The Mystery of Oak Island—A Treasure Hunters’ Timeline: 1641-Present Day

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Image: The Curse of Oak Island, The History Channel.

The Mystery of Oak Island—A Treasure Hunters’ Timeline: 1641-Present Day

(Thesanguinewoods.com recognizes the efforts of various journalists, authors, bloggers, &tc. in documenting the Oak Island mystery and w have extended these efforts ourselves bringing the timeline current to 2019.)

This information is part of the Public Domain and/or is an attempt to bring various published sources together to present a timeline about the Mystery of the Oak Island Treasure and the various efforts at locating the treasure conducted by men and women from Nova Scotia and other places around the world—most recently by the Lagina brothers whose efforts have been featured in The History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island, which, at the time of this post, is on its sixth season.

Oak Island lies off the western side of Mahone Bay, off the coast of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, about 35 miles west of Halifax. The island itself is approximately 1 mile long and 1/2 mile wide. The island’s legend began around 1795, when three young men discovered what appeared to be the location of buried treasure. The story was first written about in newspapers in the 1860s, and has been continually reported on to the present day. How much is true, over the years, and how much is exaggerated to make a more sensational story, can never be known.

52CDBBE0-279C-4F79-8F7A-7D1447C7FDD1However, Millions of dollars have been spent since the digging began hundreds of years ago, and many lives have been lost as well. There are several theories about what lies 100+ feet below the surface: pirate gold, Inca gold, Templar Knights gold, even original manuscripts of the works of William Shakespeare. Some think there is no treasure, that the underground is filled with natural channels of water and cavities formed from limestone. Others, such as Petter Amundsen, claim the treasure exists, all right, just not at the original “Money Pit” location A.S. has always been believed. Amundsen singlehandedly spdiscovered what he insists is a map to the Oak Island treasure hidden in an original folio of William Shakespeare’s—and his evidence is compelling. In fact, Season 1 of The Curse of Oak Island includes an episode in which Amundsen visits the island’s current owners the Lagina brothers and leads them to the site at which he believes the treasure is buried: in the triangular man-made swamp at the mouth of Smith’s cove.

The following timeline includes some early events that may at first seem irrelevant to the story, but that many believe are part of the explanation for the possiblility of the existence of buried treasure on the island.

Note: References* referenced in [brackets] are listed at the end of this post and we’re contributed by Ken Polsson; the number after the dot in the bracketed reference provides the page number within the source document.



1641

October 31

Spanish galleon Mestra Señora de la pura y Limpia Concepción strikes a coral reef off the Bahamas, breaking up, dumping its huge load of treasure. (Some of this treasure may have been buried on Oak Island.) [5.15,163] [450.24]

1650

(sometime in 1600s) An old man dying says he was a crew member of Captain William Kidd, had assisted in burying an enormous treasure on a secluded island east of Boston. This legend is widely spread, with searches conducted over 100 years. [4.2]

1665

July

Sir Robert Moray of England gives a lecture on the use of charcoal-fired furnace with 28-30 foot high chimney to draw fresh air down a mining shaft. (Charcoal is later found 30 feet down in the Money Pit, possibly used in a furnace to draw down fresh air to workers, making this the likely earliest date of building the Money Pit.) [5.29,148]

1683

September 5

William Phips of Boston sails from England in the Rose of Algeree, having won the King’s approval and funds to seek the wreck of the Concepción, or any other treasure of any wreck among the Bahama Islands. [5.163]

1685

William Phips returns to England with little treasure, amounting to 470 pounds sterling. [5.164]

1686

September 12

William Phips commands two more ships, James and Mary, and sloop Henry London, under private backers, again searching for the wreck of Concepción. [5.164]

1687

January 20

Ships under the command of William Phips locate the wreck of the Concepción, off the Bahama Islands. [5.164]

February

(to April) Ships of William Phips bring up a fortune in treasure from the Concepción, mainly in silver. [5.167]

June 6

William Phips arrives anchored off England, with treasure valued at 205,536 pounds, from a voyage that cost 3200 pounds. [5.167]

June 28

William Phips is knighted by King James II of England for his service to the crown in locating the wreck of Spanish galleon Concepción. He is appointed provost-marshal of New England, but his request for the return of the charter of the colonies is denied. (This may have turned Phips’ loyalty against the King in his treatment of future treasure finds.) [5.15,168]

September 3

A flotilla of English ships (James, Mary, Henry London, Foresight, Princess, Good Luck, and Boy Huzzar) under William Phips set out for more treasure from the wreck of the Concepción. [5.169]

1688

May 8

William Phips hauls up anchor from the Concepción wreck site, to head to Boston to take up his position as provost-marshal of New England. Charles Mordaunt and his ships also leave the wreck site, perhaps to escort Phips and his valuable cargo. [5.171,179]

July 16

William Phips leaves Boston for England. [5.184]

August 2

The returning expedition from the wreck of Concepción reports finding little treasure. (But treasure may possibly have been recovered, buried on Oak Island for recovery after revolution in England.) [5.15,171]

August

(to January 1689) Sir William Phips and crew of Good Luck possibly construct the “Money Pit” on Oak Island to store treasure recovered from the Spanish galleon Concepción. [5.16]

August 17

William Phips arrives at Downs, England. (The month-long voyage may have included a stop at Oak Island to drop off a shipload of treasure and crew to construct the Money Pit.) [5.184]

November 5

William, Prince of Orange, invades England, forcing King James II to flee. [5.15,172]

1689

February 14

(to April 29) Charles Mordaunt is greatly rewarded by the new King of England, being appointed privy councillor in London, first lord of the treasury, Earl of Monmouth, and lord lieutenant of Northamptonshire. (His rewards may be for his connection to recovery of treasure from the Concepción, undeclared and hidden on Oak Island.) [5.177]

May 29

William Phips returns to Boston, and sets out on frigate Six Friends to patrol the New England coast, possibly to recover the Oak Island treasure for England’s new King. [5.173,184]

(month unknown)

A group from England returns to Oak Island to recover the treasure, but is unable to. [5.16]

1752

July 2

British government sends a company of Cornish miners from the Army from Falmouth, Cornwall to Annapolis Royal (government of Nova Scotia) to work for pay on an unspecified project. Among them is a famous British military tunnelling engineer. (The purpose may be to construct the Flood Tunnel. Two of the officers recommence their military careers in 1754.) [5.16]

(month unknown)

(fall to 1754 summer) Engineers from England likely build the Flood Tunnel from the ocean to the Money Pit, to keep others from recovering the lost treasure. [5.16,145]

1759

October 18

The Shoreham Grant of 11.5 x 15.5 miles (100,000 acres) west of Halifax, including Oak Island, is a land transfer signed by Charles Lawrence, Esquire, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of Nova Scotia. The grant is made to about 76 immigrants from New England. Seven handwritten pages, including a phrase excluding “Mines of Gold and Silver, Precious Stones and Lapis Lazuli in and upon the said Shares or Rights.”. (The unusual inclusion of jewels not generally native to the area indicates a reference to excluding treasure and that the government may have known of it, and had been unsuccessful in recovering it.) [4.7] [5.11] [7.3]

1762

Oak Island is surveyed and subdivided into 32 lots of 4 acres each. [3.20]

August 12

The Spanish garrison at Havana surrenders to British ships. Many clues and pieces of evidence suggest some two million British pounds worth of gold and silver were transported to and buried on Oak Island, for later transport to England, after King George III gained greater power. [4.204]

1768

March 8

Edward Smith acquires Lot 19, next to the lot containing the Money Pit. (though likely not known at this time). [4.7]

1790

Daniel Vaughan sells Oak Island lots 13 and 14 to Nathaniel Melvin. [7.7]

1795

June

Daniel McInnis, age 13, discovers on Oak Island a clearing in the forest, with many old oak stumps surrounding a huge single oak tree with sawed-off limb and tackle block hung from it, about 16 feet off the ground. Below limb is noticeable bowl-shaped depression 13 feet in diameter suggesting something was buried long ago and the ground settled. (This account is based on newspaper letters and articles from 1861-64.) [1.190] [4.2] [5.19] [7.8]

(next day after discovery) Daniel McInnis returns to the site with friends John Smith (age 19) and Anthony Vaughan (age 16). They find remains of a road from the oak tree to the western end of the island. The three teenagers begin digging in the ground in the depression. At two feet down, a layer of flat stones is encountered. (Probably from Gold River, 2 miles away.) Digging below, they notice the sides of the 7-foot diameter shaft are hard clay, showing pick marks. At ten feet down, a platform of rotting oak logs is encountered, with ends embedded in the clay walls. Below the platform is a gap of two feet from soil settling. Another platform is encountered at twenty feet, with loose fill in between each platform. At 25 feet after several weeks digging, they quit work, refill the hole, and seek outside help. [1.190] [4.3] [5.21] [7.8]

June 26

After discovery of the pit area, John Smith buys Lot 18, the site of the pit, and builds a house. (He later buys lots 15, 16, 17, 19, and 20. He lives on the island until his death in 1857.) [1.190] [3.20] [4.5] [7.7,8]

1803

The three original diggers interest Simeon Lynds of Truro, related to Vaughan’s father. Lynds forms the Onslow Company, appointing Colonel Robert Archibald director of operations. Investors include Sheriff Thomas Harris of Pictou and Captain David Archibald. [5.20] [7.12] (1802 [4.12] [5.20]) (1804 [1.191] [7.12])

1804

(Summer) The Onslow Syndicate begins excavations on the Pit. They find notches in the sides every ten feet down, where oak platforms were originally embedded. At 30 feet, charcoal is encountered, likely used in a ventilation furnace. At 40 feet, a lot of putty is encountered, likely used for sealing an air vent or to plug water leaks. At 50 feet, beach stones are encountered, likely used for backfilling the flood tunnel. At 60 feet, much coconut fibre is found, perhaps used for rope, or caulking with putty. At the 90 foot level, a large stone slab weighing 175-500 pounds measuring 24-36 inches by 12-16 inches is found, possibly with an encoded inscription facing down. Also at 90 feet, water is slowly seeping through the clay. At the 93 foot level, the ground is probed with an iron bar. At 98 feet, it strikes a another wood platform, the first not at 10 foot spacing. The extent of the wood is bounded by the sides of the pit. Digging is halted for the day. (A university professor later supposedly deciphers the rock message as “forty feet below two million pounds lie buried”. The stone disappears in the 1930s.) [1.31,191] [5.32] [7.15] (1803 [4.13])

