Group 21 Created with Sketch.
Large wooden treasure chest with gold
The Unsolved Mystery Of LA's Elysian Park Treasure
Modern Los Angeles may not be the first location you think of as a buried treasure spot, but only 170 years ago, it was just a dusty wasteland with a population of about 1,600.
The tale of Elysian Park’s treasure starts in 1836 Texas when it declared independence from Mexico and became a sovereign nation, the Republic of Texas.
Even though the U.S. officially recognized Texan independence in 1837, the U.S. annexed the new nation just eight years later in 1845, per the U.S. State Department.
This step in President James Polk’s territorial agenda set the stage for the Mexican-American war, which broke out in 1846 and ended in 1848.
Per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the U.S. got parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, and the states of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California.
Days before the treaty was signed, per History, folks struck Californian gold. The California Gold Rush began in 1848, the same year that Mexico ceded from the modern U.S.
If the story of Elysian Park’s treasure is to be believed, Mexicans living in the region knew of its cache of gold long before Americans got there.
The tale goes that natives knew the U.S. troops were closing in at the onset of the war in 1846. To protect their family fortunes from American onslaught, they buried them.
It’s a pretty generic story, but it has endured. Today, people go through Elysian Park normally, but you still might catch the occasional treasure hunter with a metal detector.