Renovation Yields Cash Hidden in Great Depression

Rick Gilson of New Jersey finds $2K in 1934 cash
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2022 11:45 AM CDT
Updated Jul 17, 2022 11:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – A New Jersey man may be the first person in nearly a century to set eyes on a particular trove of cash, one apparently buried away in the Great Depression. Rich Gilson of Wildwood is in the midst of a renovation involving the removal of the porch on his home that had stood since the 1920s. He was raking the dirt where the structure formerly stood when he uncovered what he initially thought was "trash," or perhaps a clump of weeds. He ultimately unearthed two such clumps that looked "similar to a Taylor pork roll," he tells WTXF. He then tossed them to the side. Only later did he notice a "green tint" at the edge of the clumps, which turned out to be tightly rolled wads of cash, per NJ.com.

"My wife [Suzanne] was in there painting," Gilson tells WTXF. "And I said you got to come see this, you won't believe what I just found." He counted out $10 and $20 bills, each one minted in 1934, totalling $2,000. With inflation, $2,000 from 1934 would be worth about $43,000 today. "Either somebody robbed a bank and buried it there, or somebody didn’t trust the banks in 1934," Gilson says. He suspects a former owner of the home—which he's heard once served as a brothel—went into the crawlspace and buried the cash inside glass jars, which he ended up smashing during demolition. So will he be putting the money toward his renovation budget? No way. "If I spend it, and I tell the story, people are going to be like, 'Well, where's the money?'" he tells WTXF. "The story is definitely worth $2,000." (Read more buried treasure stories.)

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