Returning a day or two later after digging to 93 feet, water has filled to a height of 60 feet (33 feet below surface). Bailing night and day is ineffective. Colonel Archibald temporarily halts work. [1.191] [4.16] [5.36] [7.15]

(Autumn) The Onslow Company pays Mr. Mosher 80 pounds to run a water pump. Water is pumped from the pit down to 90 feet, then the pump bursts. Work is stopped for the year. [4.16] [7.15]

1805

(Summer) Onslow Company workers dig a new shaft 14 feet south-east of the main shaft, down to 110 feet, then start on a horizonal tunnel toward the main pit. After 12 feet, water floods in, raising water level to 65 feet in both pits. With funds exhausted, the company abandons the treasure hunt. [1.191] [4.18] [5.37] [7.15]

1810

(year unknown) John Smith puts the engraved stone in his house as part of the fireplace. [4.20]

1845

A new company is formed, the Truro Company, including Anthony Vaughan, Dr. David Barnes Lynds, John Gammell, Adams Tupper, and Robert Creelman. Manager is Jotham McCully and foreman is James Pitblado. [5.39] [7.22] (formed in 1849 [4.25])

December 14

Death of Samuel Ball, former of 36 acres of Oak Island, at age 81. The property passes to his servant Isaac Butler, who changes his name to Isaac Ball. [7.6]

1849

Anthony Vaughan tells the facts of Oak Island as he knows them to Robert Creelman. [7.7]

The Truro Company begins operations, clearing out the main pit. Over two weeks they get down to 86 feet. Next day water has filled about 60 feet; bailing is useless. [4.26] [5.39] [7.23]

Drilling down the main pit, a platform is encountered at 96-98 feet, 5-6 inches thick of spruce, then a 12 inch gap, then 4 inches of oak, 20-22 inches in pieces of metal, 8 inches of oak, 20-22 inches loose metal, 4 inches oak, 6 inches spruce, finally 7 feet of clay. The drill auger comes up with three pieces of copper wire resembling links of watch chain. Another drill past 98 feet drops 18 inches then hits a platform at 104 feet. From the gap is recovered oak splinters and birch hoop or coconut husk, perhaps the side of a cask. From the fifth drilling, foreman James Pitblado washed and examined something which he put in his pocket, not showing it to others. He leaves the island immediately. [1.191] [4.26] [5.40] [7.23]

August 1

James Pitblado and Charles Archibald apply to the Province of Nova Scotia for a license to dig for treasure on the island. They receive it, but only for “ungranted and unoccupied lands”. They try to purchase the lot containing the Money Pit, without success. [3.37] [4.29]

1850

(Summer) Truro Company workers dig another shaft (No. 3) down to 109 feet, then dig horizontally to the Money Pit. Water breaks through again, filling 45 feet in 20 minutes. Bailing done with two pumping gins powered by two horses, night and day for a week, only partially effective. Workers notice for the first time that the water is salty, and the level rises and falls with the tide. This indicates there is a channel from the sea to the pit. [1.92] [4.29] [5.43] [7.26]

While excavating the Smith’s Cove beach area, they find that the beach was artificially created. They find 6-7 inch deep matting of coconut fiber and eel grass over a 145 foot wide area from low to high water mark, covering 4-5 feet of beach rocks free of sand and gravel. [1.193] [4.31] [5.44] [7.29]

A cofferdam of rock and clay is built at Smith’s Cove to hold back the seawater while excavating the beach area. During construction, they notice remains of an old dam. When the area is drained, they dig just inside the dam, finding that the clay was removed and replaced by beach stones. Under the rocks are five 8-inch wide drains of flat stones over pairs of parallel lines of stones converging to a single larger drain at the high tide line, leading inland. As the drains are excavated, they are found to slope down toward the shore. Halfway to the shore, a high tide overflows the dam and destroys it. [1.193] [4.31] [5.44] [7.29]

At 140 feet inland of the drain converging point, workers dug down to 75 feet, but do not find the water channel. [1.194] [4.32] (50 feet from shore [5.45]) (140 feet from main pit [7.30])

A new shaft (No. 5) is dug 12 feet south of the 75 foot shaft (No. 4), and salt water is hit at 35 feet under a large boulder. Timbers are driven down to try to block the channel. But pumping of the Money Pit is still useless. [1.194] [4.32] [5.45] [7.31]

At 20 feet south of the Money Pit, workers dig another shaft (5A) down to 112-118 feet, then dig horizontally to the Money Pit, making a tunnel 4 feet high. At 18 feet toward the Pit, the cribbing and tools in the main pit collapse, and water breaks through into the new tunnel. The sole worker underground in the new shaft grabs the end of a painted yellow keg (or wooden dish) among water and timbers from the Money Pit. [1.194] [4.32] [5.49] [7.31]

1851

The Truro Company tries to raise additional fund, but is unsuccessful, and the company closes down. [4.32] [7.31]

1853

John Smith conveys his Oak Island property to sons Joseph and Thomas. [4.47]

1854

The Truro Company folds. [7.33]

1857

Joseph and Thomas convey the Oak Island property to Henry Stevens. [4.47]

September 29

John Smith, island resident, dies. He had lived on the island for 71 years. Henry Stevens conveys his property to Anthony Graves, now largest land owner of Oak Island. [4.7] [5.43] [7.7]

1859

The Truro Syndicate re-groups, resumes excavating with steam-operated pumps. But the pumping fails, with too much water remaining in the main Pit. [5.50]

1861

April 3

The Oak Island Association syndicate is formed, based on the Truro syndicate. Included are Adam Tupper, Jotham McCully, James McNutt, Jefferson McDonald, Samuel Retti, and George Mitchell. They make a deal with land owner Anthony Graves, to give him one-third of any treasure recovered. The company issues 100 shares at $20 each. [4.48] (1860 [5.50]) (1863 [7.37])

(month unknown)

The Oak Island Association resumes the search. The Money Pit is cleared to 88 feet, encountering no water. A new shaft (5B) 25 feet away is dug to 120 feet, with no sign of the flood tunnel. [4.48] [5.50] (1863 [1.194] [7.38])

Another shaft (No. 6) is dug 18 feet west of Money Pit. At 118 feet, a horizontal tunnel toward the Money Pit is started. At 17 feet toward the main shaft, water and mud again rush in. A pumping gin is employed, but stopped after three days pumping with no progress in keeping the water out. [4.50] [5.50]

A tunnel is dug from the 120 foot shaft, 25 feet away from the Money Pit. Again, as they get close to the main pit, uncontrollable water rushes in. They try bailing the three shafts using four 70-gallon buckets with all 63 men and 33 horses. They abandon this after a couple days. [4.50] [5.51]

Two men go into a connecting tunnel toward the Money Pit to clear out the mud. A big crash is heard, the men barely escape, and water rushes in. The water level is lowered again, then another big crash is heard, then collapse of timbering within Money Pit, leaving only the upper 30 feet. Now, the bottom is sounded at 102 feet, 14 feet lower than previous. Some artifacts are recovered from the inrush of debris, but no treasure. Artifacts recovered: bottom of yellow painted barrel or dish, stick of oak timber 3.5 feet long, piece of juniper with bark on and cut at each end, spruce slab with mining auger hole in it. [4.50] [5.51] [7.38]

The Oak Island Association raises another $2000. [4.53]

September 30

The Novascotian publishes an article “The Oak Island Folly”. [3.43] [5.206]
(month unknown)

(Fall) The Oak Island Association sets up a cast-iron pump and steam engine. A boiler of a pump bursts, scalding one man to death and injuring others, the first death recorded since first digging in 1795. Work is halted for the winter. [4.53] [5.51,99]

1862

(Spring) The Oak Island Association digs a shaft (No. 7) close to the west of the Money Pit. It is dug to 107 feet, using a pump to keep it free of water. At 90 feet tools from 1850 Truro work are found; at 100 feet tools of 1804 Onslow are found. No sign of the water tunnel is found down to 107 feet. Then the Money Pit is dug and sides cribbed to 103 feet, but pumping cannot keep up with water to dig further. [4.54] [5.52] [7.39]

A new shaft is dug inland from Smith’s Cove, down to 50 feet, no flood tunnel found. Tunnels are dug from the bottom in various directions, but encounter no flood tunnel. [4.54] [5.52] [7.39]

The box drains of Smith’s Cove are uncovered and 30-40 feet are removed and packed full of clay. This reduces the water flow into the Money Pit, but the sea soon clears out the clay. [4.55] [5.52] [7.39]

October 16

The Liverpool Transcript includes a letter by J.B. McCully indicating the pit contained layers of oak timber at 10, 20, and 30 feet. [5.22,205]

1863

Shaft 9 is dug, 100 feet south-east of the Money Pit, 20 feet south of the assumed line of the flood tunnel. They dig down to 120 feet, then dig toward Smith’s Cove in search of the flood tunnel. Another tunnel is dug toward the Money Pit, reaching it at the 108 foot level. The Money Pit is cribbed to 108 feet, and tunnels are dug from that level in search of treasure. [1.196] [4.54] [5.52] [7.39]

December 20

Halifax newspaper The Colonist publishes an account of the Oak Island pit. [7.8]

1864

January 2

Halifax newspaper The Colonist reports Dan McGinnis found oak logs at 10 feet, then dug 15 feet more. [4.198] [5.20] [7.11,29]

January 7

Halifax newspaper The Colonist publishes the writing of December 22 by a member of the Truro Company. [5.20] [7.23]

1865

The stone slab with encrypted message is removed from John Smith’s fireplace, and placed in the window of bookbinder A&H Creighton in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The stone is exhibited there to help sell shares in a treasure seeking company. [4.20] [7.18] (1864 [3.30])

