Dirt fishing

Metal Detecting Enthusiast

Lost Treasure

pirate-kneelingSo we all heard stories of lost treasure right? Well, lost treasure is not just Blackbeard’s buried treasure chest, treasure is buried all around us. Most of it will probably be lost forever …


Here I have compiled a a list of local PA treasure stories … should I share these with my fellow treasure hunters or keep them to myself?!? Well, since they are all over the Internet, I might as well share them – you might even invite me along in the hunt. Combining our knowledge, experience and resources as a team will give us an extra advantage.

Pennsylvania Lost Treasure



Daniel Boone, a legendary American frontiersman, was once quoted as saying, ‘I ain’t never been lost, but I may have been confused once or twice’. With all respect to Mr Boone – who was born in Pennsylvania, incidentally – it’s incredibly easy to get lost and confused in the forests and mountains of Pennsylvania.

In the course of the state’s 300-plus year recorded history, many people have gotten lost and confused. And they’ve lost plenty of things while stumbling around in the Pennsylvania woodlands – including a surprising amount of gold and silver.

Pennsylvania lost treasure are buried throughout the State. Listed on this page are a few areas that may hold treasures. However, as stories about buried treasures are told, the information changes over the years. And because of this reason, it is important to research every treasure you want to search for. What I have given you here, is just the starting point in your search. This information should be researched through other means as well. Never rely on one piece of information about a treasure story you are researching. Use multiple research tools.

A good place to begin your search for Pennsylvania lost treasure is the Internet. But do not relay solely on that information alone. You should also visit the historical societies in the area you will be searching. Either visit in person, or use the Internet and visit their webpage’s. Read old newspaper articles, old books on the history of the area. Ask questions and follow up with more research. The more information you have, the better chance you will have of locating a treasure. Buried treasures are out there, and people do find them.

For more information on where and how to research for lost treasures, please visit my research page.

Using a metal detector to search for Pennsylvania lost treasure is a must have tool. Before the days of metal detectors the chance of locating buried treasures was not a very high percentage adventure. However, today’s modern detectors give anyone with the desire to locate a treasure, a much better chance of finding one.

If you do not own a metal detector and you are thinking of purchasing one, do not over spend. Too often, newcomers to the hobby buy expensive detectors only to discover nothing but confusion about how to use their new model.

If you spend between $350-$450 on a new model, that is good enough. Just read the owners manual, and practice with your detector, and you will do fine. Move up to the high end models after you have become proficient in the hobby.

Good luck! And have fun in your search for Pennsylvania lost treasure.


Located on route 30, not far from Malvern, was the scene of a large battle between George Washington and the British in September 1777. Apparently,during the battle a major rain storm pelted the troops causing a flood and the loss of equipment and personnal belongings.There may be many relics, which could amount to small treasures in the area.


This town was settled in 1720. During the French and Idian War it was a large military base, as well as a stop over for settlers heading west. Because Carlisle served as a military fort, it’s inhabitants may have buried their personnal belongings for safekeeping. The reason was because they were always aware of pending attacks. And due to death, buried treasures may still be in the area.

Swede’s Ford

Located in Norristown on the Schuylkill River. During the late 1600’s and into the late 1700’s this area was used as a large communications point and campsite during the settlement of Pennsylvania.Many troops camped and walked this area. Small treasures lost or buried may be waiting to be found.

The Delaware River Treasure

Approximately three miles southwest of Chester, on the bank of the Delaware River is a buried treasure consisting of 38,000 pieces of eight. The treasure was taken in 1742, by pirates that captured the Spanish ship San Ignacio El Grande. After burying the treasure, the pirates went to Philadelphia. A few weeks later they returned to the area but were unable to locate the treasure due to flooding that had occurred while they were in Philadelphia.

Lawrence Park

Located off Lake Erie on route 955. The steamer Erie wrecked near Lawrence Park. It was carrying $200,000in gold coins. Throughout the years, gold coins have washed up onto the shores of Lake Erie near the park. This is a large area to search for that Pennsylvania lost treasure.

Orchard Beach

Located twelve miles northeast of Lawrence Park. It has been rumored that American silver dollars from the late nineteenth century have been found in the area of Orchard Beach. The coins may be from a wrecked ship off shore.

The Kinzua Railroad Bridge

Located approximately five miles northeast of Mount Jewitt and crosses the Kinzua Creek.In the late 1800’s, $60,000 in gold coins and paper currency was stolen from the Emporium Bank and then was buried on one side of the bridge.



