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Thread: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

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  1. #1

    Mar 2005
    301
    4 times

    PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    http://www.coudy.com/Austin/Scully3.htm

    PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST
    SILVER TREASURE
    By Francis X. Scully
    At the time it was lost, it was valued at one and a half million dollars, but with the increasing value of pure silver the lost bars could conceivably be worth double that amount. Supposedly buried near the mini-village of Gardeau in McKean County, northern Pennsylvania, the lost treasure has been part of the folklore of the Keystone State?s oilfields for over a century. What is more, if you go after this one, you will be within fifty miles of four other lost treasures valued at five million dollars or more?-a rare opportunity for an enterprising treasure hunter.
    In 1811, a Captain Blackbeard (not to be confused with Edward Teach) received a commission from the British Admiralty to raise the wreckage of a Spanish galleon, which had gone down off the Bahamas during a raging tropical hurricane in the early fall of 1680. Plainly visible in less than 20 fathoms of water, the hulk posed no difficulties for the astute Blackbeard, one of the greatest marine salvage experts of his day. In less than a month, the canny Englishman raised the hulk, and by surrounding it with pontoons, made ready to tow his prize and its cargo to the safety of an American port; England then being at war with Napoleonic France.
    Escaping a furious storm by a matter of hours, Blackbeard landed his wreck at Baltimore, where he immediately made arrangements to have a warship tow it and the loot it contained to the safety of an English port.
    In June of 1812, while tipping a few tankards of ale in a Baltimore tavern, Blackbeard met Peter Abelhard Karthaus of the privateer Comet. Blackbeard?s heart almost stopped beating when Karthaus very subtly informed him that he was aware that the English sailor had successfully brought to the Maryland city a Spanish galleon and its $1,500,000 worth of silver bars.
    Running the gauntlet with French warships was one thing, but trying to escape the relentless privateer, the rogue of his day, was another thing. Then, too, the possibility of war with America was growing stronger with each passing day. To attempt to take the treasure across the sea was an impossibility, reasoned Blackbeard. The land route to Canada and safety was only four hundred miles, most of which was through uninhabited wilderness and it could be accomplished in a few weeks reasoned the now-thoroughly alarmed Englishman.
    That night Captain Blackbeard studied the route he would take. He would follow the Susquehanna due north to about what is now Williamsport, Pennsylvania and from there to the Sinnemahoning River northwestward until he reached what is now Emporium, Pennsylvania. Then there would be a twenty-three mile portage over Keating Summit to the headwaters of the Allegheny River near Port Allegany. This was known as Canoe Place at the time, and had been used by traders, trappers, and warring Redmen for over three centuries. Then all he had to do was follow the Allegheny to the mouth of the Conewango Creek near present-day Warren, and then up to Chautauqua Lake (Jamestown). From the head of Chautauqua, he could practically roll down the hill to the blue waters of lake Erie. Britain controlled Lake Erie, Blackbeard mused, and the treasure would be home safe, and he would claim his reward and perhaps a knighthood from a grateful king. This was the plan to follow, and so the Englishman made ready.
    The silver bars were loaded into wagons, all of which had a false bottom, covered with hay and straw. Each wagon was drawn by six oxen, accompanied by a handful of guards supposedly loyal to Britain, now almost on the verge of war with their cousins in North America for the second time in forty years.
    Blackbeard never dreamed of the difficulties the land route through Pennsylvania?s trackless wilderness could pose until he reached what is now Lycoming County. Twice, the Englishman had to build rafts, in order to ascend the turbulent Susquehanna, and twice the bulky log platforms had capsized dumping the bellowing oxen and wagons into the icy river. By the time the expedition reached Clinton County and present-day Renovo, Blackbeard was coming apart at the seams. War had finally broken out between America and England, and the Englishman became almost obsessive in his efforts to avoid contact with any wandering trapper, whom he felt almost certain would have to be American. Then, the gnawing suspicion that one or two of his guards had betrayed some suspicious attitudes, brought Blackbeard to the brink.
    That night, the English captain made up his mind that he would get the silver over the twenty-three mile portage, and then bury it for safekeeping. Word had slipped through that Fort Niagara had been blockaded, and Lake Erie was swarming with American boats, perhaps influenced his decision, but his mind was made up. He would bury the loot until after the war. After the British had trounced the upstart Yankees, he would have no trouble in reclaiming and finding the silver. It was perfectly safe in this primeval forest, reasoned Blackbeard.
    And so, late in the summer of 1812, in the southeast corner of McKean County near the tiny village of Keating Summit, and not far from either Smethport or Port Allegany on CW 1198 and CW 1199, the huge treasure was buried near an old saltlick. During the digging, at least two dozen elk watched the strange behavior of the sweating humans, as they lowered box after box to the bottom of narrow trenches. Legends of McKean County indicate that bison at one time congregated at the lick, and early records state that over 300 elk were counted at one time around that spring and its salt deposits.
    So Blackbeard made it safely back to Canada and eventually to Britain, where he reported to an exasperated Admiralty that the tremendous treasure was buried someplace in the wolf-infested forests of northern Pennsylvania, back in Yankeeland. Returning to America, Blackbeard sent Colonel Noah Parker to the treasure site. Perhaps this was like sending a fox to guard a henhouse. While Parker kept intruders away, he also managed to keep Blackbeard from finding out anything about the silver hoard.
    Within a few years, the frustrated Englishman went to his reward and the treasure was forgotten by all?save Parker. From time to time he showed sudden affluence, but always denied that he had ever found any of the silver.
    After the Civil War, Parker opened one of the first spas in northern Pennsylvania, claiming that the curative powers of the spring waters would move the Iron Virgin. Hundreds flocked to the little hotel, and Parker never failed to regale them with the story of the lost treasure. Thousands searched for the treasure and never found it, and if Parker knew of its whereabouts he went to his grave without telling anyone.
    It is now part of the folklore of the people of the rugged hills of Pennsylvania, and Captain Blackbeard?s fabulous treasure?or at least that portion not expended by the shrewd Colonel Parker?is still awaiting a finder.
    Bill1976 likes this.

