157-Year-Old Letter Leads Man On Wild Treasure Hunt


No Turning Back

The letter was addressed to him with no return sender. Confused, he opened the envelope and looked inside.

Sweating, he strode forwards as he cross-referenced the letter and the land. His wife hurried behind him. “Maybe we shouldn’t do this”, she said. But it was too late. There was no turning back now.

The Postmaster

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Brad Norman worked as a postmaster at his local post office for years. He was responsible for all of their postal activities. His workday was usually full of approvals, finance reviews, and meetings but on this fateful day, his life would take quite the turn.

Norman woke up to the sun beaming through his window. His wife was already up making breakfast.

Another Morning

YouTube / The Bridge to a Postal Career

He greeted her with a kiss as she handed him a coffee. It was 7 am, just enough time for him to eat breakfast and make the 15-minute drive to work for 8.

He said goodbye to his wife, hopped in his car, and shortly arrived at work. He was ready to take on whatever budget the day would bring. Little did he know, work budgets were the last thing he had to worry about.

A Busy Day

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When Norman got to his desk, he noted the piles of letters and forms he had to get through. His secretary would lay them out for him every morning before he arrived.

He took his jacket off, grabbed a glass of water, and immediately got to work. He was about 5 papers in when he saw it.

Mysterious Letter


The letter was simply marked ‘Postmaster, Newaygo Michigan’ with the postcode ‘49337’ written below in blue ink. He flipped the letter over but there was no return address.

Instead, there was a sticker that read ‘Received Unsealed’. Norman’s eyebrows knitted in confusion. ‘What on earth is this all about?”, he thought.

Another Envelope

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He opened the envelope only to find another envelope inside. It was brown and brittle, its edges torn. It looked ancient. A battle scene bearing the words ‘The War For The Union’ was printed on the top left corner. The writing was faded. He opened the envelope and pulled out the yellowed letter.

Norman strained his eyes trying to read what the letter said. Suddenly, his heart began to pound.

The Civil War


As he made out the faded words on paper, he slowly began to realize what he was looking at. The letter was dated from more than one hundred years ago.

It was about a young man and his journey through the civil war. Norman’s hands began to shake as he realized he was holding a piece of history, of Americana. But there was more. Much much more.

Unexpected Treasure Hunt

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At the end of the letter was a small hand-drawn map. The soldier said that should he not make it out alive, he buried his remaining wealth in the spot marked with an ‘X’.

Norman didn’t know if this was genuine or not but he couldn’t simply stop here and wonder what if. He excused himself from the office, called his wife, and brought her with him to decipher the map.

A Good Feeling

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When Norman’s wife looked at the letter, she was certain that it was a genuine piece of history. There was no way to fake the effects time had, or the delicate handwriting, speaking manner, and memories of a soldier during the civil war.

Norman and his wife arrived at a public wooded area in their hometown. What they’d soon find would leave the town speechless.

Second Thoughts

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Norman’s wife hesitated; “If this is real, should we not give this to the authorities? Maybe we shouldn’t do this”, she said. But Norman’s curiosity was too great.

His wife followed him up the path detailed on the map. They weaved in and out of trees and bushes, following the instructions until they arrived at the spot marked in the civil war letter.


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“Well, this is it”, Mark declared. He started to dig while Norman’s wife looked at the letter, double-checking they were in the right spot. But her thoughts were interrupted.

A quiet thud followed but a ‘clink’ pierced through the air. The couple were startled. They looked at each other in awe and got down on their hunkers. Then they saw it.

A Tin Can

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A tin can broke through the surface. Norman dug his hands around the can and pulled it out. Tentatively, he looked inside. “You’re not going to believe this”, he said.

Norman’s wife moved to his side and peered inside. Her eyes darted open at the contents within the old can. “Oh my god”, she whispered. What was it?


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The can was full of coins. But not just any old coins. After gently wiping the mud away, they held them under the light of the day.

They were old. Real old. The first one was dated 1886! And the mysterious stash of the soldiers’ wealth didn’t disappoint. There were over 100 of them! But were they valuable?


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The couple couldn’t believe their eyes. It almost felt like a prank but they felt certain it wasn’t. Still, they decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

They kept the letter and coins safe as they booked an appointment with an expert historian. Within five minutes of assessing their find, they were deemed authentic. But what were they worth?

A Small Fortune!

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The coins Norman and his wife found were deemed rare and collectible coins. The face value of all the coins was a whopping $28,000!

The letter was given to their local museum as a re-enactment of the times that produced them. The family of the soldier was never found so the coins stayed in the lucky couple’s hands.