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.
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
Island Tourism Society >>
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
[For several corrections and updates we are grateful
to Danny Hennnigar of the Oak
Island Tourism Society]
Most of the links
here have become dead over time. I suggest instead Googling
for more Oak Island websites.
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.
Inn (actually just across the bay, now named the Oak Island
Resort, Spa, and Convention Center)
A completely different Oak
Island, to avoid confusion.
||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
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.
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.
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.