Treasure Finds and Stories
City Workers Find Pot of Gold
Somewhere in Tennessee police searched a muddy city parking lot where workmen discovered a (container-pot) of gold coins that may have been buried during the Civil War. The U.S. gold pieces are worth (conservatively) up to $3,000 each but it's unclear how many were found since the workmen made off with most of them. "We have accounted for 177 and that's just by talking to people who said that they had possessed some," said the Mayor. "There may be a good bit more than that."
Many of the coins already have been sold to gold dealers. The coins were unearthed by city workmen resurfacing a downtown parking lot and other people apparently have visited the site since then. Word of the discovery spread through the town of 42,000 residents and the Mayor ordered city employees to seal off the area.
A policeman with a metal detector began the city's official search of the parking lot, which was cordoned off with yellow tape saying "Crime Area. Keep Out."
"I've asked the court to determine who the owner of the coins would be," the Mayor said. "You can get as many different opinions as there are lawyers. Every lawyer has a different version. "One guy says if it's money, it belongs to the finder. Maybe that true. I don't know," he said.
"One guy says if it's a treasure trove, it belongs to the property owner. What is a treasure trove? I don't know. One guy says that the finder in this case is the city because they were in the employ of the city at the time they found it," he said.
If the money belongs to the city, the Mayor said he will take legal steps to recover it, although he noted such as undertaking would be complicated. The coins were $2 1/2, $5, $10 and $20 gold pieces. "The face value is not very important" said the Mayor. "The value of the coins is much more than the face value. "The latest mint date was something like 1857, something like that. I may be off a year or two. Some of them were back to the 1840's and the 1830's."
Union soldiers occupied Jackson, Tennessee during the Civil War. "Probably somebody buried that money in 1961 or 1862 when the troops came in to keep them from getting it" he said, "and then died before they recovered it.