Jul 22, 2013

The Lost Treasure Of Padre Island

The Lost Treasure of Padre Island

by Murray Montgomery
Treasure hunting is one of those things which tends to stir the imagination of most folks – and the thought of looking for buried treasure has always fascinated me, as well.

I remember back in the early 1960s, I was a teenager and lived with my family in Angleton, Texas. I recall that my dad and I were quite intrigued with the idea of hunting for buried treasure. So much so that Daddy drove the 45 miles into Houston and purchased a metal detector from an old boy who was making them in his garage.

We couldn’t wait to try the new gadget out – so, we made a beeline for Surfside Beach to search for pirate’s treasure and the like. But alas, all Daddy and I discovered was that there probably wasn’t a square foot at Surfside that didn’t have a beer can buried in it. I’ll have to admit that we never found any real valuables, but we sure had fun trying.

Over the years, I have spent some time reading a number of books about lost bounty and none are more interesting than W.C. Jameson’s, Buried Treasures of Texas. Many of the stories in his book are considered only legends – yet there is factual information surrounding the creation of this folklore. And there is little doubt that the events leading up to the “treasure tales” are factual.

One of my favorites is the story about John Singer and his buried fortune on Padre Island. Singer was part of a famous family which was highly thought of as businessmen and inventors. His brother, Isaac, had created a fortune with his Singer Sewing Machine Company – but John was more of an adventurer and he was happiest when exploring the vast coastline of Texas.

In 1847, John Singer was in Port Isabel. He was on another of his adventures, traveling the waters of the Gulf of Mexico – this time his wife, four sons, and a hired hand were along for the ride. This would turn out to be a trip that would be remembered forever by the Singer family. Not long after they left the harbor at Port Isabel, sailing a three-masted schooner known as the Alice Sadell, the family started to encounter some bad weather. Although not an experienced seaman, Singer had traveled the region before and he was of the opinion that the storm would soon blow over. But as the winds got stronger and the waves begin to crash over the vessel, he decided that he must somehow make it to shore. The squall helped him with that decision, and the huge waves promptly lifted the boat and smashed it onto a deserted island.

The family spent the night in the ship’s cabin and the storm had ceased by sunrise. Singer, along with his hired hand, explored the narrow island where fate had cast them. And after some discussion they came to the correct conclusion that they were on Padre Island – a narrow strip of land which extends some 100 miles, along the coast, from the Mexican border to Corpus Christi.

Singer and his group were not the only ones who had wrecked at this place. It seems that over the years dozens of Spanish vessels, while transporting gold and silver from the rich mines in Mexico, had found themselves in the middle of violent storms which blew the crippled ships onto Padre Island. Many of the ships sank offshore and the tide would wash the wreckage onto the sandy beach. Many stories were told of pirates burying vast amounts of gold, silver, and other ill-gotten gains under the sands of Padre.

The Singer family had no idea that there might be a fortune buried under their newfound residence. Fact is, they soon fell in love with Padre Island and decided to make it their home. And when a rescue vessel finally came for them, they refused to leave and instead went to work to build a life in this tropical paradise.

They used the wood from the shipwreck to fashion a frame house and crude furniture. Mrs. Singer planted seeds and raised a garden. John made a small boat to travel back and forth to the mainland. He purchased cattle and had them delivered to the island. They fished and harvested other food from the sea. You might say life was going great for the Singers – but that was all to change when the children came across some Spanish coins during one of their beachcombing endeavors.

John and his family went on to find more gold coins and eventually they came across a wooden chest containing about $80,000 in jewelry and coins. According to legend, the Singers continued to find pirate’s treasure and John became highly successful in the cattle business. Singer decided to keep the bulk of his loot in a large sand dune which he named “money hill” – the story goes that he would go to his secret dune and retrieve money when he needed it. Other accounts say that he also buried another cache between two small oak trees.

