The Dent's Run treasure is said to be lost somewhere in the rugged, sparsely populated area where Elk and Cameron counties meet.
According to the legend, a young Union army lieutenant was commissioned in 1863 to transport a false bottomed wagon containing 26 gold bars weighing 50 pounds each from Wheeling, West Virginia to Washington.
Hoping to avoid Confederate troops, the lieutenant took a northern route. His plan was to bear northeast to the village of Driftwood on the Sinnemohoning River in Cameron, then build a raft and float down to the Susquehanna, on to Harrisburg, and eventually by land to Washington.
His party traveled through Pittsburgh, Clarion, and Ridgeway, eventually arriving at Saint Marys in Elk County. They left Saint Marys for Driftwood one Saturday night in June, and were never seen again.
In August, the expedition's civilian guide wandered alone and hysterical in to Lock Haven. He claimed all the other members of the expedition died in the snake-infested wilderness and the cargo was lost. Some believed him, but the Army was suspicious. The guide was questioned and kept under surveillance for years, and Pinkerton agents were called in to the area. But the gold was never found.
Yes, the 8' depth seems unlikely to me. If there was an ambush, whomever made off with the gold was probably in a hurry to hide it somewhere. A deep excavation seems unlikely. Actually, digging any size hole would require getting rid of the extra dirt and concealing the dig site (otherwise the ambushers could potentially find the location), so I would expect the gold to be hidden in a "cave" or something similar. If this is the case, the gold won't be found using metal detectors. I'll have to ask one of my coworkers if he is familiar with the area since he is from Elk county. Maybe a trip to the area is in order this fall!
It seems to me that because 1/2 of a gold bar was found, the gold may have been divided evenly between 4 people (6 1/2 bars per person). This makes me think that there was some shenanigans involved after Connor left the group.
It would be nice to know where the two bars were found. From some of the research I have done this week, it seems that a local was found in possession of two of the mules by Pinkerton agents. He had stated that he found them wandering in the woods. The man lived somewhere around Chase Run. The area over which one needs to search is huge. If there are still gold bars in the area, it is no wonder they haven't been found yet.
It sounds like it would be a good idea to team up with at least one other person for safety reasons. Those ticks are probably deer ticks and can carry Lyme disease. I was wondering how well gps would work there. Fortunately, there are other techniques one can use to keep from getting lost.
I don't know if the story is true or not but I know that it is being used as a tourest attraction now! At the top of Bell Draft Rd. are two parking spots. The Bell Draft trail is marked with yellow tree blazes. The gold find site is marked with orange paint on the trees, the same orange that is shown on maps in circulation and the GPS readings at the marked site is the same as the map. I think I just wasted several months!
Starsplitter: That paint has been on the trail markers and sight a long time. In fact the trail was orginally painted red. The trail is well worn and maintained. It deffitally is a tourest draw in fact one of the locals laught when I mentioned it.
Thanks for the advice. Believe me, it really doesn't matter to me what Connor's name was or how it may be spelled. If any of that kind of information would help in locating any gold, it would have been found long ago.
From all that I have seen on site and read I would say that there is a possibility that this happened although I have not uncovered a single historical record of the event. I believe that it was used as a tourist draw at one time. I believe that Schall blew the story up, wheather it was true or not, for publicity for a book he was going to write. The area in question has changed dramatically. A RR was built over the bell draft trail forever changing any clues. The area was logged changing it futher. If anything is found, it will be because of 90% LUCK! The only things that I have found there are old train parts.
How about maybe Orion?