1866

March

The Oak Island Association assigns rights on the island to the Oak Island Eldorado Company (later called the Halifax Company). [5.52] [7.42]

May 3

The Oak Island Eldorado Company is formed. President is H.G. Hill, secretary W.J. Vieth, treasurer A.O. Creighton. They sell 200 shares at $20 each. Plan is to build wood and clay dam around Smith’s Cove, pump out water, completely cutting off the flood tunnel. [4.56] [7.42]

(month unknown)

The Oak Island Eldorado Company builds a 375 foot long 12 foot high dam of wood and clay at Smith’s Cove. The dam fails to keep water out of the Money Pit, and the sea quickly destroys the dam. [1.195] [4.56] [5.54] [7.43]
November 26

(to January 7, 1867) The Money Pit is cleared to 108 feet, and continuous pumping keeps the water level low. A drill is set at the 90 foot level. Drilling hits spruce wood at 110 feet. At 128 feet, borings include coconut fiber, wood chips, and charcoal. At 132 feet, oak borings, chips of spruce or poplar, and coconut fiber. At 158-163 feet, all holes hit hard reddish marl natural to the island. [1.195] [5.54] [4.57] [7.43,44]

1867

Shaft #10, 200 feet south-east of the Money Pit, 175 feet south of the estimated routh of the Flood Tunnel, is dug to 110 feet, then horizontal tunnels are dug to find the Flood Tunnel and to the Money Pit. The entrance of the Flood Tunnel into the Money Pit is found, filled with round stones. The entrance is 2.5 feet wide, 4 feet high, with upward gradient of 22.5 degrees. Its identity is verified with clay dumped into cove, arriving in 30 minutes. [1.196] [4.56] [5.56] [7.45]

The Oak Island Eldorado Company discontinues operations. [4.57] [5.58] [7.47]

1870

The book History of the County of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia is published, written by Judge Mather B. DesBrisay. The book includes the first reliable account of the discovery of the money pit on Oak Island. [7.6]

1878

(Spring) Sophia Sellers (daughter of Anthony Graves) plows a field on Lot 19, between the Money Pit (350 feet east of it) and Smith’s Cove. Her oxen team falls in a well-like hole as the ground collapses, 15-18 feet deep, 6-8 feet across. This becomes known as the Sink Hole or Cave-in Pit. [1.196] [4.59] [5.58] [7.73]

1885

A boatswain’s whistle of ancient design, made of bone or ivory, is found in the soil below high tide on the shore of Smith’s Cove. [4.60] [5.58] [7.73]

1887

Anthony Graves dies. His daughters Sophia (married to Henry Sellers of Chester Basin) and Rachel (married to Abraham Ernst of Mahone) inherit his property. [4.61] [5.58] [7.73]

1890

(approximate year) A copper coin weighing 1.5 ounces is discovered on the island, dated 1317 or 1713. [3.53] [4.60]

1893

Frederick Blair and S.C. Fraser form the Oak Island Treasure Company. The company is incorporated in State of Maine. President A.M. Bridgman, treasurer H.C. Tupper, and directors George Houghton and C.C.L. Moore. The company leases the land of Oak Island for three years for $30,000, with the rights to everything recovered. The company issues $60,000 of shares at $5 per share. [1.196] [4.60] [5.59] [7.74]

December 26

The Boston Traveller publishes a story by J. Edward Wilson. Wilson claims that in 1866 he received a map, found in 1826, of treasure on an unnamed island on the south-east coast of Nova Scotia. He says a shaft was dug by an oak tree, with a tunnel at the bottom of the shaft leading to sea level. The shaft was filled with no treasure. Instead the treasure was buried a certain distance away only 20 feet below the surface. [4.98]

1894

January 3

The Halifax Evening Mail also publishes the article by J. Edward Wilson. [4.98]

June

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald newspaper runs an article noting two workers barely escaped death from rocks falling on their heads when a hoist drops a load down a shaft. [4.65]

(month unknown)

(Summer) Frederick Blair and company excavate the Cave-in Pit (shaft 11) down to 52-55 feet, noting the original pit was 6-8 feet diameter with pick marks on walls, and loose fill. Salt water is encountered, and can not be kept pumped out; they conclude it is connected to the flood tunnel, likely as an air shaft for ventilation while digging the 520-foot tunnel. [1.196] [4.62] [5.59] [7.78]
A new shaft, number 12, is started 30 feet east of the Money Pit, 8 feet north of the presumed flood tunnel. At 55 feet down, they dig a horizontal tunnel south for 20 feet, then up to within 24 feet of the surface. The flood tunnel is not found (later known to be 40-50 feet deeper). [4.63] [5.59] [7.79]

December 26

The Traveller of Boston, Massachusetts reports of a plan found 50 years ago of an island off Nova Scotia with treasure buried 20 feet under surface, a certain distance from an oak tree where a deep shaft had been dug. [7.132]

1895

April 2

The Oak Island Treasure Company holds a meeting at Truro, Nova Scotia, appointing A.S. Lowden general manager for the coming summer (May to September). They are unable to raise money for a pump. [4.63] [7.80]

(month unknown)

Mining engineer Adams A. Tupper (or A.S. Lowden) directs a direct assault on the Money Pit, but they erroneously excavate Shaft 3, 10 feet northwest of the main pit. Digging gets down to 55 feet, then pumping cannot keep up with water. [4.63] [5.60]

June 19

S.C. Fraser writes about his work in 1866 as foreman. [3.51]

(month unknown)

Record Publishing Company publishes The Story of Oak Island, partly written by Adams Tupper in November 1893 about the Oak Island Treasure Company, and history of the Money Pit from 1795 to date. [5.199]

September

The Honorable J.W. Langley, Attorney-General of Nova Scotia, notifies Frederick Blair that any treasure discovered at Oak Island belongs to the Queen as represented by the Government of Nova Scotia. Arrangement is made to accept a percentage of money value of treasure, with remainder to the finder. [7.97]

November 26

The Oak Island Treasure Company holds a meeting at Truro, Nova Scotia, appointing a new board of management: manager: T. Perley Putnam, treasurer Frederick Blair, George Fullereton, W.H. McDonald, William Chappell, and director of operations Captain John William Welling. $2000 is raised for a pump. [4.64] [7.81]

1896

October

Work on the Money Pit resumes, pumping it dry, and clearing down to 70 feet. But at this depth, pumping can’t handle the water flow. [4.65] [7.81]
(month unknown)
The 75-foot shaft of 1850 near Smith’s Cove is deepened to 78 feet, but then water rushes in. [4.65]

1897

March

The Honorable T.R. Black of Amherst informs Frederick Blair that the Government of Nova Scotia would forego royalty on the first $50,000 value of any treasure recovered, then collect 2 percent of the remainder. [7.98]

March 26

Maynard Kaiser is killed when a hoisting rope slips off a pulley, dropping him down a shaft. [4.65] [5.63,99] [7.82]

(month unknown)

(Spring) Another shaft, number 13, is started 25 feet north of the Cave-in Pit (shaft 11). At 82 feet, a horizontal tunnel is dug heading south, looking for the flood tunnel, but it is not found. A 4-by-6 foot tunnel of the Halifax Company is encountered. [5.60] [7.82]

April 22

Digging in the presumed Money Pit gets down to 110 feet, when they find a tunnel dug in 1860s. Following the tunnel leads to the real Money Pit. [4.66] [5.60] [7.83]

June 9

They clear the Money Pit down to 111 feet, finding a 2.5-foot wide by 4 feet tall opening in the east wall, the flood tunnel. The tunnel is filled with sand, gravel, and beach stones. The sides are perpendicular through solid clay, undoubtedly made by man, sea water flowing through it. In a quantity of sand and gravel is a chip of wood, piece of bark, a bird’s bone, all evidence of connection to shore. [4.66] [5.60] [7.83]

June

Work stops on the main pit, the pump valve fails, and the water level raises back up to sea level. [5.63] [7.83]

(month unknown)

Water-diviner Chapman from Medford, Massachussetts maps various tunnel positions. [5.63]

The Oak Island Treasure Company drills to 153 feet, then encounters 7 inches of soft stone, 5 inches of oak, then perhaps soft metal. Drill operator William Chappell finds traces of gold on the drill, but keeps it a secret. [1.171]

Five small holes, 15 feet apart, along a line 80-95 feet are drilled 50 feet inland from high tide on Smith’s Cove. Only the center hole reaches salt water at 80 feet. Each hole is loaded with 50-75 pounds of dynamite, and blown up. No great effect. 160 pounds detonated in the middle hole causes water in the Money Pit and Cave-in Pit to foam and bubble, proving a connection between the Money Pit and the shore. [1.197] [4.66] [5.63] [7.84]

Captain Welling discovers an equilateral triangle of stones near the high water mark of the south shore, 10 feet on each side, with the base running approximately east-to-west. [4.112] [7.92]

Assuming the flood tunnel is now clogged from the dynamiting, work commences on the Money Pit. Water is pumped out down to 100 feet, and a platform and drill (2.5-inch drill in 3-inch pipe) are set at the 90 foot level. The first drilling hits oak at 126 feet, for 5 inches, then hits iron, can’t drill through it. [1.197] [4.68] [5.65] [7.85]

The second drill hole is made 1 foot from the first. Drilling gets to 153 feet 8 inches, then hits soft stone or cement, 7 inches thick, then 5 inches solid oak. Then a 1.5-2 inch gap, then through possibly soft metal. Further drilling in this hole encounters (possibly) metal in pieces, then the same undrillable iron near 154 ft. Borings brought up include oak chips, coconut fiber, and other bits that will be examined later (piece of parchment). [1.197] [4.68] [5.65] [7.85]

The third drill hole strikes wood at 122 feet, then cement at 153 feet. Then the drill runs between wood and cement for 4 feet, and cement alone another 3 feet, then 11 feet of blue puddled clay to a depth of 160 feet. Then an iron barrier is struck at 171 feet. Drilling for 2-3 hours only gets 1/4 inch into the iron. Borings checked with a magnet confirm iron cuttings. [4.68] [5.65] [7.85]

