Historic Goat Island Cache
In Nebraska, United States
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This cache is located on a 4 mile island in the middle of the Missouri River.
A 7.62mm ammo box laden with hemostats, scissors and forceps, these tools will make a great addition to your tackle box or medical kit.
Goat Island has an illustrious history.
There is no evidence that anyone ever lived on the island. In recent decades, though, at least three private claims have been filed on it.
The first was by Jack Jaquith, an attorney from nearby Vermillion, S.D., who raised goats and watermelons on the island. The goats spawned the name, though some South Dakotan's call the island "Jake's Island" after Jaquith, who once produced a deed indicating the island, was given to him by an Indian chief. When Jaquith died, the island was abandoned.
About 25 years ago signs were posted on Goat Island declaring that it was the property of the "Robert A. Suddick Trust of Omaha, Neb." The signs were gone within a couple of hours. Local people tore them down. Robert A. Suddick, an Omaha businessman, and a group of hunters obtained a quick-claim deed to the island and were hoping to get a legal declaration that they owned it. But a couple of the hunters died and the interest in the claim faded, Suddik said.
The latest claimant to Goat Island is Glenn Foster, a Newcastle, Neb. farmer who has ferried cattle to the island over the past 25 years. Foster built fences, dug a well and erected a windmill, the only traces of development on Goat Island. He used a primitive ferry, built with 55-gallon drums, weathered wood and corrugated steel, to transport about 70 cattle for summer grazing. The ferry is docked at a low point on the mostly high-banked island. Foster tried to obtain a legal deed to Goat Island. But the Cedar County Board told him he would have to pay 10 years of back property taxes to do it. That made it unrealistic. That effort, though, may have led to the Ceder County Board in 1998 to suggest a Federal BLM/National Park Service takeover.
Goat Island was indicated, but not named, on a map drawn by William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804. That map showed campsites above and below the island on Aug. 25 and 26, 1804. Clark wrote in his journal that this was the area where Pvt. George Shannon was lost for 16 days after being sent out to look for horses that had wandered away from their encampment.
Historians believe there may be 7-12 shipwrecks in the river between Yankton, S.D. and Sioux City. The old towns of St. James and St. Helena Nebraska, located near Goat Island, were common locations where many riverboats moored to take on wood fuel in large quanitities. The North Alabama, a 220-ton steamboat, sank near Goat Island on Oct. 27, 1870. It's rotting beams can still be seen when the river is at low levels. Be sure to look for relics of steamboats if you search for this cache in the winter when water levels are usually very low.
Who owns this land? The Courts are deciding.
The Federal Bureau of Land Management surveyed Goat Island, claiming the island was unsurveyed and in existence at the time of South Dakota statehood. The South Dakota Attorney General filed an appeal of the survey, claiming the island was no more than a sandbar at statehood and therefore, as part of the bed of the Missouri River, the island belongs to South Dakota. As of 2003, this appeal is before the Board of Land Appeals, Department of Interior.
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- Horsetail growing on Goat IslandHorsetail, a reed-like plant largely unchanged over the past 300 million years, does not flower but carries spores as do fern, to which it is related. Settlers, who coined the name Souring Rush, used horsetrail to clean their pots and pans. Because of the silica within the plant, it made their cooking utensils non-stick.
- Horsetail, Goat Island
- Nebraska in background
- SE shore of Goat Island
- SE shore of Goat Island, SD in background
Last Updated: on 1/24/2017 4:40:53 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (12:40 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum