Thursday, December 17, 2015

McLarty Treasure Museum, Sebastian, Florida

When we were staying in Sebastian, Florida we stopped at the McLarty Treasure Museum, the site of the 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet.  Between the 1500's to 1700's Spain dug vast amounts of silver and gold out of the mountains of Mexico and South America.  Smelted into ingots and coins, it crossed the Atlantic in wooden sailing vessels. 

Every summer Spanish ships carrying their treasure met in Cuba.  In 1715 a storm sank that year's fleet on the shoals between Sebastian and Fort Pierce.  Most of the crew survived but the cargo lay on the floor of the ocean.  Shortly thereafter, salvagers arrived to try to retrieve the treasure from the ocean floor.  Less than half the material originally on the ships was salvaged.  In 1928 a wreck from the 1715 fleet was discovered off Fort Pierce. In the mid-1950's a hurricane completely changed the face of the shore.  Kip Wagner discovered another spot in Sebastian where the treasure appeared.  Mel Fisher also dove to look for the treasure and petitioned the Florida government and owns that part of the ocean to look for the treasure. 

Even today people are finding treasure along the coast near this museum, which enticed Jim to buy a metal detector.  However, we never did get to the coast to search for any treasure.  Next time we are in Sebastian, we will make an effort to get to the coast to search for some treasure.

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