Note: The legend of this treasure was first printed in the April 3, 1875 edition newspaper, The Minerva Commercial, Minerva, Ohio. (Historians differ on the exact time period. Some researchers suggest 1755, others suggest 1758. Down through the years the legend has grown, and new stories and theories have evolved. Some say it was an impending attack by Indians that triggered the burying of the gold, others say it was an impending attack by British soldiers. Historians have noted an advancing British army under General Braddock in 1755, as well as another advancing army under General Forbes in 1758.)
The story seems to begin at the French occupied Fort Duquesne, at present day Pittsburgh. Because of impending attack, the decision was made to move the French gold to safety. Some stories maintain that the safety point was Fort Detroit, other stories maintain the gold was to be taken back to France. Orders were given that ten men would accompany sixteen pack-horses carrying the load, and if trouble should arise the men were ordered to bury the treasure and mark the spot. The Tuscarora Trail, or Great Trail was the route chosen, as it was the famous thoroughfare used by the Indians and a few daring white men following a westward course in the pre-Revolutionary period.
A few days into the journey, the detail of Frenchmen sensed an attack was coming. As legend has it, they buried the gold and silver treasure at a point near the present junction of Columbiana, Stark, and Carroll County (Ohio)lines. The spot was unique in that there was a natural occurrence of three springs together in one vicinty. The men added other subtle markers at the spot such as placing a rock in the fork of a tree, and placing the shovel(s) under neath some logs. The men scattered, some accounts say 8 of them were subsequently killed. Two of the men from the detail were reportedly able to make it back to Fort Duquesne on foot after three days travel. Because it was a 3 day march, the area where the gold was buried was presumed to be in the vicinity of present day East Rochester and Minerva Ohio. Residents of the area have located the clues on the Robbins Farm, but despite generations of searching, the treasure has never been found. The the legend lives on. Ronald Maxgard, in his book The Sandy And Beaver Canal c. 1952 mentioned that a Spanish gold coin of the period covered by the treasure was found in the craw of a chicken. Of course this started the gold rush anew. Treasure hunters with modern coin finders have scoured the area in teams. There were also reports of the use of large earth moving equipment that literally changed the face of the landscape while trying to uncover the treasure.
I've been fortunate in haing been able to list some parcels of vacant land near East Rochester, Ohio. Just the thought of it being near the Great Trail brings a sense of awe and wonderment about exactly where the legendary treasure may be.
I would imagine there are many legends and stories of lost treasures and silver mines associated with every state. I would enjoy hearing about the legends in your area.
I've recently ran across a website pertaining to a book by WC Jameson titled Buried Treasures of the Mid-Atlantic States. It contains some fascinating stories!
Thanks! - Jim Dvorovy