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The Lost Treasure of Texas - 10 Stories that Will Make You Want to Start Searching Now!

As someone who was born in Baytown I know how big Texas is.  As the second-largest state in the United States, it is known for its vast lands, oil reserves, and rich history. However, the state is also home to many fascinating legends of lost treasures that have remained undiscovered to this day. With so much real estate to explore, and a ton of history dating back centuries, one could search for a lifetime and possibly make the discovery of a lifetime along the way.  In this blog, we will explore some of the most famous lost treasures in Texas.

1. San Saba Mines

One of the most intriguing stories of lost treasure in Texas is the story of the San Saba mines. According to legend, a Spanish expedition led by Captain Don Juan de la Cruz in the 1750s discovered rich gold and silver deposits in the San Saba River area, now known as Menard County. The vein was said to be in a hill near the San Saba River.  However, the expedition was attacked by the Comanche tribe, and the location of the mines was lost.

Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters & Fighting Techniques. . .: Edwin Forrest and James  Bowie

Photograph of James Bowie

Another fascinating tale of this Mine is the story of the Lost Bowie Mine which may be connected.. According to legend, Jim Bowie, the famous frontiersman and hero of the Alamo, discovered a rich silver mine near Menard, TX. Bowie kept the location of the mine a secret, and after his death at the Alamo, the mine was lost. Many treasure hunters have searched for the Lost Bowie Mine, but it remains undiscovered. Many treasure hunters have attempted to find the San Saba mines, but none have been successful.

image of man metal detecting

 

2. The Lost Treasure of John Singer on Padre Island

 Sand Dune on Padre Island

The Lost Treasure of John Singer on Padre Island is a legend of lost treasure in Texas. According to the legend, John Singer was a wealthy rancher who owned a large estate in south Texas. He was said to have buried a large sum of money, including $80,000 worth of jewelry and coins, on the southern end of Padre Island.

The story goes that Singer was afraid of losing his wealth to the Mexican government during the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900s. He is believed to have hidden the treasure in a location on the island that was only accessible by boat.

Over the years, many treasure hunters have searched for the Lost Treasure of John Singer on Padre Island, but none have been successful in finding it. The harsh environment of the island, with its shifting sands and unpredictable weather, has made the search for the treasure even more challenging.

Despite the lack of success in finding the treasure, the legend of the Lost Treasure of John Singer on Padre Island has continued to capture the imaginations of many people. It remains one of the many stories of lost treasure that can be found throughout the state of Texas, each with its own unique history and set of clues for treasure hunters to follow.

3. The Red River Gold Coin Lost Treasure

red river treasure in texas

Image of the Red River in Texas

The story is about a treasure that was hidden on the south side of the Red River on the Texas-Oklahoma border. In 1894, four men robbed the First National Bank in Bowie, Texas, and headed north, stopping for the night on the south bank of the flooded Red River. They were caught by federal marshal Lewis Franklin Palmore, who found $18,000 in paper money in their saddlebags, but $10,000 in twenty dollar gold pieces was nowhere to be found. One of the robbers told Palmore that the coins had been hidden near their final campsite on the south bank of the Red River. Palmore searched for the coins but never found them. His son, Frank Palmore, believes that to find the coins, one must visualize the flooded river in 1894 and get help from locals who remember where Rock Crossing was. The coins are believed to be "somewhere between the bridge on Highway 81 and the mouth of the Little Wichita."

 This river has flooded many times in since then and the banks have no doubt changed drastically.  The treasure, if it is still there, could be anywhere in the area by now.

4. Lake Worth Monster in Fort Worth

Fort Worth Goatmen | EylanArts

Now, here is a fun one.  The legend of the Lake Worth Monster in Fort Worth is also linked to a lost treasure. According to the legend, a group of bandits buried a stash of gold coins near Lake Worth in the 1800s. The bandits were chased away by a strange creature that became known as the Lake Worth Monster.  The monster was said to appear as a "a half-man, half-goat, with fur and scales".  This monster had been reported to have been seen in 1969 by locals and is now local lore referred to as "Goat Man". 

Whether the monster exists or not, is a mystery.  Many treasure hunters have searched for the gold coins, but the location of the treasure also remains a mystery.

