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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    203 times

    Keg of Silver Coins Buried in Clark County, Indiana

    By Trisha L. Dunn

    Tucked away deep in the corners of a creek’s embankment, not far from Silver Creek High School, a long lost treasure lays sleeping, waiting for some lucky soul to discover.

    For long ago when the Indians roamed Clark County, and were trading animal furs with local merchants, a stolen keg of silver coins was buried in the shorelines of Silver Creek.

    Off of a winding and steep Tunnel Mill Road, another treasure patiently waits to be found. But, this treasure is of neither silver nor quartz, but of gold. For it was buried deep in the waters of Fourteen Mile Creek when John Work was nearly killed by, and then saved by Indians who had light skin.

    Sound too good to be true? Legends of treasure in Southern Indiana creeks may be shrouded in mystery but have buried seeds of truth.

    Silver Creek, which flows south to the Ohio River 1-mile east of New Albany is described by Historic Southern Indiana as “Traditionally this name has been associated with a local legend of an Indian silver mine near the stream.”

    The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana has published similar legends.

    “[Silver Creek] was named so because a band of Indians buried a keg of silver along a creek bank in the area,” according to the foundation’s report on Clark County.

    Native Americans and pioneers in the region often clashed. Ongoing trade with the Indians slowed down when the War of 1812 strained their relationships. Constant fear of an Indian raid was on many settlers’ minds.

    Jane Sarles, vice president of Clarksville’s Historical Society, said she is very aware of the legend surrounding Silver Creek but hasn’t heard of anyone who’s actually found anything of value.

    According to Sarles, the creek was named in the late 1700’s before the town Silver Creek was even born.

    “So the legend itself would be old,” Sarles said. Old legends that survive can have some value or truth to themselves.

    “Early geologists discovered Copperas on the banks, it could have been mistaken for gold or silver,” she said. Copperas is in the Pyrite family, known as Ferrous Sulfate. Native Americans would carve Pyrite and use it as mirrors. Today, Pyrite is mined for its association with gold and copper.

    John Work’s infamous Tunnel Mill rests along Fourteen Mile Creek.

    According to author Gary Purlee in “Tunnel Mill,” people would travel from far places, traveling days at a time, just to patronize the mill.

    Indians who camped nearby bought flour from Work, giving silver ore in exchange. This made Work wonder where the Indians were producing the silver ore. The Indians told Work that they had a “secret silver mine” nearby that had “unlimited silver,” but that this place would never be revealed to “white men.”

    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    203 times

    Re: Keg of Silver Coins Buried in Clark County, Indiana

    One of the pioneering achievements of Clark County history was the construction of the Tunnel Mill on Fourteen Mile Creek. The mill was constructed by John Work in the early 1800’s. The mill, known as Tunnel Mill, was built on land that was part of the Illinois Grant and is now owned by the Lincoln Heritage Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts use this land for camping and outdoor activities and call it Tunnel Mill Boy Scout Reservation.

    John Work, his brother Henry, and their families migrated to Indiana from Red Stone, PA early in 1804 having first stopped in Kentucky and finding it unsuitable for milling. Henry died of a fever during their short stay in Kentucky, and John was left to care for both families. John purchased 100 acres of land that extended along Fourteen Mile Creek and included a water-powered gristmill. He bought the land from John and James Bates and paid a dollar per acre for the property.

    After the mill had been in use for about ten years, it needed many repairs. Instead of fixing the old mill, John Work decided to build a new mill. Work surveyed the area and found a good spot where Fourteen Mile Creek curves back onto itself. To build this mill, Work realized he would have to dig a tunnel for the water to flow through, but this did not deter him, and he set to work. With two other workers, he began to dig the tunnel on January 14, 1814. Men began digging simultaneously from both sides of the hill. Work made his own explosives from saltpeter he mined from the cliffs running along the Ohio River. All in all, he used 650 pounds of explosives to blast the tunnel. This feat took nearly three years, but in 1817 (or April 14, 1816 as Work’s diary states) the tunnel was complete. So accurate was the tunnel that the two ends of the tunnel lined up within two inches of each other. John Work’s diary indicates the total cost of this tunnel was $3,333.33. The dimensions of the tunnel were 6 feet deep by 5 feet wide by 388 feet long.

    A huge celebration accompanied the completion of the tunnel. The settlers feasted, made speeches and drank to their heart’s content. One story relates a man weighing over 200 pounds rode through the tunnel on horseback.

    Yet only half the work was complete. The mill had not been built yet. As Mr. Work set to work again he discovered a serious problem. The spot where the building was supposed to stand had quicksand instead of rock underneath it. Work cleverly used large oak timbers to support the building, thinking wood submerged in water would not rot. History states the mill was fifty feet by thirty-five feet and had a stone foundation and a frame super-structure. The mill had three levels with an elevator, which transported grain from floor to floor. There were two great wooden overshot wheels that powered the mill. Each was twenty feet in diameter, five feet wide, and had twelve four by eight feet spokes. Indians and settlers alike came from as far away as Vincennes to have flour made at Tunnel Mill. When Wilfred Green bought the property, he replaced the wooden wheels with two iron wheels. One of the old iron wheels still stands in place to mark the spot.

    Sadly, on August 1, 1927 the great Tunnel Mill building burned.

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    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  3. #3

    Jun 2007
    Dowsing rods
    47 times

    Re: Keg of Silver Coins Buried in Clark County, Indiana

    Could this be a possible KGC cache site? Just taking a wild guess, basing it solely on the fact that this man calculated that it cost $3,333.33 to build this tunnel to supply water to a mill. Aren't KGC sites supposed to have water, creeks, caves(man-made tunnels?), rocks associated with them? Maybe "KGC-Rebel" would care to speculate? .....or, any other KGC researcher that knows more about the topic than I do? stvn.



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