Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Oklahoma Treasure Legends

Treasure Tales Abound in Oklahoma

Lost treasure tales abound in nearly every state of the Union, and the "Sooner" State of Oklahoma is no exception. Although Oklahoma's treasure legends may not be quite as famous as those in other states, they are just as persistent and many individuals continue to search for them.

Here are three Oklahoma lost treasure legends that you may find interesting:

1. Buried Gold Near Jennings

Legend has it that in the late mid-to-late 1800s an Army paymaster and cavalry escort headed for Fort Sill were attacked by an overwhelming force of hostile Indians west of Jennings near two rock-strewn hills known as (of all things) the "Twin Hills." Fearing the column would be overrun and massacred, the paymaster hurriedly buried over $10,000 in gold coin nearby.

Dickies Work Clothes

Subsequently, the paymaster and all but five of the escorting cavalrymen were killed. These fortunate souls didn't see where the paymaster buried the gold, but made a number of trips back to the location of the fight to try and recover the payroll. They were unsuccessful and the large cache of gold coins remains undiscovered.

2. Lost Spanish Gold Near Woodward

The early Spanish explorers and conquistadores covered an astonishing amount of ground that included not only the American Southwest, but parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Utah, to name but a few additional states. Invariably, the Spaniards sought precious metals, gold and silver, in any and all forms.

 (Spanish gold coins are at the heart of one Woodward treasure legend.)

As legend has it, there is buried Spanish treasure consisting of gold coins in a canyon southwest of the town of Woodward, Oklahoma. Supposedly the Spaniards were transiting the area with burros carrying large amounts of gold specie when they were set upon by Indians and wiped out, but not before burying their golden treasure nearby.

Human Remains, Gold Coins, and a Question

In or around 1900 human remains were dug up in a canyon southwest of Woodward, and it was generally assumed these were the remains of the unfortunate Spanish at the center of the treasure legend. Right before World War I some gold coins were reported to have been found in the canyon, but there are no further details of this purported discovery.

Metal Detectors

I have one burning question to ask concerning this treasure legend. If the Spaniards were all wiped out by the Indians, who was left to tell the tale of the buried gold? The Indians themselves? Not likely. So, as you can see, sometimes the truth is the first casualty when it comes to treasure myths and legends.

3. Chief Blackface's Plunder

This treasure legend has its origins in the eastern Oklahoma hills near Tahlequah. In the early 1800s a renegade Seminole named Chief Blackface carried out a number of depredations and attacks in the region. In one such attack a pack train of Mexican traders and merchants carrying silver and gold bullion and coins was overwhelmed by Chief Blackface and wiped out. According to local legend, Chief Blackface stashed his plunder in a cave in the hills near Tahlequah. To date, no trace of this lost treasure has been found.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "21 Tons of Gold"

Good hunting out there!

(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2008

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