Little Cache Sites

CASTLE DALE, UTAH

REFUGIO CO., TEXAS

PYRAMID LAKE NEVADA

HART ISLAND, MARYLAND

MALTA, MONTANA

EWENVILLE, LOUISIANA

CONCORDVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

REDWOOD, NEW YORK

JACKSON, TENNESSEE

PORTAGE, WISCONSIN

CASTLE DALE, UTAH

  If you believe a stolen army payroll of gold and silver coins is worth a lot of laborious searching, you might try a lost site in Utah's Emery County where Ferron, Huntington and Cottonwood Creeks merge to form the San Rafael River. It is about nine miles southeast of the town of Castle Dale.

  We are told that, in the late 1870's, two army officers camped in the area while transporting a large payroll. During the day, they had been trailed by a group of Indians. Knowing that dawn is the most likely time for an Indian attack, the two officers determined to bury the money near a spring and steal away under cover of darkness. In their flight on horses, the Indians were alerted and fired a few shots, but the men were able to escape unharmed.

  One of the officers apparently had thieves' blood in his veins, for he saw this as a great opportunity to have the entire payroll for himself. As a consequence, he murdered his companion, with the intention of recovering the hoard at some later date.

  Dashing back to his headquarters, he reported that Indians had killed the other officer and stolen the payroll. Apparently, there were too many contradictions in his story, for the murderous thief was court-martialed an sentenced to 20 years in prison.

  Upon his release from prison the ex-officer returned to Castle Dale area to dig up the loot. As so often happens after a period of years, the spring marking the site had apparently dried up, for the man was not able to locate it. Other landmarks, too, had changed or disappeared, for neither the murderer, nor anyone else, has been able to find this cache.

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REFUGIO CO., TEXAS

  Back in 1822 a Mexican barkentine was plying the Gulf Coast trade when it was trapped if a terrific hurricane. On board was a large shipment of gold specie destined for the mexican rulers in Texas. The tide was high when the storm struck, and as a consequence, the ship was driven up a creek in what is now Refugio County.

  When the hurricane abated and the tide and flood waters receded, the captain found his craft marooned on the prairie near the later-day Fagan Ranch. This was indeed a serious predicament - but it became even more serious when Comanches attacked the ship, murdering and scalping its crew. They also carried away eight jars of gold.

  Shortly thereafter, Indians from another warlike tribe pursued the Comanches, who were compelled to bury their heavy burden in order to escape their enemies. This was not an important loss to the Comanches, for they were more interested in the scalps they had taken.

  Folks in the vicinity of the headwaters of Bergantin Creek (as it is now called) believe the jars of gold are stashed somewhere between Refugio and Austwell.

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PYRAMID LAKE NEVADA

  At the southern tip of Pyramid Lade in Nevada's Washoe County lies a lost cache of some $250,000 in gold coins. It belonged to a small group of Chinese prospectors who had reworked a number of abandoned claims in California until they had accumulated enough ore to sell for gold coins. Working their way eastward through Nevada, in the 1860's, they carried their wealth in two stout chests.

  One evening the tree wagons belonging to the Chinese made a stop at Pyramid Lake. All seemed peaceful through the night, but at dawn the following morning the little group was attacked by a ban of Paiute Indians. Caught off guard, the prospectors were all killed and their wagons pillaged.

  The Indians had no use for the gold, so they buried both chests at the base of a cliff near the lakeside. The story of the cache was revealed, in 1923, by an old Indian who declared he had participated in the massacre as a boy. Many people have combed this area for the sway, but there have not been any lucky finders. One hint - over the years the lake's waters have gradually receded, so it is probable the cache is some distance from the present shoreline.

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HART ISLAND, MARYLAND

  Can you use a keg of ancient Spanish gold coins? Then perhaps you might be interested in prowling tiny Hart Island in Chesapeake Nay, about 13 miles east of the center of Baltimore.

  A family by the name of Hart lived there during the middle of the lst century.. The father was a fairly wealthy man, and his fortune was considerably increased when he came upon a small wooden keg of gold coins while walking the beach one day. Apparently, this money came from a wrecked Spanish ship.

  As Hart already had sufficient funds for his everyday living expenses, he buried the keg near his home. Some sudden misfortune claimed the man's life, leaving his bereaved family with knowledge of the cache's precise locations. Treasure hunters still search for the lost Spanish coins.

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MALTA, MONTANA

  Among your finds, would you like a stack of $80,000 in unsigned bank notes? If so, we'll tell you how to find this unusual boodie.

  This mystery of missing money involved a tough hombre named Kid Curry, who committed a long string of crimes, from 1888 to 1901, in Montana. In addition to train and bank robberies, he was wanted for murders of three sheriffs, one deputy and five civilians. This led folks to hint that Curry was "a bit wayward."

  Our interest in this frontier hoodlum stems from the fact that, in 1901, he and his gang held up a Northern Pacific Railway passenger train on the outskirts of Malta, Montana, and fled with $80,000 in unsigned bank notes. Curry is believed to have buried the swag near the scene of the crime, intending to retrieve it when he could find an expert to forge signatures in the notes.

  So, while the heat was on, the train robber decided to hie himself to Nashville, Tennessee. It was there that he exchanged gunfire with two policemen, was arrested, tried and sentenced to 13 years in prison. However, Curry was a slippery character, to the extent that he escaped from prison and fled to the safety of South America. Here his luck ran out. He was murdered, leaving bank notes still unsigned and hidden.

