Where is the lost treasure of Ghost Town Jacksonville, Oregon?
When people think of ghost towns, they often imagine
decrepit buildings and a deserted land. This is not untrue, as a ghost town is
simply remnants of a civilization that once was. Because nearly every
civilization has had civilization before it, most states in the United States
contain ghost towns, even if there is only the scarcest evidence. Each ghost
town has a story and sometimes the stories that are the most interesting are the
ones that combine a ghost town with lost treasure.
Jacksonville, Oregon was once a thriving mining
town that brought much wealth to those who lived and travelled there for the
vast amounts of gold in the mines. But by 1938, Jacksonville was close to a
ghost town. There were three shops that remained open but the others along the
main street were abandoned. There were a few inhabitants within the town still
including three boys: brothers Robert and Edward Lewis and Arthur Jefferson. One
summer’s day these three were about the town exploring some of the buildings
that had been abandoned. They knew every building very well as walking around in
them and investigating what once was had been a favorite pastime of the friends.
There was only one building that they had never been in, simply because it did
not hold their fascination.
The boys were unaware that the boring building had
been the Beekman Bank, which had held many of the miner’s accounts. Once the
mines had been emptied and people started leaving the town in groups, the bank
had closed. This particular day the bank captured the boy’s interest and so they
found a back door that had not been locked and stepped inside. There were
envelopes on the desk that had been covered by thirty years of dust. The
envelopes were very thick and were scattered around with some newspapers. The
boys tore open the envelopes only to find large amounts of gold and silver coin.
There was enough money for the boys to fill a bank money bag.
The boys began making very detailed plans about how
they were going to use the money. Right away they would buy some treats for
themselves such as candy and ice cream. They would then each take two large
handfuls of the coin and hide them within the bank building. Thirdly they would
bury the rest of it in the Lewis brother’s backyard except for three silver
dollars – one for each boy to give to his mother.
Once they had bought and eaten their treats, the
boys started hiding their coin in the building of Beekman Bank. The plan
continued on smoothly when they hid the rest of the money in the Lewis’ yard,
going seemingly unnoticed. However, when the boys handed their mothers the
silver dollars, the mothers’ suspicion grew. Amidst the boys trying to convince
them that they had earned the money, the boy’s mothers took them to the town
marshal. While there, the marshal scared the boys into telling him everything.
The boys told the entire story except for how the six handfuls of coin lying in
and around the bank.
The boys were shaken with the encounter with the
marshal. He had done a good job in making sure the boys didn’t stir up trouble
again and because of that, the boys never went back to the bank to get their
coin. The boys all eventually left the town and to this day the hidden coin has
never been found.