For 200 years men & women have lost everything, even their lives & families, to the mystery of this island.
It keeps its secrets to this day.

Map of Oak Island from the George Bates Maritime map set.
This small website was made Feb 17 1998. I did not expect it would have many visitors. By Dec 2006, it averages of 600 visitors a month. First update since 1998 done Dec 8 2006.
For more updated news about Oak Island, visit the Oak Island Tourism Society >>
Money Pit
Shaft Illustration
(cross section)

Where is
Oak Island?

Oak Island books

Oak Island links

Aerial photo of Oak Island

It will open in a separate browser window.

The short version - sometime around 1640 a.d. to 1730 a.d., someone arrived at Oak Island off the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, and constructed an ingenious shaft (labelled "Money Pit" on the map above) into the island's core, possibly even into the bedrock below. This was possible since the island is a heavy clay, resistant to the surrounding seawater and collapse. They then built a clever trap involving a pressure seal in the shaft itself and narrow hidden tunnels that slopped away up to the sea from the bottom of the shaft. The trick was straight forward enough - break the pressure seal in the shaft, seawater then floods in from below, unless of course you built it and know the trick of cutting off the tunnels to the sea ahead of time. Given that the pressure seals were intact when the shaft was found, it seems likely that the builders never returned. Who they were and what the shaft's purpose was are a mystery.

Donald Daniel McInnis, who owned land on the island in 1795, found the shaft, filled with soil, and thus began one of the most fascinating and famous treasure hunts ever pursued. The accumulation of facts and mythology continues.

That it was a huge undertaking for its day is certain. That a shaft was there is certain. That artifacts have been found all over the island, and under it, dated to the 1600s onward, is certain. That treasure hunters have destroyed the shaft and much of the island's surface is also certain. Much of the Money Pit's current surroundings are bare soil. In winter with the trees bare it looks like a wasteland in a warzone.
(The description was based on a visit many years ago. Presently, 2006, the island has become much more attractive, and the former barren areas now overgrown and green)

At the time this website was made, it seemed that there were no plans for further digs. In 2006 new partners are attempting a new exploration, but are delayed by the Nova Scotia Provincial Government’s Treasure Trove Lisence until 2008.
Lately, The Oak Island Tourism Society has offered summer tours of Oak Island during Explore Oak Island Days, an annual festival.

Whatever secrets are buried beneath its surface seem likely to stay there for a while yet. It seems obvious that something was buried, but numerous other theories abound - from Francis Bacon to UFOs to the Holy Grail, even the possibility of an 300 year old practical joke.

[For several corrections and updates we are grateful to Danny Hennnigar of the Oak Island Tourism Society]

Oak Island Links
Most of the links here have become dead over time. I suggest instead Googling for more Oak Island websites.

The Oak Island Society - a local non-profit group supporting preservation of, and tourism on Oak Island. Definitely worth a look!
Oak Island Treasure - an Oak Island site with discussion forums.

Oak Island Inn (actually just across the bay, now named the Oak Island Resort, Spa, and Convention Center)
A completely different Oak Island, to avoid confusion.

Oak Island Books These Are The Maritimes by Will R. Bird. Ryerson Press 1959.
This is Nova Scotia by Will R. Bird. Ryerson Press 1950.
Bluenose Ghosts by Helen Creighton. McGraw-Hill Ryerson 1957.
Bluenose Magic by Helen Creighton. Ryerson Press 1968.
Folklore of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia by Helen Creighton. National Museum of Canada 1950.
Treasure by Robert Daley. Random House 1977.
Doubloons by Charles B. Driscoll. Farrar & Rhinehart 1930.
Oak Island by Millie Evans & Eric Mullen. Four East Publishing 1984.
Folklore of Nova Scotia by Mary L. Fraser. Formac Publishing 1928.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Apprenticeship by Frank Freidel. Little Brown & Co, 1952.
(Pres. Roosevelt attempted a treasure hunt on Oak Island himself)
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Ordeal by Frank Freidel. Little Brown & Co, 1954.
The Money Pit Mystery by Rupert Furneaux. Dodd, Mead & Co. 1972.
This Baffling World by John Godwin. Hart Publishing Co. 1968.
The Oak Island Mystery by R.V. Harris. McGraw-Hill Ryerson 1958.
Brothers of Doom by Birney Hoffman. G.P. Putnam's & Sons 1942.
The Oak Island Enigma by Thomas P. Leary. Pub by author 1953.
Dig For Pirate Treasure by Robert Nesmith. Devin-Adair Co. 1958.
The Money Pit by Darcy O'Connor. Coward, McCann & Geoghehan 1978.
(there's a cheap Ballantine paperback of this and its a good overall review of the topic)
The Book of Burried Treasure by Ralph D. Paine. William Heinemann 1911.
Buried Treasure by Charles Quarrell. MacDonald & Evans 1955.
Mysteries and Adventures Along The Atlantic Coast by E.R. Snow. Dodd, Mead & Co. 1948.
Rambles Among the Bluenoses by A.L. Spedon. John Lovell 1863.
Lost Treasure - True Tales of Hidden Hoards by Alpheus H. Verrill. Appleton & Co. 1930.
They Found Gold by Alpheus H. Verrill. G.P. Putnam's Sons 1936.
Captain Kid and His Skeleton Island by Harold T. Wilkins. Liveright Publishing 1937.
Where is
Oak Island

On the Atlantic North East coast of North America, in Nova Scotia, Canada. Not too far North of New York.

Map from The Big Dig by Darcy O'Connor.