Why Are We Called “The Treasure Coast”?

I live in Sebastian Florida on what is known as the Treasure Coast.  Where did that designation come from?  Why the “Treasure Coast”?  What is the treasure in the name all about?

The treasure coast was born on July 31, 1715.   On July 24, 1715 thirteen ships set out from Havana, Cuba.  Twelve of these ships were laden with gold, silver and precious jewels bound for Spain.  The thirteenth ship was an armored escort.  After several days of smooth sailing, the  winds picked up.  During the night of July 30, 1715 a hurricane estimated to be category 3 or 4 hit the fleet, driving it toward the Florida coastline.  All of the treasure ships went down.  Only the escort survived to tell the tail.  It is estimated that some 1,000 souls were lost that night.  Many of the survivors gathered on the barrier island beach just across from modern day Sebastian where they set up camp, salvaged what they could and waited for help.


Fast forward some 250 years.  The loss of the treasure fleet and its valuable cargo was all but forgotten until beachcombers with metal detectors began turning up gold doubloons and pieces of eight.  That was the beginning of a treasure hunting stampede that continues to this day.

In the first of the two pdf. files attached to this blog you will get a much better explanation of the events that lead to our designation as the Treasure Coast. The second pdf. file tells the story of the 4.5 million dollar treasure found on July 31, 2015, exactly 300 years after it was lost in that 1715 hurricane.  The treasure was found in 15 feet of water a few hundred feet off Webasso Beach, where beach goers sunned themselves and swimmers played in the waves.  Click on the links below to read these stories.

Why are We Called the Treasure Coast?

New Treasure Discovery 300 Years After the Fleet Sank!


 © Don Yackel 2020