Treasure to Be Found Around Old Home Sites

By Frank Pandozzi

Old homesite.

Old homesite.

Oh yes, the idea of searching for and finding a buried treasure has been thought about and dreamed about by both young and old. Some have followed their hearts and gone on treasure hunts, resulting in locating buried treasures beneath the ground and under the water. Others have located caches of all sizes inside homes and barns. Treasures are out there, just waiting to be found, and some of them may be closer to you than you think. Older homes that date back one hundred years or more have a very good chance of holding a treasure; these old homes are in cities and towns across America.

Many people did not trust banks. Also, many of our first settlers were very independent; they wanted total control of their lives and possessions, including money and valuables. It was common for those individuals to bury their valuables for safekeeping.

This practice of hiding their possessions was a constant as this country moved into the 19th and 20th centuries. The stock market crash of the 1920s only bolstered the lack of confidence in financial institutions, and to this day, people are still hiding their money. And the safest place to hide their money and possessions was in and around their home.

However, oftentimes the person doing the hiding would not tell the family. Husbands and wives often never told their spouse that they buried a cache beneath the old oak tree. Therefore, when the spouse who did the burying dies, the other has no idea of the stash. And when both spouses are gone, or the family, not knowing of a hidden cache on the property, moves away, the house with the treasure becomes the property of a new owner. There is buried treasure in old homes across the U.S.

Whether you live in an older home you purchased from someone else or want to search for a treasure on the property of an old home, here are three places that have proved to be popular hiding places around old home sites.

Beneath The Old Oak Tree

The old oak tree, or any large tree, has been a popular hiding place for buried treasure. Perhaps the reasons why are shade and a marking.

Burying a treasure, large or small, requires work. It’s easier to dig a hole beneath the shade of a large tree. Also, many people used trees as a marker for their cache. You may not think a marker would be needed. After all, what person would forget where they buried their valuables. However, markers for treasures were also used at times to lead a family member to a buried treasure upon death. So if you live in an old home with an old tree on the property, especially behind the home, it’s a good place to begin your search.

Near The Well

Another popular area where treasures have been located is near the well. The well was used often and was a perfect place to bury treasure. Most wells were also located behind the homes, so it would be secretive and easy to hide valuables repeatedly.

The Outhouse

Outhouse in Shantytown, Spencer, Iowa, 1936

Outhouse in Shantytown, Spencer, Iowa, 1936

I love digging in old outhouses. Yes, I’ve been called crazy for climbing into these old cesspools. However, they hold a wealth of valuables from old pottery, bottles, buttons, coins, and treasures.

Treasures have been found inside the outhouse and beneath the wooden thrones. One individual located an old metal container fastened beneath the throne, held there by a few nails and a metal strip. Inside the container were hundreds of silver dollars dating from the mid-1800s.

Think about all of the old abandoned homes you drive by weekly. Then think about how many of those old homes have a treasure lurking on their property. All you need to do is ask for permission from the owner to search the property. Of course, you will tell them any buried treasure you may find will be shared with them.

A metal detector is a useful tool for locating buried treasure. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on one. A good detector costs between three hundred and four hundred dollars. It could end up paying for itself.

© Frank W. Pandozzi, June 2010, updated by Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, March 2023.

Frank W. Pandozzi is an author, TV Producer, and well-known treasure hunter. Twenty-five years ago, he began his “treasure hunting” days, metal detecting parks and schoolyards. Today Frank Pandozzi is the Producer and the host of Exploring History’s Treasures TV series. He is married and has one son. For more information, please visit

Also See:

Lost Treasure Tales

The Geocache Craze

Pleasures and Dangers of Rockhounding

Treasure Hunting Code of Ethics