The Potato River Treasure

Somewhere on the banks of the Potato River near Crosby, is buried approximately $5 million in gold and silver bullion.The treasure was buried by the old, eccentric millionaire, Colonel Noah Parker.


Late in the 1690s, a group of French Canadians, led by Louis Frontenac, left New Orleans for Montreal. They sailed up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River and on to the site of present-day Pittsburgh, taking the left fork up the Allegheny River. On their rafts were kegs filled with gold coins destined for the Royal Governor of Canada’s treasury. Upon reaching present-day Potter County, they started overland, but the heavy kegs made the going slow. Fearing an English or Indian attack, they buried the treasure north of present-day Coudersport, marking the spot with a cross chipped into a rock. Indians saw the cross, but left it alone fearing it had mystical significance. In time, the marker wore away and the Indians couldn’t remember where it was located. The French never returned.

Uniontown –  Confederate Silver

During the American Civil War, Confederate raiders captured a Union convoy heading from West Virginia to the Philadelphia Mint. The convoy’s treasure – some 15 tons of silver bars – was stolen and hidden inside a cave north of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The rebels sealed the mouth of the cave and never returned for the booty. Some say it’s still out there waiting to be discovered.


Keating Summit  – Blackbeard’s Silver

By Francis X. Scully

 At the time it was lost, it was valued at one and a half million dollars, but with the increasing value of pure silver the lost bars could conceivably be worth double that amount. Supposedly buried near the mini-village of Gardeau in McKean County, northern Pennsylvania, the lost treasure has been part of the folklore of the Keystone State’s oilfields for over a century. What is more, if you go after this one, you will be within fifty miles of four other lost treasures valued at five million dollars or more—-a rare opportunity for an enterprising treasure hunter.

In 1811, a Captain Blackbeard (not to be confused with Edward Teach) received a commission from the British Admiralty to raise the wreckage of a Spanish galleon, which had gone down off the Bahamas during a raging tropical hurricane in the early fall of 1680. Plainly visible in less than 20 fathoms of water, the hulk posed no difficulties for the astute Blackbeard, one of the greatest marine salvage experts of his day. In less than a month, the canny Englishman raised the hulk, and by surrounding it with pontoons, made ready to tow his prize and its cargo to the safety of an American port; England then being at war with Napoleonic France.

Escaping a furious storm by a matter of hours, Blackbeard landed his wreck at Baltimore, where he immediately made arrangements to have a warship tow it and the loot it contained to the safety of an English port.

In June of 1812, while tipping a few tankards of ale in a Baltimore tavern, Blackbeard met Peter Abelhard Karthaus of the privateer Comet. Blackbeard’s heart almost stopped beating when Karthaus very subtly informed him that he was aware that the English sailor had successfully brought to the Maryland city a Spanish galleon and its $1,500,000 worth of silver bars.

Running the gauntlet with French warships was one thing, but trying to escape the relentless privateer, the rogue of his day, was another thing. Then, too, the possibility of war with America was growing stronger with each passing day. To attempt to take the treasure across the sea was an impossibility, reasoned Blackbeard. The land route to Canada and safety was only four hundred miles, most of which was through uninhabited wilderness and it could be accomplished in a few weeks reasoned the now-thoroughly alarmed Englishman.

That night Captain Blackbeard studied the route he would take. He would follow the Susquehanna due north to about what is now Williamsport, Pennsylvania and from there to the Sinnemahoning River northwestward until he reached what is now Emporium, Pennsylvania. Then there would be a twenty-three mile portage over Keating Summit to the headwaters of the Allegheny River near Port Allegany. This was known as Canoe Place at the time, and had been used by traders, trappers, and warring Redmen for over three centuries. Then all he had to do was follow the Allegheny to the mouth of the Conewango Creek near present-day Warren, and then up to Chautauqua Lake (Jamestown). From the head of Chautauqua, he could practically roll down the hill to the blue waters of lake Erie. Britain controlled Lake Erie, Blackbeard mused, and the treasure would be home safe, and he would claim his reward and perhaps a knighthood from a grateful king. This was the plan to follow, and so the Englishman made ready.

The silver bars were loaded into wagons, all of which had a false bottom, covered with hay and straw. Each wagon was drawn by six oxen, accompanied by a handful of guards supposedly loyal to Britain, now almost on the verge of war with their cousins in North America for the second time in forty years.

