Captain James Scarborough’s Gold

by | Aug 7, 2017 | Treasure Stories | 0 comments

$50,000 to $60,000 worth of gold ingots, in a small barrel, was buried in or near the Fort Columbia Military Reservation in Pacific County, by Captain James Scarborough, a Scottish sea captain and trader.

In the 1830s Captain Scarborough sailed his ship into the Columbia River and decided to return and settle permanently. In 1840 he took out a donation land claim of approximately 640 acres which included the family home of the ancient Chinook Indian Chief, Comcomally, who had died in 1831 during an influenza epidemic. The site of the home is near Battery Two of the present Fort Columbia Military Reservation.

Shortly after settling, Captain Scarborough established a lucrative fishing trade, purchasing salted salmon from the Indians and shipping it to the eastern United States and Europe. Most of the money which he received for the fish was in the form of gold ingots and these, according to legend, the captain buried near his home.

Scarborough died in 1853 and although his Indian wife supposedly knew the location of his buried wealth, she never revealed it to Scarborough’s son, Ned who conducted several hunts for the cache before dying at the age of eighty at his home in Cathlamet.