Legend of Treasure on Neahkahnie Mountain

Legend of Treasure on Neahkahnie Mountain

In my stash of papers dating from High School, I found this neat little legend about a shipwreck and buried Treasure near Neahkahnie Mountain on the Oregon Coast. I have no recollection of where or when I picked up this document. Based on the age of the papers it’s in, I’d guess sometime in late 80’s to early 90’s time frame. There are no identifying marks anywhere to say who wrote it originally. Interesting to note is that the web page about the mountain mentions this, but has a slightly different telling.

One summer afternoon, many years ago, Indians near Neahkahnie
mountain were astonished to see two sailing ships approaching the coast.
These were the first sailing ships ever seen along the Oregon coast, and
to the Indians, they looked like “great birds” as they raced in full sail
toward the shore. Suddenly, the ships drew close together, and just
beyond the breakers, they began to ”thunder” and puffs of smoke issued
from their sides. After much noise and smoke, one of the ships began to
list, and was cast up on the beach near the foot of the mountain. The
other sailed off over the horizon and was never seen again.

As the great ship lurched onto the sand, men tumbled over its sides
and staggered ashore through the surf. All of the men were white, except
one, who was much larger than the others–a giant, some say. He was
black. To the Indians, who assumed until then that there was only one
race, these men of different colors were a frightening sight, and they
regarded them much as we might regard visitors from another planet.

At low tide the strangers straggled out to their ship and began to
bring their belongings ashore. Among the items brought from the ship was
a huge chest, so heavy and cumbersome that it took eight men to carry it.
With great effort, they carried the chest a short way up the mountain,
where they dug a deep hole. Carefully, they lowered the ohrst into the
hole. The black giant, whom the Indians believed was an evil demon, was
told to step forward. When he did, he was struck down, and his body was
thrown into the hole on top of the chest. The men then filled the hole
with sand and returned to the beach.

The Indians, as usual in their initial dealings with white people,
were friendly, generous, and peaceful. They welcomed the strangers to
their village, offered food and helped the men to obtain shelter for the
coming winer. The white men, as usual in their dealings with people of
another race, were quick to capitalize on the generosity of their hosts.
They took food, land and other belongings from the Indians and offered
Venereal disease, measles and violence in return.

The sailors quarreled with each other and with the Indians.
Eventually, an Indian was killed. The Indians retaliated, killing a white
man. A balance, of sorts, was maintained in this way through two winters,
but during the third year the tolerable of the Indians for their irascible
visitors was finally exceeded.

When the sailors began, at will, to violate the Indian women, a
council was held among the Clatsops, the Tillamook, and the Nehalems.
Before dawn, one autumn morning, 1,500 warriors crept into the camp of tbe
white men and set fire to their dwellings. As the sailors ran from the
blazing camp, the Indians killed them all. The white men were buried in a
huge mound near the place where the box and the black man were buried. It
is said that after this massacre, the river ran red With blood for 3 days.

The Indians, because of their reverence for the dead, never disturbed
the burial place of the sailors, and because of their fear of reprisal as
the white prescence grew in Oregon, refrained from talking about the

Because of their fear of the ”black demon”, they never dug up the
huge chest that the sailors buried on their beach. To this day. no one is
sure what was in the chest, but many believe that the ship was a Spanish
pirate ship and that the chest contained a fortune in gold.

Considerable evidence supports the assumption of buried treasure near
Neahkahnle. In addition to the Indian legend, there are records of
Spanish ships, loaded with treasure gained in raids on South American
cities, sailing northward from Peru, never to be heard of again.
Mysterious markings carved into the rocks on Neahkahnie Mountain could
hold the key to the location of the treasure. At Three Rocks Beach, in
North Lincoln County, skeletons and remnants of an old sailing vessel were
found- one of the skeletons belonged to a man thought to be a Negro,
nearly eight feet tall. Stone wallas, masonry and giant mounds of rocks
placed in the shape of an inverted “W” with a base nearly a mile long have
been discovered by treasure hunters near Neahkahnie.

If the treasure is there, it hae elluded an army of treasure hunters,
most of whom come to Neahkahnie with a hunch, a shovel and a wheelbarrow.
A few have come with bulldozers and backhoes. Many have come with metal
detectors. Five people, including Charles and Lyn Wood, a father and son
who were killed when their 30 foot deep hole caved in on them in 1931 have
died during the search for Neahkahnie’s elusive treasure.

Some say that the treasure is there, but it will never be found.
They believe that the ghosts of the black giant and his evil companions
still guard the treasure of Neahkahnie and that they will keep tbe
treasure hidden forever.


If you want to go digging for the Legend of Treasure on Neahkahnie Mountain, it is located on the Oregon coast just north of Manzanita, Oregon.

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