Mid Plains Prospectors


25 Metal Detecting Sites

  1. Parks

  2. Schoolyards

  3. Playgrounds

  4. Fairgrounds

  5. Picnic Areas

  6. Recreational Vehicle Parks

  7. Amusement Parks

  8. Carnival Sites

  9. Swimming Areas at Lakes & Rivers

  10. Seaside Beaches

  11. Sand, Dirt or Grassy Parking Areas

  12. Old Home Sites

  13. Old School Sites

  1. Children's Summer Camps
  2. Fishing Camps
  3. Hunting Camps
  4. Under Grandstands & Bleachers
  5. Under Ski Lifts
  6. Churchyards
  7. Old Military Bases
  8. Old Campgrounds
  9. Roadside Produce Stands
  10. Around any Resort Area
  11. Stock Car Speedway
  12. Small Circus Grounds

Nebraska Metal Detecting Organizations

Great Plains Heritage Hunters
1420 W. "3rd" / PO Box 46
Sprague, NE 68438 USA
Contact: Leland Pavel
Nebraskaland Metal Detectors Club
Lincoln, NE USA
Midwest Historical Detectors Club
5701 N. "60th" St.
Omaha, NE 68104 USA
Contact: R.A. Sacha
Nebraskaland Treasure Hunters Club
c/o Donald Day
304 N. Boggs
Grand Island, NE 68803 USA
Nebraska Adventurers
c/o Wayne Mander
Rt. 4, Box 217
Council Bluffs, IA 51503 USA
Nebraskaland Treasure Hunters Club
Hastings, NE USA
Metal Detecting Sites Near North Platte, NE

William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, reportedly hid between $17,000 and $20,000 in $20 gold pieces somewhere on his ranch in Nebraska. As the story goes, Cody came home to his ranch late one night about half-loaded, and one of the hired hands watched him unload a heavy chest form the buckboard wagon. Cody walked several paces, then stopped, turned around, and slowly made his way back to the wagon and placed the chest onto the wagon once more. He looked in all directions as if to make sure he was alone. Finally, he climbed back up on the wagon and drove somewhere out in the pasture. About 45 minutes later Cody returned without the chest. He was still staggering around a little, and he had black dirt all over his body. Supposedly, Cody was unable to remember where he had buried the gold when he later needed it. The Buffalo Bill Ranch is located just northwest of North Platte, Nebraska.

Ash Hollow is located across the North Platte River, just south of Lewellen. Westbound Oregon Trail travelers usually camped there over night before making the river crossing, and there they were frequently attacked by Indians. Many travelers buried their wealth at night, and two Oregon-bound families, following this practice, buried their money there and were killed by Indians before recovering it. It is still believed to be there.

Another fort that would also be worth checking is Fort McPherson, established in 1863 in Lincoln County on the South Platte River, about two miles west of Cottonwood Springs and eight miles above the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers. Intended to guard travelers, the fort was also the scene of a lavish hunting expedition attended by General Custer, General Sheridan, Buffalo Bill, and the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia. The fort was abandoned in 1880. The site is one-half mile east of a Fort McPherson National Cemetery on State 107.

In June 1720, the Spanish government sent an expedition of forty men and supplies on a trip to the Platte River, in what is now Lincoln County, Nebraska, to set up a mission and fort. This caravan carried over $50,000 in gold silver jewelry and trinkets for the French and Indian trade. What is now Nebraska had long enticed the gold and silver-hungry Spaniards. They believed it rich in precious metals, which they sought for the kings coffers and their own velvet-lined pockets. Also, French trappers were deriving huge profits off furs and anything that looked like wealth lured the Spaniards. The only mistake the Spanish government seems to have made was in the selection of a leader for this venture. Lieutenant General Don Pedro de Villazur was an aristocrat, better suited for court politics than exploration. At the first campsite he ordered the mules unpacked. As the wide-eyed soldiers stared in disbelief, he carefully began removing priceless, solid dinnerware. He planned to dine in high fashion. About 110 miles straight north of Santa Fe, they halted and here the officer made his second error of judgment, one much worse than eating with silverware. The expedition had come upon band of Apaches. In the southwest the Apaches were considered to be on friendly terms with the Spanish, and Villazur enlisted a number of them to accompany him. They were to scout, to warn him at first sight of Pawnees, whom the soldiers were worried about. The force came to the Arkansas River, crossing at a point in present-day Hamilton County, Kansas. Marching east, they turned north toward the Platte River. About mid-morning on August 15, 1720, they climbed a hilltop near the Platte. In the distance they saw a large Pawnee village, the site of their settlement-to-be. The Apache scouts had not reported this to the Spanish. Villazur was prepared to placate the Pawnees. He had brought several pack loads of trinkets such as mirrors, beads, combs, and pocket knives. When he distributed these among the Pawnees, he hoped they would become friendly. If all went well, he'd be able to enlist them in building the settlement. But the Pawnees were not to be so easily won over. They felt no love for the Spanish. They had heard too many tales of their cruelties from other tribes which they had met. The Pawnees felt only hate for the soldiers. The Spaniards went down the hill toward the South Fork of the Platte River. At a distance of one to two miles east of the junction of the South Fork and the North Platte, they made camp soon to be their last. Villazurs men unloaded the animals, buried the gold, and prepared the camp. The next day Villazur awoke early, soon afterward, 150 screaming Pawnees and a handful of French trappers raided the ill-prepared camp. In less than 30 minutes, all but six or seven of the soldiers were dead. Villazur had been one of the first to fall. The six or seven who escaped concealed themselves in the plains grass, and watched the Indians snatch up the sacks of goods and trinkets and ride off. The survivors looked at one another in fear. The caches of valuable cargo, the gold, had gone undiscovered, but they didn't care. They were interested only in saving their own lives. Many weeks later, the survivors reached Santa Fe. They were hurried to the Governors palace where they told of the disaster and the loss of all the valuables. The Spanish government made no more attempts to establish a colony in Nebraska or to recover the gold buried on the plains. Somewhere on a low hill, near where the South Fork meets the North Platte River, a cache of $50,000 waits for a lucky treasure hunter.

Sioux Lookout North Platte Nebraska  Sioux Lookout, the highest point in Lincoln County, was a prominent landmark on the overland trials. From its lofty summit the development of the West unfolded before the eyes of the Sioux and other Indians. Trappers and traders came by here in 1813, the first wagon train in 1830, and the first missionary in 1834. In 1836 Narcissa Whitman and Elizabeth Spalding became the first white women to travel the trail. During the Indian War of 1864-1865, its prominence gave a clear view of troop and Indian movements below the lookout.

Sioux Lookout, North Platte Nebraska



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