Oak Island; its name, geography and land are ordinary. For anyone who visits it, however, there is an immediate proclamation that its history is anything but ordinary. "In memory of those who lost their lives while pursuing the Oak Island Quest", is engraved on a memorial. The grey rock eerily resembles a grave stone, and is located on the island's side of the causeway. Aside from the memorial, island is the center of mystery, legend and speculations of treasure. .
This paper will discuss a basic history of the island's treasure hunting past, and present the most significant discoveries to date. Structures such as the Money Pit and Ten X will be discussed, as well as popular articles written about the island. Ultimately, I will maintain that Oak Island has attracted the interest of many treasure hunters in the past decades because of its history of recurring, strange discoveries and will continue to do so for years to come. .
By all accounts the first alleged discovery was made in 1795 when a young man noticed a depression in the ground. Reports claim that when he and two friends excavated the suspicious site, they soon uncovered a layer of flagstones followed by a tier of rotten oak logs ten feet later. They proceeded another fifteen feet into what they believed was a man-made shaft, but they tired from their efforts and were unable to get help. Being exhausted and having no resources, they were forced to quit. .
The project was reportedly abandoned until a treasure-hunting business named The Onslow Company resumed excavation in the early 19th century. They, like the young men in 1795, supposedly found oak platforms at exact intervals of ten feet. Along with the platforms were also newly reported findings of layers of clay, charcoal, and coconut husks that are not indigenous to Nova Scotia. What was found next is less clear because accounts differ between claims of eighty or ninety feet.