, used to be the capital of ten counties in the Texas Panhandle. The town experienced a brief economic revival in the 1880s, but Tascosa is now a ghost town.
The ghost town is located on the shores of the Canadian River, around 21 miles north of Vega on route 40. There are numerous stories that claim there are several treasures buried here by outlaw gangs.
12. Lost Treasure of the Steamer Carrie Thomas
The famous Steamer Carrie Thomas sank in the Rio Grande River near the city of Rio Grande. Many gold and silver coins have often been found on the river’s north shore, confirming the stories about the lost treasure from the steamer.
These precious coins are believed to be from the wreck of the Steamer Carrie Thomas.
13. Outlaw Pancho Villa
Legend has it that there are numerous buried treasures in the Outlaw Pancho Villa in San Antonio. Many of these treasures are believed to be buried near the old mission churches and cemeteries in the town.
Hopefully those lost treasures in the state of Texas got you excited to start your own adventure to hunt for treasures yourself, whether in Texas or any other state.
If you are aware of any other lost treasure in Texas or you’ve got any story you want to share, let me know so I can feature it in this article.