Many places in North Alabama have stories about buried treasure that could be located in their area. One such legend centers around the community of Ryland northeast of downtown Huntsville. Many people in the local area tell of buried gold and other treasure left in a hurry by people forced to travel across the country in the 1800s.
Gold buried in a hurry
The Trail of Tears, just south of Ryland, is where thousands of Cherokee people were forced to relocate from the mountains of the east to the deserts of the southwest. This relocation happened in the years between 1819 and 1825. Many of these people buried treasure as they headed west so that they could come back many years later and get that treasure back, as they knew they would not be allowed to carry it onto the reservations. Local residents at the time say that they saw several Cherokee men doing this along the Flint River at what is now known as Ryland.
Returning by train
Many years later, another generation of Ryland residents told stories of Cherokee men returning by train after the railroads were built. These men searched along the Flint River, digging holes to look for the buried treasure. They never revealed to those in the area if they actually found the treasure, but they all returned to the reservations by riding the trains from which they had arrived in Ryland.
Is the treasure still there?
So, is there still buried treasure in Ryland? Many people believe that there could still be treasure there that was overlooked by those searching or buried by someone who did not return for it. The area where this could be is along the Flint River from Jordan Road to where Highway 72 now crosses the river. We may never know if there is still treasure there, but that does not stop people from dreaming about it and searching for it.