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EWENVILLE, LOUISIANA

  A Civil War trove, secreted by a trio of Union soldiers, still lies buried northwest of New Orleans on the north bank of the Mississippi about a half mile from the locks at the canal opposite Ewenville. This burial came about as the result of an incident in which George J. Adams and two other men from Co. A, 17th Massachusetts Volunteers were foraging on Magnolia Plantation, about 20 miles from New Orleans. Through some unknown circumstance the soldiers managed to find or steal loot then valued at roughly $30,000. Most of it was in gold, with about $1,800 in half dollars and $1,00 in silver dollars.

  On their way back to the city they decided it would be too risky to rejoin their unit with so much money. Consequently, they halted in a pecan grove opposite Ewenville and stashed their loot for safekeeping. One of the party happened to be a civil engineer, so he made three maps of the site, one for each man. They calculated that, when the war was over, they could safely return for their booty.

  Of course fate, particularly in war time, has a peculiar affinity for disrupting the "best laid plans of mice and men." Consequently, Adams was seriously wounded and returned to a northern hospital. His companions were even less fortunate; they were killed in battle.

  It was not until 1886 that Adams was strong enough to return to Louisiana. Approaching the pecan grove, he saw that the site looked different. All the older trees of twenty years ago had been cut down, leaving only smaller growth. Particularly, a large tree which formerly marked the cache was missing. After a few weeks of probing and digging Adams gave up his quest in dismay. The loot is still lost.

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CONCORDVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

  Ever hear of Sandy Flash? His real name was James Fitzpatrick. He and his partner, Mordecai Doughtery, were infamous highwaymen during the Revolutionary War period in the vicinity of Concordville, about 10 miles west of the Delaware River. Sandy Flash and Dougherty amassed a considerable amount of loot - bedeviling, plundering and flogging every Whig within riding distance.

  Having dodged numerous posses, Sandy met his downfall when surprised by an Irish servant girl while making off with her master's boots. Disregarding the outlaw's reputation for meanness, the girl tackled him about the legs and, screaming like a banshee, held on until farmhands arrived to assist her. Sandy, who was later hanged, had long boasted that no man could take him. He might, thus, have saved face at the expense of his neck.

  We do not know the locations of Sandy's alleged treasure caches. But it is presumed they were near his home - if you can find the site of the old dwelling.

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REDWOOD, NEW YORK

  Another Revolutionary War treasure may possibly be found in New York's Jefferson County. This tale had its origin from a British plan by Col. Barry St. Leger to capture Fort Stanwix on the Mohawk River. Sailing from Carleton Island on the St. Lawrence upriver to Lake to Lake Ontario with a strong force, the invaders were swamped in a violent storm near Cape Peninsula.

  One or more of the unfortunate boats carried about 20,000 British pounds for paying troops and enlisting the aid of settlers along the route. The sodden troops managed to drag some of the money chests ashore and bury them for safekeeping in the vicinity of Redwood, after which they hastened to rejoin the main body of troops.

  Why St. Leger never recovered the cache of coins is unknown. We only know that an organization called the Great Adirondack Treasure Company was formed, in the 1920's ti search for this stash however, this venture never got off the ground.

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JACKSON, TENNESSEE

  We don't hear much about lost treasure in Tennessee, but here is a story you might find interesting enough to investigate. It concerns John Woolfork-who, before the Civil War, owned a large plantation on the Cotton Grove Road near Jackson, Madison County. Shortly before the great conflict he died from a mysterious ailment, leaving a considerable fortune to his wife.

  In the middle of the night, during June, 1864 Woolfork's widow was warned by neighbors of the approach of Union raiders. Hurriedly taking a sack half full of gold coins from a secret compartment of her home, she lugged it to a stand of cedars just west of the house. Here she buried it in a shallow trench.

  At later date Mrs. Woolfork became seriously ill and, fearing for her life, showed her nine-year-old daughter the location of the cache in the cedar grove. Shortly thereafter the widow passed away.

  Some years following the Civil War the daughter, now grown to womanhood, attempted to recover the hoard of gold coins, but her memory of its precise locations had failed. Further searches by her family were also fruitless.

  Today the old cedars are gone, replaced by the thick tangle of brush and honeysuckle vines. When last hear of, the property was owned by Mrs. R. E. McLeary.

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PORTAGE, WISCONSIN

  Back before the turn of the century, Bill Tompkins came west with $50,000 in his pockets to settle on a farm near Portage, Wisconsin, on the road, now Highway 51, leading to Madison. His farm was about four miles south of the city. In later years a gasoline service station was built on the property.

  Tompkins prospered and in succeeding years of good harvest added to his fortune. Following the practice of olden days, he hid his money somewhere on the farm. Knowing the best-kept secret is one never told, he declined to confide the location of the cache, or caches, to his family.

  Unfortunately, Tompkins met a sudden death, and the secret of hidden wealth went to the grave with his body. His family turned the place upside down in a search for the old fellow's fortune, but their efforts came to naught. Discourage with their quest, family members sold the property, divided the profit among themselves and went their separate ways.

  After discovering this map, the woman approached the new owner of the farm, offering to split the proceeds of the treasure, if he would grant her permission to search for it. The owner refused to admit her to the property, as he wanted the entire fortune for himself.

  The man made his own search, but was unable to locate Tompkins' main cache. The best he could do was unearth a few coins buried in tin cans while digging post holes. Presumably, this hoard is still lost.

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SOURCE
Treasure Magazine Vol. 16 No. 4 April 1985
Ten Little-Known Cache Sites By Howard Duffy