The story of the treasure of Rumbling Bald Mountain (formerly known as Round Top) has been told many times, but it bears retelling because many treasure hunters consider it one of the top 10 treasures in the United States. As a treasure story, it rates high in the categories of authenticity and probable dollar value, while comparatively low in the categories of likelihood that it has already been found and possible legal hassles for the discoverer. The facts are relatively straightforward.
Six Englishmen who had made an extremely rich gold strike (not unlikely, since Rutherford County was the gold center for the United States until 1840) were bringing out the fruits of their long months of labor when they were attacked by Indians in the vicinity of Hickory Nut Gap. They took refuge in a cave in what was then known as Round Top Mountain directly across the gorge from the famous Chimney Rock. During the course of the day, all but one of the Englishmen were killed, and the sole survivor abandoned the treasure and crawled down the mountain under cover of darkness. After a week of extreme hardship, he reached civilization carrying only a small pouch full of the hard-wrought gold. Before embarking for his native England he made a map with the aid of which he intended to retrieve the gold that had been left behind. Eventually he returned to the U.S. and organized an expedition, but was unable to relocate the cave.
The map is now reportedly on file at the Library of Congress, but several copies of it are said to exist. Since this treasure has been much searched for, it is not likely that the map alone will lead the lucky treasure hunter who eventually finds this one to the cave. In fact, it is highly likely that the entrance to the cave was sealed over by Indians shortly after the engagement. What is needed to find this treasure is some deep-seeking equipment, a little luck, and a plan the plan doesnt have to be that complicated. The entrance to the cave may be hidden, but if events really did unfold the way the story tells them, there ought to be some tiny markers near the cave site visible only to the electric eye of the metal detector. If there was an engagement fought on Rumbling Bald Mountain between half a dozen Englishmen and a band of Cherokee, there ought to be a good deal of positive trivia, i.e. musket balls, flints, etc,. in the area. The higher the concentration of trivia, the closer to the site.
The Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20540, might be helpful in locating copies of the original treasure map.