Sunday, November 17, 2013

There's gold in them thar hills

Just southwest of Tulsa lies a small red butte known as Turkey Mountain. In 1902 a small community called Red Fork thrived nearby. In September of that year Red Fork had a visitor, and when he left, he took over $700 in gold with him.

The old gentleman had come from the East and had given the ready-made excuse of "seeing the country" for being in town. He checked into the Field Hotel and employed the liveryman, Bill Barnett, to drive him to Turkey Mountain.

The stranger asked Bamett whether he had ever seen a rock up Turkey Mountain with a cross cut on it. Bamett recalled having seen such a rock and believed that he could take the stranger to it. After some hunting the two men found the stone. On its smooth surface had been carved a cross and the numbers 64, which, even though badly weathered, were still visible. The stranger pulled a compass and tape measure from his coat pocket and placed the compass on the rock. When he got his bearing, he gave one end of the tape to Bamett and told him to walk seventy feet south. From there Barnett was to walk east, turn south a few steps, and then drive a stake.

The stranger then sent Barnett to the buggy for a shovel and directed him to dig beneath the stake. After twenty or thirty minutes Barnett began to doubt whether the old man was "in his right mind." He stopped work and demanded to know what the old-timer was up to. The stranger told him to keep digging and assured him that he would be "amply rewarded." Barnett complied.

When Bamett had reached a depth of about two feet, his spade struck something solid. When he cleared away the dirt, he saw he had uncovered a rust-eaten kettle. Both men tried to lift the pot to the surface, but its weight proved too much for the decayed vessel. Its bottom crumbled, and out poured fistfuls of glittering gold coins.

"The old gentleman [the mysterious stranger] was in the service during the Civil War and was scouting in the Indian Territory," stated a report-er.6 "On one occasion he carried a large sum of money with him. It seems that he found himself at this time hard pressed by Pierce's army and buried the money. He claims to know of other buried treasure near here and says he will return and try to unearth more of the yellow metal in a few days."

The entire article including this excerpt can be found here.


  1. that was $700 in 1902 dollars, wonder what chunk of gold coins like that would go for today? is this a true story and are there any more X-64 rocks to look for?

  2. $700 worth of gold would be worth about $45K at today's prices just for the gold alone, probably a lot more for the coins to collectors.