The Appalachian Mountains have seen untold fortunes gained and lost. The confluences and clashes of cultures - Indians, Spanish, French, pioneer, Union and Confederate forces - produced struggles over wealth, and gold and silver were often cached for later retrieval. Jameson gathered the book's material from historic journals, maps, on-site research in the mountains, and interviews with people whose lives have been entwined with the legends about and the searches for these fabulous lost treasures.
A cedar chest that had been packed with gold coins robbed from a bank just south of Lexington, Kentucky, in 1860, was recovered 50 years later by a fishing guide in King's Mill Pond. Only a handful of coins were left in the chest, which had mostly rotted away. Is the rest settled beneath the silt of the pond today?