The fourth hole encounters iron at 166 feet, passes through, then drilling ends at 188 feet in solid clay. [5.65] [7.85]

The fifth hole encounters cement at 150 feet, continuing for 20 feet, then drilling through clay ends at 175 feet. One hole encounters gushing water at 126 feet, 400 gallons per minute flow rate, suggesting a tunnel to the south shore. [4.68] [5.65] [7.85]

At the Court House in Amherst, Dr. A.E. Porter studies with a magnifying glass recent borings brought up from drilling. He unrolls a tiny fragment that appears to be parchment with writing, possibly showing “vi”, “ui”, or “wi”. [1.197] [4.68] [7.89]

Experts in Boston examine the tiny piece of parchment, confirming the material and that it is inscribed with India ink. [1.197] [4.68] [7.89]

Two samples of the cement material encountered in drilling in the Money Pit are sent for chemical analysis to A. Boake Roberts & Company in London, England. Analysis reports that both are (approximately) 37 percent lime, 33 percent carbonate, 13 percent silica, 10 percent iron and alumina, and 5 percent magnesium. The chemists state that they believe “it is cement which has been worked by man”. [4.71] [7.88]

October

A new shaft (14) is started 40-45 feet south of the Money Pit, with the intention of digging to 175 feet, then tunneling under the iron, and using this shaft to pump out water while digging further in the main pit. At 95-115 feet, salt water breaks in at the 70 foot level from a tunnel dug in the 1860s, preventing further digging. [4.72] [5.73] [7.90]

1898

January

A new shaft (15) is started 35 feet south-west of the last shaft, 80 feet from the Money Pit, with the same goal of digging under the iron obstacle. At 105 feet a dry tunnel of the Halifax Company is encountered. [4.72] [5.73] [7.90]

April 1

At 160 feet in shaft 15, salt water through a seam of sand becomes unmanageable. Pumping is useless, and this shaft has to be abandoned. [4.72] [5.73] [7.90]

(month unknown)

Shaft 16 is dug to 134 feet, then abandoned due to quicksand, unsafe soil, boulders, or inrush of water. [4.72] [7.90]

Shaft 17 is dug to 95 feet, then abandoned due to quicksand, unsafe soil, boulders, or inrush of water. [4.72] [7.90]

April

Shaft #18 near the Money Pit is dug down to 160 feet, then water rushes in. Water in the Money Pit initially lowers by 14 feet, indicating the two pits are connected. [4.72] [5.74] [7.90]

Over three months, tests are made of the water in the shafts. Water is pumped into shaft 18, resulting in muddy water showing up at three widely separated places near low tide of the south shore, but no muddy water at Smith’s Cove. Similar results when pumping water or red dye into the Money Pit. [1.197] [4.72] [5.74] [7.91]

June

Dynamiting a south shore inlet results in muddy water in the Money Pit. [4.72] [5.74] [7.91]

(month unknown)

Shaft 19 is dug to 144 feet, then abandoned due to quicksand, unsafe soil, boulders, or inrush of water. [4.72] [7.90]

1899

October

Shaft 20, 5 feet by 8 feet, is excavated beside the Money Pit on the west side. A mass of cribbing is encountered, likely from 1850. By 113 feet, the pumps are overwhelmed by the quantity of water flowing. [1.198] [4.72] [5.75] [7.93]

1900

May

More drilling in what is believed to be the main shaft is done, to explore the presumed cement chamber. However, this time only gravel, boulders, and clay are encountered in at least 8 borings down to 126 feet. [4.73] [5.75] [7.94]
Most assets of the Oak Island Treasure Company are sold off. [1.198] [4.73] [7.94]

December

Frederick Blair buys out shares of many of Oak Island Treasure Company. [5.76] [7.94]

1901

Another whistle, this one about 3 inches long and shaped like a violin, made of bone or ivory is found on the shore of Smith’s Cove. [5.58] [7.74]

1904

July 2

Frederick Blair’s agent Harry F. Black of Amherst applies for and is granted a 40-year lease under the Nova Scotia Mines Act on an area 450 by 500 feet on Oak Island to mine gold and silver, with exclusive right to deal with land owner. [7.98] (1903 [5.76])

1905

December 26

Harry Black assigns the mining lease on Oak Island to Frederick Blair. [1.198] [7.99]

1909

March 18
In the New York Herald newspaper (and New York Times), Captain Henry L. Bowdoin, engineer, announces his intention of solving the Oak Island mystery. Bowdoin forms The Old Gold Salvage and Wrecking Company, based in New York. Company has $250,000 authorized capital. Officers: president Henry Bowdoin, vice president Frederick Blair, treasurer L.H. Andrews, secretary G.D. Mosher, and a board director Captain John W. Welling. He announces his company will resume the search for the assumed treasure of pirate Captain Kidd, or the Crown Jewels of France. [1.198] [5.77] [7.99] (April [4.87])
May
In the New York Sun, Henry Bowdoin announces he will sell some stock in his company, with $250,000 capital in $1 shares. [4.87] [7.100]
June 23
Frederick Blair makes an agreement with the Government of Nova Scotia for exclusive right to search for treasure trove in the same area for the same term as his mining lease, with the government to receive 2 percent of any recovered value. [7.99]
August 27
Henry Bowdoin and workers arrive on Oak Island, setting up “Camp Kidd”. [4.89]
(month unknown)
Excavations commence near Smith’s Cove, looking for the flood tunnel, unsuccessfully. [4.89]
The Money Pit is excavated with an excavation bucket, ripping out platforms, ladders, and cross timbers down to 107-113 feet. Drills bore 25 holes at various angles and depths (to bedrock at 155-171 feet), only finding clay, sand, stones, and limestone pitted by water. (Later drillings suggest that these drillings were not directly in the Money Pit.) [1.198] [4.90] [5.77] [7.104]

November
The Old Gold Salvage and Wrecking Company closes down operations. [4.90] [7.105]
1911

The Old Gold Salvage and Wrecking Company ceases digging work on the island; Frederick Blair does not extend their permit. [5.78]
Rudolphe Faribault makes the first geological report of the Oak Island region. It concludes that limestone, gypsum, sandstone, and shale are most likely below thick overburden deposits at the east end of the island. [5.78]
August 18
Collier’s Magazine publishes an article by Henry Bowdoin calling the Money Pit a hoax, claiming the treasure and flood tunnel never existed. [1.199] [5.78] [7.106]
1912

February 23
The Daily News of Amherst, Nova Scotia publishes a reply by Frederick Blair to Henry Bowdoin’s article in Collier’s. [7.106]
(month unknown)
(Summer) Professor S.A. Williams of Wisconsin incorporates the Oak Island Salvage Company, with $20,000 capital, and stock issue of $10,000 to the public. he obtains the right to recover treasure through a period ending April 1, 1914. His proposal is to sink a series of 35 holes 5-inch diameter, 3 feet apart, down to 160 feet around the Money Pit, then freeze each shaft to -35 degrees F with calcium chloride, then dig the Money Pit. (Nothing came of the project; the stock issue was a failure.) [7.110]
1913

Frederick Blair negotiates with Sophia Sellers for an 8-year lease on the Money Pit area of Oak Island. [7.110]
1916

A sample of the fibrous material from the money pit is submitted to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. They report it to be from coconut, and that it may have been in the pit for several hundred years. [7.17]
(Summer) The Rochester Group begins operations on Oak Island, headed by engineer William S. Lozier. Drilling discovers nothing new, but they make valuable careful measurements. [7.111]
1919

The bookbinder business in Halifax merges with Philip and Marshall company. The engraved stone slab is reported still at this location. (Searchs in 1933 and 1935 cannot find the stone anywhere.) [3.30] [4.21]

1921

August 6
Engineer Edward W. Bowne makes agreement with Frederick Blair to search for treasure on the island. His intent is to dig a 6 by 6 foot shaft 15 feet from the Money Pit, with air-lock at top, then poke a rod horizontally at various depths to search for treasure. [7.112]
November 1
Frederick Blair renews the lease on the Money Pit area for ten years at $100 per year to Sophia Sellers. [7.110]
1922

July 4
Edward Bowne begins work on the island, but has no success locating any treasure. [7.112]
December 7
The Journal of Commerce of Boston runs an advertisment by Frederick Blair looking for someone to buy half interest in the Oak Island treasure hunt for $50,000. [4.107]
1928

May 8
The New York Times publishes an article on the island. [4.113] [7.121]
1930

April 22
Frederick Blair tells the toronto Telegram newspaper in an interview that the parchment from 1897 is better evidence of treasure than a few doubloons would be. [7.89]
(month unknown)
Dr. Frederick L. Newton, Curator of Textiles at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. reports on fibrous material removed from the pit, reporting it to be from coconuts, and possibly hundreds of years old. [7.17]
1931

