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  1. #1
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    267 times

    Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    OTRC's Treasure Tale #10





    --In the latter part of the 1800s, two men ambushed a stage that was carrying $46,000 in gold coins. While making their getaway, the bandits stoppped at the base of Laurel Hill. There, for some reason, one of the outlaws shot and killed his partner. He buried the body where it fell and interred the bulk of the cumbersome loot alongside. The lone robber then blazed a tree to mark the location and left the area, never to return again.

    On his deathbed, the old outlaw confessed his crime to his son. He gave directions how to find the marked tree and the location of the gold coins. The son, even though he found the blazed cedar tree, was unable to recover the coins despite years of searching. As far as is known, the gold coins are still there on Laurel Hill.

    It seems to me that the around the base of Laurel Hill might be an interesting place to go hiking. If you should happen upon an ancient blaze in a cedar tree you might want to grab a metal detector and scour the vicinity. You may just walk away a few thousand dollars richer.
    http://members.aol.com/OTRC/tt699.html


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

  2. #2
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    4,048
    702 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    The history of Laurel Hill is more complex. This was one of the steep places on the Mt. Hood wagon trail where wagons were lowered by cable, rope, and any other means down a steep hillside. The area was quickly denuded of trees, as trees were used as anchors to wrap rope or cable around. Deep ruts and exposed rock on much of hillside, at least while it was being used. Might check old photos at Oregon Historical Society photo archives for earlier photos, as this area grows up rapidly with forest and brush. Many ropes broke, and the wagons raced down unchecked. Many broken wagons at bottom of hill, as well as other debris. Could be an interesting place to look for historic Oregon Trail memorabilia, though.

    For the original text of the supposed cache, see Ruby el Hult's "Lost Mines and Treasures of the Pacific Northwest".

    A nearby historic treasure resides somewhere further down the canyon near Tollgate. Don't know where the $46,000 figure came from: it would have been much less, with the possible exception of gold transported from California Gold Fields after 1851.

  3. #3
    us
    Apr 2007
    God's lap
    X-terra 70 ACE 250
    11,346
    55 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Definitely some fascinating legends!

    Hey sis....you about ready to come look for them??

  4. #4
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    267 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynangyl
    Definitely some fascinating legends!

    Hey sis....you about ready to come look for them??
    How about you find the gold ,then fly us out there!
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2007
    God's lap
    X-terra 70 ACE 250
    11,346
    55 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy Heart
    Quote Originally Posted by Cynangyl
    Definitely some fascinating legends!

    Hey sis....you about ready to come look for them??
    How about you find the gold ,then fly us out there!
    Oki....sounds like I get all the fun that way....win-win for me! Don't expect me to let ya leave again without pitchin a fit tho!

  6. #6
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    4,048
    702 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Forgive me in advance for stepping on toes.

    IMO the difference between legends and treasure stories is FACT. A legend may (or may not) have FACT, but has been manipulated to cause interest: often to sell magazines, newspapers, or other print media. Treasure stories OTOH have historic fact: people, places, dates, etc. After working in newspapers for 30 years, don't even consider looking for a lead that does not have most of the 5 W's answered: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Of these, the Who is the most important, and most frequently left out in legend. Un-named Dutchman (such as Jacob Walz), un-named Native American (why?), or un-named anyone else. As a published author, I understand the reasoning behind that, but I don't respect it. I know it can be an embarassment to let people know you were related to a famous outlaw, for instance. One of the treasure stories I have about the Laurel Hill area was that it was deposited possibly by a son or relative of a famous Portlander who had streets and a community named for him. While I recognize this could affect historic reputations, it happened nearly 150 years ago, and should be published now.

    Legends may sell to a small group of people. FACTS are more reliable.

  7. #7
    us
    Apr 2007
    God's lap
    X-terra 70 ACE 250
    11,346
    55 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Indeed they are....I would think someone would not care a lot if someone related to them 150 yrs ago was an outlaw but I am rather transparent anyway....if it was 10 yrs ago I would not care....would rather have the correct info. Guess that is a matter of choice for the person....sure would avoid a lot of confusion though!

  8. #8
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    4,048
    702 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Pulled my copy of Robert Marx's "Buried Treasure of the United States", c. 1978, and found this notation for Laurel Hill on p. 304

    "The Oregon Trail Marker on Laurel Hill west of U.S. 26 near Government Camp, Hood River Co., designates the point where the Oregon Trail began to follow an old Indian trail in order to bypass the Columbia River rapids and Mt. Hood. Extending some 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia River, this famous emigrant route was first used in the early 1800s. By 1850 it had become a deeply rutted highway. The marker indicates a favorite camping spot of the westward-bound settlers; at this site, there were also many Indian attacks."

