Azariah Sweetins Cave of Gold Illinois

Gypsy Heart

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Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Built in 1848 by Azariah Sweetin, the Old Stone House has become a legend in the area near Eldred and Hillview. Mr. Sweetin used the limestone from the land that he bought to make the elaborate mansion. The woodwork was all walnut. On the third floor was a ballroom that he used for dances on holidays.

The mansion is said to have a lost treasure of gold coins hidden somewhere inside it. Legend also tells of a murder that happened during one of his dances. The party was for the soldiers that would be going off to the the Civil War.

The sons of two local farmers had an arguement as it got worse, one of the men got disgusted with the whole affair and turned to walk away. As he did the other man stabbed him in the back, he fell onto the fireplace hearth and bled to death.

For many years it has been said that the ghost of the young man appears on the hearth. His blood stained the hearth in the outline of his body. They were never able to remove the stain, and it is said that it is still there to this day.

Mr. Sweetin had done quite well in cattle trading before the war, he didn't trust banks so he started hiding gold coins all over the mansion. No one was sure where it was hidden and Azariah lost his memory due to being thrown from his horse and hitting his head.

The mansion slowly turned to ruins, after it had been deserted, local youths, treasure hunters, and curiosity seekers tore the house apart trying to find the gold. The gold was never found and some say that it was never hidden in the mansion but, instead, in the caves behind the house.

The caves are hiding places for rattlesnakes which has scared away many treasure hunters. But they aren't the only ones protecting the gold, it is said that Azariah's spirit still watches over it.
Hartwell Ranch House aka Sweetin House, is the most imposing of all the limestone houses. Azariah Sweetin, stockman from Kentucky, Earlier a stonemason in England, started building the house in 1848. Mr Sweetin died in 1871 at the age of 50. The land was purchased by Cyrus Hartwell, land owner and railroad developer of Hoopeston, Illinois. Hartwell or members of his family occupied the house until his death in 1894, when his vast holdings were divided and sold.

Mary Hartwell Catherwood of Hoopeston, 1847-1902, included stories of the Lower Illinois Valley in her versatile writing career - of "corn belt local color" and the French in the new world. She gathered material for her stories as she visited her Uncle Cyrus Hartwell, in the ranch house in the 1880's and early 1890's.

Greene County Census 1860
702 671 671 SWEETEN AZARIAH 44 M W FARMER 6000 2000 KY
702 671 671 SWEETEN SARAH 47 F W TN X
702 671 671 SWEETEN LEONARD 20 M W IL
 

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Gypsy Heart

Gypsy Heart

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Hillview,Green County


122. Azariah Sweetin was born on 27 Jun 1818 in Franklin County, Tn. He died on 30 Oct 1871 in Stone House Hillview, Greene, Il. He was buried Hunnicutt Cemetery, Bridgewater, Sweetin. He married Sarah Jane Wells on 21 Feb 1839 in Carrollton,Green County, Il.

[Notes]
123. Sarah Jane Wells was born on 25 Feb 1816 in Tn. She died on 23 Mar 1884 in Hillview, Greene, Il.
 

morbiusandneo

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Gypsy Heart said:
Hillview,Green County


122. Azariah Sweetin was born on 27 Jun 1818 in Franklin County, Tn. He died on 30 Oct 1871 in Stone House Hillview, Greene, Il. He was buried Hunnicutt Cemetery, Bridgewater, Sweetin. He married Sarah Jane Wells on 21 Feb 1839 in Carrollton,Green County, Il.

[Notes]
123. Sarah Jane Wells was born on 25 Feb 1816 in Tn. She died on 23 Mar 1884 in Hillview, Greene, Il.
THANKS Gypsy!! (When is your book coming out???) Anybody go out to this place??? stvn.
 

maxmoney

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Sounds like a good place to hunt for other things too.

