Louisiana has been inhabited as far back as the 4th Millenium B.C. when the Mound Builders first lived here. Since then many cultures have lived and thrived in the Louisiana area. The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle came to Louisiana in 1682 and claimed Louisiana for France. Louisiana was named after Frances King at the time Louis XIV. From the time of the first explorers to Louisiana until the early 20th-century you will be amazed at how many lost treasures are awaiting discovery in Louisiana.
The pirate Jean Lafitte lived in the bayous of Louisiana for many years and stories of his buried treasure have been told throughout the centuries. Stories of the buried treasure of Jean Lafitte can be found all over the state of Louisiana.
So if you are from Louisiana or are interested in lost treasure stories then you will want to read on as I present 23 Lost Treasures of Louisiana.
23 Lost Treasure Of Louisiana
|Sabine River Treasure||Unknown||3 miles east of the Old Spanish Trail|
|Lafitte Villiage Treasure||$1 million||Ghost Town of Lafitte Villiage, 21 miles south of Marrero, Louisiana|
|Amite River Treasure||A large cache of gold||Near the Amite River which is across from the ruins of Galvez town.|
|Jefferson Island Treasure||Three treasure chests||Found on Jefferson Island|
|Lake Misere Treasure||Unknown||North of Cheniere Ridge, Louisiana near a shell bank on Lake Misere|
|Shipwrecks Near Fort Livingston Hold Treasures||Gold and silver coins that date from 1802 to 1809||Grand Terre Isle|
|The Parlange Plantation Treasure||$100,000 to $500,000 worth of gold and silver coins and jewelry||Near New Roads Louisiana in Pointe Coupee Parish.|
|Chretien Point Plantation||$650,000 in gold and silver coins||Two miles southwest of Sunset Louisiana on the Bayou Bourdeaux|
|Frisby Plantation||$1 million in gold and silver coins and jewelry and also a 200-pound bell made of silver||Bayou that was south of his plantation house|
|Alice Plantation||$500,000 in gold, plates, silverware, and jewelry||Grand Coteau, Louisiana off of State Highway 167|
|Thibodeaux Plantation||Unknown||Near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana off of County Road 31 in St. Martin Parish.|
|Pine Alley Plantation||$150,000 in gold coins||Near St. Martinsville, Lousiana|
|Conrad Plantation||$50,000 in gold coins, family plates, and jewelry||Near Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Bonafice Plantation||$400,000 in gold bullion and coins||Near Edgard, Louisiana on the north bank of the Mississippi River|
|Destrehan Plantation||$470,000 in silver, gold, and jewels||Close to the town of Destrehan, Louisiana.|
|Wreck of the Oregon and John Adams Treasure||$800,000 in gold bullion and coins||On the Mississippi river just below New Orleans,|
|Pirate Treasure on Isle Derniere||Unknown||Isle Derniere is located across from Terrebonne Bay which is south of Houma, Louisiana|
|Buried Treasure at Old Camp Place||$20,000 in gold and silver coins||10 miles west of Monroe, Louisiana.|
|Miners Buried Gold Near The Ruins of Lincecum||Gold bullion||Lincecum is on the Mississippi River close to Dupont, Louisiana|
|Fallen Springs Outlaw Campsite||Unknown||Fallen Springs is located east of the Toledo Bend reservoir a few miles from Many, Louisiana.|
|Buried Gold on The Walter C. Flowers Estate||$6 million in gold bullion and coins||The Estate of Walter C. Flowers which was located between Madisonville and Chinchuba, Louisiana.|
|Treasures of Honey Island||$2.5 million and $450,000 in gold bullion||On Honey Island on the Pearl River close to the town of Pearl River, Louisiana.|
|Wreck of the U.S.S. Mississippi||Coins and Artifacts||The Shores of Profit Island|
Pirate Treasure’s of Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte was born in France in 1780. Around 1806 Lafitte came to New Orleans and operated a warehouse there where they would smuggle goods. After the Embargo Act of 1807 Lafitte and his brother moved operations to the island of Barataria, Lousiana. On this island is where Laffite gained most of his wealth.
With all that wealth he acquired by smuggling and capturing merchant’s vessels Lafitte was nervous that he would be caught by the authorities and subsequently had to bury his treasure to keep it safe. Although Lafitte was headquartered in Louisiana he also visited other states that he supposedly buried treasures including Texas and Alabama. Truth be told Lafitte operated all over the Gulf Coast so his treasures could be scattered anywhere in that area.
Sabine River Treasure
One of the tales of Lafitte’s buried treasure in Louisiana states that Lafitte spent a considerable amount of time Sabine River. The story says that Lafitte buried a cache of treasure near a grove of gum trees along the Sabine River. Supposedly the treasure is about 3 miles east of the Old Spanish Trail.
Lafitte Villiage Treasure
Another story states that Lafitte buried $1 million in treasure in a town now called Lafitte Villiage. The treasure is said to be located near the cemetery where Jean Lafitte is interred. This ghost town lies 21 miles south of Marrero, Louisiana. This town was notably used by pirates and many treasures have been unearthed in this area.
