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A tale of Civil War-era treasure hidden in Portland

The cache, sometimes called “Sims’ Gold,” has intrigued treasure hunters for decades.

PDX Jones Cemetery Portland pioneer

Nathan Jones donated the land that would become Jones Cemetery to Multnomah County in 1872.

Photo by Metro

X marks the spot. Hidden treasure has always fascinated humankind, but the possible discovery of the legendary Beeswax shipwreck earlier this year on the Oregon Coast has reignited its popularity. One particular hoard that’s alluded local seekers is a $6,000 cache of Civil War gold thought to be buried somewhere in Portland.

There’s even a bona fide treasure map accompanying the legend. The so-called Portland Treasure Chart, which resides in the Oregon Historical Society’s archives, is a piece of waxed kitchen paper with markings dated February 1862.

Among the map’s scribblings are these words: “PORTLAND OR. SIMS MONEY is BURYEED 5 FOOT DEEP AT THE TWO GRAVES NORTH FROM BARN TEN FOOT EAST” and “KEEP THIS CHART TIL GET WELL” followed by “ALL HAVE DIED.”

Of course, many people have interpreted the map’s cryptic directions in very different ways — and some have shared their thoughts with historian Ruby El Hult, whose 1957 book, “Lost Mines and Treasures of the Pacific Northwest” details the tale. Read all about the latest theorized location (spoiler alert: it’s Jones Cemetery in the West Hills)... just don’t do any graveyard digging. This may be one stash of cash that remains hidden.

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