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    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    50 times

    Sunken Treasure Chest of Robert Gordon

    Sunken Treasure Chest of Robert Gordon. Robert Gordon, his wife Rachel Rose, and their children abandoned their home and 35-acre Red House Farm lot located on the west side of Wood Creek beginning at the southern edge of Skenesborough (or Skenesboro - now Whitehall), New York in 1775 bound for St. Johns, Canada where Gordon felt it would be safer for his family at the onset of the Revolutionary War after hearing of the surrender of Burgoyne. (Wood Creek Area of his Home) Gordon was neutral regarding the war -- neither a Tory nor a Whig -- and he knew he would be trusted by neither. According to the Whitehall, New York Local History Sketches of Pre-Revolutionary Settlers by Clarence Holden, "One night he embarked with his family in a small sloop and sailed away. He abandoned everything but, evidently distrusting his Tory friends equally with the Whigs, packed up his silver and other valuables in a large chest and sank them in the lake somewhere in the marsh." Of course, he intended to return and reclaim his valuables after the hostilities subsided, but never got the chance as he died suddenly. The location where he was said to have dropped the metal chest was in the marsh near the west shore of the Haven. In old documents "the Haven" refers to the "New Haven" area, including "West Haven." The reason this treasure story has gained credence, and the box is considered to still be hidden in the marsh, is that the local historical sketches written between 1914-1918 corroborate the story, and a dredger who was clearing the swamp near that same location in 1934 reported lifting a large metal box precariously balanced on muck and debris that fell back into the water. Many people have tried to relocate the box, but all attempts have failed. Holden continues, "Robert Gordon was born in London in 1739, the oldest of three children. His parents were full blooded Scotch. When he was a child, his mother died and his father enlisted in the King's Life Guards. Robert was apprenticed to a gardener, and after the expiration of his apprenticeship, he entered the royal service and in time became head gardener to the king. The Queen asked him on numerous occasions to skillfully open letters for her to read and reseal them, but when the King found, Robert felt it was best for his health to travel in foreign countries. About 1770, he fell in with Colonel Skene and decided to settle in Skenesborough. With the assistance of Skene, he purchased a large stock of goods, brought them to his new home, and set up a very successful business career. He took up a large farm adjoining Skene's patent, its northeast corner being the angle formed by the south line of Whitehall and Wood creek. He also had a 35-acre lot which is described as "the Red House farm." It is likely this was his homestead, but where it was located is not clear, probably somewhere near the Landing. After a year, he went back to England and returned with another large stock of goods. He married Rachel Rose of Manchester, Vermont, and continued to live peacefully and prosperously at Skenesborough until the breaking out of the Revolution." From the History of Saratoga County, "At the time around this region the Indian could paddle his canoe, and the white man in the colonial period could row his bateau, finding, save the portages around the somewhat numerous falls and rapids, only two carrying-places. One was from the Hudson at Fort Edward to Fort Nun on the Wood creek that runs into Lake Champlain at Whitehall. The other was from the Mohawk at Fort Stanwix to Fort Williams on the other Wood creek which runs into the Oneida lake." Arriving in St. Johns, Gordon set up a tavern, and became quite popular. He was a large, fine looking man, with gracious manners, and his inn was much patronized by the English officers and officials, who enjoyed the fine flowers and vegetables from his garden, and particularly doted on his milk punch, which acquired more than a local reputation. He obtained a grant of several hundred acres of land in the town of Hemingford, and taking his son Robert Jr. and some hired men he set out to explore his new property. Landing at Rouses Point, they started overland and had no difficulty in locating the grant. Late that afternoon while the men were making camp, Robert, the father, taking his gun strolled off in search of game. That was the last ever seen of him, although the party searched for days for the missing man. He left a widow and eight children, the eldest sixteen years of age. Some years afterwards, while the family was living on the land which cost the husband and father his life, some Indians, of whom there were large numbers in the neighborhood, brought to Mrs. Gordon a little canteen made in the form of a miniature barrel and carved with figures and emblems. She at once recognized it as belonging to her husband. By gestures and broken English they gave Mrs. Gordon to understand that they had found it in the forest not far away at the foot of a tree with the bones of a man and the remains of a gun. Before the family recovered from their surprise, the Indians decamped and were never seen again. The mystery of Robert Gordon's treasure and of his death has never been solved. Robert, the son, had an equally mysterious fate. Much against his mother's wishes, he went to sea. She received two or three letters from him in foreign parts, and then never another word. Based on everything known, the treasure was likely sank in the marsh along the narrow navigable canal portion of Lake Champlain that traversed to the northwest of Whitehall and along the western shore of West Haven. With dredging and water movement, the chest may have moved further north, but the marsh in the drowned lands is very weedy and dense. Although access appears limited on the east side of the lake, there is a Main Road across the canal from Adirondack Park that appears to end near the water's edge, and further north there may be an access area at Maple Bend where you could backtrack down the canal's edge to the south
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

 

 

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