Explore Oak Island Display  Chester Train Station, 20 Smith Road,
© Chester Municipal Heritage Society 2013
This condensed History of Oak Island is presented in point form for easy reading.  The full story of Oak Island is much more detailed and exciting and we encourage you to read a good book that contains so much more. Oak Island authors you may want to consider include D’Arcy O’Connor, Lee Restall Lamb, Graham Harris and Les MacPhie, Reginald Harris, Rupert Furneaux, William Crooker, Mark Finnan, Millie Evans and Eric Mullen to name a few.  Some of their books are available at book stores, some are no longer in print but can be found in second hand shops and on line, all are worth reading.   - The treasure hunt begins around 1795 or so when Donald Daniel McInnis is credited with starting it. He and two others, John Smith and Anthony Vaughan dug to a depth of 30 feet. They reportedly discovered oak log platforms at 19, 20 and 30 feet the pit became known as the Money Pit. - Next attempt was the Onslow Company 1804.  They dug to 90+ feet and found layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fiber. At 90- feet or so, they found a stone with strange markings on it.  The pit flooded and they could not pump it out. - 1849 the Truro Company starts to dig. Discovered the water in the Money Pit was salt water and seemed to rise and fall with the tide. They discovered the first flood tunnel at Smith’s Cove, and tons of coconut fiber under the beach.  Drilled into what seemed to be a treasure chamber, witnessed the Money Pit collapse. - 1861, first death happens when a boiler exploded, several scalded, one dead. - 1897 the Oak Island Treasure Company finds the “other end” of the flood tunnel in the Money Pit.  Describes as being 4 feet high, 2.5 feet wide, stuffed with beach stones, they tried to block it to no avail. Later while drilling deep in the Money Pit area, they discovered a small piece of parchment at 154 feet, then a metal barrier at 171 feet. - 1897 second death occurs, Maynard Kaizer a local Native Mi’kmaq man dies when he falls to his death from a hoist. - 1909 Henry Bowdoin arrives on scene with a young Franklin Roosevelt, future President of the United States in tow.  Controversy ensues. - 1936 Gilbert Heddon takes up the challenge, makes many discoveries.  Re - discovers the south shore Triangle of Stones that points at the Money Pit 210 feet away. Digs a very deep shaft, discovers broken stones on beach with strange markings. - 1959 Robert Restall, motorcycle daredevil and inventor arrives with family in tow. They live in a spartan shack with no electricity, no running water for 6 years. Explores older working, examines the old flood tunnel drains feels he is close to a discovery. - August 17 1965 Robert Restall, his son Bobby, Karl Graeser and Cyril Hiltz over come by fumes,  drown in a shallow shaft on the beach at Smith’s Cove. - October 1965 Robert Dunfield from California tries his luck.  He builds the 600 foot long causeway to Oak Island, digs major holes, finds some tantalizing clues. - 1967 A new syndicate is formed, Triton Alliance. They do seismic work and deep drilling to discover possible man made voids in the bedrock, over 200 feet deep. Discover many artifacts that point toward a Spanish involvement. One deep shaft (235'), Borehole 10X gives up TV images of what appear to be tools, support beams, a treasure chest and human remains. - 1971 Wooden structure under the beach in Smith’s Cove examined.  No one knows what it is for or who put it there. - 1973 Borehole 10X collapses almost trapping Triton partner Dan Blankenship. 10X is eventually re- opened and enlarged from 27 inches to eight feet in diameter, re - excavated to 181 feet. Partnership sours and 10X goes into moth balls. - 2001 Oak Island Tourism Society is founded by John Chattaway.  Ideal is to re-invigorate the interest in Oak Island and have a major tourism attraction. - 2003 Norwegian historical detective Petter Amundsen searches for clues to a new theory.  Digs up unusual stones at the end of huge Christian style cross earlier discovered by treasure hunter Fred Nolan. - 2005 Oak Island Tourism Society hosts first tours of Oak Island in ten years. A new festival, Explore Oak Island Days receives international attention and is becoming quite relevant in the tourism sector. - 2006 Dan Blankenship and long time partner David Tobias part company, Dan finds four new partners from Traverse City Michigan. - 2006 Fred Nolan does some drilling on his property, results unknown. - March 2008, some drilling resumes on the island with the new consortium, Oak Island Tours Inc. Some holes drilled to as deep as 300 feet, results unknown. - 2009 Oak Island Tourism Society folds.  Mandate is not attainable. - 2010 A new group made up of the treasure hunters, friends and family take over tours. - 2011 Oak Island Tours Inc. conducts new seismic work, results unknown. Early Treasure Trove Act repealed, group now works under the Oak Island Treasure Act. Borehole 10X being worked on, new drilling around the Money Pit.  -2011 Explore Oak Island Display created. -2012 EOID enjoys its official opening, June 23rd.  Guests from around the world are impressed. -2012 Oak Island Tours Inc. gets a five year treasure hunting license.  Some drilling done in the Money Pit area, result unknown. -2013 Treasure hunting continues.  Film producers (Prometheus Entertainment) from Los Angeles head for Oak Island to create a five part series for History TV.  Much work being done on island.  Swamp drained, Borehole 10X cleaned up and investigated again. -2014  The Curse of Oak Island released in January to the public from Prometheus Entertainment as a five part series.
A condensed hisotry of the hunt for treasure on Oak Island