It may not have been sunken treasure, but the booty retrieved this weekend from the murky bottom of Lake Crescent was priceless to Beverly Sherman of Lakewood.
Sherman was only 20 when the car she rode in veered out of control around a curve and plunged into the icy lake near Port Angeles in 1960. All four occupants of the car swam to safety, but their belongings have lain in a watery grave for the past 44 years. On Saturday, a team of 11 divers used a remotely operated device to wrench open the car's trunk.
The divers retrieved Sherman's gray-blue Skyway bag, its leather handle still intact, and a small case belonging to fellow passenger and then-date Gary Lind, who now lives in Paris.
"I was so excited," said Sherman, 64, a retired music and fine-arts supervisor for the Bellingham School District. Sherman couldn't wait to see what might have been preserved.
At the time of the accident, she had just returned to Washington after spending six months in New York City, where her father was studying at Columbia University.
"I had all this memorabilia -- matchbooks and menus, the kind of stuff you collect when you're 20," she said. And she discovered she had an "Aurora borealis crystal" teardrop pendant on a tarnished chain. "It's not the (Heart of the Ocean) necklace from the Titanic, but it's mine."