Amite River Treasure
Legend has it that Jean Lafitte buried a large cache of gold near the Amite River which is across from the ruins of Galvez town.
Jefferson Island Treasure
In 1923 three treasure chests were dug up on Jefferson Island that is believed to be from Jean Lafitte. The chests contained French, English, and Spanish gold and silver coins that were minted in the 1700s. These treasures could have been buried by Lafitte or another pirate who frequented the area because a knife typically used by Caribbean Pirates was found in the area with the treasure.
Lake Misere Treasure
North of Cheniere Ridge, Louisiana near a shell bank on Lake Misere it is said that Jean Lafitte buried a treasure here. Also, the treasure is presumably buried near Mermenteau and Calcasieu Rivers close to the Contraband Bayou.
These are just a few of the many treasure stories of Jean Lafitte in Louisiana. Maybe someday someone will find one of Jean Lafitte’s many buried treasures. What a story that would be to tell!
Shipwrecks Near Fort Livingston Hold Treasures
Fort Livingston which stands in ruins today is located on the southern side of Grand Terre Isle which can only be reached by boat. This Fort was used as a defense in the early 19th century. It was used by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War.
Many ships went down in this area and the wrecks can be seen at low tide on the beaches there. Over the years treasure seekers have found large amounts of gold and silver coins that date from 1802 to 1809 on the beaches there. These coins are presumed to be washing ashore from the numerous shipwrecks in the area.
Fort Livingston has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places so you will want to ask permission before doing any metal detecting or digging in the area. My guess is it’s probably not allowed but you can still comb the beaches there in hopes that you spot one of those gold or silver coins from the 1800s.
Plantation Treasures of Louisiana
During the 1700s Louisiana had plantations scattered all over the state. Many of them still stand as a testament to the interesting agricultural history that dotted the state. Along with these many plantations, there are numerous stories of buried treasure that have been hidden on them. In the following, I highlight each of these plantations and their associated treasure story.
The Parlange Plantation Treasure
The Parlange plantation which still stands today was owned and is still owned by the Parlange family. It originally was an indigo plantation and later changed to cotton and sugarcane. During the Civil War Virginie Parlange was the owner of the plantation. On word that Union troops were about to descend on the plantation Virginie reportedly buried 3 wooden chests containing approximately $100,000 to $500,000 worth of gold and silver coins and jewelry in her garden.
Union General Nathanial Banks and his troops stopped at the plantation for a brief stay. Virginie treated the General as though she supported the Union side but in reality, she was very much for the confederacy. Because of her hospitality, Nathanial Banks spared the plantation and after a brief stay, they went on their way.
After the Civil War when she was convinced that it was safe she went to her garden to retrieve the treasure that she had buried. But she could only find two of the three wooden chests. So either the remaining one is still buried there or the Union troops had taken it when they were camping near the Parlange Plantation garden.
The family still owns the plantation that is still in operation. Although searching for the lost wooden chest of treasure has been done by the family the chest just might still be there in the garden waiting for discovery. In my opinion, the treasure was probably unearthed by the Union Troops that were camping in her garden.
The Parlange plantation is located near New Roads Louisiana in Pointe Coupee Parish. You can even visit and tour the plantation by appointment.
Chretien Point Plantation
Chretien Point plantation still stands today. Its located two miles southwest of Sunset Louisiana on the Bayou Bourdeaux. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and metal detecting and digging is probably forbidden but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
The Pirate Jean Lafitte lived here at one time. It is said that one of the owners Hippolyte Chretien buried many large chests containing $650,000 in gold and silver coins on the property. None of which has been recovered. Knowing that Jean Lafitte lived here there may be more treasures buried on this 3,000-acre property than just the one Hippolyte buried here.
The Frisby Plantation was owned by Confederate Colonel Norman Frisby during the Civil War. While a huge number of Union troops were on their way to his plantation Colonel loaded up two wagons with over $1 million in gold and silver coins and jewelry and also a 200-pound bell that he had cast out of silver coins that he had melted down. All the treasures he had were probably the spoils of war.
He reported went into the bayou that was south of his plantation house and buried the treasure there. Soon after he was killed while defending his property from the advancing Union troops. The treasure has never been recovered and is probably still there sunk deep in the swampy bayou near the ruins of his plantation.
The Fusilier de la Calire Mansion also known as Alice Plantation has since been moved but it was located in Grand Coteau, Louisiana off of State Highway 167. During the Civil War, it is said that the Fusilier family buried over $500,000 in gold, plates, silverware, and jewelry in the gardens on the estate.
If it’s still there it would be an amazing find. The mansion was moved in 1961 to Jeanerette, Louisiana but the old gardens there might still be visible.
The Thibodeaux plantation is located near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana off of County Road 31 in St. Martin Parish. In the 1800s the slaves of the plantation rose up against the white owners and killed all of them. The slaves then buried all the treasure that they took from the plantation house somewhere on the plantation.
