John's Journal...

Learn the History of Your Property to Increase the Value of Your Land

Millions in Gold and Artifacts

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Every property bought and sold today has a history. Who were the people who lived on the land before it was sold? What were their occupations? What role did they play in the history of the area, the state or the nation? If you know the history of the people and the land, the value of the property is worth far more than the dirt, the timber, the wClick to enlargeildlife and the scenery on it today.

While squirrel hunting on forest-recreation property my brother Archie had bought near Birmingham, Alabama, we spotted the remnants of a narrow-gauge railroad track. Birmingham, once known as the Pittsburgh of the South, had coal, iron ore and limestone readily available in Jefferson County and the other counties surrounding the city to make it a steel mecca. The iron and steel produced in the Birmingham region fed the Confederate war machine during the War Between the States. Iron and steel were necessary components for cannons, wheels, cannonballs, mortar shells and all other forms of armament. The steel and iron produced in the Birmingham area were critical for making munitions for the South. Coal mines, iron ore mines and limestone quarries dotted the landscape before and during the Civil War. However, as the South began to lose the war, and Union forces started moving into the Heart of Dixie in the latter years of the war, Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, saw that the cause for which they fought had, state rights, and the less-than-noble cause for which they fought, slavery, were both about to come to an abrupt end.

Rumor has it that Davis packed up all the old documents pertaining to the war and whatClick to enlarge was left of the gold bouillon that had been used to drive the war machine of the South and loaded it into a secret train heading north for safe-keeping. The Union forces were moving so quickly, and the chances of the gold anddocuments falling into enemy hands was so imminent that when the treasure train fromClick to enlarge Montgomery arrived just a little south of Birmingham, it was pulled into an old ore mine. The front of that mine was blasted shut to keep the history of the warriors of the South’s fight and the gold that remained out of enemy hands.

No one’s ever found these important papers or the gold. Was this narrow-gauge track perhaps the route that led to the old mine where the treasure train was hidden? What tales would these narrow-gauge tracks tell, if they could speak? Where was the mine they originally went to and carried raw materials? Where was the camp where the miners lived? Was this area ever overrun with Federal troops? Could the hunters find old mini-balls or a belt buckle from a Confederate or Union soldier? What was the history of the old tracks? Although no one seems to know for sure about the area’s history, before this property, loaded with deer, turkeys and squirrels less than 50 miles from downtown Birmingham, is sold, someone will definitely learn about those tracks and make a legitimate attempt to find the treasure train that rumor and legend says exists in those hills. Besides the timber, the dirt and the wildlife value of the property, this forest-recreation land carries the possibility of storing millions of dollars in gold and artifacts and being an important part of history of the Old South.

Tomorrow: The Buffalo Jump


Check back each day this week for more about "Learn the History of Your Property to Increase the Value of Your Land"

Day 1: When Forest-Recreation Lands Are Worth More
Day 2: When Bricks Are More than Bricks
Day 3: The Old Barbed Wire
Day 4: Millions in Gold and Artifacts
Day 5: The Buffalo Jump



Entry 427, Day 4