40,000$ in gold and silver coins from an 1895 train robbery near Geneva, NY

UpstateCacheHunter

Jr. Member
Nov 21, 2014
50
43
Upstate, ny
Detector(s) used
Tesoro compadre with a Garrett pinpointer.
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Need help / suggestions.

While researching buried treasure in the fingerlakes region of NY, I came across at least 8-10 different websites offering the exact same story.

Supposedly in 1895 a train was robbed near Geneva NY. 40,000 dollars in gold and silver coins are said to be buried in a cast iron kettle.

Since I am from the area I have become quite interested. However, at present I cannot find any evidence to suggest there ever was a train robbery in Geneva or surrounding towns. Also the legend does not list those responsible for the robbery, or what prompted the burial of said cast iron kettle.

Where is the best place to find this info? I have scoured the Internet, and surprisingly found nothing of real significance. You would think with several sites offering the same story, a source or two would be easy to find.

At this point all I can confirm is that there is a large train station (for the size of Geneva), and railroads that are still in use, which were definitely there prior to 1895.

Any help, leads, locations, books, people, or suggestions as to how I should proceed will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all! Happy holidays and happy hunting
 

Find out what the dominant newspaper was in Geneva
back at that time, and research to see if the robbery
actually took place.

Most newspapers keep archives, so if the robbery actually
happened there most be a story on it somewhere in those
archives.
 

Find out what the dominant newspaper was in Geneva
back at that time, and research to see if the robbery
actually took place.

Most newspapers keep archives, so if the robbery actually
happened there most be a story on it somewhere in those
archives.

I definitely plan on making several library trips. Thank you very much for your help.
 

Go to your local library and look up that year 1895 in the microfilm ask the librarian for help.
Gary

Thanks for the tip, very excited to give this legend some research and figure out what, if anything, really happened. If I were to ever find it, I will gladly gift you and dizzy digger some goldddddd.
 

Need help / suggestions.

While researching buried treasure in the fingerlakes region of NY, I came across at least 8-10 different websites offering the exact same story.

Supposedly in 1895 a train was robbed near Geneva NY. 40,000 dollars in gold and silver coins are said to be buried in a cast iron kettle.

Since I am from the area I have become quite interested. However, at present I cannot find any evidence to suggest there ever was a train robbery in Geneva or surrounding towns. Also the legend does not list those responsible for the robbery, or what prompted the burial of said cast iron kettle.

Where is the best place to find this info? I have scoured the Internet, and surprisingly found nothing of real significance. You would think with several sites offering the same story, a source or two would be easy to find.

At this point all I can confirm is that there is a large train station (for the size of Geneva), and railroads that are still in use, which were definitely there prior to 1895.

Any help, leads, locations, books, people, or suggestions as to how I should proceed will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all! Happy holidays and happy hunting

I am attaching a PDF file of a newspaper article which may be the robbery you are referring to; also the Postmaster General official reports for 1895 and 96 (fiscal years not calendar) are online, did not find a specific ref but it did mention that there were "numerous" train robberies that year in the US, including in major Eastern states where it was very unexpected. The robbery mentioned in this article occurred in upstate NY and involved a major amount of cash.

Good luck and good hunting to you, I hope this helps a little.
Oroblanco
 

Attachments

  • Newspaper Watertown NY Daily Times July 1976 - 0173.pdf
    154.7 KB · Views: 393
I am attaching a PDF file of a newspaper article which may be the robbery you are referring to; also the Postmaster General official reports for 1895 and 96 (fiscal years not calendar) are online, did not find a specific ref but it did mention that there were "numerous" train robberies that year in the US, including in major Eastern states where it was very unexpected. The robbery mentioned in this article occurred in upstate NY and involved a major amount of cash.

Good luck and good hunting to you, I hope this helps a little.
Oroblanco

Wow!! Thanks a bunch for the early Christmas present, Oro! This is fantastic and gives me a great starting point in my research. Thanks again. Happy holidays!!!
 

you can try the nearest city at where the event happened and work out from there ( like working in towards out of a circle/ radius ).

city hall might have some record(s) but your best bet would be the libraries ... ( probably on tape already )

best of luck on the search and keep US posted on the progress =0)
 

Different article I found

20
Feb
14
this day in crime history: february 20,*1892
By John DuMond 12*Comments
Categories: History and True Crime
Tags: 1892, crime, history, New York, New York State, Oliver Curtis Perry, robbery, train robbery, true crime


On this date in 1892, upstate NY outlaw Oliver Curtis Perry robbed a train single-handedly. A daunting task to be sure, but Perry had reason to believe he could pull it off, he had robbed the same train once before in the summer of 1891.

By February 1892, the $5,000 that Perry had made from his heist of a train while it traveled between Albany and Utica, NY had just about run out. Being a practical man, he decided to go with what worked before and rob the same train he had robbed five months earlier.