Blackbeard never dreamed of the difficulties the land route through Pennsylvania’s trackless wilderness could pose until he reached what is now Lycoming County. Twice, the Englishman had to build rafts, in order to ascend the turbulent Susquehanna, and twice the bulky log platforms had capsized dumping the bellowing oxen and wagons into the icy river. By the time the expedition reached Clinton County and present-day Renovo, Blackbeard was coming apart at the seams. War had finally broken out between America and England, and the Englishman became almost obsessive in his efforts to avoid contact with any wandering trapper, whom he felt almost certain would have to be American. Then, the gnawing suspicion that one or two of his guards had betrayed some suspicious attitudes, brought Blackbeard to the brink.

That night, the English captain made up his mind that he would get the silver over the twenty-three mile portage, and then bury it for safekeeping. Word had slipped through that Fort Niagara had been blockaded, and Lake Erie was swarming with American boats, perhaps influenced his decision, but his mind was made up. He would bury the loot until after the war. After the British had trounced the upstart Yankees, he would have no trouble in reclaiming and finding the silver. It was perfectly safe in this primeval forest, reasoned Blackbeard.

And so, late in the summer of 1812, in the southeast corner of McKean County near the tiny village of Keating Summit, and not far from either Smethport or Port Allegany on CW 1198 and CW 1199, the huge treasure was buried near an old saltlick. During the digging, at least two dozen elk watched the strange behavior of the sweating humans, as they lowered box after box to the bottom of narrow trenches. Legends of McKean County indicate that bison at one time congregated at the lick, and early records state that over 300 elk were counted at one time around that spring and its salt deposits.

(He buried the treasure in the mountains outside Emporium in McKean County near present-day Route 155. )



So Blackbeard made it safely back to Canada and eventually to Britain, where he reported to an exasperated Admiralty that the tremendous treasure was buried someplace in the wolf-infested forests of northern Pennsylvania, back in Yankeeland. Returning to America, Blackbeard sent Colonel Noah Parker to the treasure site. Perhaps this was like sending a fox to guard a henhouse. While Parker kept intruders away, he also managed to keep Blackbeard from finding out anything about the silver hoard.

Within a few years, the frustrated Englishman went to his reward and the treasure was forgotten by all—save Parker. From time to time he showed sudden affluence, but always denied that he had ever found any of the silver.

After the Civil War, Parker opened one of the first spas in northern Pennsylvania, claiming that the curative powers of the spring waters would move the Iron Virgin. Hundreds flocked to the little hotel, and Parker never failed to regale them with the story of the lost treasure. Thousands searched for the treasure and never found it, and if Parker knew of its whereabouts he went to his grave without telling anyone.

It is now part of the folklore of the people of the rugged hills of Pennsylvania, and Captain Blackbeard’s fabulous treasure—or at least that portion not expended by the shrewd Colonel Parker—is still awaiting a finder.



Lehigh valley

Any treasure stories or lost treasure in lehigh valley

1. A cache of gold coins is supposed to be buried on a farm between Emmans & Macungie. Several people have searched the farm which is called “Haunted House”. About 25 years ago, is was rumored the treasure had been found, but was learned to be a hoax. As far as can be determined, the money, hidden by the farmer, is still there.

2. South of Egypt was the site of Fort Deshler, built in 1760. Do some research and look for roadside historical markers to pinpoint the exact location.

3. East of Lynnport was Fort Everett was built in 1756. Troops were stationed there during the French & Indian war.













Frenchmen’s Gold

Late in the 1690s, a group of French Canadians, led by Louis Frontenac, departed New Orleans and headed towards Montreal. They sailed up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River turn-off. They then went up the Ohio to the location of present-day Pittsburgh and took the left fork up the Allegheny River. On their rafts were kegs filled with gold coins destined for the Royal Governor of Canada’s treasury.

Upon reaching present-day Potter County, Pennsylvania, they started overland, but the heavy kegs of coins made the going slow. Fearing an English or Indian attack, they decided to bury the treasure just north of the location of present-day Coudersport.

They marked their cache of gold with a cross chipped onto a rock. Seneca Indians are said to have seen the cross on the rock, but left it alone because they feared the site had special mystical significance. In time, the marker wore off the stone and the Indians were unable to remember where it was located.

The Frenchmen never returned for their gold and to this day it has never been found.

The Counterfeiter’s Gold

Then there’s the story of Cyrus Cole who, in the early 1900s, lived by himself in a shack near the swamps outside Eldred in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Cole was something of a bum, surviving by picking berries and trapping muskrats yet, strangely, he was never short of cash.

The United States Secret Service had agents investigating an influx of counterfeit silver half dollars and gold coins in the area, but could never get any leads. Then in 1912, they got an anonymous tip that Cole was the mastermind behind the counterfeiting ring. Armed with a search warrant, the agents searched Cole’s shack and found some evidence, but not enough for a conviction.

