Treasure Hunting in Iowa

Treasure hunting in Iowa has been pursued by others. That’s because the potential to discover a buried cache offers a unique challenge and adventure. If you have ever dreamed of treasure hunting in Iowa, you have the opportunity to do so. There are some exciting stories about treasures hidden in Iowa. I’ve listed a few places below.

Iowa history is loaded with stories about buried caches, hidden loot stolen by bank robbers, and much more. You can search for these treasures, and you may find success as others have, but you need to do the proper research first before you begin your search. 

But you need to know that most treasure stories are myths. As storytellers and writers have passed down the tales through generations, the stories change.  Sometimes the stories are changed on purpose with the intent to throw off any would-be treasure hunters. It is the reason why, before you begin your physical search for a treasure, you should research the story first. Otherwise, you’ll end up most likely chasing after the fictional pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Ideas for Research

The best way to get a lead on Iowa lost treasures is by visiting local historical societies. Many times, they will have old newspapers archived on microfiche film. You can scan through the film and look for any stories that may pertain to a treasure. I know a few treasure hunters that have found treasures by studying the old newspapers.

An example would be to search in the old newspaper archives and to look for stories about a stagecoach or bank robbery by outlaws. Research to see if the money or goods was hidden and if it was ever recovered.  

Read old magazines and books about Iowa; they often told stories about treasures hidden in the State. You can still find some of those issues in used bookstores.

Do you know older persons in a small town or village? They know everything that has gone on for years. They love to talk about the past. You may be surprised at what you learn.

It’s also a good idea to have a reliable metal detector when searching.

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Treasure Hunting in Iowa Can Be an Adventure

Here are possible treasures in Iowa.

Pilot Rock

Located near U.S. 59 south of Cherokee, in Cherokee cty. A large boulder from the glacier age is the site of an encampment used by the Sioux. Many pioneers traveld the old indian paths on their way west. Artifacts or relics may be located here.


Located approximately one mile north of here on the Nishnabotua River, a treasure of more than $75,000 in gold coins was buried by a rich merchant.

Hauntown is a ghost town located on the west side of the Mississippi River, approximately 5 miles south of Sabula. Hauntown was known for making whiskey during the nineteenth century. Rumors of buried treasures in the old town has circulated throughout the years.

If you’re going to be treasure hunting on Iowa public land, then be aware of the Federal law regarding removing items from State or Federal properties.

Here are a few more possible treasures in Iowa.

Buried Treasure Books

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