On the evening of February 20th, Perry stood on the platform at the Syracuse, NY train station as the American Express Special arrived. Conductor Emil Laas noticed Perry standing on the platform and found it odd that someone would be there, considering that the Express carried no passengers. As the train left the station, Perry jumped onto one of the cars and climbed up to the roof. Once Perry had positioned himself accordingly on top of the express car, he donned a mask and affixed a makeshift rope ladder to the roof rail.

Shortly after the train left Syracuse, messenger Daniel McInerney heard glass break in the messenger car. He looked up to see a masked man holding a large revolver crashing through the window. The man ordered him to put up his hands. McInerney drew his own pistol, and both men exchanged shots. McInerney’s missed, while the robber’s shot hit McInerney in the gun hand. McInerney reached up and pulled the emergency stop cord, but the robber shot him in the thigh, then shot him again, grazing McInerney’s head.

As Perry rummaged through the car looking for valuables, the train came to a halt and crew members descended on the messenger car. Perry pointed his pistol at them and ordered them to get the train moving again. The crew complied, and the train continued on to Port Byron, NY. When the train stopped at the Port Byron station, the crew members, who had armed themselves, returned to the messenger car only to find that the robber was gone. Assuming he had jumped off the train, they continued on to Lyons, NY.

Unbeknownst to the train’s crew, Perry had not jumped from the train, but had retreated to the roof. When the train arrived in Lyons, it was met by the local constable and a doctor to treat Daniel McInerney. As they took the wounded messenger from the train, Perry jumped down and made his way to another platform. Conductor Laas saw the bespectacled man in a derby hat, and recognized him as the man who was standing on the platform in Syracuse.

When Perry realized he had been spotted, he jumped onto a locomotive, fired it up, and took off. Two rail employees and a local deputy uncoupled another locomotive and gave chase on a parallel track. Now, unlike a car chase, a train chase doesn’t leave you with too many options. You can go forward, you can go in reverse, and you can stop. There are no alleyways or side streets to duck into, and there’s no room for Steve McQueen-style driving. Soon after Perry had exhausted all of his options for evading capture (including exchanging gunfire with his pursuers), his train exhausted its steam outside the village of Newark, NY, leaving the robber to flee on foot.

Perry stopped at a local farm, where he stole a horse. When the horse was exhausted, he went to another farm where he stole another horse. Soon that horse too was unable to go on. Perry continued on foot with a posse hot on his trail. He then made his way into a swamp. Exhausted from hours of running, Perry holed up at an old stone wall where he prepared to make his last stand.

The posse eventually located Perry and surrounded him. After a long standoff, Perry called out requesting to speak with one of the lawmen. Deputy Jerry Collins agreed to lay down his gun and speak with Perry. Collins attempted to convince Perry to surrender, but the outlaw was hesitant to give up and face life in prison. During the negotiations, Perry became momentarily distracted by a noise behind him. Collins saw his opportunity. He overpowered Perry, disarmed him, and wrestled him into a pair of handcuffs.

Messenger Daniel McInerney survived his wounds, so Perry was spared facing a murder charge. He was convicted and sentenced to 49 years in prison for the robbery. After multiple escape attempts, and several long stints in solitary confinement, Perry went mad and was transferred to the state hospital for the criminally insane in Matteawan, NY. He escaped from Matteawan in 1895, but was captured the next week in New Jersey. He was later transferred to the insane asylum in Dannemora, NY, where he gouged out both of his eyes with pieces of metal, permanently blinding himself. Oliver Curtis Perry died in the mental hospital in Dannemora in 1930. He was 64.

Further reading:

Wanted Man, by Tamsin Spargo

Wayne County, NY – Office of the County Historian: Jerry Collins
 

This one notes that he was charged and convicted of robbery. so he had to have taken something. I feel like someone would have noted a cast iron kettle, but who knows. Much more research to be done.
 

Seems he had a little time at first farm where he stole the horse. If he had time to dress it, he may of had enough time to bury something. I'm going to hold my judgements until I find proof of his "score".
 

UpstateCacheHunter,

I would encourage you to locate the contemporary newspaper accounts and start from there. (Clean Sheet of Paper!) The references above were apparently created 50 or so years after the event.

I don't know whether you have ever used the Chronicling America Site (Library of Congress) with free access to a lot of old newspapers.

Chronicling America « Library of Congress

I did check and you will have several issues available to read the story as it developed. The New York Sun and the New York Tribune both carry the story and I suspect there are other newspapers. Feb 21, 22, 23,1892.

Negotiating the site and finding what you want can prove challenging. Select the "All digitized Newspapers" tab, Select State as "New York" and select "go". You should see a list of 10 newspapers available for browsing.

Select one that covers your time period and then click the browse button. Select the date you are interested in.

This technique won't work in a lot of instances but "your" articles will all be on the front page.

Don't search on Perry because in the initial story his name was unknown. I think the Sun even has sketches of the train configuration.

