‘Gold Hole’ legend lives even today

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 26, 2000

ROXIE — The legend of train robbers and buried treasurestill lives in the hearts of many of Roxie’s olderresidents.

Legend has it that in the late 1800s, train robbers werebig in and around the area of the train line that ran betweenHamburg and Natchez.

The best remembered group of bandits was lead by JeanLafitte of Louisiana. Lafitte and his men were on the run from thelaw, so they decided to bury the loot they had stolen from trainpassengers.

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At least that how the story goes, anyway.

Supposedly, the thieves buried their gold and jewels ina sugar cane cauldron in a wooded region somewhere between presentday Roxie and Natchez.

Most of the robbers were caught and tried, but one freeman stumbled onto the Earhart family farm. In return for thefamily’s kindness, the thief gave them a map to the buriedtreasure. The robber died five days later.

The Earhart family, as the story goes, never tried tofind the hidden loot because it was actually on the property of theDromgoole family.

In later years, Tom Dove bought the land from theDromgoole family. At his death, his son, Revah Dove, came intopossession of the land.

Revah lived there and had the youngest Earhart as aneighbor.

When Earhart became ill, Revah cared for him. It was onhis deathbed that Earhart gave Revah the map as payment for hisgood will and caring soul.

In 1927, Revah used a special instrument to detect theexact location of the cauldron and tried to retrieveit.

He managed to raise the treasure from its watery grave.But when the winch he was using broke, the chest fell back into thehole and slipped even lower into the ground.

Two other men, M.H. Bullock and W.R. Strickland ofLaurel, started their own explorations to find the hidden loot.Once again rains came, and the chest slipped farther into the murkywaters of the pond.

In 1957, diggers were five feet from the chest when aflash flood sent the cauldron deeper into the pit of quicksand. Atthis point, the hole was 100-feet deep.

The last attempt to find the items was made in 1966 byBullock. Draglines, two diesel pumps and 65 well points were usedto drain off water and to stabilize the sand. Just like theprevious explorations, this attempt also failed.

Many residents believe there is something of a pirates’curse on the treasure.

“I believe that there was more gold put into the holethan what is actually in it,” said Joe Ross of Franklin County. “Idon’t think that it is still there. I believe that it is longgone.”

Ross backed up the story about all the explorations andthe train robbers. Just like legends go, new information has beenadded over the years.

“From what I was told, Revah Dove had his hands on thechest, and he even opened it,” Ross said. “He saw everything in thechest.”

However, Ross said Dove left the treasure there and wentto town to get help. Ross questioned the decision to leave thetreasure.

“I’m sorry, but if I had my hands on it I would havetaken some samples of it,” Ross said. “I probably would have leftthe chest there and just taken as much of the gold bricks, coinsand jewels out of there and put it in my pocket.”

Ross said Revah Dove “made his living off the ‘GoldHole.'”

“He had stockholders giving him money to dig for thetreasure,” Ross said.

Ross recalled one night when everyone involved in theexploration “just left.”

“They even had an escort leading them out of thelocation,” Ross said. “Operations shut down for days. They cameback, but all they did was play around. They didn’t do any moreserious work.”

Ross still questions the gold’s existence.

“I never have believed that the treasure was there,because there has not been any evidence to back it up,” Ross said.”I think that it is all a hoax.”

The treasure may be gone, but the Gold Hole legend liveson.