Florida Guide > Other Florida
Pirates and Buried Treasure
So is there truth in the myths and legends of pirates and buried treasure on the Cape Haze peninsular, if it is true will you be the lucky one to find it.
Up to the early 1900’s Florida was in the main a wilderness including many parts of the south west coast; it was home to alligators snakes and other wild critters making life unbearable for many settlers. This little piece of paradise however was ideal for the pirates to ply their trade and they operated freely out of the hidden coves and bays which even today skirt this coastline.
Many of the islands derive their names from these pirate rogues of the sea, Gasparilla, Useppa, Cayo Costa and Captiva to name a few. These islands are just some which skirt the coastline and many are now designated state parks so sadly digging for buried treasure may well be frowned upon on these ones; but there are still plenty which can be reached and some searching and digging may offer up the hidden treasure.
One of the most famous prirates was the Spaniard Jose Gaspar; he met his end by reputedly wrapping himself in chains and jumping overboard. This was after a disastrous attack on a United States frigate which he had mistakenly thought was an unarmed merchantman. Gasparilla Island was named after him and this island is now home to many wealthy citizens perhaps they are descendents of Jose and his ill found gains.
Another well known pirate was the English mutineer Brewster Baker; he made his camp on Pine Island and scoured the seas from this island for hapless ships that crossed his path. A very successful pirate it is said that he buried his gold somewhere on the Cape Haze peninsular. This horde that is estimated to be worth $12 million has yet to be found! Did Brewster sail away across the Gulf with his treasure or is it still buried deep on the peninsular? Perhaps we shall never know.
If it is still buried on the peninsular or on one of the many islands, some of which are still deserted today, will it be found? And if found, will it be found by a local or perhaps a visitor to this beautiful corner of south west Florida; will a gold Doubloon wash ashore in the early morning and lie in wait glistening in the shallows just waiting for an unsuspecting visitor to stumble across it. It could even be you…………. one thing for sure there is plenty to do on the peninsular even without hunting for buried treasure.
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Page added on: 6 November 2008
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