January
James H. Smith gives an affidavit signed and sworn before notary public about a treasure map of his grandfather’s, Amos Smith, that gave latitude and longitude of Mahone Bay, an island one mile long, half mile wide. On the island a pit had been dug to 165 feet, where a granite stone vault lined with lead was filled with gold bars. Two tunnels 45 feet below sea level were dug to each shore, with iron gates left open to permit flow of water. [7.133]
(month unknown)
Sophia Sellers, widow of Henry Sellers, owner of the eastern end of the island, dies. She is succeeded by twelve heirs. [4.112] [7.117]
March 1
Frederick Blair joins with Chappells Limited of Sydney, Nova Scotia. One of the company owners is William Chappell. Also with company are son Melbourne Chappell, brother Renerick, and nephew Claude Chappell. William tells Blair a secret he kept for 31 years: he noted traces of yellow metal or gold on a drill bit during 1897. [4.108] [7.112]
(month unknown)
Unsure of where exactly the Money Pit is, William Chappell and his brother create a 12 x 14 foot shaft (#21), slightly southwest of the Money Pit. They dig down to 163.5 feet, using a 450 gallon/minute pump to keep water under control. Drilling another 14 feet results in 12 feet of mixed soil then a 2 foot gap, then hard clay. They conclude they are not directly over the Pit, but may be 6-7 feet south.
At 116 feet, they find an anchor fluke embedded in wall, 14 inches long, 9 inches wide, 1.25 inches thick, no sign of rust but not recent design.
At 119 feet, a granite boulder about 5 feet diameter is encountered. Under the boulder are fragments of wood, wood chips, spruce boughs, and a limb of oak.
At 123 feet, an axe is found, with rusted head, clean wide blade, and 3 foot long wooden handle (resembling a 250-year-old Acadian axe).
At 127 feet are found a pick (head 14 inches, handle 18 inches) and remains of miner’s oil lamp with seal oil.
From 130 to 150 feet are various pieces of granite.
The pick and axe were found at depths not recorded by earlier diggers, and are highly unlikely to have “fallen” 30-40 feet from earlier digs due to tunnel collapses. [1.79,199] [4.110] [5.79] [7.115]
Mel Chappell locates the triangle of stones near the high water mark of the south shore, previously discovered in 1897. [4.112]
An oak tree on the island is cut down, and examined closely to determine age and cause of a visible injury from long ago. Embedded deeply is the end of a stout knife blade with crescent-shaped tip. The tree is determined to be at least 183 years old, germinating in 1748 or earlier. [7.5]
October 29
After expenditure of $40,000, work is halted. [4.112]
October 31
The Chappell operation vacates the island. [7.117]
(month unknown)
(Autumn) Frederick Blair’s lease to the Money Pit area of Oak Island expires, and the heirs of Sophia Sellers refuse to renew it. [4.112] [7.117]
1932

William Chappell ends digging operations. [5.90]
Another group gets permission to dig, drills holes, finds nothing. [4.113]
1933

John Taylor of New York does some drilling on the island. [4.113] [5.90] (Summer 1932 [7.117])
Baker drills some holes near the Money Pit. One boring finds a speck of free mercury, which does not usually occur naturally. This provides a potential link to New Spain, with mercury mines west of Vera Cruz. [5.90]
September 16
Thomas Nixon of Victoria, British Columbia, forms the Canadian Oak Island Treasure Company to search for treasure on the island, and makes an agreement with Frederick Blair. His plan is to drive down a circle of interlocking steel pilings in diameter 50-70 feet from the Money Pit then dig. [1.200] [5.90] [7.118]
1934

(Summer) Thomas Nixon’s company drills 14 boreholes north of the Chappell pit, down to 176 feet, finding bits of oak and china fragments from 123 feet. One boring encounters a vacant space between 136 and 170 feet. [1.200] [5.90] [7.119]
November 1
Thomas Nixon’s agreement with Frederick Blair expires. [7.120]
1935

March 1
Gilbert Hedden of Chatham, New Jersey, signs an agreement with Frederick Blair. [4.113] [7.121]
July 26
Gilbert Hedden purchases the east end of Oak Island from the Sellers heirs for $5000. [1.200] [4.113] [5.90] [7.124]
1936

April
Gilbert Hedden hires Sprague and Henwood, Inc., of Scranton, Pennsylvania, to pump and re-excavate the Money Pit, Chappell shaft, and others, and to drill laterally at depths of between 125 and 160 feet. [4.114]
June
(to August) Using electric turbine pumps to keep water out, Sprague and Henwood excavate the Chappell shaft and re-timber to 170 feet. No trace of treasure is encounteredm just wood splinters and granite boulders. Work is put on hold at the end of the season. [1.200] [4.114] [5.90] [7.124]
1937

May 4
Another new shaft (#22), 12 by 24 feet, is excavated adjacent and east of the Chappell shaft. [1.79] [4.114] [5.91] [7.125]
June 30
Shaft 22 is dug down to 124 feet 6 inches.
At 50 feet down, about 10 pieces of old 2-inch drill casings are found, an 8-foot section of well-rusted 2.5-inch pipe, and several pieces of 6-inch drill casing.
At 65 feet, a miner’s whale oil lamp is found, and unexploded dynamite.
At 80 feet, an oak stump piece is removed.
At 93 feet, putty-like clay not found on the island previously is encountered.
At 104 feet, a tunnel measuring 3 feet 10 inches wide by 6 feet 4 inches high lined with 5- and 6-inch hemlock timbers is encountered. The tunnel is thought to be either an original water tunnel, or one dug by the Halifax Company in the 1860s.
Holes drilled at the bottom to 160 feet encounter oak varying in thickness from 1 to 30 inches. Finance problems end work for the Winter. Cost of this company’s operation to date is $50,000. [1.79] [4.114] [5.91] [7.125]
(month unknown)
Gilbert Hedden discovers 15-inch diameter old timbers, four feet apart at low tide (buried four feet) at Smith’s Cove. The structure could be a ramp or slipway. [5.93]
The book Captain Kidd and His Skeleton Island, written by Harold Wilkins, is published in London, England. The book, about pirates and treasure, includes a map resembling Oak Island. There are many similarities to Oak Island, and a cryptic legend matches granite rocks, Cave-in shaft, triangle of beach stones, and location of Money Pit. The legend on the map includes “W.K. 1669”, and three bearings to the treasure: “18 W and 7 E on Rock”, “30 SW 14 N Tree”, and “7 by 8 by 4”. [1.201] [4.117] [7.142]
Bureau of Plant Industries in Washington, D.C. reports the fibrous material from the shore of Oak Island is unidentifiable by various experts. [7.17]
Botanical Museum of Harvard University reports the fibrous material from the shore of Oak Island is manilla hemp. [7.18]
August
Gilbert Hedden explores the island after reading the Captain Kidd book. He finds a white granite boulder 50 feet north of the Money Pit with a drill hole. Another is found about 400 ft away, near shore of Smith’s Cove. The holes are 2 inches deep, 1.25 inches diameter. He locates the stone triangle, near the South Shore, 50 feet from the high water mark. It is made of large granite beach stones 12-14 inch diameter, arranged to form a large equilateral triangle 9-10 feet on each side. The base runs east-west, and a line of stones runs from the base to the apex in true north direction. This line intersects the Money Pit. [1.201] [4.117] [5.93]
August 16
Charles Roper, Nova Scotia Land Surveyor of Halifax, and assistant George Bates, arrive on the island to make measurements to investigate a possible connection to the Captain Kidd book map legend. Distance between the two drilled granite rocks is about 25 rods (one rod equals 16.5 feet). At the point 18 rods from the Money Pit rock and 7 rods from the other drilled rock is near the Cave-in Pit. 30 rods south-west from this point is behind the stone triangle. But the original oak tree at the Money Pit is about 18 rods north from this point, not 14 rods like the map legend. [4.120] [5.93]
November 10
Gilbert Hedden travels to London, England, to meet with Captain Kidd book author Harold Wilkins. Wilkins is surprised to learn of the coincidences of his map with Oak Island, claiming to have never been to the island, and that the legend was completely made from his imagination. [4.122]
1938

February 1
Gilbert Hedden signs agreement with a syndicate that promised to locate treasure from examination of a photograph of the Money Pit area. [7.152]
March
Gilbert Hedden ends his digging operations to concentrate on his business in New Jersey. [7.127]
(month unknown)
(Spring) Professor Edwin Hamilton of New York University offers to take over the search from Gilbert Hedden, when Hedden runs into financial difficulties. [1.202] [4.124]
July
(mid-month) Edwin Hamilton signs an agreement with Gilbert Hedden and Frederick Blair, to split any treasure 40 percent to Blair, 30 percent to Hedden, and 30 percent to Hamilton. [4.124]
Sprague and Henwood begin drilling and excavating for Edwin Hamilton. 58 holes are bored down to 168-171 feet, to solid limestone. The 13th hole strikes iron, probably casing from a previous drilling operation. [4.125] [5.94] [7.161]
August 15
(to August 31) Holes are drilled laterally from a depth of 119 feet in the Chappell pit (shaft 21). Some hit old oak, probably remains of 1850 timbers in the Money Pit. Main result is possibly relocating the original Money Pit, about 5 feet north of the Chappell shaft. [4.125] [5.94] [7.161]
1939

Popular Science publishes an article on Oak Island. [1.36]
August 29
Sprague and Henwood continue drilling and excavating. A tunnel is started from the 117-foot level of shaft 22, westward, toward shaft 21, but nothing of interest is found. [4.125] [7.162]
(month unknown)
(Summer) Gilbert Hedden purchases Francis Conrad’s property west of the Money Pit. [7.163]
October 14
The Saturday Evening Post publishes an article on “The Money Pit”. [5.205]
1940

(Summer) Sprague and Henwood continue drilling and excavating. They extend part of the Hedden Shaft 6 feet by 6 feet down to 170 feet. They only find stones believed not to be native to that depth. [4.125] [5.94]
1941

(Summer) Sprague and Henwood continue drilling and excavating. They deepen the Chappell Shaft to 167 feet, to bedrock. Drilling to 200 feet encounters chips of oak, the first direct evidence of workings below bedrock. [1.202] [4.125] [5.95]
Edwin Hamilton’s workers discover that a tunnel leads out under the waters of Smith’s Cove. [1.202]
1943

Edwin Hamilton ceases his search for treasure, due to World War II. [4.125] [5.96]
1946

May
Nathan Lindenbaum from New York arrives at the island, with pick and shovel. He is allowed to dig a bit, but soon quits, making this the briefest search ever. [4.125]
(month unknown)
Anthony Belfiglio, an engineer of Toronto, Ontario, offers to buy the Money Pit lot for $15,000. Hedden says he can buy all his property for $25,000. No deal is worked out. [4.126]
1949

June 30
Frederick Blair’s treasure trove license expires. [4.126]
1950

January
Newsweek magazine runs an article about Oak Island. [4.126]
April 1
Frederick Blair dies, at age 83. Mel Chappell takes over the treasure trove license. [4.127]
May 12
Gilbert Hedden sells his Oak Island property for $6000 to John Whitney Lewis, a mining engineer of New York. [4.116,126] [7.169]
July 14
Frederick Blair receives a new treasure trove license for five years. [4.126] [7.169]
December
John Whitney Lewis sells his Oak Island land to Mel Chappell. Mel Chappell. [4.127] [7.169]
1951

