Treasure hunters search ETX property for historic relics

Published: Jul. 25, 2013 at 8:38 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2013 at 9:42 PM CDT
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BEN WHEELER, TX (KLTV) - There is a lot of history surrounding the Roseland Plantation and according to a few treasure hunters, some of those stories are resting beneath the property.

"It was the Battle of the Neches, or the Cherokee War, where Chief Bowles and a lot of his Cherokees had their last stand against Texas militia and Texas Rangers," said Steve Moore, Marketing Communications Manager for Garrett Metal Detectors.

The battle was fought on July 16, 1839. Now, 174 years later, East Texas treasure hunters, along with search teams from Garret Metal Detectors, are spreading out across the East Texas property to see what they can find.

"You could potentially find some old coins that date back to 1850s, 1860s or earlier. You could find military buttons that could have gone on uniforms if any of the civil war soldiers had passed through here," Moore explained. 

Burwell Hambrick constructed this home in 1854, and is rumored to have left behind a few treasures of his own.

"When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Hambrick was afraid that he was going to lose all of his money and so they said they saw him many times carrying baskets of gold out and burying them in a draw southeast of the house. Now, whether he did or whether he ever did, no one knows," said Tim West, owner of the Roseland Plantation.

Now that two dozen or so metal detectors are on the property, maybe that question will soon be answered, but for many of these treasure hunters, the hunt is often more memorable than the find.

"You're not getting rich, you're having fun," said Ken Mathews, who has been treasure hunting for about 25 years.

"You can find 200 things, you can find nothing. There's probably good stuff out here all over the place considering the age of this area and how much into Texas history this factors," said Gary Ford, an East Texas treasure hunter.

The Roseland Plantation covers about 200 acres, and while search teams did not uncover any Cherokee War artifacts on Thursday, they are confident there are some great finds still out there.

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