As readers of the blog know, I enjoy gemstone hunting, gold prospecting, and all things treasure related. One of my favorite vacation trips was to St. Augustine, FL and the Pirate Museum, where we got to see, among other things, treasure from the Spanish ship Atocha. It’s only natural, then, for me to have an interest in lost treasure, which got me thinking about lost treasures in each state in the US. I thought I’d start with my neighbor to the west, Alabama! Let’s be clear, though. I don’t know if these treasures actually exist or if they are just rumors, but it’s fun to speculate.
Fort Morgan Alabama
A quick search reveals there are many potential treasures throughout the state, so I’ll only focus on a few of them. Let’s start with the area around Mobile. Rumor says the first treasure is buried near Fort Morgan and belonged to the notorious Jean Lafitte. it might be worth $10,000,000! Details are scarce, but it’s tempting to search for it!
Dauphin Island Alabama
Across the bay from Fort Morgan lies Dauphin Island, a favorite vacation spot for many people. According to the local legends, the island, which has hosted French, Spanish, English, and Federal forces, has numerous caches of treasure chests and other vessels filled with gold, silver, and jewels. In 1801, a Spanish galleon sank near the east end of the island with $1,000,000 in gold and silver aboard. Sounds like a great place to take a metal detector!
Henry Nunez’s Lost Treasure
As you might imagine, some of the stories revolve around the Civil War era. One of the most intriguing tales is the buried treasure of Henry Nunez. Mr. Nunez operated a ferry on the Perdido River about 16 miles north of Pensacola. The ferry, which allowed travelers to cross between Alabama and Florida ran from about 1815-1864. Mr. Nunez allegedly hid his gold and silver in wine casks and buried them on his property. A Union officer heard about the treasure and demanded Henry Nunez reveal its hiding place. He refused to tell, so the officer had him whipped and Mr. Nunez’s wife told the officer the whereabouts of one cask.
After the from that cask was depleted, the officer returned for more. Mr. Nunez refused, and the officer beat him again. His wife once again revealed the location of a second cask, and they union forces took it and left. Henry didn’t survive the beating and his widow left to live with relatives in Georgia. The treasure might still be out there to find!
Many other lost treasures litter Alabama. However, I’ll close with one last story. This one touches a tragic event in US history, The Trail of Tears. As the tale goes, a Native American woman named Louina owned a trading post in Randolph County AL. She accumulated vast wealth. Louina was named for her. At one time, Louina, AL had a population of 2500. However, because of the forced relocation of the Native Americas, including her, she sold her trading post, and left on the Trail of Tears. The story says she had so much gold and silver that her horses couldn’t carry it and she buried in the town. Louina is now a ghost town in Randolph County. Only a couple of occupied houses remain. The treasure, assuming it was real, hasn’t been found. Might be time to go metal detecting.
I hope you found this post interesting. Leave a comment and let me know. If you’ve already discovered lost treasure (in Alabama or elsewhere), or know about one, tell me about it. I’m busy researching the lost treasures of another state, so stay tuned for the next lost treasure post!