I covered the Prentice Cache in Part 1 of this series of posts and now I'll clue you in on the other two treasure caches purportedly buried on Hermit Island which lies just offshore on the Wisconsin side of Lake Superior.
The Wilson CacheBill Wilson was a former barrel maker company owner who moved to Hermit Island around the time of Frederick Prentice's death. Much like his deceased counterpart, Wilson was a loner who disavowed society as a whole and lived the quiet but lonely life of a hermit.
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Ostensibly, when Bill Wilson decided to leave society and people behind to make the move to remote Hermit Island, he carried with him nearly $100,000 in gold and silver coin (Note: multiply this face-value amount by a factor of at least 5-10 to account for precious metals prices and/or rare coins. J.R.). Wilson built himself a small, nondescript cabin on Hermit Island where he lived until his demise.
Buried Treasure Near Wilson's Cabin Site?
Most researchers and treasure hunters believe that Wilson stashed his life savings in one or more caches near the site of his cabin. However, no one has ever come forth claiming to have found Wilson's treasure trove.
Obviously, finding the site of Bill Wilson's cabin would be your first task. Keep in mind again, however, that Hermit Island is part of the Apostle Islands National Seashore and any overt treasure hunting activities may result in problems with local rangers or meddling tourists/campers (I think you know what I mean).
The "Stranger" Cache
Of the 3 Hermit Island treasure cache legends, I place the least faith in this one. However, please note that there is information out there stating that nearly 50 silver dollars were actually recovered on Hermit Island. This tempting discovery was claimed to be part of the "Stranger" Cache.
Who was the "Stranger?" No one knows for certain, but what is known is that this mysterious gentleman moved onto Hermit Island in the late 1800s where he lived in an abandoned cabin (Note: Wilson's cabin perhaps? J.R.).
Mexican Gold and American Silver
The "Stranger" remained on Hermit Island by himself, living in seclusion, only heading back into the outside world to buy necessities. Inevitably the "Stranger" would pay for his purchases in one of 2 ways: using Mexican gold coins or American silver specie.
When the "Stranger" finally passed on to the next world little was found among his meager possessions. What happened to the Mexican gold and U.S. silver type coins he used for purchases?
Who Knows What Might Turn Up?
Hermit Island locals of the day believed the "Stranger" cached his hoard of gold and silver somewhere on the Island. The only clue to the veracity of this claim is the small cache of silver dollars already mentioned.
So there you have it. Three tales of treasure on Hermit Island.
Are these 3 caches really there? Perhaps. Truth be told, if one was free to search Hermit Island (Note: Which is only 2 miles long, by the way. J.R.) with modern technology such as metal detectors or a good, deep-seeking 2-box machine, who knows what might turn up?
Good hunting to all.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Treasure on Lake Superior: the Hermit Island Caches (Part 1)"
(c) J.R. 2009
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