  2. #2

    Sep 2004
    Where ever my coffee cup lands
    Fisher 1280X
    267
    2 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Man why would anyone ever take the time to run after a pig in a poke like this one! Thats what I told a friend year's ago as he was reading about this lost silver in a book that I had. But go search for it he did. I told him there was better things to look for then that, but have a good time I told him. Well one time he came in and told me he found the pen were the oxen had been and a verry old chain he took out of a branch of an old tree, He had to cut it out of the branch that grew around it. He took it to a University and had it checked out and was told it could have at one time been used on a ship? And now the good part! He took another fellow with him one time and he was easily turned around in the woods, This fellow did however spot something of interest, And investagating they did find the silver bars, I was told it was stacked like cordwood. For what ever reason the Two fellows didn't bring anything out with them. They said they were 70 or 80 pound bars. They planed to return later and get them. And they did return and couldn't find the spot again! The one fellow had a job to work and didn't go back with my friend and was told to not worry when it was found he would be taken care of. So my friend was older and didn't want to go into the woods alone and asked me to go with him which I agreed to do. So for the next few year's I followed him into the woods. I asked him why didn't he put up some markers on his way out! He would just get mad; more at himself and I said no more. As he lay on his deathbed he made me promise to go over to Pa. and give it another shot, which I did. With no luck. And later my brother and I did our share of looking without luck. I'll tell you it wasn't buried then again it was. My son is interested to go give it a shot. With what I do remember about the area and what I saw and Know was said he may get lucky. Is anyone else looking for this one?
    Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.