5. Lost Nacogdoches Silver Mine

The Billion Dollar Lost Silver Mine of the Hill Country

The story of the Lost Nacogdoches Silver Mine is also a fascinating tale of lost treasure in Texas. According to legend, the Spanish mined silver in the Nacogdoches area in the 1700s, but the location of the mine was lost. Many treasure hunters have searched for the Lost Nacogdoches Silver Mine, but it remains undiscovered.

Nacogdoches has several stories of lost treasure.  Another called the "Money Well" has an interesting story.  In 1907, a Mexican man named Hoppin' Bell arrived in a small town in East Texas claiming to be the great grandson of Mexican General Santa Ana. Bell presented a way bill, a map of the location of an abandoned gold mine, which had been worked by the Spaniards.

When the Texans were crowding Santa Ana, there was some $75,000. in gold already mined and loaded on the backs of 14 oxen and other packs. The nuggets were pounded into masses ranging from the size of a fist to a horse's head, so Hoppin' Bell said.

Crafty Santa Ana, realizing he could never get the ore to the smelter in Mexico, sank the gold in the large air shaft, then he covered the shaft with a huge rock.
One corner of the plot was marked with a coiled-snake carved into the trunk of a large oak tree. The snake's head was carved on a root of the tree, pointing towards the second marker, a pistol in an old hollow tree.

Another marker was the wood stock of a Bennington rifle, shoved in the ground. The fourth marker was a large rock in a creek bed, inscribed with Spanish symbols.  Hoppin' Bell hobbled through the woods on Greening's hills for weeks until they found the first marker, the coiled-snake...and when they found it, people began to believe Hoppin' Bell's tale. When they discovered the solid rock, jutting out of the Guatholope, or Turkey Creek, and showed the town's people the glistening sands of gold, the whole town entered into the search for the lost mine.

It took four men and two mules to move the two-ton boulder from the mine's entrance. The men frantically dug the gnarled brush away and found the gaping mouth of the old shaft.

Not too long after discovering the mine, the search was halted when Bell died and Greening became too sick to continue. Although the mine shaft was found, it was all but forgotten after work was halted.

 

 

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6. Little Cypress Creek Gold - Upshur County

Cypress Creek Project

 Image of the Little Cypress Creek in Texas

 

During the early 1800s, the Cherokee Indians were displaced by the Texas army from Tyler to Upshur County. The Mexican government had pledged a significant amount of money to the Indians if they managed to vanquish the Texans. However, when it became apparent that this was unlikely to occur, the Indians supposedly buried the gold and silver and fled. 

The Little Cypress Creek Treasure is a legend of lost gold and silver coins that is said to be worth millions of dollars. According to the legend, the treasure was buried by a group of bandits who robbed a stagecoach in the 1800s. The bandits buried the loot near Little Cypress Creek, which is located north of Gilmer, Texas.

Over the years, many treasure hunters have searched for the Little Cypress Creek Treasure, but none have been successful in finding it. The exact location of the treasure is unknown, and the terrain around Little Cypress Creek can be difficult to navigate. Some believe that the treasure was never buried in the first place, while others believe that the bandits returned to retrieve the treasure at a later time.

Despite the mystery surrounding the Little Cypress Creek Treasure, the legend continues to fascinate and intrigue many people. There are whispers that the treasure may be hidden beneath Little Cypress Creek in Upshur County, making it one of Texas's enduring enigmas.  It is just one of the many stories of lost treasures that can be found throughout the state of Texas, each with its own unique history and set of clues for treasure hunters to follow. 

7. The Buried Loot of Outlaw Sam Bass

The Outlaw Sam Bass

The buried loot of outlaw Sam Bass is a famous legend of lost treasure in Texas. Sam Bass was a notorious outlaw who was active in the late 1800s, robbing stagecoaches, trains, and banks throughout Texas. According to legend, Bass and his gang buried a large sum of gold and silver coins, worth around $60,000, in several locations throughout the state.

One of the rumored locations of the buried loot is a cave near Big Blue Spring, Texas. Another location is on East Mountain near Mineral Wells, where Bass and his gang were known to have camped. Some also believe that the treasure may be hidden in Longhorn Caverns in Hill County or in a creek bed near Castell, Texas.

