June 1st, 1927

The Register, Wednesday Evening

June 1, 1927

Native of Windsor Tells Of Pirate Hoard

Buried On the Tusket Islands On the South-west Coast of Nova Scotia.

Buried deep in the ground of the shores and islands of Nova Scotia lies millions of dollars worth of pirate’s loot left there hundreds of years ago by swashbuckling sea-dogs.

This was the romantic statement made by Anthony Ferdinand Herbin, an aged foreman of a hat factory and a former Nova Scotian navigator who is a native of Windsor and now a resident of Guelph, Ont.

Riches beyond the dreams of avarice await the person who can discover the secret caches of the buccaneers who made their headquarters off the southwest corner of Nova Scotia.

Herbin has two parchments, yellow with age and returning to dust, which he claims will some day lead him or his children, to three boxes of Spanish doubloons and two chests of silver, which he estimates will be worth at least one million dollars. And he firmly believes his story.

Was the home of Evangeline also the hiding place of bands of blood-thirsty pillagers of the sea? Herbin should know as he was born and raised along the shores of the Atlantic to the tune of the rearing seas and the crashing surf.

Uncle Had Encounter

Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, he first heard of pirates from his uncle at the tender age of six years after he returned to safety following an encounter with brigands of the sea. Later his uncle, a captain of a sailing barque, was murdered by a sailor.

For the rest of his life Herbin mingled with old tars, listened to their stories of the pirates. During his roamings around the world he secured the two charts that will some day, he believes, lead him to riches left there over two hundred years ago.

"I am positive that the loot is hidden in the Tusket Islands," he said calmly. "These are about three hundred and sixty-five in number and are situated off the south-western end of Nova Scotia, abounding with dangerous reefs and shoals that could only be passed by experienced navigators. I know a man who found a gallon tin of Spanish gold pieces on one of these islands. There is absolutely no possible doubt but what the booty is there."

Herbin is a typical old sea captain. Tall, erect, his face tanned by years at the mast, steel grey hair and eyes, brawny shoulders, he is just such a man as would be expected to be seen at the wheel of some Bluenose fishing schooner. His reputation in his community is enviable. The children love him, the older people look upon him with great regard and his employers value his services greatly.

"I was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, sixty-three years ago," said he. "At that time my uncle, Chas. Robishau, was sailing a vessel, Acadia and Bordeaux. I can remember when I was just six years old my uncle returning after he had been chased by a ship flying the skull and crossbones.

Chased By A Pirate

"He told my mother how he had been navigating his barque about 120 miles off Cape Sable when a pirate opened fire and gave chase. This was in the afternoon. For the rest of the day he flew before the wind and after sunset put out all his lights and doubled back on his track. In this way he avoided them and escaped. He had several other adventures like this.

"My uncle was murdered by a member of his crew named J. Dugal, a French-Canadian, near Belleveau, N.S."

There is a record to show that this is authentic. The murderer was hanged.

"From that time on I studied pirates," said Herbin, continuing his narrative. "At the age of twelve I shipped on the sailing vessel "Jane", from Philadelphia bound for France. This ship was built on the Meteghan river in Nova Scotia. I was just a youngster then and would slip into the forecastle and listen to the old seamen tell of their experiences with the buccaneers.

"I read a lot in the captain’s cabin and in this way educated myself. Then I began to get in touch with seamen who could tell me something about the robbers of the high seas. I met one man, a foreigner, who knew a lot about them. He said their headquarters were in the southwest portions of Nova Scotia.

"Most of my material was gathered while sailing to the West Indies. I found that there had been bands of pirates ravaging the Atlantic Ocean and that governments were unable to discover their hiding places, which were in the Tusket Islands. It would be impossible to navigate a vessel through these shoals unless the pilot was acquainted with the bearings of the reefs. I am told that the government has not yet surveyed these bays and coves. But anyway the pirates would sneak out from the Tusket Islands, pillage a ship, steal the gold and silver, make the prisoners walk the plank, then scurry back to safety.

Infested Nova Scotia Coast

"At one time the pirates infested the coast of Nova Scotia to such an extent that ships were afraid to pass near by them. Instead of crossing at Cape Sable the vessels would follow the American shore line past Boston and New York and so on down to the West Indies and Barbados."

Then Mr. Herbin revealed the secret of his two charts.

"The loot is hidden in the south-west end, and there are three boxes of gold and two of silver that I know of. I have located the exact spot in each case. One time I was in the very field where the gold is hidden without knowing it. Another time I sailed past the hidden cache.

"The first map shows two cases of gold and one of silver. Here is how I came to get it. My uncle, Henry Robishau, was a member of parliament for that district and was also engaged in the logging business. An old man, H. Garson, a French-Canadian, was given a job by my uncle driving his oxen. After returning from the West Indies one winter I stayed at his camp and became very friendly with Garson, who had a large family and was very poor. We would have long talks about pirates and one day he told me about a map that he had been given by his great grandfather. "I will never be able to dig it up myself." he said; "you take it." I have now located the island to be about six miles west of Yarmouth."

Has Had Map 45 Years

"The other map was given to me by a Joe Muff in Halifax. He was also very old and had no chance of ever digging up the booty, so he also handed it on to me. He had procured the charts when he was a little boy from a drunken man in a saloon whom he had bought a drink for. I have had both of them for some forty-five years now and have never been able to investigate them. I will some day."

He estimated that this treasure would be worth around one million dollars.

Herbin says that there is still more treasure there. Many bands of pirates likely hid their plunder on these islands while they continued their nefarious trade and he has only two maps or charts. These he is keeping in a safety deposit box in a bank.