Growing up, I loved to read about treasure. It was in a copy of Children’s Digest that I first learned about Oak Island and the supposed treasure buried there. (They’re still looking for it on that other History Channel show.) I’m still fascinated by these tales of lost loot, and the people who search for them. And History Channel’s latest is a doozy.
Deadman’s Curse, debuting Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History Channel, follows a quartet determined to find gold in Pitt Lake, B.C., despite the supposed curse associated with it. In the first of eight episodes, prospector Kru Williams, mountaineer Adam Palmer, Indigenous explorer Taylor Starr and her father, Don Froese, recall the legend of Slumach’s lost gold mine.
The story goes that Slumach, an elderly Katzie First Nations man, died on the gallows in New Westminster in January of 1891. Before he died, Slumach is alleged to have uttered the words, “Nika memloose, mine memloose,” or “When I die, the mine dies.” For over 100 years, many have tried to find the mine, to no avail. Well, that’s not quite true. According to Walter Jackson, he discovered the mine in 1901 and, weighed down with too much gold to carry, buried it. Jackson died after returning home, but not before writing a letter to a friend with clues to the spot he buried the gold. It’s gone undiscovered ever since.
My biggest beef with series like these is they’re packed with stories, conjecture and assumptions, and frustratingly light on actual discoveries. Deadman’s Curse begins with plenty of backstory and research done by Kru and Adam sufficient to pique my interest, especially when Adam seems to have a line on a copy of Jackson’s letter. Meanwhile, Taylor does research into Slumach, who he was, and why he was hung. These two storylines are compelling, and really add legitimacy to Deadman’s Curse and what the producers are trying to achieve.
And, by the time the first 44 minutes are complete, enough information has been unearthed for the group—and me, the viewer—to continue the quest.
Deadman’s Curse airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History Channel.
Image courtesy of Corus.