by Andy Nunez.
The Delmarva Peninsula abounds with tales of buried pirate loot and the off-shore wrecks of treasure ships.
In this lavishly illustrated volume, Nunez, and his group of local treasure hunters, explore local sites and research legendary hoards with methods that can be used in any location.
ISBN: 1-59431-182-X Non-Fiction/ Treasure Hunting
Perfect Binding: 8x10 Paper 130 pages. Illustrated
Cover art by Maggie Dix
Revolutionary Treasure and Haunted History
Everybodyís mind races just a little bit when they think about treasure. Fanciful visions of pirates in outlandish costumes with parrots on their shoulders looming over chests being buried in the sand, or divers scooping up handfuls of pearls and gold coins from the bowels of some wrecked ship, spring easily from the imagination.
Hidden smugglerís gold, buried pirate wealth, and shipwrecks may seem like stories from places far away from the quiet bays and picturesque hamlets of Marylandís Eastern Shore, but reality is far stranger than any fiction.
Treasure is here, waiting beneath the soil, or lapped over by the sea. Sometimes its hidden in secret rooms, or buried in fields or woods, but itís here.
Iíve been poking around the peninsula for over a decade, researching sites in the hopes of discovering some of these famous treasures. I have been having so much fun that I thought Iíd share some of these experiences with the folks at large.
Back in the mid-1980ís, I discovered that a good friend of mine, the late Milford Webster, looked for lost coins and jewelry with a metal detector.
He had lost interest over time and wasnít actively hunting. I was visiting him one day when I noticed a pile of treasure hunting magazines in what served for his den. The subject immediately piqued my curiosity, so I asked him to tell me about some of his exploits.
He did better than that, showing me some of the finds heíd made a few years previously at old bathing beaches like Tolchester and Betterton. He bragged about finding so many V nickels that he wrapped them up and passed them at local banks for modern nickels since they were in bad shape. He had a cigar box full of silver money: Barber Quarters, Half dollars, and much more.
Then he offered to take me out to look for coins and use his sonís detector.
I went for it.
Needless to say, the glamour of treasure hunting wore off quickly after a few trips.
I knew the stuff was there, but I wasnít getting it. The problem seemed to be one of technology. Milfordís detector was outdated and had trouble finding treasure in the modern era of pull-tabs, bottle caps and foil candy wrappers.
I didnít quit, instead I did some research on metal detectors and picked up an inexpensive model with a discriminator feature. This allowed me to tune out trash and collect treasure.
I went back out and began to pick up coins. After a few more trips, I began to find silver coins. Not many, mind you, but enough.
We decide to do some research
Randomly hitting likely sites began to wind down, so Milford and I decided to do some research. Marylandís Eastern Shore has been settled since the mid 1600ís, so there were loads of historical sites that we knew would yield treasures if only we could find them.
We avoided obvious sites that other detectorists had visited or that were prohibited by various state and federal laws. The treasure hunting fever had hit me pretty hard, and we were going out pretty much every weekend to try and pick up some new sites.
Along the way we met others
Along the way we met other detectorists. It was at one of our best sites, which Iíll talk about later in this book, that Milford and I, along with our new companions, Bill Draper and Doug Wilkerson, decided to form a loose organization of detectorists in order to enhance our abilities to hunt more and better sites.
We initially met in an office suite that Milford was running a computer consulting business out of.