Legend Says a Million in Gold is Buried at This Louisiana Lake
I've lived here in Northwest Louisiana my entire 58 years and have never heard this story before today. I consider myself one to normally be up on all the legends and folktale about our area here in Northwest Louisiana, but this one escaped me. My guess is that most others have never heard the story either.
Visiting lakebistineau.com, I stumbled across a 1939 article in the Shreveport Journal written by John Chambers.
In the article, which had to have been the first time anyone had ever actually written down the story, he tells of six renegades who had come up Red River and then up Lake Bistineau to Peggy's Island where they made camp.
Legend has it, these six had stolen $60,000 in gold in New Orleans and had it in their possession when they arrived at Peggy's Island. Though the article doesn't specifically identify the year this took place, the contents of the article suggested it to be somewhere in the early to mid 1800's. After a little research into the value of that gold in today's market, I found it would be worth approximately a little over one million dollars.
Back to the legend. Apparently these guys were pretty rowdy, so a party of local men located the six outlaws on the island and made attempt to drive them away. Supposedly, there was a gun battle that left four of the six renegades dead on the scene and the final two were caught and killed on Fairview Point.
The final two were searched immediately at Fairview Point, and having no gold on them, most speculated that the gold had been hidden in a secret spot on Peggy's Island. The legend goes on to say that one of those two final men was heard to say with his dying breath, that the gold was buried 300 steps toward the sun from two great cypress trees that stood side by side on the island.
Of course, that info set many into motion looking for the hidden treasure, but according to the article:
Since this occurrence, many forays in search of the gold have taken place, by torchlight and witchcraft, by lantern light and divining rod and with the modern electric lamp and comparatively new radio metal locators. No one has ever seen another dig for this treasure by the light of the sun and many earth diggings have been found in the early morning that had not been there the evening before.