Estimated Time from bloomington(my place): 2 hours 18 minutes Estimated Distance: 132.98 miles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillview,_Illinois

[edit] Indian History
In the 1980s the Kampsville Archeological Center, located in Kampsville, IL, dug in the sand ridge area west of Hillview. Pottery, axes, grinding stones and arrowheads are not uncommon in this area and it was theorized that the area was a factory for arrowheads at one time, without permanent settlement.
[edit] Prehistoric
Mastodon teeth have been found in the farm lands west of Hillview

The original post was from this site:
http://usersites.horrorfind.com/home/ghosts/hauntedus/oldstone.htm

the only other info from a serch on Azariah Sweetin turned up this:
http://www.eldredhouse.com/scenicbluffroad.html

in it it says: For many years people have speculated were the money was hidden. Though no one ever reported having found the money, we can assume it was found by two of Sweetin’s farm hands who disappeared shortly after Sweetins death.

The only picture I could find of hillview:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrensnow/2565954030/

Anyone have more info on this?
 

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Gypsy Heart

Gypsy Heart

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Very cool...I hope you guys get out there to hunt!
 

Mr.Jody

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

What about this, anybody go there yet>Is it on private land?Im trying to find some place to go hunt thats not far away, well, this is a "little" far, but its on my way to my brothers house in Missouri...lol
 

maxmoney

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

I am waiting till i get a 2 box detector. my little ace does not nab stuff much beyond 3 inches(and picks up way to much small trash). I very much have plans on giving it a shot thou. I just don't have the $500 for the Treasure-Finder 900 detector. By the way thanks Gypsy Witch. I love reading post of old tales in Illinois to check out. keep em coming.

great job :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

maxmoney

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

I got my two box in and decided to go check out Azariah Sweetin's Haunted Gold Treasure. Unable to find a exact location on the old stone house on any maps or websites I decided to wing it and see if I could locate the house on my own. At 8am I packed up the car with all of my gear and headed out. My goal was to first locate the house and then go to the closest neighbors to ask who owned the property. Since this is a town of 150 the neighbor has a good chance of letting me know who owns it. With any luck he may be the owner himself. I was planning on giving the plea of my long hours of a drive and the reward of cash or beer for the right to hunt it that day. You would be supprised what the gesture of a case of beer can get you.

(Warning before you hunt: This town has thousands and thousands of no trespassing signs. They are on everything. If anyone goes on private land Get permission first!!! I warn you they have plenty of places to hide your body and no one is around to hear you scream. At the very least rock salt filled shotgun shells hurt bad and the sheriff is probably related to who ever finds you.)

The whole way down I had daydreams of me opening a box full of gold coins. I even divided it up between the people I was going to share it with. Sort of like an actor practices winning an award in the mirror.

Side Note: Added to my post at the bottom is another jpg of the house I found on the internet. I know it is still standing as it is a landmark in this area. Also from my info gathering today I am certain no one would take the time or effort to knock it fully down(see pics of the town).

The legend Say's that he may of buried it deep in the caves. I think this is B.S. No one but pirates and criminals bury treasure where they can not keep an eye on them. He didn't trust banks so why would he trust his loot out of his site where someone could walk up and take it without him knowing. If the treasure is still around.. it is in view of the old house as it stood at the time. With my two box if it was buried less than 8 feet deep I was sure to eventually find it. I planned on cranking up the sensitivity to full. I was going to draw a top view of the land and then walk the whole area. Every time i got a hit I would mark it on the map. I would also give it a signal strength indicator next to the drawn hit. I am betting from the surrounded area that I would be digging many big chunks of iron so I wanted to know how many locations I had to work with before I dug hole number one. Also if one hit stood out louder than the rest I would dig it first.

I start my drive thru the town with my eyes open. I spotted many old shacks an homes covered by the plants of the area. The woods are very thick in this area. In the image that I attached to this post you can see a tree growing in the middle of the house. You can also tell that the pick was taken in the winter. I drove around the town in a ten mile radius and could not locate the house. Then I saw my bad luck Nemesis eagles and hawks. Anytime in my life I see these great birds bad things happen to me that usually cost me money. I decided to head home and call it a day while I could. On the way back I was planning my next point of attack. I thought I would make some calls to the court house and get more info before the next trip down. And then it happened.......The spirit of Azariah Sweetin didn't take it to well that I was hunting him down. The car started chugging for a mile and then the transmission went out completely. My car only has around 100k on it. It is a 03 Neon and I had never had a problem or hint that the transmition was anything less than tip top shape. I had to get a tow that took several hours to get me home. That's going to cost me a couple of grand. Azariah Sweetin may have slowed me down for a while but I will be back.

