What exactly is Oak Island, and why has it kept people fascinated for over 218 years? Oak Island is a small 140 acre island measuring approximately almost a mile long, by half a mile wide, with a 600 ft causeway from the island to the mainland. It is located in Lunenburg County and in Mahone Bay, just off of Western Shore in Nova Scotia. It is close to Martin’s Point, and the cities of Lunenburg and Chester. It is approximately 45 minutes from Halifax. Some of geology of the island consists of Slate stone on the western side, with Clay and Anhydrite being on the eastern side of the island.

As the story goes, In 1795 Daniel McGinnis observed some lights on the shore from Oak Island, and wanted to investigate. He traveled to the
island, and started exploring, and soon came across a Block and Tackle hoist suspended on an old tree. Directly below the limb and the block and tackle, was a large depression on the ground. This sparked his interest, with local folklore and stories of pirates and buried treasure in the back his mind. He returned to the island, with a group of friends from Chester to help him explore, consisting of John Smith, Anthony Vaughan (and by some accounts Samuel Ball). They began digging to what would later be called “The Money Pit”, and found a layer of flagstones with in a few feet and pick markings on the clay walls of the hole. Within 10 feet down, they found a row of logs, charcoal, coconut fiber and putty. Which they encountered again at the 20 foot mark, and the 30 foot mark. After this, they decided they needed help, and could not dig any further, and reluctantly returned to the mainland.

9 years passed before they were able to return the island and resume digging. This time a Syndicate had been formed called “The Onslow Company” (named after Onslow, NS) with a local business man and they resumed digging with better equipment. At the 40, 50 and 60 ft depths they continued to find rows of logs, coconut fiber and putty. Some reports state at the 80ft mark, they encountered a chamber and row of plain Oak logs sealed with putty. After this, at the 90 foot depth, they saw a stone with strange symbols inscribed onto the stone. They removed the stone, and tossed it aside. [This stone was later in Guinness's harth of the fireplace of his home on the island, and later disappeared, only to resurface in Halifax in 1919, and then disappear again. No photos exist of this stone, only a transcription of the symbols. The symbols were later translated to supposedly mean "Forty Feet Below, Two Million Pounds Lie Buried"]. The group had stopped work at the 90 foot level because it was night and visibility was getting low, and they were exhausted, they decided they would resume in the morning. When they returned the next day,
much their surprise, the pit was now flooded upto 30 feet from the top of the hole with water. No amount of bailing or pumping lowered the water level. Frustrated, they gave up. The resumed a year later, trying to dig a tunnel next to the original pit, only to end up having
this tunnel caving in with the water at 100ft level, and nearly killing crew members.

45 years later, a group of investors formed “The Truro Company” in 1849 (named after Truro, NS), which re-excavated the shaft back down to the 90 feet level, where it flooded again. They then drilled into the ground this level, and the drill passed through a spruce platform at 98 feet. a 12-inch head space, 22 inches of what was described as “metal in pieces”, 8 inches of oak, another 22 inches of metal, 4 inches of oak, another spruce layer, and finally into clay for 7 feet without striking anything else.


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