Old Alabama homesteads can turn up some interesting finds with a metal detector
When it comes to metal detecting and treasure hunting in Alabama, there is good potential virtually anywhere that you go simply because of the history in the state.
While of course Civil War battlefields and other protected lands are off limits, many people have come to find some incredible relics and artifacts, including belt buckles and musketballs, on the outskirts of where battles were fought as well as the fields where plantations once were.
During the Civil War many families buried their personal items as a means to keep their prized possessions out of Union hands, so former plantations and crop areas are great places to look as well.
Buried Treasure Tales of Alabama
While there are a number of great areas to visit to try your luck with your metal detector, here are some of the best tales of where buried treasure may be in Alabama and just may be some places that you may want to consider visiting!
In Fort Payne, legend has it that wealthy businessman, John Willismith, buried $100,000 worth of gold. Seeing that Mr. Willismith owned more than half of the town, it is said that the treasure could be buried anywhere in the area or in various parts.
A ferry operator on the Perdido River during the Civil War by the name of Henry Nunez, is said to have buried upwards of $200,000 near a point where route 90 crosses over the river. Many believe that is may be buried close to where his home once stood on the Alabama side of the river.
According to local legend, there may be a Confederate treasure located near Athens. In 1865, $100,000 of silver and gold was placed in two metal boxes by troops and tossed into the swamp in an attempt to keep Confederate money out of Union hands.
The abandoned town of Demopolis can be found near the Tombigbee River, close to the intersection of routes 80 and 43. The area itself was founded followers of Napoleon Bonaparte who were exiled in the early 19th century. The area was all but abandoned by the 1830’s however, near the town is an area called White Bluff, that was resettled a few years later. It is here that many wealthy plantation owners lived, and many have said that they buried a significant amount of treasure before they abandoned the area once again in the 1860’s.
Alabama Gold Nuggets
In the northeastern part of Alabama, there have been some pretty large gold nuggets found over the years. Alabama was actually one of the first states where gold was found, and there was a fairly rich gold rush that occurred here in the 1830s.
To find gold nuggets with your detector, you will want to research the creeks and river where gold has already been found. With nearly 200 years of mining history in Alabama, most gold-bearing waters have already been found. So research areas where gold nuggets have been found in the past.
Scan the rock piles and tailings that were left behind by the old miners. On occasion, they were sloppy and missed some gold. It’s still sitting there today, waiting to be found by another prospector.
Metal Detecting Laws in Alabama
It is vitally important to understand the laws of which protect artifacts. Ignoring these laws could land you in some serious trouble, so it’s worth taking time to read and understand the laws. Bear in mind that people have in fact been arrested for both knowingly or unknowingly breaking the Federal Antiquities Act.
In Alabama, the majority of lands are private, which is actually better for the average treasure hunter.
If you are going to be metal detecting on private property, you will need permission from the property owner. However, once you have permission you are free to metal detect without concern.