January
(to March) M.R. Chappell and Frederick Blair begin work on the island. They use an electronic radar-actuated metal-locating device from the Parker Contract Company of Ontario, and a clam shovel. Based on the device, the dig a pit 200 feet due North of the Money Pit. At 45 feet down, through firm soil, they stop digging, as the locator indicates something now further south. After digging at five locations and finding nothing, they stop, having spent $35,000. [1.202] [4.128] [7.170]
April 1
Frederick Blair dies, at age 83, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. [5.96] [7.170]
1953

Leary publishes the book The Oak Island Enigma, written by Thomas Leary. Presents summary of work, and possible originators of the Money Pit. Opinion is that the treasure consists of the lost manuscripts of Sir Francis Bacon. [5.202]
1955

September
George Greene of Corpus Christi, Texas, representing five large oil companies, signs a contract with Mel Chappell. [4.130]
October
George Greene drills four 4-inch core holes near the Money Pit, at 2, 6, 10, and 14 feet in a line from he north of the Chappell shaft. Three holes hit oak platforms every 10 feet down to 110 feet. The fourth drill hits 8-inches of oak at 100 feet, a 10-foot cavity, another 8-inches of oak, then a cavity extending for 45-70 feet, then clay to 190 feet. He pumps in 100,000 gallons of water to determine the size of the cavity, but it is not enough to fill it, or to observe where it exits. [1.203] [4.130] [5.97] [7.173]
October 28
George Greene ceases his search operations for the season. An oil drilling contract takes him elsewhere, and he does not return. [1.37] [4.130] [5.97]
1957

January 28
Letter from Mel Chappell to Robert Restall, says agreement with Mr. Greene now terminated. Says new agreement with Restall would be fifty-fifty split of any treasure recovered. [1.38]
March 1
Robert Restall replies by letter to Mel Chappell, with a proposal for finding the treasure of the island. He includes the right of Chappell to terminate the contract if Restall fails to seal off the source of sea water within six months. [1.38]
April 8
Mel Chappell replies by letter to Robert Restall saying an engineer from New York is going to try locating the treasure. [1.39]
October 4
Mel Chappell writes to Robert Restall referring to Ontario mining men making arrangements to be next searchers. [1.40]
1958

May
William and Victor Harman, brothers from Ontario, sign a one-year agreement with Mel Chappell. [4.130]
The Harman brothers drill four holes near the Money Pit, finding bits of oak, spruce, coconut fiber, and ship’s caulking, from about 150 feet and below. [1.203] [4.130] [5.97]
June
The Ryerson Press publishes the book The Oak Island Mystery written by Reginald Harris. First comprehensive book on Oak Island available to general public. Reviews the many theories; the book is based on many original documents no longer available. [4.viii] [5.201]
July
The Harman brothers run out of money, and cease operations temporarily. [4.130]
1959

October
The Harman brothers quit their search. [4.131]
Mel Chappell and Robert Restall sign a contract for Restall to begin work on Oak Island. Term is three months, more if progress made. Profit from any treasure found will be split 50 percent to Chappell, 25 percent to Restall, and 25 percent to Restall’s financial backers. [1.41] [4.131] [7.174]
October 15
Robert Restall and family arrive on Oak Island, with $8000 in savings and equipment. [1.41] (1960 Spring [7.174])
December
Mel Chappell extends the contract with Robert Restall through all of 1960. [1.54]

1960

January 19
Robert Restall and Fred Sparham sign a contract for Sparham providing $6000 in exchange for 25 percent of Restall’s share of the treasure. [1.61]
April 9
Robert Restall purchases a large water pump used by previous searchers, for $1000. [1.62]
July 15
Robert Restall begins pumping out water from main shaft, reaching down to a level probably not seen since 1942. [1.80]
December
Mel Chappell extends the Restall contract to March 31. [1.103]
1961

March 23
In a letter to Robert Restall, Mel Chappell extends their contract to May 10. [1.103]
April
Lloyd McInnis of the CBC records film footage on the island for the TV show Gazette. [1.103]

June 2
Robert Restall locates a vertical hole with 1-foot diameter under a small dome of beach stones, not previously discovered, believed to be the work of 256 years ago. Work on this hole continues for a month, trying to force concrete down to bottom to block water from the ocean. The attempts are unsuccessful, as the unset concrete blows out to sea. [1.115]
(month unknown)
Mel Chappell gives the Beamish family $1800 for one-third of Oak Island. [4.155]
(and 1962) Frederick Nolan spends several thousand dollars on men and equipment laying out a grid over the entire island. He establishes 25 concrete surveying markers, cutting dozens of lines thousands of feet long. [4.154]
October
David Tobias contacts Robert Restall saying he is interested in financing recovery operations. [1.125]
1962

January 11
Fred Sparham agrees to drop his interest from 25 percent to 19. [1.125]
January 22
Robert Restall meets with Mel Chappell. Chappell says he will not extend the contract with Restall, and will switch to another hunter. But Restall pleads his case, and Chappell gives him another year, but only for the south end of the island, up to 100 feet north of the Money Pit. [1.126]
February 8
David Tobias and Robert Restall sign a contract for Tobias’ investment. [1.126]
(month unknown)
Laverne Johnson of Vancouver, British Columbia, drills and excavates north of the Money Pit. [5.98]
The book True Tales of Buried Treasure is published, written by Edward Rowe Snow. Referring to the engraved stone slab, it claims an Irish schoolmaster deciphered the code as “Forty feet below two million pounds are buried”. According to rumors, a Dalhousie University professor translated the code as “Ten feet below two million pounds lie buried”. [4.21]
(or 1963?) Frederick Nolan discovers at the Registry of Deeds in Chester that Mel Chappell did not own Lots 5 and 9-14. He acquires the land from the heirs of Sophia Sellers for $2500. [4.155]

July 10
Karl Graeser signs an investment contract with Robert Restall. [1.135]
1963

January 2
Mel Chappel informs Robert Restall that as per their agreement a year ago, his contract expired at the end of 1962. [1.141]
January 19
Robert Restall is granted a new contract to the end of June. [1.143]
April
Frederick Nolan offers to trade his land on the island to Mel Chappell for an opportunity to excavate at the Money Pit. Chappell refuses. [4.155]
(month unknown)
(and 1964) Frederick Nolan excavates two 30-foot shafts on his land, only finding a 2-inch brass buckel at the bottom of one. [4.155]
1965

January 20
M.R. Chappell and Robert Restall sign new contract, agreeing to pay Restall 30 percent of net amount of treasure. [1.216]
January 28
The Hamilton, Ontario, Spectator publishes an article “The Riddle of Oak Island: Gold Bars Within My Grasp Says Bob Restall”, written by Restall about his exploration of the Island. [5.206] (January 29 [7.177])
July 15
Geologist Robert Dunfield signs a contract with Robert Restall, investing $5000 with an option for another $5000. [1.222]
July 16
Robert Restall begins a second shaft between the Cave-in Pit and the Money Pit to intercept the water tunnel. [1.223]
August 17
Robert Restall falls in the new shaft while looking down from top at progress on the work below. Son Bobby Restall runs to his aid, but also falls in. Karl Graeser starts down the ladder, but loses consciousness and falls in. Cyril Hiltz also falls from the ladder. Andrew Demont also falls in. Leonard Kaizer falls in as well. Visiting New York firefighter Captain Edward White is able to get a rope around Kaizer, and others pull him up. White is also able to get Demont out. Either a foul odor from the water below, or carbon monoxide from the gas pump had overcome the four others, and they drowned in the water. The shaft is 10 x 30 feet, 27 feet deep, with 3-4 feet of water at bottom. [1.225] [4.131] [5.99] [7.177]
(month unknown)
Robert Dunfield is put in charge of continuing operations for the remainder of the Restall Contract to the end of the year. He proposes using a 70 ton digging crane with 90 foot boom and large excavating bucket, capable of digging a hole 100 feet in diameter down to 200 feet, and also using a 110,000 gallon per hour water pump. [1.230] [4.136]
Two large bulldozers remove a layer of soil 12 feet deep from the area of the Money Pit, exposing old shafts and timbers. [4.136]
Tons of clay are pushed over the beach of Smith’s Cove to attempt to block the flood tunnel. [4.136]
October 7
Dunfield builds a causeway between the mainland and the west end of the island for heavy equipment to be driven over. [1.230] [4.137]
October 16
The causeway to the mainland is complete. 15,000 cubic yards of fill was used to construct the 600-foot long causeway. [4.137]
October
Robert Dunfield brings a 70-ton digging crane to the island, to be used to excavate the Money Pit. [4.139]
October 18
Along the south shore, Dunfield has a 200-foot long trench dug 20 feet deep, looking for a presumed second flood tunnel. He finds a re-filled 8-foot diameter shaft with no cribbing, assumed to be pre-1795 as there is no record of it being dug by any treasure hunters. This shaft is 25 feet of the stone triangle. The shaft is dug to 45 feet, but no flood tunnel to the Money Pit is found. The shaft is assumed to be original (pre-1795), but abandoned. [4.139] [5.100] [7.180]
October
The Atlantic Advocate publishes an article on Oak Island, suggesting the Money Pit is simply a sinkhole over a limestone formation, or a fault line that gradually filled in with fallen trees and debris. [4.150] [7.186]
November 3
Robert Dunfield starts work excavating the Money Pit. Digging gets to 140 feet deep, with a width of 100 feet. Heavy rain during excavation cause sides of pit to often cave-in. The screened soil turns up pieces of porcelain dishware possibly made in 1700s. [4.139] [5.101] [7.181]
November 29
Robert Dunfield issues a status report for investors. A contract extension was obtained to the end of August 1966, but funds to continue work are running low. Since taking over, $60,000 has been spent. Four major investors add $27,000 more. Operations soon end for Winter. [1.230]
(month unknown)
After digging down to 148 feet, the crane is needed elsewhere. A replacement crane develops a cracked engine block, the diesel generator suffers a blown gasket, and workers quit for the Christmas season. [7.181]
1966

