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Treasure Hunting In Florida – Part 1

by Matt
Categories: Treasure
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: July 16, 2010

The very thought of treasure hunting gets me excited – really, I want to go right now and start digging in the sand.  Alas, it’s not quite that easy.  For anyone who’s ever wandered the shore with a metal detector, you can appreciate the time and dedication involved.  It’s not just the time, it’s the energy, the dedication, and still – perhaps it just comes down to that chance that you happen upon something of value.  If treasure hunting were easy, there’d be none left – the fact that we still talk about buried and lost treasure is a testament to the tremendous effort it takes to find.  Even so, the fictional tales and exaggerations of lost fortunes are just as common as authentic records.  Still – with the right attitude, research, and ability, it can’t be impossible.  Right?

Fortunately for the curious residents of Florida, this state is one of the most prolific when it comes to caches of treasure.  Wars have been fought here for centuries – 7 different nations have laid claim to Florida at some point in time.  Hundreds of hurricanes have sunk treasure-laden ships navigating around the peninsula on their way, typically, to Spain.  Common routes and river crossings around the state inevitably resulted in dropped items, now buried over the decades.  Even Civil War relics remain scattered across former campsites and minor skirmish locations. To whet your appetite:  A chest containing $25,000 in Mexican gold was found on Grassy Key.  A road crew that was building a new road near Cocoa found thirteen chests of treasure.  $70,000 in silver coins were found on Lower Matecumbe Key.  Dozens of pirate caches have been found along the jagged west coast of Florida.

Granted, for the hiking-inclined, underwater shipwrecks may not be the preferred destination.  It’s easy to argue that the vast majority of treasure in Florida lay under the water within old Spanish galleons, limiting it’s accessibility to those who may be untrained in diving. (Which I may discuss at a later time for those divers out there.)

In this essay series, we’ll discuss the background of  several local stories regarding buried or lost treasure in our own home state – and accessible by foot, not offshore.  Whether or not the stories are accurate – well, that’s up to you to determine – perhaps they require investigation.  Do these stories deserve the time needed to go search for buried relics?  Let’s find out…

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