3 fascinating Texas treasures that you should know about

Treasures can be found anywhere in the globe. You need to be patient, smart, and most importantly lucky, to find them.

The lone star state isn’t an exception. In this post, I’ll tell you about three large Texan treasures that you didn’t know before.

Here we go!

Sam bass’s hidden treasure

Samuel Bass was born in 1851. He was raised in a farm a few miles from Mitchell, Indiana. He moved to his uncle’s house after he lost his parents when he was 13 years old.

Bass had no formal education; he left home in 1869 looking for a job. He worked at Charles’ Mill in Mississippi for a year. He later traveled to Texas chasing his dream of becoming a cowboy.

He worked as a teamster. This job helped him know the area like the back of his hand. This knowledge will come in handy in his criminal career. He knew the trails and the backroads very well. He was, always, able to evade the rangers skillfully.

He worked hard and saved enough money to buy a racehorse. He quit his job and earned a living racing and gambling. In 1875, he wanted to try something different. With the help of a partner, he drove a herd of cattle to Nebraska.

They later sold it and invested their money in gold prospecting in the Black Hills. The venture didn’t work out well for them; they become broke. Sam wasn’t able to make a living as an employee. And this was a turning point…

Bass formed a gang and he started robbing stagecoaches. This wasn’t enough for him. He wanted something bigger. Something that can make him rich. This is why he robbed trains.

On September 18, 1877, they intercepted a train loaded with $20 gold coins. The train was transporting them from the San Francisco Mint to the east coast. They stole $60,000. The six bandits divided the loot and they split up.

Bass’s share was $ 240,000 in today’s money. However, he started robbing again after four months only.

This is what led many people to think that he buried the gold somewhere in Texas. They argue is that nobody can spend all of this money so quickly.

Others think that he lost it in gambling. Because why would he take the risk to rob again? Texan launched a manhunt to find him. He is no longer under the radar.

If he buried the gold somewhere, he will stay out of sight and spend it. Unless he thinks that his new career is a fun thing to do.

There’s no way we can find the truth because Sam bass died on his 27th birthday in Round Rock, Texas.

You can learn more about Sam Bass here and here.

Newton gang loot

For those who watched The Newton Boys movie, I think you are familiar with the Newton gang.

They robbed dozen of banks. Using nitroglycerine to open the safes was their favorite technique. They take all of the money and they leave.

This was quick and easy. But, things were super loud. Apparently, they didn’t really care about being stealthy. To make sure the gateway plan never fails, they cut the telephone lines.

Many bandits used horses, the Newtons preferred cars. Cadillac was one of their favorite makes.

They always targeted banks with outdated vaults that are located in small towns. Their raids were mostly at night. Eyewitnesses said that they were polite.

This career that started in 1919 was lucrative. But they wanted more. And what can be better than a train?

They robbed six of them. The last one was the most famous. It is the Rondout Train Robbery. It is considered the largest in history.

They got three million dollars ($2 according to the New York Times). They loaded them in the cars and they left the scene.

Most of the money was recovered. But, $100,000 is still missing. One of the Newtons admitted that he concealed the treasure. But nobody knows the location.

The goodies are probably still buried somewhere in Texas waiting for a lucky treasure hunter to find them.

1554 shipwreck treasure

In 1554, a small fleet that was heading from the new world to Spain sunk because of a storm. The shipwreck is located in the Gulf of Mexico in southern California near the Padre Island. This is why the treasure is known as the Padre Island treasure

The ships were carrying 85,000 pounds of silver coins that were minted in Mexico. The treasure is worth $50 million in 2020.

Spanish salvagers located the shipwrecks. And they started recovering the precious cargo. This operation lasted for a couple of months. They were using primitive techniques. This is why less than half of this treasure was recovered.

The shipwreck was rediscovered 400 years later. A private company started excavating one of the ships in 1967. They recovered several hundreds of items including gold bars and jewelry.

This shipwreck was one of the oldest in the western hemisphere. It has great archeological importance. This why a long argument started about the ownership of the recovered relics between the company and the state of Texas.

The private company agreed to sell the treasure for more than $800,000. And to avoid any future unauthorized excavation, the Antiquities Code was passed in 1969.

In 1970, the Texas Antiquities Committee started excavating another sunken ship in the area. They recovered tons of artifacts. Some of them are displayed at the Corpus Christi Museum of science and history.

More info about the shipwreck here.

Final thoughts

I know that there are other tales about treasures hidden in Texas like the Shoal Creek treasure. I didn’t cover them in this article because I don’t think they are real. They could be.

But there’s no way I can check the authenticity of these stories. I couldn’t find neither official records nor real name. To me they look like myths.

Read more

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