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  1. #1
    Charter Member
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    KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    http://www.kanepa.com/folklore%202.htm

    Between forty and fifty thousand dollars in gold and currency is buried in glass jars, within a short distance of what last century’s writers described as "the eighth wonder of the world." Nor were they extravagant in their claims, for on July 5, 1975, the historic Kinzua Viaduct was dedicated as a state park by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    Since the value of the lost money was calculated by the standards of the time, it could mean the gold coins could conceivably be worth five times their original value. Believed to be buried a few inches below the ground and covered by a tri-cornered rock, the lost loot is thought to be in the Wildcat Hollow region of Pennsylvania’s McKean County, somewhere between the extinct village of Marvindale and Mt. Jewett. Marvindale, the seat of a chemical factory for almost a century, passed into obscurity a few decades back. Mt. Jewett, a bustling Scandinavian community on Route 6, is noted for its annual Swedish Festival, visited by thousands of tourists from all over America. Kinzua Bridge is but three miles from Mt. Jewett.

    The great viaduct soars 301 feet into the air, and stretches across the gorge of the same name. It was completed in just 94 days working time, using only a gin pole to erect the first great steel tower, and then a crane for each of the following nineteen. More than 3,000,000 pounds of wrought iron went into the construction of the bridge, which teetered like a hammock whenever a string of cars passed overhead.

    Anthony Bonzano, builder of the bridge, calculated that wind pressure of thirty pounds per square foot would sweep every car from the tracks. So it was ordered that engineers had to proceed at the speed of five miles per hour when crossing the shimmying iron viaduct. Oftentimes gondolas were completely emptied of their cargo of pine bark by the awesome force of the winds, and there are records of box cars having their roof snatched.

    The great bridge, the brainchild of General Thomas Kane, railway magnate and founder of the famous Bucktail Regiment of Civil War fame, became one of the greatest tourist attractions of its time, and remains high on the list to this very day. For almost half a century, excursion trains of fourteen cars each, winded their way through Pennsylvania’s mountains to the bridge dedicated by General U. S. Grant, sometimes meeting another dozen trains at the site.

    In 1893, about ten miles from the great bridge, was the little town of Palmerville, then a hustling, bustling lumber town. A sawmill, hotels, company store, post office, several stores, a stagecoach stop and perhaps as many as five hundred residents made Palmerville a beehive. The stagecoach often delivered quantities of gold and specie to the company store for meeting payrolls, and in turn postal deposits were shipped by stagecoach.

    In the summer of that year, an unknown young man hitched his horse to the rail outside the company store and entered the building. Visiting with the clerk, he pulled a gun at the precise moment that the stage driver entered the store with his bulging leather money bags. Covering the cowering clerk and driver, the lone desperado backed from the store and leaped upon the back of his horse.

    Racing like fury westward toward present day Route 6, the lone gunman was seen by farmers in fields. Stopping for a second at the junction of the old dirt Wildcat Hollow Road, the bandit looked in each direction and then headed westward at a furious rate of speed.

    For days the woods were combed by volunteers looking for the robber and his loot. Almost a week after the robbery, the searchers came upon a young man who was desperately ill, and wandering through the woods in delirium. Examined by a physician it was determined that the unknown man was critically ill with pneumonia, so he was taken to Smethport, the county seat, where he might be under the care of medical authorities. Upon his recovery he was to be questioned.

    For days the bedraggled youth, in his delirium of fever, raved about ". . . the money, the money . . . see the bridge, see the bridge." Then he would lapse into another deep coma.

    The young man failed to pass the crisis and expired one morning. Shortly before his death he is alleged to have described a three-cornered rock under which there was money "in glass bottles." Many people felt he was trying to describe the burying place of the stolen loot. Suffice to say, no one has ever reported finding it.

    Most contemporaries believe the Kinzua Bridge would have been visible for several miles, 80 years ago, due to the fact that most of the great forests had just been cut away. Only a jungle of stumps and blueberry thickets covered the horizon. Today the great structure is hidden from all, until they are almost on its edge, due to the tremendous second growth timber.

    It is believed that in the Wildcat Hollow region, just northeast of the famous bridge, the money is still buried. Hundreds have searched for it, and never found a trace.

    However, the affair at Palmerville is well known to the authorities of the McKean County Historical Society, and the curator, Mrs. James McKean, vividly recalls her father’s description of the famous day from her childhood. The Palmerville holdup is often discussed by hunters and fishermen who pass beneath the great arch on an autumn afternoon, and still remains as much of a mystery today as it did then.



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  3. #2
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    I live for this kind of story. How far are you from the area?

  4. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

    Dec 2003
    S.W. Schuylkill County
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    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    4 Hours 16 Minutes.

    The Bridge Just Collapsed, a Year or 2 Ago also

  5. #4

    Dec 2004
    87
    1 times

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    I began to work the map of the
    supposed location of this gold
    and the further I went, the more
    complicated and interesting it got.
    If anyone knows if there is a
    cemetery in Smethport, South of
    W. Water St. at the junction of
    Holmes St. and W. Water St. I
    know who the robber was.

    Howso

  6. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

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    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Osborn
    I began to work the map of the
    supposed location of this gold
    and the further I went, the more
    complicated and interesting it got.
    If anyone knows if there is a
    cemetery in Smethport, South? of
    W. Water St.? ?at the junction of
    Holmes St. and W. Water St. I
    know who the robber was.

    Howso
    Did you try an Arial View of the Area to see IF you can See a Cemetery ?

