The Beale Treasure: Buried Six Feet Below the Surface
In researching the story behind the Beale Treasure, I can understand why many searchers have explored the local cemeteries in the area of Bedford County, Virginia. One of the three ciphers which has been decoded specifies that the Beale Treasure is ‘buried six feet below the surface.’ This of course is the common depth for a grave.
While visiting, I myself, wanted to stroll through a few church grounds and graveyards. I hadn’t any intention of doing any digging; I only wanted to see if any clues or possibilities could still be realized.
Of the many locations to consider, the one I most wanted to seek out was on the mountain above where ‘Buford’s Tavern’ once stood. All that is presently left of Buford’s Tavern is a chimney. I was happy to find this tavern’s ruins and the exact location, because another line given in the decoded Beale Paper states the treasure is about four miles from Buford’s. This ‘Buford’s’ mentioned in the code is thought to be referring to the Tavern. A popular place at the time.
On Porter’s Mountain is the Mountain View Church. It sits and looks down over the valley where the Tavern was. It is about 4 miles from Buford’s. Many of the old head stones on the grounds of this church are nameless and lost in time. I wouldn’t say I was looking for anything ‘specific’, but only exploring the potential; Could a treasure be buried under the surface here?
It is certainly remote enough (even moreso in the 1800’s); but to have hidden the treasure, a large hole would have been needed to be dug. The treasure is stated to be 1014 pounds of Gold, 3812 pounds of silver, and then in another deposit made a few years after the first, an additional 1907 pounds of Gold, 1288 pounds of silver, and Jewels were added; In Iron Pots, with Iron Covers, resting on stone, and lined and covered with stones. Although many consider digging a hole for this ‘unlikely’, think about the following circumstance for a moment.
Today’s unknown but believed location of the treasure was not the first place the Beale Party had in mind to conceal the Gold, Silver, and Jewels. Before choosing the final spot, they had considered hiding the treasure in a cave. A place they were all aware of near the tavern. However, this turned out to be unsuitable. It was noticed local farmers were using the cave to store vegetables in and such. For this reason, another location was soon selected. Was this another cave? Many think so. But I certainly wouldn’t choose another cave.
If I, along with others, agreed to hide a treasure in a cave we all thought was ‘secret’ and then went there only to discover it being used by other people, I wouldn’t say, ‘well, let’s go use that other cave.’ From the experience given on the first, I would be extremely cautious in thinking any other cave of the area is unknown and safe enough to hide a valuable treasure in. I assume Beale would have felt the same.
Upon realizing the ‘cave’ idea was not the best decision to conceal treasure in, they had to rethink and ask themselves, ‘where can we hide this so no one will disturb it?’ A Supposed Grave, six feet under the ground, seems like a great place. Maybe the only place to guarantee it would not be found.
The area has been repeatedly explored through the years, and possible locations for the Beale Treasure investigated. Obviously, the treasure remains to be found and so the spot has not given up any of its secrets. There hasn’t been any clue saying, ‘here I am’.
While there, I decided to check out a few other church and graveyard locations. Driving on the many back roads of the county, cemeteries with a few headstones and fenced in area, are seen often. No church. Just a peaceful resting place.
It is possible Beale and party could have chosen any location near Buford’s, and maybe marked it as a grave. If this is true, it seems the treasure may remain a mystery until the final two codes are broken. Because until confirmation of a location is provided, no one should be going and digging up graves.
All and all, however, a nice drive and meanders through beautiful county, exploring and enjoying the landscapes, is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I plan to do so again soon. Maybe I will find a X marks the spot.
Best of luck with all that you seek!
Some other Photos of the day: