Treasure on the Fenwick beach

By Michael Morgan

"Tradition has it that pirates," wrote David James Long in 1938, "used to trade in and out of the Little Assawoman Bay to a little island called Cedar Island, about a mile northeast of where the bridge now is.

It was said there were lots of holes in which the pirates used to dig for money there."

Although many historians scoff at the idea that pirates buried their treasure, Captain William Kidd anchored in Lewes harbor at the end of the 17th century, and he reportedly made several nocturnal trips to the sands of Cape Henlopen.

After Kidd left Lewes, he was captured, tried and hanged as a pirate.

The treasure that he had accumulated during his cruise in the Indian Ocean was never been accounted for; and for centuries, serious treasure hunters and casual beachcombers have been scrutinizing the sands of Delaware in the hope of discovering chests of doubloons.

The hope of finding buried treasure has been kept alive by the serendipitous discovery of a number of old coins in the sand. In addition to the search for pirate's loot on Cedar Island, Long also noted that there was a spot off Fenwick Island that was once known as the "Money Bank."

According to Long, "Back about 1800 or 1845, there was a man patrolling the beach after a heavy storm.

This man's name was Truitt. He came across a lot of silver money scattered along the beach and filled his pockets full. He hurried home to empty them and returned with a basket to get what he left.

When he got back there had been a flood tide and he was unable to get any more money."

 



Captain William Kidd Fenwick Beach David James Long Little Assawoman Bay Cedar Island