Silver in the Unaka
This story of the lost Garland silver mine is based on folklore of the late 1700s and early 1800s with references to a John Smith (or Swift). According to legend, he was mining silver somewhere in the Southern Appalachians in the years around 1769.
A map, said to have been found on the body of a man killed at Limestone Cove during the Civil War, fell into the possession of Johnson's great grandfather's uncle and nearly cost him his life. Folklore surrounding the lost silver mine supports Johnson's belief that he was the last living person to know the mine's location.
After years of searching through papers and accounts of lost mines in Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina, Johnson found a story of a silver mine operating in the 1700s, for which there seemed to be many valid records. Still in existence are the remains of two furnaces, locations of which match descriptions given in a journal reportedly written by Smith (or Swift).
This is a fascinating tale of intrigue, murder, and untold riches waiting to be discovered.