Jersey Shore couple unearths cash dating back to Great Depression from their front yard

Richard Gilson was excavating his front yard when he discovered what he thought were root balls actually contained cash!

WPVI logo
Thursday, July 28, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

A husband and wife from South Jersey are $2,000 richer after unearthing cash while excavating their front yard.

WILDWOOD, New Jersey -- A husband and wife from South Jersey are $2,000 richer after unearthing cash while excavating their front yard.

While two grand isn't exactly life-changing, the story behind the discovery is anything but ordinary.

Richard Gilson was excavating his front yard when he started hitting glass outside his Jersey Shore home.

Near the glass was what he thought were root balls. He tossed them to the side, but days later discovered something strange.

"One of those root balls popped up and, lo and behold, it wasn't a root ball - it was actually $1,000 wrapped in burlap," he said.

MORE NEWS: Columbia graduate student brutally beaten in Manhattan; mother struggles for answers

In fact, two rolls of bills - each worth $1,000 - were found.

"These are $100 rolls of 10s and 20s, and he had them all wrapped up in a $1,000 dollar bundle," said Gilson referring to the home's previous owner.

There were two wads of cash dating back to 1934.

"When we looked it up, the value of $2,000 back in 1934 is $40,000 dollars [today]," said Gilson's wife, Suzanne.

Initially, Gilson thought the money must have been tied to a bank robbery some nine decades earlier, but learned the property was owned by a James Dempsey during the Great Depression.

He says Dempsey's granddaughter, who now lives in Colorado, said back then her grandfather told her mother to bury the money somewhere in the front yard. The family wasn't able to find it since.

"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," said Gilson.

"People have asked me what I'm going to do with it. I'm certainly not going to spend it."

----------

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.