January 1
The Chappell Shaft partially collapses. The 1804 and 1863 shafts collapse. The Money Pit hole now has a top diameter of 80 feet. [5.103]
January 2
Robert Dunfield orders the main pit to be refilled provide a solid platform for drilling after Winter. [4.139] [7.182]
January
Robert Dunfield drills four 6-inch diameter holes in the Money Pit area down to almost 190 feet. At 140 feet, a 2-foot layer of wood is struck. After that, the drill drops through a 40-foot void to bedrock. Material removed is sent to University of Southern California in Los Angeles for spectrographic examination and chemical analysis. On receipt of results, kept private, Dunfield announces intent to proceed re-digging on large scale. [4.139] [5.103] [7.183]
February
Robert Dunfield digs at the Cave-in pit, finds old timbers and 2-inch planking. Bucket of digger gets stuck at 68 feet; digging down to 100 feet finds no evidence of water. Heavy rain cause the sides to cave in, and work is halted. [4.140] [7.183]
March 15
The Chronicle-Herald publishes an article reporting that Robert Dunfield found a chamber 139-184 feet below ground, roofed with wood, floored with iron. [5.103]
(month unknown)
Frederick Nolan purchases land at Crandall’s Point abutting the entrance to the causeway, then barricades it, in retaliation for Dunfield denying him use of the causeway. [4.156]
April
Robert Dunfield abandons the project, returning to California. [4.140] [5.103]
May 3
Robert Dunfield issues a status report and geological sketches. No more work is done. An estimated $131,000 was spent since August. [1.230] [4.140]
August
Robert Dunfield’s lease with Mel Chappell terminates. Negotiations to buy the island fail. [4.140] [7.184]
1967

January
Daniel C. Blankenship leads a new syndicate including David Tobias, Robert Dunfield, and Fred Nolan. They acquire search rights on Oak Island. [7.184]
March
Drilling equipment is removed from the island for overhauling. [7.184]
May
Daniel Blankenship and David Tobias deepen the South Shore shaft exposed by Robert Dunfield. At 60 feet they uncover an ancient hand-wrought nail, and something resembling a metal nut or washer. 65-77 feet is layers of red sandy soil and blue clay, then 8 feet of black muck, then 5 feet of rounded granite boulders in black stagnant water. [7.185] (1966 [4.161] [5.103])
(month unknown)
Frederick Nolan builds a museum on Crandall’s Point, where he displays artifacts he finds. [4.159]
David Tobias and Daniel Blankenship drill about 60 holes in the area of the Money Pit over the year. They learn of caverns or tunnels in the bedrock, with ceilings of wood planks or logs. The bedrock starts 160-170 feet below the surface, with wood found about 40 feet below bedrock. Drill hole 21 brings up a brass fragment from 187ft (or higher), analysed to be from prior to 1850. Drill hole 24 encounters bedrock cavity from 203-210ft, containing wood/clay/wood sequence. Wood is carbon-dated to 1490-1660. Drill hole 25, next to the Money Pit, encounters a cavity at 202-209 feet, then 1/2-inch thick iron plate. Pieces of china, cement, and wood are recovered from the cavity. Drill hole 35 hits bedrock from 171 to 189 feet, wood to 191 feet, then a 12-foot void to 203 feet, recovering bits of wood, charcoal, and clinker. [4.161] [5.105]
McGraw-Hill Ryerson publishes the book The Oak Island Mystery, second edition, written by Reginald Harris. Revised and updated version of 1958 book. [5.201]
Daniel Blankenship digs up part of Smith’s Cove beach, finding coconut fiber, and the remains of the old drainage system. [4.162]
1968

David Tobias makes a six month agreement with Frederick Nolan, paying $1000 for right to cross Crandall’s Point land. [4.156]
1969

Frederick Nolan drains the swamp on his land, finding numerous markers and objects possibly from pre-1795: rocks with holes bored or chiseled, some with metal inserted into surface, piece of wood with iron hinges, beach stones, old wood, and metal. Most interesting is a piece of sandstone of square cross-section, cut by man, standing erect, may have been used as a surveryor’s monument. [4.156]
April
David Tobias forms Triton Alliance Limited. President is Tobias, field operation director Daniel Blankenship. Shareholders include Charles Brown, George Jennison, Bill Sobey, Bill Parkins, Gordon Coles, Mel Chappell. [4.156] [5.109]
(month unknown)
The Warnock Hersey company drills for Triton to 250 feet. [5.109]
November
A new shaft, called Borehole 10-X, is drilled mid-way between the Money Pit and the Cave-in Pit, 180 feet northeast of the Money pit, using a 9-inch and then 6-inch diameter drill hole. At 140 feet, a 5 foot cavity is encountered. At 160 feet, another 5 foot cavity and a small quantity of metal is encountered. At 180 feet, bedrock is hit. At 230 feet, another cavity found. [4.166] [5.121]
1970

May
Golder borehole 201, 100-feet north-northeast of Borehole 10X, finds metal pieces embedded in sand from 84.5-86.5 feet depth. [5.121]
May 25
Dalhousie University issues a report on samples from Borehole 103 at the Money Pit from 193-198 feet. The report indicates the samples show a mix of recent pollen types in with glacial till, indicating man-made soil infilling. [5.109,204]
June
Golder boreholes 202 and 203 are drilled close to Borehole 10X. Wood and metal fragments are recovered from about 150 feet. [5.123]
(month unknown)
A 400-foot long cofferdam is built around the perimeter of Smith’s Cove, 50 feet further out than earlier dams. After it is built, a large U-shaped wooden structure is uncovered below low tide. It is made of several 2-foot thick logs, 30-65 feet long, notched at 4-foot intervals, with Roman numerals carved beside each notch. The notches had been bored and some contain 2-inch thick wooden dowels. Experts conclude this was an ancient wharf or remains of workings in construction of original cofferdam. [4.162] [5.111]
Excavation of Smith’s Cove also exposes a heart-shaped stone, a pair of ancient wrought-iron scissors, a small wooden sled, a 12-inch long segment of an iron ruler, and iron nails, spikes, and tools. [5.117]
November
Borehole 201X is drilled four feet from Borehole 201 with 25.5-inch casing, down to 78 feet, then open sides to 88 feet. [5.123]
November 19
The Steel Company of Canada issues a report on metal found in Borehole 201, concluding it is friable fragments of wrought iron dating pre-1800. [5.123,204]
December 6
Martin Pickford is lowered into Borehole 201X, to examine the bare walls below 78 feet. They are determined to be virgin ground. [5.123]
December 14
The Steel Company of Canada issues a report on the iron ruler recovered from excavation of Smith’s Cove, saying it is wrought iron, with hand-engraved markings, likely pre-1783. The nails, spikes, and tools are hand-forged wrought iron, dating pre-1790. [5.119,204]
December 22
The Smithsonian Institution issues a report on artifacts excavated from Smith’s Cove. The fiber is confirmed authentic by botanists. The scissors are said to be of a 300-year old pattern. The metal set-square is dated to pre-1780. [4.162] [5.204]
1971

January
Borehole 10X is widened to 27-inch diameter casing, recovering pieces of chain, metal fragments, cement chunks, and pieces of wire at about 165 feet or higher. [4.166] [5.123]
February
(to July) Borehole 10X is extended at 27-inch diameter down to bedrock at 181 feet. The hole in bedrock is also enlarged to 27-inch diameter to the top of the cavity, and 27-inches to 7 feet below the floor of the cavity. Then, a 20-inch diameter hole is continued a further 19 feet. [4.166] [5.124]
March 30
The Steel Company of Canada issues a report on the metal pieces recovered from Borehole 10X, saying the chain is case-hardened steel, likely pre-1750. The metal fragments are folded wrought iron, likely pre-1750. [5.124,204]
(month unknown)
Frederick Nolan is granted a treaure trove license, and starts digging holes on his land. [4.156]
August
Attempting to empty water from Borehole 10X is not successful. The hole fills to sea level, bringing up bird bones, sea shells, and glass. [4.166] [5.124]
A remote controlled TV camera is lowered into Borehole 10X. On the video monitor are claimed to be the outlines of three chests, a pick axe, three logs on the floor, a human hand severed at the wrist, and a human body sitting against a side wall. [4.166] [5.124]
A second TV camera session in the Borehole 10X cavity also may show chests, timbers, tools, and two tunnels leading from the cavity. [5.126]
(month unknown)
(to 1972) More than ten dives are made into the cavern in bedrock via Borehole 10X, but without finding any evidence of treasure or manmade workings. [4.166] [5.126]
November
Frederick Nolan and Triton Alliance sign agreement to share treasure searching information, that Triton would receive 40 percent of any treasure recovered on Nolan’s land, and allows both access across each other’s land. [4.159]
1972

A meeting is held of the Canadian Institute of Surveying and Mapping, held at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. George Bates is a guest speaker. He reviews the history of pirate activity on the Atlantic Canada coast. He suggests what was found on Oak Island in 1795 was the remains of a pirate shipyard. The artificial beach was possibly lowered to accomodate the draft of incoming ships. A hollow chamber below the island would have been used to drain Smith’s Cove, then pumped out with windmill when a ship’s repairs were completed. [4.142]
Fontana publishes the book The Money Pit Mystery: The Costliest Treasure Hunt Ever written by Rupert Furneaux. Detailed account of explorations, suggests original works were constructed around 1780 based on the Roper survey. Concludes British military buried money from New York in an offset chamber. [5.201]
P.J. Mallon of Northern Ireland finds another stone triangle on the South Shore. [5.127]

1973

February
Esquire magazine publishes an article “The Mystery of Oak Island”. [5.205]
(month unknown)
Frederick Nolan digs a hole 650 feet northwest of the Money Pit. He digs to 35 feet, finding nothing. [4.156]
Several boreholes are drilled, one 660 feet north of the Money Pit, recovering wire from 110 ft. [5.127]
June 11
The Steel Company of Canada issues a report on the wire, calling it typical of 1500-1900 type. [5.128]
(month unknown)
A 12 by 6 foot shaft is started 660 feet north of the Money Pit, at the location were a wire was found. [5.128]
1974

