[ For my FREE book about cemetery symbols, click here. The following is an adapted excerpt from my book 6 Feet Under Texas: Unique, Famous & Historic Graves in the Lone Star State. And, yes, that’s an affiliate link. I earn a few pennies if you buy my book after clicking it – at no extra cost to you!]
Historic Cemetery with Buried Treasure
It’s true! There really was gold buried in a Texas cemetery! The oak tree it was buried beneath is located by the entrance of a beautiful cemetery.
Today, however, most people drive right by this historic oak tree without realizing the important role it played in the founding of Fort Worth, Texas.
To learn the full story, read on. To see where the tree stands and what it looks like, be sure to watch my 10-minute video: Buried Treasure in a Texas Cemetery.
Greenwood Memorial Park is a gorgeous historic cemetery spread over more than 190 acres in Ft Worth, Texas. Although it was formally established in 1909, it’s still in use. It’s a car-friendly burial ground with a winding 2-lane road running through it.
Most folks drive right by…
Shortly after the entrance, there’s a traffic circle with a big oak tree in the center. Most people drive right by this oak tree without realizing the important role it played in the founding of Fort Worth, Texas.
In fact, this tree once had gold buried beneath it!
$10K in gold buried under an oak tree
In 1861, the state of Texas seceded from the Union and America’s Civil War began. At the time, a man named Charles Turner (1822- 1873) who was a farmer, merchant, and Texas Ranger was not entirely comfortable with the idea of turning all of his hard-earned cash into Confederate notes.
That’s why, in 1861, Charles Turner buried an estimated $10,000 in gold beneath an oak tree on his farm! ($10K back then would be a whole lot more these days, of course.)
Suddenly, Confederate money was worthless
In 1865, the Civil War ended and Confederate money was worthless. That’s when Charles Turner returned to his farm and dug up his buried treasure.
He used much of this gold to help Fort Worth, which at the time was a young city struggling to build its infrastructure and pay back northern creditors. For this reason, Charles Turner is considered one of the founding fathers of Fort Worth.
When he died in 1873, Mr. Turner was buried in Pioneer’s Rest, which is the oldest cemetery in the city. (I plan to visit there again soon. I’ll get photos of his grave when I do and make a video.)
The land that was once Mr. Turner’s farm is now Greenwood Memorial Park. This is where the oak tree that kept watch over his buried treasure lives on.
It’s a Bicentennial Tree, too!
There are two plaques at the base of this majestic Texas Live Oak, a.k.a. Quercus fusiformis, if you want to get technical. One plaque describes why this historic tree is known as the Turner Oak.
The other plaque, placed by the Daughters of the Revolution, explains that since this beautiful oak was alive when the United States Constitution was signed, it has also earned the title of Bicentennial Tree. Pretty cool, eh?
Most folks drive right by
Since the Turner Oak is located in a traffic circle near the main cemetery entrance, most people drive right past it without realizing all the history it has witnessed.
Are there historic trees near you?
What about your neck of the woods? Do you know of any historic trees where you live?
The Turner Oak is just one of many historic trees here in Texas. I learned about it from a book called Famous Texas Trees.
Speaking of books, this blog post was an adapted excerpt from my book, 6 Feet Under Texas: Unique, Famous & Historic Graves in the Lone Star State. If you enjoyed this tale, check out the rest of the book by clicking here.
Want to see more photos of the Turner Oak?
To see exactly what this amazing tree looks like, be sure to watch my 10-minute video: Buried Treasure in a Texas Cemetery.
READ MY BOOKS: To see a list of all my published books, check out Tui Snider’s Amazon page.