SULPHUR SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA) — It holds one of the most captivating legends of our region. The Old Spanish Treasure Cave is located in the small town of Sulphur Springs and it’s a perfect spot for a day’s drive.
“Their donkeys were dying and their ore cars were breaking down so they took shelter, here, in this cavern,” explains our tour guide.
The depths of the Old Spanish Treasure Cave are said to be filled with treasure hidden by Spanish Conquistadors traveling though our area from Mexico in the 1800s. They made the cave their home until a group of Native Americans spotted them by chimney smoke.
“So they came in here and killed all the Spaniards except for one,” continued the tour guide.
Eventually, that conquistador was also a dead man telling no tales of where the treasure sits. The legend says he was buried with the treasure map. Past cave explorers and former owners have found several artifacts.
“From helmets, pieces of armor, weapons, a few coins,” said Paul Lindscott, the cave’s current owner.
Lindscott’s love for caverns and preserving history led him to buy the cave 23 years ago. Lindscott and his wife continue to dig and make discoveries.
“We have a passage that we found this past summer. We call it our Lost Miner’s Tunnel and we’re digging down to get into it. We finally got into it and now we’re figuring out where it goes. We have a lot of work to do on that one,” said Lindscott.
The latest discovery at the Old Spanish Treasure Cave is a long stretch of railroad tracks dating back to 1908.
“It was an exciting discovery because it was completely unexpected because all these years and all these owners they were told all the track had been removed,” said Lindscott.
The location of the treasure that would be worth millions of dollars today is still a mystery. The Lindscotts, however, are not giving up. They’ve even allowed a shaman to test his magic.
“He was telling me there was a lot of activity here in the cavern and of course the spirits want us to find the treasure so they can be released and move on. And there’s one tunnel we’ve named the shaman tunnel now where he said the treasure is supposed to be 30 feet back and 15 feet down and of course we have to see if it’s there,” said Lindscott.
There’s still so much of the cave to explore. You can do some exploring by taking a guided tour of the cave for $15 per adult and $7.50 per child. You will take in sights ranging from jaw-dropping formations, to tunnels, and a famous campsite. The Big Council Room is where the Spaniards would have camped. The camp is mostly original however it’s not from the Spaniards. It’s from a man by the name of George Dunbar. He and his crew had one of the first Arkansas mining operations. They named it a mine operation so no one would know they were searching for hidden treasure.
The Big Council Room is now used to give you a one of a kind movie experience. The Lindscotts show classic flicks like The Goonies and Jaws on Saturdays. Tickets are $8 per person.
“I’m more of a steward to the cave because we’re here for such a short time and we have all these people that want to visit us and we want people to see what’s in their backyards so to speak,” said Lindscott.
It’s unlikely you or I will find the Spaniard’s buried treasure, but you could still go home with something special if you decide to do some gemstone panning. No matter your age, or if you’ve been in a hundred caves beforE, The Old Spanish Treasure Cave is sure to impress you. It’s a hidden gem you can experience in a day’s drive.
Visit its website, here, for more information on movie showings and tours.