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The Treasures You Find

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

John Singer may not have been a pirate, but he had the soul of one back in 1861. John Singer and his wife Johanna found themselves shipwrecked on South Padre Island in the mid-19th century. They eventually built a home for their family and even had a successful business. John was the shipwreck master for the island when he came across a cache of Spanish gold coins, silver bars, and jewelry. He still had ahold of it when the Civil War came to Texas.


This wouldn't have been a problem except for two things: The Singers were Union sympathizers, and their home was located at strategic Brazos Santiago Pass. John Singer made a last-minute decision to bury his treasure on Money Hill, which was really just a sand dune between two small oak trees, then he and his family fled to nearby Corpus Christi where they stayed until after the war.


When John Singer returned to South Padre, he found his home burned to the ground. A hurricane also shifted the landscape and he was unable find Money Hill. After Johanna died, John tried twice more to find the buried treasure but eventually died impoverished in Mississippi.


The Third Rate Productions team found an article that claimed to have found the site of the original Singer homestead. We decided to take a day to locate the site according to the coordinates. After a very long drive down the beaches of South Padre Island, we found so much more than the site we were looking for.



There's a Hard Hat Tree where people place washed up hard hats. Someone must have lost their work boots, too!



There's a place called UFO Beach because of this washed-up buoy. It has been decorated over time to look like this.



This buoy is still in great shape. I love this picture because of the colors and shadows.


What we learned on this adventure was that it's not the end result that always matters, but the lessons you learn along the way that are important. I personally would never have seen the Hard Hat Tree or UFO Beach if I had never tried to find John Singer's homestead. So, I'm going to keep searching for my version of buried treasure and you should too.

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