Searching in Chronicling America usually leaves me scratching my head.

Good Luck,

Garry
 

UpstateCacheHunter,

I would encourage you to locate the contemporary newspaper accounts and start from there. (Clean Sheet of Paper!) The references above were apparently created 50 or so years after the event.

I don't know whether you have ever used the Chronicling America Site (Library of Congress) with free access to a lot of old newspapers.

Chronicling America « Library of Congress

I did check and you will have several issues available to read the story as it developed. The New York Sun and the New York Tribune both carry the story and I suspect there are other newspapers. Feb 21, 22, 23,1892.

Negotiating the site and finding what you want can prove challenging. Select the "All digitized Newspapers" tab, Select State as "New York" and select "go". You should see a list of 10 newspapers available for browsing.

Select one that covers your time period and then click the browse button. Select the date you are interested in.

This technique won't work in a lot of instances but "your" articles will all be on the front page.

Don't search on Perry because in the initial story his name was unknown. I think the Sun even has sketches of the train configuration.

Searching in Chronicling America usually leaves me scratching my head.

Good Luck,

Garry

Thanks a ton Garry, and Merry Christmas. I haven't been a member of this site long enough to use all the excellent tools that you wonderful people use, recommend, and love.

Very excited to give the library of congress site a bunch of hours in the coming days. Hoping to find out where the original yarn got started. If I can do that I can trace all the steps and prove the legend true or false.

Thanks again for his wonderful tool. Happy holidays and happy hunting :2barsgold:

Best wishes,
Bill
 

Hello, I'm from the area and was recently acquainted with this lead. I actually work in geneva from where the site is reportedly at. Let me know if you're still in the hunt.
 

From The United States Treasure Atlas, Vol. #7
The cast iron kettle containing the $40,000 in train robbery loot stolen around 1895,is buried in a 1/4 mile square - area outside of Geneva.
The location is just E of the Big Oak Golf Course and Per-Emption Road and is bound on the N by a power line and on the E by a farm.
Gary
 

Last edited:
Hello, I'm from the area and was recently acquainted with this lead. I actually work in geneva from where the site is reportedly at. Let me know if you're still in the hunt.

I am mixed on this one. I have done a lot of research on the topic. The research leads to a "legend" that appears to be crafted from a train robbery that happened in 1892, not 1895. Oliver Curtis Perry robbed a train but didn't escape with any money. Part of me thinks that this legend was created from the perry train robbery and the loomis gang cache $(40,000)supposed to be buried in the swamp. There is a small part of me that thinks it could be real just based on the specific location listed in the legend. However, anytime I look for robberies in the area of 1895 and amount of $40,000 I don't find anything at all.

Basically, unless there was a private robbery of the black market variety, this legend is very likely a hoax.
 

I am mixed on this one. I have done a lot of research on the topic. The research leads to a "legend" that appears to be crafted from a train robbery that happened in 1892, not 1895. Oliver Curtis Perry robbed a train but didn't escape with any money. Part of me thinks that this legend was created from the perry train robbery and the loomis gang cache $(40,000)supposed to be buried in the swamp. There is a small part of me that thinks it could be real just based on the specific location listed in the legend. However, anytime I look for robberies in the area of 1895 and amount of $40,000 I don't find anything at all.

Basically, unless there was a private robbery of the black market variety, this legend is very likely a hoax.

Sadly alas that is what some treasure legends turn out to be.

Crow
 

im from the area if you need any help LMK. i know the area where G.A.P is talking about. ive been on that road many times
 

Need help / suggestions.

While researching buried treasure in the fingerlakes region of NY, I came across at least 8-10 different websites offering the exact same story.

Supposedly in 1895 a train was robbed near Geneva NY. 40,000 dollars in gold and silver coins are said to be buried in a cast iron kettle.

Since I am from the area I have become quite interested. However, at present I cannot find any evidence to suggest there ever was a train robbery in Geneva or surrounding towns. Also the legend does not list those responsible for the robbery, or what prompted the burial of said cast iron kettle.

Where is the best place to find this info? I have scoured the Internet, and surprisingly found nothing of real significance. You would think with several sites offering the same story, a source or two would be easy to find.

At this point all I can confirm is that there is a large train station (for the size of Geneva), and railroads that are still in use, which were definitely there prior to 1895.

Any help, leads, locations, books, people, or suggestions as to how I should proceed will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all! Happy holidays and happy hunting
I know how to find it, I did a report on the robber in school. I don't want to give the key over the net please contact me [email protected]. I'm from the aria also. Trust me when u here what I have to say you will see I'm right. We have some more digging to do but I know who to talk to and relatives with items from the eria to help. I know where it is down to 1\2 mile been researching for year now. Please contact me I'd like to see if u might have the missing link. There is a map and a location. But it sealed in gov records I might have a way around but need bit more info before we can supena a release. J
 

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