New Jersey couple solve mystery of Depression-era cash buried in yard
A New Jersey couple said they solved the mystery of $2,000 they unearthed in their yard while doing work on their home.
Richard and Suzanne Gilson said they bought their 1920s-era cottage in Wildwood about four years ago, and they have since elevated the house and added a new foundation.
Richard Gilson was excavating the front yard recently when he dug up what he initially thought were weeds, but later realized were tightly-rolled bundles of cash totaling $2,000.
The couple said they initially thought the money, dated 1934, may have been tied to criminal activity decades earlier.
“When we looked it up, the value of $2,000 back in 1934 is $40,000 dollars [today],” Suzanne Gilson told WPVI-TV.
The couple said the mystery was solved when they were able to speak to the granddaughter of James Dempsey, who owned the house during the Great Depression.
The granddaughter, who now lives in Colorado, said Dempsey instructed her mother to bury the money in the front yard of their home in the 1930s. She said the family searched for years, but was never able to locate the stashed cash.
“It’s a lot of money, but it’s not life-changing. I think the story is more interesting. The history that this fella did this 90 some years ago,” Richard Gilson said. “People have asked me what I’m going to do with it. I’m certainly not going to spend it.”