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Jersey Shore

Captain Kidd

Treasure Hunt



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Treasure Hunt

Since the time of Captain Kidd's death many rumors have surfaced indicating that his treasure may be buried in New Jersey. He claimed to have buried 40,000 British pounds, of which only 10,000 pounds have been found. When gold pieces were discovered on Gardiners Island off Long Island, New York, many people became excited and believed more treasure was buried nearby in New Jersey.

There are several beaches in New Jersey where Captain Kidd's treasure may be buried. Here are some of the most popular rumored places, and some local stories.

Cape May

Long ago, pirates loved to come and dock at Cape May because the cape had many marshes and creeks where they could hide. These buccaneers would wait for a ship heading to Philadelphia to come into the bay, and they would come out from their hiding place, attack the ship, and steal its cargo.

One place Captain Kidd's treasure could be buried is in Del Haven. Maps and newly discovered documents point to the town. If the maps are right, it would be located under a present-day office complex.

Many legends suggest that there is pirate treasure buried at Cape May Point. One story says a man in charge of a life saving station noticed a ship offshore. According to the eyewitness, men left the ship and went ashore on a yawl (a small boat). They disappeared behind some sand dunes and came out with a treasure chest. After they brought the treasure chest to the ship, they sailed away. This may or may not have been Captain Kidd's treasure. When the story spread, people started to dig on the beaches.

Ocean City

Pirates who did not stop at Cape May often stopped at Ocean City. The location allowed them to look out for British authorities. From their vantage point in Ocean City, the pirates also had time to set sail and escape arrest. Captain Kidd may have stopped here on his way to Boston because he could safely bury his treasure and avoid capture.


In 1948, a lobsterman found old gold coins on the beach of the Highlands. This started a gold rush, and locals and people from all over came to dig on the beach. By the end of the week, a large number of gold coins had been found.

People originally thought the coins were the treasure of Captain Kidd. Upon further evaluation, however, it was determined they were made after his time: the coins are dated 1730, but Captain Kidd was hanged in 1701. It is believed that the coins came from a British frigate ship that sank nearby.

Sandy Hook

Captain Kidd anchored off of Sandy Hook during his final trip to New York and Boston. Many people think Kidd buried his treasure here, not knowing if the governor in Boston would help him or not. Captain Kidd supposedly buried his treasure in a grove of pine trees, but the trees were destroyed years ago. No one knows where the trees were located.

Barnegat Bay

According to legend, Captain Kidd buried his treasure somewhere in Barnegat Bay. Then he beheaded one of his crewmembers to watch over it because he wanted to make sure no one stole it before he returned. Though Captain Kidd never came back for the treasure, the ghost of the crewmember is still there. People have said they have seen him walking on the beach and in the marshes.

Cliffwood Beach

Cliffwood Beach is located on the border of Monmouth and Middlesex counties near Aberdeen.

During the time of Captain Kidd there was an island near Cliffwood Beach called Money Island. Spanish gold coins were found there, which was how it got its name. The island has since eroded into the Raritan Bay. Nearby, there is a lake called Treasure Lake. More gold coins were found here, which is why its name changed from Duck Pond to Treasure Lake.

There are other clues indicating that Captain Kidd's treasure might be buried here. Two giant elm trees stood nearby. They were called Kidd's Rangers. One was near the mouth of the Matawan Creek. The other was located in Rose Hill, which is now a cemetery. Legend says these trees were used to guide Kidd to his treasure. The treasure is believed to be in the middle of the trees. Coincidentally, Cliffwood Beach is located in the same spot - between the same two trees.

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