Kel Hancock-Blockhouse Investigations- Nova Scotia
Ask just about anyone from Nova Scotia to name a place where gold may be buried, other than Oak Island, and they’ll be sure to rhyme off a few spots. Nova Scotian culture is steeped in legends of buried treasure and hidden gold. And it’s not just the old salts that believe this. Today’s generation seems to have a great passion for these tales and an energetic compulsion to go out and explore some of the province’s most mysterious places. Undoubtedly this passion has been further fueled by the success of The History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island. But what some “come from away” viewers might not realize is that although The Oak Island Mystery is the most famous of all Maritime treasure tales, it’s just one of many.
Nova Scotia’s colonial era naturally lent itself as a breeding ground of treasure lore. And most of us grew up hearing yarns about lost Acadian gold, missing payrolls, stashed smugglers’ hordes, and the purposeful otherworldly protection of loot from pirates and privateers. The rich maritime and sea-farin’ history of this little province was the perfect Petri dish for such legends to breed and grow. And out of our little harbours and coves they grew indeed!
Take for instance, Ile Haute situated in the Bay of Fundy that captured the interest of American adventurer and treasure-hunter Edward Rowe Snowe. Or how about Plum Island, Canso, Noel, Pictou, Black Hole Cove, Shad Bay, Grand Pre, Pisiquid, Annapolis Royal, Jolicure, Masstown, Ship Harbour Lakes? Yes, all locations in Nova Scotia related to tales of buried treasure and, in fact, only a small sampling. The list could go on and on and on.
What is significant to us at Blockhouse Investigations is that the current generation of Oak Island enthusiast is faced with being terribly misinformed by the myopic perspectives of so-called theorists and self-styled researchers who failed to take the time to learn about Nova Scotia's culture and history. Unfortunately, they see no value in the legends and tales of our region unless they related directly to Oak Island, and discard them as foolish misguided stories- mainly because they don't support their more fantastic theories.
The fad of the last three decades or so, reaching an almost intolerable crescendo in the present day, is to balk at information related to smugglers, pirates and privateers in favour of far-fetched 'theories' based on global conspiracies, secret cabals, Holy Relics, and such truck.
That's a big mistake, in our opinion. We're not saying that one of those theories might not be the answer.
But what we are saying is that, side-by-side, assertions of what may have happened are quickly out-stacked by what history tells us did happen here in Nova Scotia. What verifiable historical evidence does show took place in our region was, piracy, smuggling and privateering. And that is also borne out by our legends, tales and even superstitions!
We won't go into the subject of superstitions in this article, although here in The Maritimes treasure and superstition go hand-in-hand. In a future story we'll bring you lots of information on that interesting and engaging topic. And we won't overwhelm you with scads of historical evidence indicating the level and extent of illicit activities such as smuggling and quasi-legal privateering here in Nova Scotia. There is plenty of information available to the reader in books and archives- much has been written on this subject. What we do intend to show are few examples of other treasure mysteries that made headlines in Nova Scotia, as well as some examples of treasure lore in the media. We invite you to scroll through the images below. Most of these headlines caught the eye of Reginald V. Harris and we found many in a collection of clippings from his personal papers held at the Nova Scotia Archives in Halifax.
We could write volumes about the treasure-lore of Nova Scotia, but who better to do the talking than the experts themselves? And in this case we find no better than Dr. Helen Creighton. Creighton was one of Canada's most celebrated and famed folklorists and left behind a legacy of writings and recordings that are true treasures for researchers and enthusiasts. She wrote two very significant books on the subject of Nova Scotia superstition and lore, Bluenose Ghosts in 1957, and Bluenose Magic in 1968. Both works reflect decades of research collected by Creighton in communities all over Nova Scotia.
Below, we invite you to peruse a selection of treasure related excerpts taken from her writings.
Here at Blockhouse we don't like to draw too many conclusions unless firm evidence supports them, nor do we wish to present our own personal theories in our blog unless we clearly state so at the outset of the piece. What we are committed to doing is providing readers with plenty of information about Oak Island, particularly a lot that is being both inadvertently and intentionally overlooked by current day theorists and writers. This is information which initially drew treasure-hunters to the region. And that, we feel, is important. We truly hope that information we publish is of interest and use to enthusiasts and researchers alike. In the case of today's article we leave it for the reader to ponder and decide for themselves how, when, and why a shift occurred in from the more obvious possibilities in the Oak Island Mystery to the more fantastic and sometimes downright outrageous theories that are being put forth today.
Have a great weekend from all of us here at The Blockhouse!
From The Blockhouse
is published by Blockhouse Investigations and oakislandcompendium.ca
in Nova Scotia, Canada
Editors and Chief Correspondents
Kelly W. Hancock, CD
John Wonnacott, P. Eng.
All material and images published herein, unless otherwise credited, are copyright of Blockhouse Investigations and oakislandcompendium.ca and may be reproduced by permission only.
Views expressed in these blog posts are our own. The views of those that comment are their own.