Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pirate's Gold

William Lundy bought 120 acres of land on the north side of the Manatee river in 1890. This is in the area that Native Americans built villages and left their remains buried in large shell filled mounds five hundred years earlier.

Indian mounds were discovered all around Florida as it became populated and are found in other parts of the country also. One thing that is unique about those in south Florida is the shell material used to cover up the bones and valuables. Since the land was flat and if you dug more than a couple feet you would hit water, they choose to build the huge shell mounds and they became easy finds for the white settlers.

This same section of the Manatee River is believed to be the location of Angola. This was a community of runaway slaves and Seminole Indians that lived there from 1812 to 1821, before Andrew Jackson's troops found and destroyed the village. There are excavations going on today both on land and in the river to try and locate the Angola settlement within a mile or so of where the Lundys lived.

As it turned out some other early residents left their own mementos in this section of land. As William Lundy planted his orange and grapefruit groves and the vegetables he sold to northern markets he uncovered a treasure chest of pirate's gold with his plow.

The family story that has been passed down among his grandchildren was that as his children married he gave each of them enough gold to buy 10 acres of land along with another $1,000 in gold pieces.

My great grandmother Ida Lundy Wilson and her husband supposedly used her gold to buy a farm in Oneco, Florida where my grandmother Edith was born. My great uncle, Walt Wilson told me the story was true. You have to believe what Walt says since he was also Santa Claus.
As far as I know all of the gold has been sold off. I've got a couple cousins who collect everything they see (you need to count the silver when they visit) so I wouldn't be surprised to have some of it turn up one day.

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