  3. #3

    Sep 2004
    Where ever my coffee cup lands
    Fisher 1280X
    267
    2 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Maybe I should be more plain about the above post, It is in reguard to the post by Badgar Bart, And my treasure hunting buddy and the man that went with him both claim they saw with there own eye's the silver bar's. And I know my friend would not have looked so hard and so long to refind it if he hadn't. And I wouldn't have spent my time on it if I hadn't felt he had. I had a talk with the fellow that went in with my friend and he also said it was there someplace as he had an eyeball on it! After some yr's and time to roll over all the facts as I understand them, I came to a place I likely will send my son to check out as he is showing some interist in this one. At this time I have my iron in another fire.
    Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.

  4. #4

    Mar 2005
    301
    4 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Monk - What is making it so difficult to re-find this one?

  5. #5

    Sep 2004
    Where ever my coffee cup lands
    Fisher 1280X
    267
    2 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Well Bart, I'm the only one that knows what the 2 fellows were looking for and where they were looking. Once when I was over there I saw something that I didn't put together at the time. But now have and thats why another trip is in order. But now I'm working on something even bigger. Hopefully I'll before long get to check out my hunch. I hope that answers your question.
    Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.

  6. #6
    us
    Jan 2007
    Potter County, Pa.
    Garrett Ace 250
    227
    1 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    I just joined "the Net" today, after browsing it for many weeks. I live in Potter County and during the past year have gotten interested in treasure hunting in this area. There are many "Legends" about treasure up here in the "Black Forest" area and having been interested in Potter County history for many years and belonging to the Potter County Historical Society, I decided to research some of the legends, visit the original areas where the legends are supposed to have happened, and try to make sense of some of the questionable statements that have been printed in many books. I recently have visited the area of Gardeau, have looked over the territory, (incidentally, I found an old stone crypt with the name "Parker, 1875" in relief at the top: aka Col. Noah Parker). I also found the source of the "mineral springs" near which he built his "Health Spa". (He built two of them, the first burned down, he built another, and that too burned down.) I am currently doing further research on this story, I have access to records I'm sure that are unavailable anywhere else except here in the Potter County Historical Archives, and as I have been told, research is half the battle. There are two other "treasure hunters" in this area who are interested in following up on this story, and we plan a small metal-detecting expedition this spring. What would be nice is to have some of you experienced treasure hunters help us out on this adventure. As to Francis X. Scully's story that is widely circulated, the current Curator of the Potter County Historical Society is Robert Currin, who has, in the past, worked with Francis on some projects. Robert's assessment of Francis is that he was "not always as careful with the facts" as he could have been. Therefore when one reads : "the buried silver is about five miles west of Gardeau" is not a substantiated fact, it is only a conjecture. How about the "salt lick" near which the silver is supposed to be buried? Unless one did the research on this area, one would never realise that the "salt like" could be right where Parker built his resort, not way up Parker Run that goes 5 miles up the valley. Way back then, people that came to the area to live used to gather up "salts" from that very area right in Gardeau to take to the Spa and to sell to others. Anyway, I could go on and on, but the point is, I'm still doing research and it was very interesting to read about the two men who said they saw the silver bars...Questions: when did that happen (year)? Who can verify that story? Any further help on this matter would be appreciated, and, anyone interested in joining up with my little expedition this spring (2007) is welcome to contact me at my e-mail address and I will be happy to provide you with further interesting information about the many "lost treasures" of Potter County...the Ice Mine/Silver mine treasure... the "diamonds of Thunder Run"... the "buried gold of Borie marked by a cross in a large rock",...etc. Thanks for bearing with me on this. The Potter Poker.

  7. #7

    Jun 2006
    948
    23 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    I find it difficult to believe that the bars were found stacked on top of the ground. That area was stripped clear of all timber in the late 1800's. The old time loggers would have found anything that was that visible.

  8. #8

    Jan 2007
    Hummelstown, PA
    Exp II
    88

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    One major problem with this story........has anyone here seen the Susquehanna in that time of year Torrid is not an andjective ussually used to describe it......languid is more like it. And if the booty was lost overboard in the river....recovery could be difficult. This is most likely an early version of a tourist trap.

