Dec 15, 2013, 10:37 PM
cave of gold above elk river tn
Anyone interested in a true story of a lost cave of gold in Tennessee? Many years ago, Cherokee warriors attacked a party of Spanish miners who had hundreds of gold ingots, sacks of coins, candlesticks and chalices. After disposing of the party of Spaniards, they hid the loot in a small cave and copied a symbol on a rock nearby. They used the gold to make jewelry and ornaments and planned on returning to the location to use the gold. In 1886 a Cherokee showed up in the area and was looking for work. Soon a local farmer took the Indian in and soon realized he was a worthy worker. After time passed and some trust was established the Cherokee told the man of his intentions in the area and even produced a map. After several attempts to find the cave and after being followed about everytime he went into the area the Indian left town and was never seen again. In 1893 the symbol of the cross the Cherokee carved into the rock was found and started a new series of explorations in the area. The cave was never reported to be found. Many seem to think that the small entrance to the cave may have been covered by an earthquake. Others who live nearby say the area is so remote and rough that you could be near the opening and not even see it due to the thickness of the laurel hells and dense undergrowth. I find this story simply fascinating as I have heard stories like this many times. Many time the Cherokee would let the Spanish mine an area and wait until they are leaving the area and attack the mule transport and take the gold for themselves and cache it in caves. The story can be found in the book Buried Treasures of the Appalachians by W.C. Jameson. I have been thinking about this for some time now and I just can't shake it from my head. IF someone were to spend some serious time in the area it just might be worth their time. I think I would like to start working on this lead. Anyone in the area of Pellham TN ever heard of this story. PM me and lets see what we can come up with.
Dec 16, 2013, 03:39 PM
I'd like to hear more of the story. Do you know about when the Spanish were attacked, 1700's, 1800's? Do you know where the Spanish were coming from and where they were going? Maybe they pillaged a mission and were making an escape. Do you know how many Spanish were in the party? Do you know when this treasure legend was first mentioned, 1886 or at some time before that? Also, is the site of the cave supposed to be in Grundy County or Sequatchie County. Thanks for the story. Very interesting.
Dec 16, 2013, 03:47 PM
Oops, I didn't see that Elk River was a town in Grundy County.
Dec 16, 2013, 05:32 PM
the Cherokee would let the spaniards mine gold then take it later??
Umm I'm not too bright, but I don't remember a "lot" of gold being found anywhere in the eastern US.
Dec 16, 2013, 06:39 PM
Check out the WATERHOUSE TREASURE, Rocky Face Mountain, GA, guarded by the Nunnehi Tribe of the Cherokee Nation; Cherokee learned from Spanish miners, killed them & "took over" mining/smelting equipment... making LOTS of Copper, Silver, & GOLD BARS! US Gov't had to have a US MINT (Dahlonega) near-by to "process" it all...
Originally Posted by jeff-gordon
Last edited by Rebel - KGC; Dec 16, 2013 at 06:45 PM.
Dec 16, 2013, 10:55 PM
Spanish mining gold in Tn.? When and how much. Does proof exist anywhere in the Archives in Spain? Mexico City? Maybe Mr. Jameson can tell you where a primary, not secondary source might be...
Dec 16, 2013, 11:08 PM
Hey Jeff, A lot of people don't know it but gold was first discovered in the US in east Tn. Georgia has argued this but there is only a one year difference between the two states claiming to find gold. A lot of gold was mined in east Tn, North Alabama, and N Georgia and was sent to the gulf coast and shipped to Spain.
Dec 16, 2013, 11:12 PM
Hey Austin, Yes gold was mined in Tn and there are Spanish records of explorers in East Tn. Gold was first discovered in TN and one year later in Georgia. The book states that this happened more than 400 years ago.
Dec 16, 2013, 11:15 PM
Originally Posted by two bear
That book was written by a very queationable source. Show me primary source material, not things copied or hearsay or rumor...
Dec 16, 2013, 11:24 PM
Hey mdog, The book states that the Spanish were attacked over 400 years ago. I do not know where they were coming from, either the east TN mountains, north Georgia mountains or northern Alabama would be my educated guess. They would take their gold and silver to the gulf coast to be sent to Spain. There are many Spanish furnaces said to be found on the eastern end of Tn, North Georgia and Western North Carolina to say the least. The book does state that there was an armed escort and 20 mules to haul it. The story was first mentioned in 1886 when the Cherokee showed up in Pellham and started looking.
Dec 16, 2013, 11:33 PM
I'm Cherokee myself. I hear stories like this from a more credible source that a book or a white man. There are so many Cherokee stories that one could never tell them all and the best ones will never be told outside of the circle. It just goes as common knowledge to some, no offense. We know that these things happened. Cherokee knew the white mans greed for gold and silver and saw what they did to get to it. They also hoped to buy their lands from Washington in hopes to stay instead of being sent to reservations. I don't know where the author attained his original material but there are plenty of documents and artifacts to prove the Spanish were on the east coast mining silver and gold.
Dec 16, 2013, 11:37 PM
Hey Rebel KGC,
It's nice to hear from someone who shares a belief in the story. I've heard of the Waterhouse Treasure for years and believe its still out there.
Dec 16, 2013, 11:52 PM
While researching other things, I ran across some mention that Spanish Crypto Jews might have been mining gold in northern Georgia and Alabama as far back as the late 1500's. They were probably trying to avoid the Catholic Inquisitors who were searching for secret Jews in the Spanish colonies. If that is true, there probably wouldn't be any records of their mining activity.
Originally Posted by two bear
The year 1886 is interesting to me. I've run across the same date from a little known treasure story about the movement of several hundred pounds of gold bullion. The story was also brought to my area by a stranger who was around for several years before he died. There is no record of the guy ever being in this area. I live about a thousand miles from where you are. Must be coincidence.
Have you seen the carved cross? What type of cross was it?
Dec 17, 2013, 12:12 AM
Do you know anything about the farmer who gave the Cherokee a job? If you can, you should do some research and find out everything you can about this farmer. Unless the Cherokee told the story to other people in the county, the farmer would have been the one who began to spread the story about the Spanish and the treasure.
Dec 17, 2013, 12:54 AM
Hey mdog, I have not seen the symbol of the cross. Locals have found it and it was supposed to be a copy of a Spanish cross the Cherokee saw on the Spanish saddlebags or something. The farmer is dead of course but many locals have looked for the cave. This story seems to have a hard place to start researching. Some locals may know of the location of the farm, but one would think they might not be so open to disclosing the location of the cross carved into the rock. The rock with the cross carved into it was as the bottom of a spring coming from the mountain above. Some have followed nearby streams up the mountain but have not found the cave entrance. Of course the original stream may be dry now.
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