Coochie Gold?
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  1. #1
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    277 times

    Coochie Gold?

    In 1682 French explorers sailed down the Mississippi River from the north and claimed for France all that territory drained by the river, and gave it the name Louisiana honoring King Louis XIV of France. Coochie Brake lay within that territory.

    Coochie Brake is located in the southwestern part of what is now Winn Parish, Louisiana, about three miles from the community of Atlanta, a tract of approximately 800 acres of what could be called a "natural phenomenon," totally unrelated to the surrounding terrain. The spot is believed by some to be the result of a gigantic upheaval thousands of years ago. It has remained in the past something of a mystery to those Winn Parish citizens who had the courage to venture into its weird interior. There are those even today who give some thought to this mysterious area of Winn Parish.

    There one may find rocky escarpment reaching a height of 60 feet, caves and tunnels, huge boulders in lone grandeur, and in piles made by man. Some of these boulders were torn from their submerged position in the course of silver mining operations, while legend says other piles represent the rubble of an old Spanish fortress which stood there from 1767 until 1803. In 1762, France ceded the Louisiana Territory to Spain, which controlled the area until France regained possession in 1800. In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France.

    There is legend to the effect that quantities of gold and silver were stored by the Spaniards in the natural caves and in many tunnels which had been dug into the escarpments abutting the old fort. The bullion had been brought from Mexico by mule pack train and stored at Fort Coochie, a collecting place, and eventually transferred to Post de Concordia, now Vidalia, on the Mississippi River where it was loaded onto ocean-going sailing ships bound for Spain.

    Legend further has it that when Napoleon re-acquired Louisiana from Spain, immediately selling it to the United States, the Spaniards were ordered to leave before their soldiers could get out all the gold and silver then stored in the tunnels and caves. According to tales persisting through several generations, emanating from both Mexico and the United States, several millions of dollars in bullion were left in the caves and tunnels, the entrances of which were sealed off, some say by the simple method of piling rocks over them.

    Col. H. Jack, a Natchitoches lawyer purchased then entire brake in the early 1880s. He shortly began developing a silver mine in the escarpment. Operations ceased in 1883, Col. Jack having amassed a fortune estimated at five million dollars, $900,000 being in cash assets. The silver content of the vein was not considered rich enough to have yielded so much in so short a time. Many believed that Col. Jack really did find a great cache of bullion.

    Once this huge forested tract teemed with wildlife. The streams and shallow lake were bedding ground for alligators and enormous turtles. Strange and many-hued birds not otherwise known in Louisiana were there in quantities. At one time a trading post was established in the Brake. It later became a slave mart, part of a slave running operation, El Camino Real passed on the outer edge of Coochie Brake, making it a natural hideout for such outlaws as the infamous West and Kimbrell Clan which operated across the north central part of Louisiana during and after the Civil War.

    In those early days the area abounded in virgin cypress, gum, and tupelo trees and a great stand of longleaf pine. While the area was denuded to a great extent, there were giant tupelo gum in the area growing to a height of 200 feet, doubling that of other specimens. The cypress also attained great height, growing in a shallow lake which had formed a depression.

    In the early 1900s when sawmills came into the nearby area, the loggers faced a problem in logging the fine timber in the shallow lake. Their wagons pulled by oxen and mule could not get into the lake and bring the logs out. They solved the problem by attaching huge cables high in a cypress growing out in the lake, carrying the other end of the cable and attaching it to a tree growing on dry land. Log cutters waded out with their long crosscut saws and cut the timber. A cable was attached to the log, lifting it to the huge cable and drawn by a machine over the cable to dry land, loaded on wagons and hauled to the mill. The operation was called overhead skidding.

    The lumbering operations in that day denuded the Brake of most of its impressive virgin trees. Today it presents a different face. The population of turtles are almost extinct. Some remain, as do a few of the strange birds once a common sight in the area. Many of the boulders and much of the loose rock have been removed. Still, enough of the original character remains. There are those in Winn parish interested in making it a tourist attraction. The possibilities for archaeological exploration are almost unlimited. The tales and legends are still known. Their separation from fact will be a challenge to history students until some unusually enterprising one will eventually seek permission to research the treasury of early Louisiana archives maintained by the Spanish government at Seville.

    Portions of the information in this story are from writings of Eck Bozeman during the 1950s.
    By Murphy J. Barr
    Journal Historian

    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    us
    Feb 2008
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Minelab CTX 3030, Explorer SE, Whites DFX
    583
    3 times

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    Coochie Gold? Hmmmm. Great read though
    "The best discriminator is a shovel"

  3. #3
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    277 times

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    Do you think it was all found?