Excavation of the 12×6 pit 660 feet north of the Money Pit is stopped at 100 feet, due to lack of funds. [128]

1975

October 28
An engineering firm is excavating an area of the Western Shore Community on the mainland, about 3000 feet North of Oak Island. An excavator hits supposed bedrock 7 feet below ground, but then breaks through, making a 3 feet wide hole. Workers can see water 6 feet below the shell top. Measuring the depth reveals it to be 52 feet deep. A man is lowered into the hole, noting the width to be about 8 feet, extending about 30 feet forward. There could be a similar cavern below Oak Island, of limestone, causing occasional drops in earth above. [4.144]
1976

Borehole 10X partially collapses at the 95-foot depth, with Dan Blankenship narrowly escaping. [5.128]
1977

March 14
Belleville Research Laboratory of Canada Cement Lafarge issues a report on the chunks of concrete recovered from Borehole 10X in January 1971. The reports states the concrete is likely human-created with crude lime, and the presence of rust indicates contact with man-made iron object. [5.124]
June
David Tobias acquires Mel Chappell’s land. [4.156]
1978

Lancelot Press publishes The Oak Island Quest, written by William Crooker. The book gives a history to the early 1970s, discusses findings, mentions the possibility of offset chambers, and gives some theories, including ancient or extraterrestrial civilizations being responsible. [4.ix] [5.199]
Coward, McCann and Geohagen publish the book The Money Pit: The Story of Oak Island and the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt, written by D’Arcy O’Connor. Very complete and detailed history of exploration and discussion of popular theories and historical issues. Concludes a Spanish galleon, damaged by a storm around 1600, buried treasure to be recovered later. [5.202]
(to 1980) Borehole 10X is lined with 8-foot diameter steel casings from railway tank cars down to 50 feet, then steel plates are welded continuing down to 91 feet, then the walls are lined with concrete down to 126 feet. [4.166] [5.128]
1980

February
Four circular holes are observed in the ice off South Shore. [5.129]
1981

The May 1981 issue of Coins magazine notes British author Rupert Furneaux concludes the Oak Island treasure was war chests of British commander-in-chief General Sir Henry Clinton, buried when retreat from New York during American Revolution looked likely, about 1780, when the island was called Gloucester Isle. [8.94]
Fred Nolan discovers five cone-topped boulders on the surface of his land laid out forming a Latin cross. The boulders are 8 feet wide, 9 feet high, all pointing up. At the intersection of the lines of the cross is an unusual stone resembling a human head. The cross is 720 feet wide, 867 feet from top to bottom. The arms and stem meet at right-angles. No other similar boulders exist on the island. [4.174]

1983

January
Triton Alliance launches a lawsuit versus Frederick Nolan, over the seven lots he acquired from the heirs of Sellers, and over access across Crandall’s Point to the causeway. [4.156]
(month unknown)
Drill-hole number 401, 200 feet north of the Money Pit, encounters hard glacial till to 181 feet, anhydrite bedrock to 360 feet, then grey slate bedrock to 590 feet. [5.128]
1984

Four East Publications publishes the book Oak Island Nova Scotia: The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt, written by Millie Evans and Eric Mullen. [5.200]
1985

December
The lawsuit trial of Triton Alliance versus Frederick Nolan. Triton loses the case with respect to Nolan’s title to the seven lots. Nolan is to pay $15,000 to Triton for interfering with their tourist busines, and to remove part of the museum he built over the access road to the causeway. Triton appeals. [4.160]
1987

(Winter) Four circular holes are observed in the ice about 500 feet off South Shore, each 15-40 feet diameter, spaced about 150 feet apart. [5.129]
(to 1990) Work resumes lining Borehole 10X with concrete down to bedrock at 181 feet, but finding nothing of tunnels, artifacts, or treasure. The cavities at 140 and 160 feet are found to be natural. The bottom cavity at 230 feet is assumed to be natural from sonar sounding. [4.166] [5.128]
August 10
Issue of Canadian news magazine Maclean’s includes full-page article on Oak Island teasure hunt, and about Triton Alliance Ltd plans to raise $10 million to solve the mystery. [9.42]
September 22
Cox Underground Research issues a report to Triton for “The Big Dig”, proposing excavating an 80-foot diameter lined shaft at the Money Pit down to about 220 feet, pumping water from four pumping stations. A cofferdam would be built at Smith’s Cove to keep water from the Flood Tunnel, and a huge cofferdam at South Shore Cove to keep water from the assumed second Flood Tunnel. The budget for the project is $10 million. [5.130]
October 19
The “Black Monday” stock market crash has a devastating effect on financing plans. [4.168]
November
On appeal of the 1985 ruling, Triton Alliance loses again. In a cross-appeal, the court reduces damages to $500, but Nolan is still ordered to remove the part of his museum over the road. [4.160]
1988

June
Smithsonian magazine publishes an article “The Mysterious Money Pit”. [5.205]
(month unknown)
Ballantine Books publishes the book The Big Dig: The $10 Million Search for Oak Island’s Legendary Treasure, written by D’Arcy O’Connor. Revised and updated version of author’s 1978 book. [5.202]
1989

Les Éditions JCL publishes the book Oak Island: L’Île au Trésor, written by Cluade Marcil and Françoise Paul. Reviews search for treasure, presents popular theories, and advances theory that treasure was buried by a French fleet around 1746 that was damaged in a storm en route to retaking Louisbourg. [5.202]
1991

Benwell Atkins publishes the book Revealed: The Secret of Oak Island, written by Laverne Johnson. Offers opinion that treasure originated in Central America, brought to the island before 1749, and that the treasure is located 20 feet underground 300 feet north of the Money Pit. [5.201]
(Summer) Triton Alliance applies to Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for $12 million in loan guarantee. They are turned down. [4.168]
September 9
A newspaper article (likely in Halifax) appears about Carl Mosher. Mosher says in about 1925 his grandmother showed him a wooden trunk containing about 25 heavy white canvas bags of gold. His grandmother was Lucy Vaughan, relative of Anthony Vaughan, one of the diggers of 1795. The trunk was said to have come from Oak Island. At some point, Uncle Edward Vaughan took the trunk, and disappeared, leaving his property, business, wife, and family. [4.215]
1992

July 18
Newspaper The Halifax Herald reports a new discovery on Oak Island, a Latin cross formed by huge boulders. [4.182]
1993

Four East Publications publishes the book Nova Scotia’s Oak Island: The Unsolved Mystery, written by Millie Evans. [5.200]
Nimbus Publishing Company publishes the book Oak Island Gold, by William Crooker. Includes recently revealed stone cross, speculation of a Knights Templar connection, suggests British military buried part of treasure from sack of Havana in 1762. [4] [5.199]
1995

Hounslow Press publishes the book The Oak Island Mystery: The Secret of the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt written by Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe. In addition to a history of the explorations, presents theories related to the Celts, Vikings, 4th century Mediterranean traders, Knights Templar, Prince Henry Sinclair, and Sir Francis Drake. [5.200]
Formac Publishing publishes the book Oak Island Secrets, written by Mark Finnan. Emphasis is on the stone cross, suggesting a Masonic connection, concluding a treasure was deposited in the late 1500s under the direction of Sir Francis Bacon. [5.200]
July
(to August) The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution conducts a detailed groundwater and bathymetry study of the Money Pit. [5.133,204]
August
On Oak Island, a memorial service is held in honor of the men who died on the island. A monument and bronze plaque are unveiled. [1.234]
September 25
Forbes FYI publishes an article “Yep, They’re Still Digging”. [5.205]
1996

A government-sponsored survey is made of water surrounding Oak Island. [5.134]
1998

April
Geological Survey of Canada Open File 3610 is issued. It shows several depressions in the seabed of South Shore Cove, in the vicinity of the four ice holes, and also shows a possible shipwreck in 35 feet of water 2000 feet south of the island. [5.134]
1999

Ron Aston of Noon Star Ltd of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, drills holes on ridge north of the Money Pit to 30-50 feet depths, looking for an offset chamber from the Money Pit. Nothing is found. [5.134]
Destiny Books publishes the book The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island Mystery, written by Steven Sora. Gives details of the Sinclair clan of Scotland and connection to the treasure of the Knights Templar, suggesting that the treasure was buried between 1441 and 1482. [5.203]
Formac Publishing Company publishes the book Oak Island and its Lost Treasure, written by Graham Harris and Les MacPhie. [3]
2001

Ron Aston returns to drill more holes looking for an offset chamber, but again finds nothing. [5.134]
2002

Imperial College Engineer publishes an article by Graham Harris about the search for Oak Island treasure. [5.205]
2003

May
Petter Amundsen of Norway excavates several shallow pits south of widely-spaced large boulders in the shape of a cross, found by Fred Nolan, revealed in 1992. [5.135]
2004

January 22
Rolling Stone Magazine publishes an article “The Curse of Oak Island”. [5.205]
(month unknown)
The Lyons Press publishes the book The Secret Treasure of Oak Island: The Amazing True Story of a Centuries-Old Treasure, written by D’Arcy O’Connor. Revised and updated version of author’s 1978 and 1988 books. [5.202]
2006

The book Oak Island Obsession – The Restall Story is published, written by Lee Lamb, daughter of Robert Restall. [1]

NOTE: Please stay tuned for an update fro, 2007-2019…coming soon from Sanguine Woods!


[1] Oak Island Obsession – The Restall Story, by Lee Lamb, 2006.
[3] Oak Island and its Lost Treasure, by Graham Harris and Les MacPhie, 1999.
[4] Oak Island Gold, by William Crooker, 1993.
[5] Oak Island and its Lost Treasure Second Edition, by Graham Harris and Les MacPhie, 2005.
[7] The Oak Island Mystery, 2nd Edition, by Reginald V. Harris, 1967.
[8] Coins, May 1981, Volume 28, Number 5.
[9] Maclean’s, August 10, 1987, Volume 100, Number 32.


 

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