With the start of the Civil War, John Singer’s fate changed again – and when Yankee gunboats appeared off the coast of Padre Island, he decided to move his family to the mainland where they remained until the war ended, four years later.

When Singer returned to the island, he found his house had been torn down by the Union sailors and used for firewood. He also discovered that the place had been hit by a hurricane and when he searched for his “money hill,” it was nowhere to be found – the storm had changed the entire landscape of the isle, as well as completely destroying the two small oaks that he used for landmarks.

The story of the John Singer’s treasure ended in 1877, when he passed away. It is said that he died a pauper with no funds whatsoever – a far cry from the riches he had enjoyed while living in his Padre Island paradise – and today’s treasure hunters are still searching for his lost gold.

Jul 17, 2013

Florida Treasure Hunters Score Gold Off Wabasso Beach !!

Listen carefully to this story my friends. As Greg said, they are very close to the beach and that is where many a gold coin has been found by the persistent treasure hunters armed only with a metal detector.
Its still out there so if you are thinking about giving it a go, I will include a google map below with a parking spot you can center your search from.

View Larger Map

 I know a lot of you are still using the wrong machines for the job because I've seen you out there .. trust me on this one, you need the proper tool to do the job.
In my eyes ( as well as many others) the Minelab Excalibur II is the perfect metal detector for the Florida east coast - their is no finer a machine for the money.
It handles the mineralized florida sand like a dream. The only other machine I would recommend would be a pulse type but be prepared to dig everything if thats what you are using.

Jun 16, 2013

Finding Gold Off Of Florida's Treasure Coast !

Ever wonder what it would feel like to find lost Spanish gold? How about a beautiful 1711(Lima) Eight Escudo gold coin to be exact. Its out there  !!

Check out this quick video from Bonnie Schubert and make sure you click through and like her Facebook Fan Page !

Jun 8, 2013

French Hoard Of U.S. Gold Coins Sold At Auction

some of the coins
This is such a strange yet wonderful story that I might not believe it if I had not seen part of it with my own eyes. It all began in February of 2012 in a small French village, Les Riceys. 
The Lanson Champagne people were remodeling a long-vacant building in their village. 
As was told to me by Enguerrand Baijot, managing director of the company, "One of the worker was attacking an abandoned building's ceiling with a crowbar when gold coins started to rain down on him, followed by sacks of gold." 
He went on to tell me that the origin of the treasure was not known, but they know that the building, a former grape-drying facility, belonged to a wine producer who traded extensively with Great Britain and the UnIted States in the 1930s, and it was thought that they were placed there by him sometime prior to World War II.

Mar 13, 2013

Arrowhead Season Is Upon Us

 Just got an email from fellow upstate New York treasure hunter Jonathon Just with a couple of  recent finds he made around the Albany New York area. But I'll let him tell the story below.
Click On Image To Enlarge
So here are the two points that I found. 
The one on the left is a Levanna point, probably 700-900AD and were pretty common in NY and NE.  The tip is broken off but still a cool find.  The piece on the right looks like it was a scraper or blunt projectile point and the base has broken off.
The area where I found these is Southwest of Albany in an area that was settled by the Dutch in the 1600s.  Descendents of that original family still reside there.  The old woman who I spoke with this morning said that her grandparents used to tell stories of the family being able to see the Native Americans' campfires through the woods at night.
They're not the best point in the world, but the thrill of finding even a broken one is great.  It's even better with a cool story like the one I heard today.
Jonathon Just

Mar 12, 2013

How To Fly Your Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

Part 1 Part II Part III Part IIII This is one of the BEST all purpose/all weather metal detectors you can find and like I have said before, you just can't scrimp when it comes to buying a new machine. I really can't stress the importance of the waterproof capabilities that you get with this machine and if you compare it to a MineLab ExCal II or a Fisher CZ-21 you will see what I mean. Not to mention the fact that the MOST of the good stuff is in the water!! Click Here To Check Out The AT Pro Metal Detector on