The new owners of Gulgong’s Ten Dollar Town Motel have turned into modern day treasure hunters after opening the underground cellar.
Trevor Morgan and Di Burcham are transforming the historic building, formally The Royal Hotel, after purchasing the property at the start of 2017.
On Tuesday they cut a hole in the wood floor to access the old cellar of the pub, claiming it hasn’t been opened since the 1970’s.
Trevor excitedly explained their apprentice builder discovered a metal box hidden in the cellar wall of the pub, which was licensed in 1871.
“It was so heavy, he thought it was a tool box,” Trevor said.
“But once we got it open, we couldn’t believe what was inside.”
The key to the secure black box was luckily found hanging on a hook in the main building.
“I didn’t think it was the key, because I put it in the wrong way and it was very stiff,” Trevor said.
They posted the find to social media, saying, “To some a box might be uninteresting but a box hidden in the wall of an unopened cellar??!! Now that is exciting!!”
The post continued, “The boxes [sic] contains coins if [of] all ages.... we’ll keep you informed as we go through and work out what is there!!”
Di explained they, “found lots of coins, notes and one of the most exciting things was a photo of the first engine leaving new Central Station and that was 1906”.
“We really don’t know when it was put in [the cellar], it [the items] comes from all different eras,” she said.
The treasure hunt did not end there for Di and Trevor.
On October 19, they posted a video to social media exclaiming, “Breaking, we may have found gold”.
The Ten Dollar Town Motel owners had their builder Neil Hartley sweep the cellar with his metal detector.
“This afternoon, we found an area that was hollow. The reading indicates that there could be gold in there, or something other than piping at least,” the post continued.
Gulgong’s major goldrush started in 1870, after Tom Saunders discovered the valuable treasure on the future townsite at Red Hill.
Trevor and Di invited the Mudgee Guardian to witness their modern day gold dig on Friday as a third party.
Builder Neil jack-hammered the big black X on the cellar cement floor, with the couple eagerly watching on.
The whole process took around 30 minutes.
Did they find gold in the cellar?
No, not this time.
Instead it was brass nut.
Di and Trevor have not hung up their Indiana Jones hats, they will continue to search for treasure on the site.
In the meantime, they aim to restore the items in the metal box and plan to put them on-display at the motel in the near future.