7 Lost Florida Treasure Stories That Will Get You Digging
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Update: This story was written in 2010, and it still receives a ton of traffic every month. Why? Because I think there are more treasure hunters in Florida that we know about.
If you’re reading this, you Googled something about Florida treasure and you might be on the hunt. The list of stories and the videos below will give you some details on some lost treasure that has yet to be found in Florida.
Every so often when we visit our home beach of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, we see people in the water and walking the sand with metal detectors. They slowly work their way up and down the beach, all in hopes of finding treasure. Maybe they are looking lost rings or spare change, but I know some of them are looking for lost pirate treasure that is said to be hidden all around Florida.
We hear stories of these amateur treasure hunters finding some old Spanish coins or construction workers digging up a box of coins or gold. It really does happen every so often. So how much buried treasure is really out there? Who knows, but it’s out there just waiting to be found.
Florida Treasure Hunting
7 Stories of Buried Treasure in Florida
1. Black Caesar
There is a spot in the upper Florida Keys, just south of Elliott Key, now called Caesar Pass and Caesar Rock. Legend has it that Elliott Key was once home to a notorious pirate who preyed on passing ships. Black Caesar, the story goes, used the island and other hiding places along the Southeast Florida coast to conduct raids on villages or attack unsuspected ships.
While the life of this 19th century pirate has the makings of a box office hit, it makes for a difficult biography.As fantastic as it is, the legend of Florida’s most renowned black pirate largely depends upon who is telling the tale. That’s because there were actually two Black Caesar pirates. That lived at completely different times.
To date, the cays and islands that make up the Upper Keys have yielded little evidence of the existence of Black Caesar’s lair. Still, his legacy can be found in Biscayne National Park at Caesar’s Rock, a nondescript rock in Caesar’s Creek, a channel that separates Elliot Key from Meigs Key. Both are named after Black Caesar.
Although many have searched these islands for buried treasure, no one has yet found it.
2. The Ashley Gang
The members of the Ashley gang were notorious bank robbers who terrorized the citizens of Florida, during the early part of the 20th century. They succeeded in stealing over $100,000 in cash and it is believed buried near their headquarters. This was near Canal Point at the southern tip of Lake Okeechobee. All the members of the gang were shot to death, but their loot has never been found.
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3. DeLeon Springs
DeLeon Springs is the location of a treasure chest lost by unknown persons. In the 1890’s, a chest was seen on the bottom of Ponce deLeon Springs. It soon fell into one of the submerged caves and could not be recovered. The chest has eluded divers ever since.
4. Silver Bells
Three silver church bells were buried by Spanish padres in 1586, somewhere in the present city park area of St. Augustine, to keep them from Sir Francis Drake. The padres were killed, and the location of the silver bells lost.
5. Family Riches
In 1702-1704, the British, under Governor James Moore of Carolina, raid Spanish settlements including a 52-day siege of St. Augustine. The town is captured, but the fort is not. Many of the people buried their valuables, and were later killed.
6. Richard Crowe
In 1894, a merchant named Richard Crowe died in St. Augustine, leaving a will stating he buried $60,000 in gold coins on his property. Searchers were unable to locate the treasure.
7. Don Felipe
A Spaniard named Don Felipe, is known to have buried the family silver, along with a large amount of gold coins, on his plantation during the Seminole war before he was killed by Indians. Located 2 miles NW of Ocala.
And there are more stories just like this. I will continue to added to this list of lost Florida treasure as we hear about and research others. This doesn’t even get into the shipwrecks along Florida’s coast that have never been found that contain millions in silver and gold that was once bound for Europe.
Lost Treasure In Florida
Here are some books I recommend that might help connect some dot to more Florida Treasure and stoke your treasure hunting aspirations.
Treasure hunting gets in your blood. It’s addicting. You just never know what new piece of evidence you’ll uncover or what dots you’ll connect that will lead you to a place that might have buried treasure.
If you are ready to try your hand at finding lost treasure in Florida, you’ll need a metal detector. They aren’t as expensive as you would think. Here is a link to a good one that will get you started.
If you do find some of that lost treasure, just remember your friend RumShopRyan!
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