Another rumored location for the treasure is in a cave on Packsaddle Mountain, near Llano, Texas. According to legend, Bass and his gang robbed a stagecoach and buried the loot in the cave before fleeing from the law. While many treasure hunters have searched for the buried loot of Sam Bass, none have been successful in finding it.

The legend of the buried loot of Sam Bass has captured the imagination of many people over the years. Despite the many searches, the treasure remains undiscovered, and the mystery of its whereabouts continues to intrigue treasure hunters and history enthusiasts alike.

Jean Laffite was a French-American pirate and privateer who operated in the Gulf of Mexico during the early 19th century. He was known for attacking Spanish ships and smuggling goods into the United States.

 

image of man metal detecting

 

8. The Pirate Jean Laffite’s Lost Silver Hoard

Jean Laffite | Biography & Facts | Britannica

The Pirate Jean Laffite

The mystery surrounding Jean Lafitte's treasure has intrigued historians, researchers, and treasure hunters for over 200 years. The treasure was believed to be buried in various locations in Louisiana and Texas. One story claims that Lafitte's treasure was buried near an oak tree on the campus of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans. Another story mentions a cache of ancient gold coins found near Jefferson Island. Reports also suggest that larger sums of treasure were buried in Lafitte, Louisiana. A family in Baytown, Texas believes they found one of Lafitte's sunken ships, which could be a clue to the treasure's location. Despite the efforts of historians, researchers, and treasure hunters, the mystery of Jean Lafitte's unfound treasure remains unsolved.

There are several legends about Jean Laffite's lost silver load. According to one story, Laffite buried a cache of silver bars and ingots along the banks of the Sabine River near the Louisiana-Texas border. Another version of the legend suggests that the treasure may be at the bottom of Hendricks Lake, which is also located near the Sabine River.

9. The Newton Gang’s Buried Loot

the newton boys outlaw gang

The Newton Gang Family Photo

The Newton Gang was a notorious group of outlaws who operated in Texas during the early 20th century. They were known for robbing banks and trains and were responsible for several high-profile heists.

One of the most famous robberies attributed to the Newton Gang is the train robbery that took place in Rondout, Illinois, in 1924. The gang stole over $3 million in cash and securities, making it one of the largest train robberies in U.S. history.

There is a legend that suggests the Newton Gang buried some of the loot from this robbery in Texas. Specifically, it's said that they buried a cache of cash, worth around $100,000, somewhere on Fredericksburg Road or the road to Bandera, Texas.

While there is no concrete evidence to support this claim, and the location of the supposed buried treasure remains a mystery. Over the years, many treasure hunters and enthusiasts have searched for the Newton Gang's buried train robbery loot, but none have been successful in finding it.

10. The Jackson Massacre & Buried Gold

image of a pot of gold and metal detector

The Red River Treasure is a legend about a cache of gold and silver coins that is said to be buried somewhere in the area near the Red River in Bowie, Texas. According to the legend, the treasure was buried by Spanish conquistadors or Mexican soldiers who were attempting to flee from Native American attacks.

The exact location of the treasure is unknown, but many people have searched for it over the years. There have been various reported sightings of gold and silver coins in the area, but none have been definitively linked to the Red River Treasure.

While there is no concrete evidence to support the existence of the Red River Treasure, the legend continues to fascinate and intrigue people. Many treasure hunters and enthusiasts have attempted to locate the treasure over the years, but none have been successful in finding it.

Texas is home to many fascinating legends of lost treasures that have remained undiscovered for centuries. While some may dismiss these stories as myths, many treasure hunters continue to search for these lost treasures, hoping to uncover the secrets of Texas's rich history.

image of gold pan with nuggets in it

More Lost Texas Treasure Just Waiting to be Found.

While in the process of collecting some data, I ran across a very cool site called Legends of America that is loaded with a lot of information about lost treasure and history across the United States.  From talented author, Kathy Weiser-Alexander who is located very near us here in Kansas City.  Along with running a business, Kathy, spends a great deal of time touring, exploring, and writing excellent articles on the history of the Midwest.  I HIGHLY recommend checking it out.

https://www.legendsofamerica.com/more-texas-treasure/

As with many stories of buried treasure and lost loot, it's important to approach these tales with a healthy dose of skepticism. While they can be intriguing and exciting, there is often little to no factual basis for these legends.

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