The slaves were all eventually killed by other whites in the area before they could dig up the treasure. It’s presumed that it is still buried somewhere on the Thibodeaux Plantation.
Pine Alley Plantation
Pine Alley Plantation which is located near St. Martinsville, Lousiana has a fortune of $150,000 in gold coins that were buried here during the Civil War.
The Conrad Plantation is located near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Somewhere on this plantation, it is believed that $50,000 in gold coins, family plates, and jewelry is buried here.
The Bonafice plantation is located near Edgard, Louisiana on the north bank of the Mississippi River. Legend has it that $400,000 in gold bullion and coins was buried here during the time of the Civil War.
The Destrehan plantation is located close to the town of Destrehan, Louisiana. This is a well-preserved plantation that still stands today and is owned by the American Oil Company. It is rumored that $470,000 in silver, gold, and jewels were hidden or buried on the Destrehan property during the Civil War.
Wreck of the Oregon and John Adams Treasure
In the area where the islands that are known only as #82 and #83 on the Mississippi river just below New Orleans, two steamships sank here in February and March of 1871. The names of the ships are Oregon and the John Adams who both hit the same obstruction in the water.
Many souls were lost on the Oregon that sank on the southern tip of Island #82. There was more than $300,000 in gold bullion and coins onboard. The ship John Adams sank in 60 feet of water in the same area and as a result, 107 people lost their lives. The stern of the ship John Adams floated down to Island #83 and it had $500,000 in gold on her.
Over the years gold and silver coins and bullion washes ashore on these two islands which are from the two shipwrecks in the waters there. I’m sure there is much more treasure that can be found on the beaches and in the water near Islands #82 and #83. So if you are ever on one of these islands bring along a sand scoop and metal detector and you might come away a happy treasure seeker!
Pirate Treasure on Isle Derniere
Isle Derniere was used by pirates in the 1700s. It is located across from Terrebonne Bay which is south of Houma, Louisiana. Legend has it that pirates who frequented this island buried many treasures here.
Although no pirate treasure has been found treasure seekers have had luck finding 19th-century coins and other artifacts on the island. Some of which probably wash ashore from shipwrecks in the area. If you plan on visiting Isle Demiere you can only get there by way of boat. This would be a very lucrative island to visit.
Buried Treasure at Old Camp Place
Sometime during the Civil War Confederate soldiers were being pursued by Union troops and they buried $20,000 in gold and silver coins close to a spot named Old Camp Place. This spot was used during the Civil War as you guessed a popular camping area for southern refugees and Confederate soldiers.
Old Camp Place is located about 10 miles west of Monroe, Louisiana. This would be a very interesting place to visit with a metal detector because I’m sure there are other artifacts as well as the treasure strewn around from the Civil War era.
Miners Buried Gold Near The Ruins of Lincecum
Lincecum was once a bustling lumber town. The ruins are located on the Mississippi River close to Dupont, Louisiana. Legend has it that miners that were coming back from the goldfields of California had buried their gold here before they were massacred by Indians.
Some of the original buildings still stand here. So if you head to Lincecum make sure you bring yourself a reliable gold metal detector like the Garrett AT Gold. If you have this metal detector and gold is buried there you will definitely find it.
Fallen Springs Outlaw Campsite
There’s a campsite called Fallen Springs that’s located east of the Toledo Bend reservoir a few miles from Many, Louisiana. Outlaws camped and hideout here during the 1800s. It is said that many of those outlaws buried their loot here.
Buried Gold on The Walter C. Flowers Estate
During the Civil War just before Union Troops took New Orleans the banks there gave some of the confederate soldiers about $6 million in gold bullion and coins for them to keep safe from the Union troops. The Confederate Officers are said to have buried this treasure on the Estate of Walter C. Flowers which was located between Madisonville and Chinchuba, Louisiana.
Soon after the officers were killed by Union troops and the treasure is said to still be buried there on the Estate.
Treasures of Honey Island
Honey Island is located on the Pearl River close to the town of Pearl River, Louisiana. There are a few buried treasure stories that come from this island.
The first is about an outlaw named Calico Dick who reportedly buried $2.5 million somewhere in the middle of the island. The other story suggests that a Frenchman by the name of Pierre Rameau buried $450,000 in gold bullion on the island.
It has been reported that gold and silver coins can be found on the beaches of the island after the Pearl River Flood.
Wreck of the U.S.S. Mississippi
The U.S.S. Mississippi was a paddle frigate that sunk in the waters of the Mississippi River on the Northwest tip of Profit Island which is about 12 miles north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Artifacts and coins from this wreck have been washing ashore at Profit Island ever since.
These are just a few of the many lost treasure stories that come out of the state of Louisiana. There are so many I just can’t write about all of them in this article. But this gives you a good picture of what awaits discovery in the great state of Louisiana.
Anyone with enough time, research, luck, and the right metal detecting equipment could make a fortune, treasure hunting in Louisiana.
If you have experience treasure hunting in Louisiana and have stories to tell or questions please leave them below. I would love to hear from you. Until next time Happy Treasure Hunting!
Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.