Home renovation

New Jersey man finds buried money from 1934 while renovating his home

A New Jersey man digging up debris around his home stumbled upon a mystery last week when he accidentally dug up bills worth $1,000, all dated to the year 1934.

Rich Gilson was using a rented mini digger on Friday to clean up debris after he and his wife, Suzanne, updated their 1920s home in Wildwood with a new foundation and addition, he told NJ Advance Media.

Gilson said that while he was working he spotted two “little round things” about 2 inches in diameter and about 3.5 inches long.

“I thought they were weeds,” Gilson told NJ Advance Media. “I picked them up and just tossed them aside, and they went into the pile I was using for the filler.”

It rained the next day, and when Gilson resumed his excavation work on Sunday, he was able to see the two objects more clearly and realized that they were old $10 and $20 bills, for a total of approximately $1,000.

“I was able to look at the rim, and it had a green tint, and I said, ‘That’s silver,'” Gilson said. “It looked like little mini cigars all tied together. When I broke it, I started to see what it was.

Gilson said the money was buried under the porch in an area that would have been accessible through a crawl space.

“It was pretty superficial too,” Gilson said. “Somebody must have crawled under there and dig a hole in that crawl space.”

After examining the invoices, he noticed that they were all mysteriously dated 1934.

“Each invoice is dated 1934, series A, which I found odd,” he said. “If you go into your pocket right now and look at your bills… they’re not all from the same year. It just doesn’t happen that way.

Gilson also noted that 1934 would have been in the midst of the Great Depression, with silver in 1934 totaling the equivalent of over $21,000 today.

The discovery led Gilson to question whether the money had been earned through legitimate means. We don’t know where the money comes from.

“My feeling is that something fishy happened,” he said. “Somehow someone got some new banknotes, rolled them up like this, put them in a jar. Someone was hiding it, not just under his bed or in a wall to keep it safe.

Gilson said he hoped to learn more about where his neighbors’ money came from. He said he was told the property may have housed a brothel at some point.

He said he planned to keep the money rather than spend it.

“The story is too good for what it’s worth,” he said.