A decades-old book could lead to a canister buried in Lake Park.
BURIED SOMEWHERE IN LAKE PARK (MOST LIKELY) IS A SMALL, ceramic cask, about the size of a coffee can that contains a key. That’s what a number of treasure hunters who have read The Secret, published in 1982 by Byron Preiss (not the self-help best-seller), agree upon. But where in the park, exactly, nobody knows for sure. Preiss is said to have personally buried 12 casks in 12 different U.S. cities in 1981, before dying in a car accident in 2005, a tragedy that brought about a brief period of freer information sharing among Secret hunters. The free-for-all ended when Preiss’ widow announced that she still had the prizes for finding each capsule, a jewel, including an amethyst for Milwaukee. After 35 years of searching, only two casks have been recovered, in Chicago’s Grant Park and in Cleveland. In Milwaukee, a large amount of digging and arguing and puzzling has so far turned up nothing. A hunter here for more than a decade, Betsy Grueninger, tends to believe the cask remains buried at the base of a tree in Lake Park, and like the other sleuths, she draws her conclusions from the cryptic words and illustrations in the 35-year-old tome. She worries that landscaping at the park may have broken the cache. To mentally undo these changes, she’s on a mission to see how the park looked in the ’80s. “We must find photos of that era,” she says.