Henderson County, Tennessee

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  • $1,000,000 in gold and other valuables was buried northeast of Lexington on a creek by Civil War soldiers.

  Topographic Map of Lost Treasure and Ghost Town Locations  

More information can be found in

Guide to Treasure in Tennessee

Treasure Legends of the Civil War

Buried Treasure You Can Find

A Treasure Guide


I noticed that one page on your site states “ million dollars in gold and silverware buried on Owl Creek in Henderson County, TN”.  I grew up on Owl Creek and have farmed and hunted from the head waters to the bridge on Pope Rd along the creek.


From early age (born in 52’) I have heard this legend. For years we would have treasure hunters come to search on our farm, which bordered Owl Creek. One gentleman from Michigan came every year for 4-5 years in the sixties. He had a large metal detector that looked like boxes on each end of a long pole. To my knowledge he never recovered anything except a few old rifle slugs similar to the ones used in the civil war.


According to the legend, the treasure was in eleven saddle bags, and was buried along the creek with the black man that dug the hole and a mule buried on top. Some reference to a civil war battle on fairground hill, where southern troops were surprised by Yankees, resulting in the catch being buried. One officer survived the war, and came back after the war but the land had changed so much that he could not remember the burial site. I have studied lots of maps from that period, and can find no reference to fairground hill, and description of the battle does not line up with this account.


The most interesting treasure hunters were a couple from New Mexico that came to our farm in the sixties. If I remember correctly they were the Clayburns. She was a diviner, using a plum bob held above a map of the area. She pin pointed some sites and he searched with powerful metal detector. They got strong signal in our back yard, just West of the chicken house, and starting digging. At about 8 ft. he was still getting a strong signal. That was the last time I personally saw him in the hole. The family went to church one Sunday, and when we returned the couple had packed up their camper, and were gone. Dad always figured they found something and did not want to share. (Landowner at that time was due 10 per cent of findings) For years afterward we would get a Christmas card from them. Very unusual.


Some treasure hunters would come seeking the site of a grave with tombstone. The tombstone was in memory of some soldier. They would dig side holes around the site, but could not find anything. When the farm road was reworked, we (dad and I) moved the stone to another location under an apple tree, so the road could be reworked. There was not evidence of the soil being turned over, which would have shown a burial. When we would ask how they knew about the grave, many said they read it in a treasure magazine. The New Mexico couple said they found out about the treasure in papers at the National Archive.


There are some interesting things that make hunting with metal detector very unreliable. The area belonged to a bootlegger, and he buried fruit jars with lead type lid all over in rabbit holes. These set of a metal detector as good hit.


We know that areas along the creek have been buried deeply by erosion from farm above, which had slave cabins on it. The road between the houses became a huge gully and all the silt deposited along the creek. During clearing of an area along the creek with dynamite, the maple trees had roots on top, and set of roots six foot down, where the original ground level was when the tree started growing.

There was a iron kettle plowed up in the forties, that contained confederate money (worthless) on the farm West of ours.


If anyone has more information, I would love to hear from them.

K Woods.


Many thanks for your story. It brings the hsitory to life! - Mark


  • The leader of the Moore Gang confessed to having four caches of loot near his home north of Lexington. He died without recovering any of the caches.

  Topographic Map of Lost Treasure and Ghost Town Locations  

More information can be found in

Guide to Treasure in Tennessee


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