SAN ANTONIO – Buried treasure isn’t just for Hollywood movies. An estimated $340 million worth of buried treasure is rumored to be strewn throughout Texas from the Hill Country to the coast.
According to TexasHillCountry.com, Texas is thought to have roughly 229 treasure sites — more than any other state in the U.S.
Some of the rumored treasure locations are accessible to the public with permission from the landowners and others are on public lands.
Here are some rumored Texas treasure locations:
California musician Nathan Smith might have actually found one of Texas’ hidden treasure troves. Smith believes he found a sunken ship on Google Earth in 2006 in Refugio, just north of Corpus Christi. There’s quite a bit of back story on this one, which can be read on Texas Monthly, but the owners of the land where Smith thinks the ship is located weren’t exactly welcoming.
The treasure is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and Smith even filed a lawsuit, known as Nathan Smith v. The Abandoned Vessel, to allow him access to the area. The judge eventually ruled that the lake was “within the navigable waters of the United States,” but the landowners aren’t keen on treasure hunters trying to access the area.
Hispanic conquistadors reportedly hid a massive cache of gold and jewels in a mine shaft in the Franklin Mountains near El Paso’s Guadalupe Mission, OnlyInYourState.com reported. The conquistadors are said to have filled in the mine so nobody else could discover the hoard. Supposedly, it still lies buried beneath the dirt.
“Legend has it that El Paso’s Guadalupe Mission was built in such a way that sends the noon sunlight shining straight on the mine,” according to OnlyInYourState.com.
One Texas legend says there’s a cache of Spanish silver buried somewhere outside Leander. Members of the Comanche tribe were said to be chasing a train of pack mules carrying hefty loads of silver and the men in charge of the bounty buried the silver to keep it from being stolen. The silver has yet to be discovered, according to Lone Star Treasure, which says the story is based on a Spanish document from the conquistador era.
While the Spanish cache has yet to be discovered, Lone Star Treasure reported that W.E. Snavely of Taylor found a ruby arrowhead weighing 15 karats and several other gemstones in 1925.
Legendary outlaw Sam Bass is rumored to have hidden gold in canvas sacks on Packsaddle Mountain in eastern Llano County.
Roughly $60,000 in gold and silver coins is said to be buried in a creek bed near Castell, a community in Llano County. Bass allegedly marked the spot “with a rock in the fork of a tree,” according to Lone Star Treasure.
Legendary outlaw Sam Bass is said to have buried his bounty from stagecoach, train and bank robberies in several areas around the Texas Hill County. One such story, according to multiple sources, says Bass stashed loot in an old hollow tree around 2 miles west of Round Rock. It has never been found.
Bass is also tied to legends of treasure buried treasure in Burnet and Llano counties as well as Packsaddle Mountain, Lone Star Treasure reports.
Legends say Bass used Longhorn Caverns in Burnet County as a hideout after some of his robberies, although treasure seekers have yet to find any loot in the caverns.
LoneStarTreasure.com states that infamous privateer Jean Laffite stole $2 million in silver from the Spanish in the early 19th century. He and his men, fearing an ambush from Native Americans, sunk the silver in the Sabine River. Fishermen were said to have pulled up some silver bars in the mid-1800s but since then the river hasn’t yielded any stolen Spanish loot.
“Oil workers actually picked up readings that metal was to be found at the bottom of the lake. They send a probe down and it hit metal just before a giant storm hit, destroying the raft and any other evidence. Many believe the treasure still lurks under the water, just waiting to be discovered,” according to OnlyInYourState.com.
Have you ever seen an oak tree with a carving of two eagle wings on it? According to TexasHillCountry.com, legend says there is close to $3 million buried somewhere near where Shoal Creek empties into the Colorado River. The stolen bounty was part of the Mexican payroll in 1836 and it’s allegedly buried 5 feet deep near the oak tree.
South Padre Island
Have you ever heard of Money Hill near the southern tip of South Padre Island? It’s said that John Singer buried a chest in the mid-1800s containing $60,000-$80,000 in various Spanish coins, silver bars and jewelry that he acquired through salvaging shipwrecks.
Singer buried the chest after being forced to leave his home and returned several times in an effort to find his buried treasure but was never able to recover his fortune. You can read the full story of Money Hill on LegendsOfAmerica.com.
Think you can find some of the legendary hidden booty? May the odds be ever in your favor.