  9. #9
    us
    My goal for 2012 is a dozen Walking Liberty Halves

    Sep 2004
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Tesoro Compadre & Tiger Shark
    2,814
    31 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Very interesting. I have heard about this legend and have wandered about it myself. There is also supposed to be a lost indian silver mine somewhere in that region. It is another legend that was written about by Francis Scully. Does anyone have any information about it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    I Dig Everything...Even Pull Tabs.

  10. #10
    us
    Jan 2007
    Potter County, Pa.
    Garrett Ace 250
    227
    1 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Ron, I think I can help you out about the "lost silver mine" The area in question happens to be a small hill right near the town of Sweden Valley, Pa. It is only 4 miles from where I live. It is the same mountain on which is found the famous (listed in Ripley's Believe it or Not) Ice Mine, which is now closed up. The mine location is owned by a retired, former military man who is a little strange, but very friendly. I happen to know him very well. He now owns most of that mountain, but he has never followed up on the question about there being silver there. He just never got interested in "that old legend". According to the local Historical Society records (I am a member of that Society) there was indeed an indian who used to go somewhere on or about that mountain and get rather heavy chunks of silver with which he always bought groceries at the general store in Sweden Valley (now torn down and paved over). Many tried to follow him to find out where he was getting it, but no one ever could accomplish it. So, history bears out the story.
    Anyway, being that I know the owner of the land, he agreed to let me prospect there when ever I wanted to. I havn't done it yet, as I am just new to the hobby of "treasure hunting" and MD'ing, but I plan to get up there this summer. I only wish I had someone to go along with me who has done that sort of thing before, they might know what to look for. As for the mountain itself (a small mountain) it has a lot of trees on it, a lot of rocks, and in the summer is quite covered with ferns and undergrowth. If one were to dig down deep in some areas of it, they would probably find ice, as for some reason, ice forms under that mountain during the summer months (thus the reason for the "ice Mine" concept). Incidently, when I was a high-schooler, I used to help the owner's son work at the tourist shop, and have been into that ice mine many times. I know the area quite well. Is the "silver mine" still up on that mountain?? I intend to find out or wear myself out trying. Hope this helps out in your quest for more info on the subject....potter poker

  11. #11
    us
    Jan 2007
    Potter County, Pa.
    Garrett Ace 250
    227
    1 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Hi Lumbercamp, thank you very much for posting the photos...this is like "finding a treasure" to me. Now I can compare those photo's with ones I'm taking of the area today. All those buildings and streets are no longer there, the area is now just small trailers for campsites and grassy fields. Up the valley there are no longer any structures, just the Parker Run stream, which meanders "curley Q" like down the valley. Talk about an excellent place to do metal detecting.....wow. Incidently, the cement crypt is still there. Yet, I wonder where Parkers' SPA sat in relation to all the structures your photos show? Any suggestions on that question?...
    Thanks for responding...potter poker (just poking around potter county)

  12. #12

    Jun 2006
    948
    23 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    From other photos that I have seen and articles that I have read, I really couldn't pinpoint the spa at all. Maybe the local residents that live there could help you out on that. But being a younger generation they may have no idea either.

  13. #13
    us
    Jan 2007
    morrisons cove = smell our dairy air
    446
    275 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Hey Potter Poker

    I'll be doing some MDing around Wharton during the first/second week of June. Interested in a hunt?
    No longer politically correct.

  14. #14
    us
    Jan 2007
    Potter County, Pa.
    Garrett Ace 250
    227
    1 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Update on location of Parker's SPA. Found a local man who has lived in that area since 1959, and used to play in the pile of bricks that was left of Parker's spa. The man pointed out the spot to me in Jan. when the snow was 2 feet deep and agreed to take me to the spot to look it over when the snow is gone in the spring. Will keep you updated.

  15. #15

    Feb 2005
    Tioga Co. Pa.
    371
    1 times

    Re: PENNSYLVANIA?S LOST

    Hey Potter,
    If you don't mind they company, I sure would like to see the site too. I would really like to find an old bottle from his spa water for my bottle collection. If any exists. Let me know.
    Thanks, Clayton

 

 
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