  7. #6

    Feb 2006
    corry, pa
    whites mxt, bounty hunter scout
    41

    kinzua bridge


    can anyone tell me if the old kinzua bridge, which was demolished due to high winds a few years ago, is on national forest lands? if thats a part of the Allegheny national forest, i`m thinking you can`t detect there, am i right or wrong?
    thanks
    dobie

  8. #7
    us
    Sep 2006
    Montana
    11,698
    19 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: kinzua bridge

    It looks like it's part of the Kinzua Bridge State Park.

    This is an awesome site I just got done reading and looking through... spectacular pics and views. My Gawd what a sight that must have been to see the bridge standing - much less colapsed!

    http://www.venangoil.com/bridgeskinzua.html


  9. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

    Dec 2003
    S.W. Schuylkill County
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    Re: kinzua bridge

    and yes PA state parks are open to detecting

  10. #9

    Feb 2006
    corry, pa
    whites mxt, bounty hunter scout
    41

    Re: kinzua bridge

    yes, truly an impressive site, i plan on putting a lot of hours in there when the weather breaks
    thanks
    dobie

  11. #10
    us
    Sep 2006
    Montana
    11,698
    19 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: kinzua bridge

    Post yer finds when you do!

  12. #11
    Charter Member
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    Re: kinzua bridge

    .
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  13. #12
    Charter Member
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    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

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  14. #13
    ie
    Jan 2007
    385
    3 times

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    Unbelievable!!! I wish I could have seen it before it blew down. Makes me smile and remember the trestle at Fredricktown, Ohio... though on a much smaller scale.

  15. #14

    Jun 2006
    34

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    starsplitter,
    It really was a site to see! I always liked to go there and walk across it then hike down to the bottom and look up. I cant imagine how they could have built it so quickly back then.
    I wouldn't mind searching for that cache but there sure is a lot of area to cover there.

    Pete

  16. #15

    Feb 2007
    10

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    First time here and I find it to be an exciting forum/website.

    I had a deer hunting place in Mt Jewette,PA for 40 plus years and have been going over to the bridge since 1957. I can remember being a little scared of walking it because the state had not made it tourist safe. It was weird looking down thru the ties. I used to fish under the bridge for trout. I have metal detected under the bridge and you can not imagine how many coins are tossed from the bridge 301 feet down trying to hit the creek. Lots, and lots and Lots,

    Alas!! No more detecting below the bridge, I understand that since it blew down the State Park will not let your walk down there or come in from Kushiqua. I also understand that it is too dangerous with that twisted pile of iron laying there.

    I am grateful I got to hunt deer and coins there.

    Harry



  17. #16
    us
    Sep 2006
    Montana
    11,698
    19 times
    Banner Finds (1)

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry(PA)
    First time here and I find it to be an exciting forum/website.

    I had a deer hunting place in Mt Jewette,PA for 40 plus years and have been going over to the bridge since 1957. I can remember being a little scared of walking it because the state had not made it tourist safe. It was weird looking down thru the ties. I used to fish under the bridge for trout. I have metal detected under the bridge and you can not imagine how many coins are tossed from the bridge 301 feet down trying to hit the creek. Lots, and lots and Lots,

    Alas!! No more detecting below the bridge, I understand that since it blew down the State Park will not let your walk down there or come in from Kushiqua. I also understand that it is too dangerous with that twisted pile of iron laying there.

    I am grateful I got to hunt deer and coins there.

    Harry
    Harry... Welcome to Treasurenet! It's too bad you didnt come with better news!!!

    Bummer that it cannot be hunted... cool that you got your chance to - any old coins down there?

  18. #17

    Feb 2007
    10

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    Hey Jim;
    Not too many old coins there , It was hunted pretty hard every summer, I even found a few detectorists from here who would go and pull in (they said) 3 -4 hundred coins a trip.

    I would like to locate the ironworkers camp site. I do believe they bought them in by rail from nearby towns but there were so many of them that there had to be a camp site somewere nearby. At least some place to eat and assemble for job assignments.

    Yep! That would be nice.

    Harry N.

  19. #18
    us
    Apr 2006
    Western NY
    Ace 250
    10

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    I come from an irish family that had very strong ties to the railroad. I am actually only the 2nd generation in my family to have not worked on the railroad. I will look through some of our familys old photos and other stuff to see if I can find anymore on the bridge. I do know that there has actually been 2 different bridges at this spot. When my grandfather was alive he had alot of old pictures and other stuff from the bridge. When I questioned him about this I was very proud to learn that I had atleast 5 relatives that had worked on building the bridge and quite a few others that routinely did reapirs and ran trains over it. If I can find anymore I'll gladly post it.

  20. #19
    um
    Feb 2007
    Please don't yell !
    1,770
    1 times

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    I was just in the area doing research on another lead and came accross some more info on this tale . First off the bridge was originally constructed of all wood. But that was methodically replaced by steel in the early to late 1930s. I also saw some period photographs and realized the bridge may actually have been visable for more than five miles distance due to the heavy timbering in the area. I've also located the ghost town of Palmerville, the supposed original site of the robbery, just one mile south of Marvindale.
    http://www.thegoldenolde.com

  21. #20

    Jun 2006
    948
    23 times

    Re: KINZUA BRIDGE CACHE , Pennsylvania

    The original bridge was not made of wood but of iron in 1882. Due to heavier locomotives, the bridge was replaced with steel in 1900.

 

 
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