‘The Curse of Oak Island’: How Long Have They Been Digging on Oak Island?

Rick and Marty Lagina aren’t the first to devote their time to buried treasure on Oak Island. The Nova Scotia island has served as a treasure hunters’ paradise for many years. How long have they been digging on Oak Island? Find out when the first excavation took place, plus how long the Lagina brothers have been in the game, ahead.

How long have they been digging on Oak Island?

For centuries, Oak Island served as a popular depository for pirates, Knights Templar, and quite possibly, Marie Antoinette. However, it’s digging history is relatively short. How long have they been digging on Oak Island? As far as history goes, little is known about the exact time frame. Some of the earliest reports date back to around 1799 when an island settler, Daniel McGinnis came across a sunken area while searching for farming locations.

His discovery confirmed a story he had heard (passed down through word of mouth) about a dying sailor from Captain Kidd’s — an alleged pirate — crew. On his deathbed, the sailor confessed to vast amounts of treasure buried on the island. Treasure that allegedly added up to £2 million. McGinnis put two and two together and began his treasure hunt. Since then, various treasure-seekers have populated the island in hopes of finding Captain Kidd’s treasure (or other rumored items).

Fast forward to 2005, the Oak Island Tours — aka, Rick and Marty Lagina’s company — purchased much of Oak Island (around 78% of the land) for a dig of their own. After much effort (and five years), the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources gave them a green light to hunt for treasure. Rick and Marty Lagina, as well as their partners and team, have been excavating Oak Island since 2010.

What is the Money Pit on Oak Island?

Oak Island consists of several points of interest, including the Money Pit. What is the Money Pit on Oak Island? In short, it’s an area where treasure hunters for the last two centuries have believed a large treasure is buried. The Money Pit allegedly has a network of tunnels that flood when treasure hunters get too close to a large wooden depository — aka, the buried treasure — and has been one of the key focuses since digging on the island began.

No one knows for sure what lies beneath the Money Pit. However, some historians and treasure hunters suggest the Arc of the Covenant and the Holy Grail could be among the priceless artifacts. According to history, the Knights Templar — who can be traced back to Oak Island — had both in their custody at one point in time. In addition, some believe Marie Antoinette’s long lost jewels lie in the Money Pit or somewhere on the island.


Rick Lagina has spent the last 13 years focused on Oak Island. | History Channel Canada via Instagram


Treasure found on Oak Island

Digging on Oak Island takes an incredible amount of work and money. But, so far, the cast of The Curse of Oak Island and previous treasure hunters’ work has been worth it. While they don’t know for sure what lies deep in the money pit, they do know that treasure was — and has been found — on the island. What treasure have they dug up so far? See some of the most substantial items, below.

Knights Templar cross

The Knights Templar cross is probably one of the most significant items found on the island. So significant that Marty and Rick Lagina are seeking further investigation in hopes of it unlocking more information about who came to the island hundreds of years ago, as well as North American history.

The cross — which depicts a Knights Templar cross — was found on Smith’s Cove and its material has been tested for information on origin. As it turns out, the lead used to create the cross did not come from North America and instead comes from a quarry in Europe. But, here’s the catch: According to reports in season 6 episode 7, the quarry it came from might be ancient.

Gold brooch and gemstones

In addition to the Knights Templar cross, a few so-called “bobby dazzlers” (as Gary Drayton calls them) were also found on the island. One of the brooches is believed to have a Rhodolite Garnet in the center and the other contains a little bit of gold.

Iron spikes

Iron spikes might now seem like a treasure, but when you are searching for clues about the island’s history, they offer up a lot of detail. Some of the spikes could be as old as the 1700s and might have been used on ship docks that once lined the island.

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