    Marx may have been referencing the road marker which can be found on Oregon's Historical Markers, by W.M. Scofield, c. 1966:

    "HISTORIC OREGON TRAIL. LAUREL HILL. THE PIONEER ROAD HERE DETOURED THE COLUMBIA RIVER RAPIDS AND MOUNT HOOD TO THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY. THE ROAD AT FIRST FOLLOWED AN OLD INDIAN TRAIL. THE LATER NAME WAS BARLOW ROAD. TRAVEL WAS DIFFICULT. WAGONS WERE SNUBBED TO TREES BY ROPES, OR HELD BACK BY DRAGS OR CUT TREES. EARLY TRAVELERS NAMED THE HILL FROM THE RESEMBLANCE OF NATIVE LEAVES TO LAUREL."

    From Oregon Geographical Names by Lewis A. McArthur, c. 1975, is this entry:

    "Laurel Hill, Clackamas County. Laurel Hill lies between Zigzag River and Camp Creek and is traversed by the Mount Hood Highway (now known as Hwy. 26) over a fine grade. It was one of the terrors of the emigrants who traveled the Barlow Road. Wagons had to be let down the slopes of this hill with ropes. The name Laurel Hill was applied in the earliest pioneer days. For comments on this name and Zigzag River, see under Barlow Creek and Zigzag River. It is probable that the pioneers named Laurel Hill for the rhododendrons that grew thereon rather than true laurels."

    There is considerable questions of what the pioneers on the Oregon Trail called "laurel". It could have been a reference to rhododendron, as indicated in McArthur.

    Another shrub is also found in the area with similar evergreen leaves. It is known as chinquapin, and is a dwarf form a chestnut. Chinquapin has a golden-colored leaf backs, almost like being coated with gold leaf (sorry for the pun). It, too, might have been called "laurel" in the pioneer vernacular.




  9. #9
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    4,048
    702 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Just pulled by copy of Thomas P. Terry's "Treasure Map Atlas", c. 1974. Includes this as:

    "28 A treasure cache was buried under marked cedar trees in the area of Laurel Hill in Clackamas County."

    Terry also notes:

    "15 $46,000 in bandit loot is located on Laurel Hill." I believe this reference was for a cache by a group of horsethiefs who buried their money while being pursued by angry early pioneers. In the 1850-1870 period, stealing a horse was nearly equivalent to killing a man, and early horsethieves were summarily hung.

    Terry is vague here, with references to 14-15-16 in the same area with similar amounts supposedly concealed:

    "14 Outlaws buried $85,000 in Hood River County.

    15 $46,000 in bandit loot is located on Laurel Hill.

    16 Outlaw loot is buried at Horse Thief Meadows in the Mt. Hood area. $35,000 in gold coins is cached at Barlow Pass."

    Sounds like different versions of the same story. With no name mentioned to research further, best to go back to original sources. I think Ruby El Hult in "Lost Mines and Treasures of the Pacific Northwest" has the best research.

  10. #10
    us
    Apr 2007
    God's lap
    X-terra 70 ACE 250
    11,346
    55 times

    Re: Laurel Hill Gold Coins........... Oregon

    Well that would be Brian's old stomping grounds up there...may have to make him take a look at all the notes and see what he thinks. Tis always fascinating when one of the stories is in an area you know your way around in, that way you can kinda picture what is in the story better. When he comes in and looks maybe he will have some input. Would be cool if he had heard some of the old stories from folks actually in the area.

  11. #11
    us
    gary

    Mar 2013
    Parkdale, OR
    Garrett GTA 1000
    4
    6 times
    Cache Hunting
    Tollgate? I know of a "tollbridge." Could they be one in the same?

  12. #12
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    4,048
    702 times
    Tollgate. Named for Samuel Barlow's road over Mt. Hood. The gate provided access to the road (or not). No bridge here.

    Toll bridge likely refers to Shearer's Bridge on the Deschutes River. As the bridge was privately maintained, one had to pay a toll to go over it.

  13. #13

    Jul 2018
    6
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I went up and found the Laurel Hill trail head. Explored a bunch and found a bunch of old metal as the hill descends. I do not think I got to the base but did find a bunch of old burnt trees. Tons of them in fact. I did find the real old oregon trail post at the bottom of the spot where they hooked up the wagons and another sign nailed to a tree that is really old that reads " ORIGINAL WAGON ROUTE". It is absolutely amazing that they towed wagon up that steep of a grade and over rocks the size of a easy chair that are sharp.

    If there is any more info on this please share. I have several online newspaper search engines but cannot find anything about this buried cache or about the robbers in any news articles clear back to the 1850s. Please feel free to email also. Gime2469@hotmail.com. thank you. I will post pics as soon as I figure out how.

    Also Horse Thief meadows story is different all together supposedly. Still happened on hwy26 but the guy or guys were in a cabin.

  14. #14

    Jul 2018
    6
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Come to find out Samuel Barlow one of the first settlers in the area burnt most of the hill off early in the trails crossing to help with the wagon trains coming and going through the area. Not sure if this happened before or after the cache deposit.

  15. #15
    us
    Sep 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    1
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hey iv'e been reading about the treasure. I would like to know if there is for sure knowledge of this and if so i would like to meet with you or anyone with more knowledge of this treasure. If so just reply.

 

 
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