Robert
 

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maxmoney

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Some of these pics of the woods have hidden houses in them that you can not tell from the pic. You gotta look real close to spot them when you drive by.
 

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maxmoney

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

more picks
 

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maxmoney

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

a few more
 

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maxmoney

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

and the last 3............. pic #3 has a house in it...can you see it?
 

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Gypsy Heart

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Thank You so very much for the awesome photos and for going there to check this out. You have so many pictures of places I would love to hunt. I truely hope when I post stories that someone from Tnet will find a huge cache and I hope you return to find something great. these pics were like taking us along with you....Sorry to hear about your car and I look forward to your return trip!!!
 

morbiusandneo

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Re: Azariah Sweetin's Cave of Gold Illinois

Hey MaxMoney!! Have you been back there? Any more new pics for us? I read this story first about 20+ years ago in Michael Henson's treasure book. It is highly likely that there are at least a few of his caches remaining there , even after all these years. I always felt that he would have had many hiding places, not just one....fwiw. Keep us updated. Thanks for all the great pics you've put up here already, too!
 

jamesm75

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I realize that this is an old thread but I stumbled across this while I was looking up the story of "The Old Stone House" for my daughter and I couldnt resist. I am from the area...in fact, my family homestead is just a few miles from there and I currently live just a couple couple of blocks away from one of those pictures in a little town called Roodhouse.
The story of Azariah Sweetin's gold is one that all of the kids are told...but its told as more of a ghost story here.
According to the story, Mr. Sweetin was throwing a party (the third floor was a ballroom) for local union soldiers who were about to leave for the battlefields during the civil war. Two soldiers(or two farm hands. Ive heard it told both ways) got into an argument and, when one threw up his hands and started to walk away, the other pulled a large knife and stabbed him in the back.
Apparently the man fell on the hearth in the ballroom and bled to death within a few hours while waiting for the doctor to arrive.
The blood stained the limestone hearth stone, obviously....if you can find it, you can still see the blood stain on the hearthstone.
the rest of the legend you have there. Mr. Sweetin hit his head when he was thrown from his horse and lost all recollection of where he stashed his money. '
A couple of his farm hands disappeared shortly after his death. Thats about the best guess as to where the loot went.
A LOT of people have come looking for it and done a LOT of damage to the place so, in response to the comment about plenty of places to hide bodies, etc., yes. people get a little irritated when you go poking around their land without permission. Especially if youre tearing things up...ESPECIALLY if youre tearing up what amounts to a local landmark.
Having said that, most people will still let you look around,fish, hunt for mushrooms, deer hunt or treasure hunt to your heart's content if youre courteous and respectful.
This place is a little bit of a time warp. Everything moves a little slower and some people are a little backwards or what most would call "country" or "hillbillies" but Its a place full of pretty good people and rich with history if you know where to look. There are Indian caves and burial grounds. Artifacts like arrowheads and stone axes are pretty commonplace...you get he idea.
Even If you dont find anything, Its worth a look around. There's a very...sad feeling to the place. Just watch out for rattle snakes during the warm months. With the caves right there and all of the stone rubble on the ground, youre likely to run across one. Take a walking stick with you if youre going to poke around.
James
 

Normsel

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Enough people know about this place that by now it is all legend. I am sure if there is a buried treasure it will remain buried. What was a treasure then is now just a great find
 

tinpan2

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the Sweetin Treasure

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If you check into this story more you will find as I did that there are two homes registered in Azariahs name.
I have them pinned on a map of the township. If you come back this way I`m about an hour away from this site.
 

derski91

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This is a long shot but does anyone know who the land owner is? I know this thread is old, but I have done some researching the past few days and have even gotten sight of the ruins from google maps. I have the exact location but Im just wanting to find out who the land owner is in hopes of getting permission to be on his property and possibly check out the cemetery where Azariah is buried. I found that it is also located on the farmers land
 

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