MICHIGAN MYSTERY: Buried Treasure Somewhere on Higgins Lake
I mentioned this once before...has anyone attempted to find this buried treasure yet? This money is STILL unclaimed.....here's the story:
There's an island in Higgins Lake called "Flynn Island" which is also known as "Hermit Island" and more commonly, "Treasure Island." The 'treasure' part comes from a legend that there is a considerable amount of money buried somewhere on that small island. The money was buried by a man who decided to free himself of society by becoming a hermit and moving to the island, where he lived all alone from the 1800's to 1902.
Israel "Ezra" Porter Pritchard was known as "the Hermit of Higgins Lake" to the locals, and speculation was that he hermitized himself in order to hide from authorities or snoopers that might accuse him of murdering his wife.
Why would people think this?
Well, according to his grandson via treasurenet.com, in 1873, Ezra's wife Susan became pregnant with twins; while Ezra handled a shotgun, it accidentally went off and shot her in the leg. Whether or not it was a result of the shooting, the babies were stillborn; Susan's leg was amputated and she died after the operation.
A few years later, in 1885, his son Edwin was shot in the head by an upset ex-logger. The loss of his wife, son and twins proved to be too much for Ezra and he hermitized on the island for 20 years in an old shack and dugout. He always welcomed anyone from the mainland who came to visit or check up on him and he was known as a kind and decent man.
So what is this 'treasure' that's whispered about?
According to dailyoddsandends.com, Ezra was said to have collected a small fortune from being a bounty jumper during the Civil War thanks to being "paid from $300 to $500 to take the place of any man that did not want to serve in the Union army. It is believed Pritchard used this method for three years to collect bounties in seven different states."
Of course, his grandson denies this on treasurenet.com.
Living alone in a shack on the island and living off the wilderness, he had no need to spend money except for tobacco and a few food items on the mainland. This is why locals feel there is still some buried treasure somewhere on that small, 30-acre Higgins Lake island.
In 1902, Ezra's body was discovered in the old dugout and was buried in the Potter's Field section of Roscommon Cemetery. According to the book "Michigan Ghost Towns of the Lower Peninsula," Ezra "only had stubs for fingers. They appeared to have been frozen and dropped off."
Are you in a treasure-hunting mood? You're welcome to go but be aware: there are now vacation homes all through the island so you're hunting will be limited.
Grab a couple of shovels and a metal detector.....and good luck!