    .........the Spaniards were ordered to leave before their soldiers could get out all the gold and silver then stored in the tunnels and caves. According to tales persisting through several generations, emanating from both Mexico and the United States, several millions of dollars in bullion were left in the caves and tunnels, the entrances of which were sealed off......
    ......1883, Col. Jack having amassed a fortune estimated at five million dollars, $900,000 being in cash assets. The silver content of the vein was not considered rich enough to have yielded so much in so short a time. Many believed that Col. Jack really did find a great cache of bullion.......

    .......El Camino Real passed on the outer edge of Coochie Brake, making it a natural hideout for such outlaws as the infamous West and Kimbrell Clan

    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  4. #4
    us
    " Yo Momma "

    Feb 2008
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Miinelab CTX-3030, Minelab E-Trac, Minelab Explorer II, Whites Dfx
    1,063
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    I emailed my Aunt who lives in Winnfield and she has been to Coochie Break years ago and said everything that was in G.H. posted was true to the best of her knowledge. Who knows if everything was found but alot of this myth is based in fact.
    I SUGGEST WHEN YOUR IQ REACHES 75.........SELL!!!

  5. #5
    us
    Jul 2003
    Elgin
    Fishers 1235X-8" CZ-20/21-8" F-70-11"DD GC1023
    6,578
    57 times

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    So the Spanish left this fortune and did not record it in their archives? Seems they were very meticulous in record keeping and some sort of archival evidence should remain.

  6. #6
    us
    " Yo Momma "

    Feb 2008
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Miinelab CTX-3030, Minelab E-Trac, Minelab Explorer II, Whites Dfx
    1,063
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    I tend to agree with you Lowbatts....the spanish wrote down everything, they were anal about that. If they left anything, it was recorded somewhere.

    Steve
    I SUGGEST WHEN YOUR IQ REACHES 75.........SELL!!!

  7. #7

    Mar 2006
    Deep East Texas near Toledo Bend
    ETRAC BABY
    755
    25 times

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    Even if they did take the loot, there is probably a lot of interesting things just waiting to be dug up. Heck Steve, i might have to upset the little wife and make a trip when I come down next time. I sure as heck aint hunting here. Its 18 degrees with the lake effect machine in full force. Got 5 inches of snow today and if that line of snow doesnt move soon we will get another 5 inches in the next few hours. LOL. SMAN...

  8. #8
    us
    " Yo Momma "

    Feb 2008
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Miinelab CTX-3030, Minelab E-Trac, Minelab Explorer II, Whites Dfx
    1,063
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    Hey SMAN,
    Thats just one more wife that will hate me. I'm waiting to hear back from my aunts about that place. I'll let you know what I hear as soon as I hear something. That weather has to SUCK!!! At least you DO know where to make your home, sorry you have to work in that mess. Did you see yourself in shortsleeves on my profile working on your tan in December? Life is good!

    Steve
    I SUGGEST WHEN YOUR IQ REACHES 75.........SELL!!!

  9. #9
    us
    " Yo Momma "

    Feb 2008
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Miinelab CTX-3030, Minelab E-Trac, Minelab Explorer II, Whites Dfx
    1,063
    14 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    I just got an email from my in aunt in Winnfield who contacted a friend whose father lives around Coochie Break and said when it got a little warmer for me to come down and he would fill me up on info and give me a tour. I told her that sounded like a plan and will persue this more as it warms up.

    Steve
    I SUGGEST WHEN YOUR IQ REACHES 75.........SELL!!!

  10. #10

    Mar 2006
    Deep East Texas near Toledo Bend
    ETRAC BABY
    755
    25 times

    Re: Coochie Gold?

    Hey Steve. Yeah I saw that. I wish it was like that here now. LOL. I will be coming down in February. Maybe we can get together and do some huntin at the coochie. Well that didnt sound to good but ya know what I meant. LOL. SMAN...

  11. #11
    us
    Mike

    Feb 2016
    Fairview Alfa
    1
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I realize this is a ancient thread , has anybody actually traveled to Coochie Brake or the old fort that was known as lying horse rock? I am originally from Grant Parish and have herd the stories of this place all of my life. Anybody able to shed more light on this place in the form of first hand experience or just good old folk lore it would be appreciated.

 

 

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