A New Jersey man may be the first person in nearly a century to set eyes on a particular trove of cash, one apparently buried away in the Great Depression.
On Friday, as Rich Gilson excavated debris around his house in Wildwood, he didn’t initially realize that he had just unearthed a Jersey Shore mystery – tightly-wound $10 and $20 bills totaling about $2,000 that may have been buried for up to 90 years.
Gilson and his wife, Suzanne, bought the 1920s-era cottage on West Andrews Avenue about four years ago. They elevated the house and added a new foundation.
Using a rented mini-excavator, Rich Gilson encountered plenty of rocks and parts of the old foundation as he worked on Friday. Then he spotted two “little round things” maybe 2 inches in diameter and about 3.5 inches long.
Here’s what Gilson tells WTXF-TV:
“My wife [Suzanne] was in there painting. And I said you got to come see this, you won’t believe what I just found.”
With inflation, $2,000 from 1934 would be worth about $43,000 today. “Either somebody robbed a bank and buried it there, or somebody didn’t trust the banks in 1934,” Gilson says.
He suspects a former owner of the home—which he’s heard once served as a brothel—went into the crawlspace and buried the cash inside glass jars, which he ended up smashing during demolition.
According to WTXF-TV, Gilson is not going to spend the money found.
So will he be putting the money toward his renovation budget? No way. “If I spend it, and I tell the story, people are going to be like, ‘Well, where’s the money?’” he tells WTXF. “The story is definitely worth $2,000.”
Gilson hopes that his find doesn’t lead to treasure hunters coming to his property to grab a share.
“Please don’t come to my house with a shovel,” Gilson said, according to USA Today. “I’m trying to finish the house, not make more work for myself.”
Wildwood homeowner finds more than $2,000 in cash buried in his front yard while doing renovations. He said the wad of cash “looked like Taylor Pork Roll” All money was minted in 1934. Hear what he’s doing with the money tonight at 10pm. @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/fG6jBO72hS
— Chris O’Connell (@CoconnellFox29) July 13, 2022
Sources: WesternJournal, USA Today, WTXF-TV, NJ.com