Dan Deming had heard the rumors about the buried treasure on his central Wisconsin farm.
At first he made some halfhearted attempts to find it, and then searched in earnest for two or three years after receiving a metal detector for his birthday.
"I don't know what I thought, if I thought it was really there or not," he said.
The mystery ended recently while Deming was tearing down a 100-year-old shed on his property. A rusted box tumbled from the rubble and wads of currency dating back to the Depression spilled on the ground.
"I couldn't believe it. I started running to the house with it," Deming, 34, said Sunday. "My wife thought I broke my arm because I was just hooting and hollering."
The bills were so deteriorated that it was hard to count the money. But the box also contained scraps of newspaper with dollar amounts written on them, a possible tally of the loot.