Page 17 - Alex Storm Plans for Buried Treasure
ISSUE : Issue 17
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1977/8/1
Alex Storm Plans for Buried Treasure Alex Storm, Louisbourg: I have an interest in land treasures as well as underwater treasures, because when I'm too old to dive or whatever, something happens and I don't want to dive anymore • then I'm going to follow up these leads that I have about land-based treasures. The difference be? tween diving for treasures and land-based treasures is that treasures you dive on • shipwrecks • are more or less recorded, docu? mented, and you're relatively sure they're there. But land-based treasures are usually hearsay, intriguing markings on rocks • sometimes it takes detective work. One sto? ry that you might have heard about is the story of the Devil's Money at St. Esprit Island. I heard from people in the area because I spent time there looking for the British ship, the Tilbury. We did find her, by the way. People that lived there told me that the lightkeeper's children • maybe 50, 60, maybe 70 years ago • his children used to spend a lot of time walking back and forth over the beaches there. And that these kids one day came running home, out of breath, talking about the big pot of money they found on the beach. The father went with the kids to the spot • presumably after a big hurricane or a wind, the stuff was uncovered • he indeed saw a large pile of gold and silver money on the beach ex? posed from the sand. And rather than pick? ing it up, so the story goes, he went home and told his wife about it and strictly forbade the kids to go down to that spot a- gain. Because as far as he and his wife were concerned, this was the Devil's Money and he was tempting them, trying to buy their souls.And they didn't go back to that spot. But the story got out and people went looking for it and they never found any? thing. Maybe the waves or the wind buried it over again. But somewhere on that St. Esprit beach there is a large amount of silver and gold, maybe a few feet under the sand. Waiting to be exposed by the next autumn gale. We learned more about this treasure from D. N. MacLennan, Sydney; Yes, there was talk of treasure at St. Esprit Island, St. Esprit Light. My father used to tell a story that in his young days a stranger came along and his grandfather or somebody- was on a pirate • they were up in the Strait of Canso there, and when they sailed out a man-of-war met them and captured them. He jumped overboard and he took the map • got it or made it. And his grandson, this man, had the map and was going along the shore, looking to find the place. What he could make out of it-was St. Esprit Island. But according to the map it was connected with the land. Well, there is a ridge there, and I know one of the Finlaysons, when they were lightkeepers, walked ashore at low tide on it. So it must have been connected to the land one time. But a few years af? terward there were two fellows came from Glace Bay. One of them had a dream • a man in oilclothes and sou'wester came in his dream to him and told him the money was buried there and that the sun rose up over the point of a cape east of it. Him and this other fellow came and they landed right on St. Esprit Island • and they start? ed to dig there at the spot. And the Fin? laysons, the lighthouse keeper • they stopped them • said this was government land and they . had no permit to go digging there. Well, they went away, and I never heard of any? thing else there. Alex Storm continued; At St. Esprit, we discovered the Tilbury and I dove on her. After we ran into a lot of troubles there we sort of said we'll file the informa? tion away in our log books and someday we'll go back. And that's where the money is. (Do you think the Tilbury money might be on St. Esprit?) No, I think it's un? der water. But I think that's where this treasure story keeps springing up. Another one that intrigued me is one I recorded in my log book. This is in and around Meat Cove, northern Cape Breton. From my log: "On September the 10th of 1969, the hurricane abated in the early morning and we were pleasantly surprised to find our boat had come off the shoal and was calmly riding at her anchor under a blue sky. After inspection, we found no leaks had developed as a consequence to the rough night and grounding. We sailed the boat into the wharf and made her shipshape. We filled our diving tanks, and Adrian and two young fellows and myself drove to Meat Cove to inspect some carved letters that were supposed to be there on a rock. We found the rock lying at the water's edge at the base of a cliff. The genuine article, though one never knows. It was a sandstone
Cape Breton's Magazine