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Treasure Hunting in Kentucky

Treasure hunting in Kentucky has the potential for reward. If you have ever dreamed of treasure hunting in Kentucky, the opportunity of doing so is available. The State is known for some exciting stories about treasures hidden there. Below, I've listed a few areas rumored to hold caches.

Stories about buried caches, hidden loot stolen by bank robbers, and much more have been documented in Kentucky history. Searching for these treasures and possibly locating one is more apt to happen if you follow some treasure hunting guidelines. It would help if you first did the appropriate research regarding the treasure you want to search for before you start looking. 

Many stories of lost and buried treasures are myths. Storytellers and writers have passed the tales down through generations. And unfortunately, during that time, the stories have changed.  Sometimes the stories are changed on purpose with the intent to throw off any would-be treasure hunters. Other times, storytellers or writers inadvertently change a word, a sentence, or a paragraph within the story. That completely changes where the idea of the treasure is located. Before you begin your physical search for a treasure, it is why you should research the story first. Otherwise, you'll likely end up chasing the fictional pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Ideas for Research

The best way to get a lead on Kentucky 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 look for stories about bank robberies. Then, if you find such a story, research further to see if the money was ever recovered.  I know individuals that concentrate on old-time bank robberies where the outlaws were killed, and the money was known to be hidden. These enterprising treasure hunters have located stolen bank loot from the 1800s cached beneath bridges, inside what are now old cellar holes, and abandoned buildings.

Modern-day thieves are hiding their stolen loot as well. I know treasure hunters that concentrate on this type of treasure. They search for stolen cash and valuables in areas where the treasure trove laws have expired. If this type of treasure hunting is what you want to attempt, be careful of those laws. There have been times when treasure hunters found hidden treasures but had to relinquish them because of a treasure trove law.

In addition, when you’re looking through old newspapers, or reading books about the history of your area, pay attention to stories about misers or hermits that lived alone. There have been times when they died, leaving behind hidden cash and valuables. If there were no living family members, then those hidden treasures would remain untouched. That is until the property was sold and the new owners decided to remodel, and luck being theirs, they uncovered the cache.

Often, the property of the hermit remains unsold and deteriorates throughout the years to the point that the city, town, or village needs to clear it away. So, the hidden treasure remains, especially if it’s outside the property. Yes, then treasure hunters that did their research uncover those caches.

Read old magazines and books about Kentucky; they often told stories about the state's hidden treasures. 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 by engaging them in a conversation.

It's also a good idea to have a reliable metal detector when searching.  It does not have to be expensive. If you're thinking of purchasing your first detector don't buy one with all the bells and whistles. The expensive models' learning curve is much steeper than the lower-priced detectors.

Many metal detectors today, priced at between $300 - $450, offer everything you need to search for most treasures.

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

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Treasure Hunting in Kentucky Can Be an Adventure

Here are possible treasures in Kentucky.

William Pettit had a 2000-acre farm located approximately three miles south of Lexington. It’s been said that Pettit buried approximately $80,000 in gold coins somewhere on his farm. This was during the time of the Civil War.

In the 1820s a band of Cherokee Indians raided a number of settlements. Apparently, they stole and then hid a large quantity of gold coins and family silver near Winchester.

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

Here are a few more buried treasures in Kentucky.

Buried Treasure Books

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Frank W. Pandozzi, Website Owner


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