At least, according to a hand-drawn map of mysterious origin, there could be buried treasure somewhere near Portland. The archives of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library in Portland house many treasures—but only one honest-to-goodness treasure map.
“It is an odd thing,” says research services manager Scott Daniels of manuscript number 2039, a scrap of creased and stained tracing cloth kept in the library’s climate-controlled vault. Unfolded, the document is 6 inches tall and 18 inches wide, covered from edge to edge on one side with long strings of blunt capital letters written in blue pencil, and a crude map sketched in blue and yellow. On the far left, there’s a port with a building topped by a tall spire on its shore. And on the right, there is a barn and two slashes that seem to be gravestones. In black ink, someone has written “MONEY”—highlighting two separate caches of $3,000 each. In February 1862, when the map seems to indicate the treasure was buried, $6,000 would have been a fortune, several years wages for the average worker… read more >