Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at several buried treasures which legends maintain may still be out there for the finding.
Estimated Value: $52,000,000.00 in 2021 terms.
Last Seen: 1520 A.D.
Lore: Observing how the Spanish were stealing every bit of treasure they found, Aztec ruler Montezuma had his treasury and temples stripped of as much gold, silver and jewels as possible. He intended to have it sent northward and buried until the Spanish could be driven out of the New World. Over time everyone who knew where the horde was located died.
Potential Locations: Arizona, New Mexico or Utah.
THE GOLD OF REMY LEDOUX
Estimated Value: As high as $208,000,000.00 in 2021 terms.
Last Seen: Late 1780s-1790s
Lore: In the 1780s French fur traders led by one Remy Ledoux heard about rich veins of gold from some free-spending and loose-talking Spaniards. The fur traders checked out the location indicated and came across their own finds, which they worked for years.
Amid growing hostility with Spanish prospectors and Native Americans in the area, Remy and his colleagues buried the gold in anywhere from 1 to 3 locations and headed back to civilization until tempers near their gold veins could cool. They suffered more Native American attacks and only Ledoux made it back east alive. The map he left behind has proven to be either incredibly wrong or coded.
Potential Location: The San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
SAINT ALBAN’S BANK ROBBERY LOOT
Estimated Value: $595,500.00 in 2021 terms.
Last Seen: October 18th, 1864
Lore: A gang of 22 Confederate raiders robbed 3 banks in Saint Alban’s, Vermont and headed for the Canadian border. Soon 14 of the 22 robbers were captured with some of the loot on them, but the other 8 men and the remaining proceeds were never recovered. Some stories claim an amount roughly equal to that listed above was hastily buried.
Potential Location: Somewhere on either side of the border between Vermont and Canada.
MUD LAKE GOLD
Estimated Value: $936,000.00 in 2021 terms.
Last Seen: 1865
Lore: The Updike and Guiness Gang robbed a Wells Fargo stagecoach of this amount and, while fleeing a pursuing posse, dumped the gold into Mud Lake. It was never recovered, however, except for 3 bars of gold found in 1901.
Potential Location: Mud Lake in Jefferson County, Idaho
EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN’S TREASURE
Estimated Value: $26,000,000.00 in 2021 terms.
Last Seen: 1866-1867 A.D.
Lore: Hated Mexican “Emperor” Maximilian, installed by Napoleon the Third, began that old royal custom of getting as much wealth as he could out of the country before he was deposed. Flour barrels filled with gold, silver and jewels but covered with actual flour near the top were sent across the border. Former Confederate soldiers acting as guides for Maximilian’s men supposedly realized what was really being transported, killed the emperor’s employees and buried what treasure they couldn’t carry with them. Poor cartography on their part left the remainder forever undiscovered.
Potential Location: The King Mountains north of El Paso.
RENO GANG TRAIN ROBBERY LOOT
Estimated Value: $499,200.00 in 2021 terms.
Last Seen: May 22nd, 1868
Lore: The Reno Gang (featured in the Elvis Presley movie Love Me Tender) robbed a train near Marshfield, IN and made off with gold coins and gold bars. Shortly afterward, the gang buried the loot but in-fighting saw 3 of the members killed off. The surviving 4 were caught up with and arrested. Roughly 50 vigilantes dragged them out of their cells that night in New Albany, IN and lynched them when they refused to tell where the gold was hidden.
Potential Location: West-Central Indiana.
THE GOLDEN WASHTUB
Estimated Value: $5,200,000.00 in 2021 terms.
Last Seen: 1881
Lore: After working a Black Hills gold claim for 2 years, a pair of prospectors named Shafer and Humphry split what they had dug up over that time and kept in a washtub. Humphry took his half and returned to Ohio. Shafer stayed on looking for more until he happened to pass away without letting anyone know the location of the washtub with his share of the gold – plus more, if he found any after Humphry left.
Potential Location: Southwestern South Dakota
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