They searched the swamp for evidence of the minting equipment, but came up empty-handed. Legend has it that Cole buried his counterfeit coins and his real gold and silver profits somewhere on the high ground near Eldred. None of it has ever been recovered.

Civil War Gold

In 1863, during the American Civil War1, a Union Army lieutenant was ordered to escort a wagon that had been fitted with a false base. This disguised compartment contained 26 gold bars each weighing 50 pounds. The wagon was to travel from Wheeling, West Virginia, north through Pennsylvania and then south to Washington, DC – the idea behind this route was to avoid any possible encounter with Confederate forces.

In the early stages of the journey, the lieutenant was sick with fever. During a fit of delirium, he blurted out the fact that the wagon contained a fortune in gold. After his fever broke, the expedition left St Marys, Pennsylvania, heading for Driftwood where they were to build a raft and float down the Susquehanna River to Harrisburg. They never made it, vanishing somewhere in the forests of Cameron and Elk counties.

Two months later, the party’s civilian guide stumbled into Lock Haven – 50 miles east of St Marys, the last known location of the convoy. Army investigators interrogated the guide for days and heard that bandits ambushed the group, killing all the soldiers and taking the gold. The Army did not believe this story.

Pinkerton2 detectives were hired to search the area, but all they found were some dead mules in the area of Dent’s Run near present-day Route 55 in Elk County. In the early 1870s, human skeletons which were believed to be those of the soldiers were found in the same area.

The guide was drafted into the army and assigned to a fort in the west. A heavy drinker, when he was drunk he would claim to know where the gold was hidden. But when he sobered up, he disavowed all knowledge of the treasure’s location.

Local rumour has it that during the past 50 years the modern US Army has sent several teams into the area around Dent’s Run searching for the gold. Despite these alleged ongoing searches, the gold has never been recovered.

Bellefonte, Lewistown – Robber Lewis’ Lost Booty

David ‘Robber’ Lewis made a reputation for himself in the early 1800s, robbing the rich and giving to the poor. He was captured in 1820 and on his deathbed, he confessed to all his crimes and told his jailers of three caches of gold he had hidden in Pennsylvania:

  • One, containing $10,000 in gold, is said to have been hidden in a small cave along the Juniata River near Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Lewis returned for the cache and couldn’t find it because the river had flooded and washed away his trail markers.
  • A second cache is purported to be buried along the Conodoguinett Creek near the caves he used as a hide-out.
  • The third, reportedly containing $20,000, is buried in the hills outside of Bellefonte. During his last imprisonment, Lewis is said to have taunted his jailers by telling them that he could see the cache from the jail.

None of these caches have ever been recovered.

David “Robber” Lewis made a reputation for himself in the early 1800s, robbing the rich and giving to the poor. He was captured in 1820 and, on his deathbed, told his jailers of three caches of gold. One, containing $10,000, was concealed in a small cave along the Juniata River near Lewistown. A second was buried along Conodoguinett Creek near the caves he used as a hideout. The third, containing $20,000, was buried in the hills outside Bellefonte. During his last imprisonment, Lewis is said to have taunted his jailers by telling them he could see the cache from the cell. None of the loot was ever found.

Kushequa  – Cash at Kinzua

In the 1890s, a man robbed a bank in Emporium, Pennsylvania, making off with $40,000 in cash. Apparently, he got lost and wound up in the village of Hazel Hurst where he collapsed. Not having a good day, our man died of ‘exhaustion’ a short time later, but not before confessing that he had buried the loot north-east of Kushequa within sight of the Kinzua railroad bridge. The money has never been recovered.

Belsano – The Belsano Train Robbery

On 11 October, 1924, a train carrying a safe containing a payroll of $33,000 was robbed just outside the Cambria County, Pennsylvania town of Belsano. During the course of the robbery, one of the men who was guarding the safe was shot and killed.

Police in several neighbouring states joined the manhunt for Michelo Bassi and Anthony Pezzi and the murderous duo were apprehended two weeks after the robbery in Terre Haute, Indiana. Each had a gun and $3,000 in cash. The men were convicted of first degree murder and in February 1925, they were executed in the state’s electric chair.

The safe and some of the money was never recovered. Legend has it that it may be buried or hidden near the site of the robbery.


Tionesta – The Lost Cave of Silver

Somewhere in the Allegheny National Forest to the west of the town of Tionesta, Pennsylvania is a cave reputed to be full of silver.

During the late 1700s, a white settler named Hill got lost and sought shelter in a cave for the night. Inside the cave he saw veins of silver running everywhere through the walls and ceiling. In the floor was a great pit filled with pure silver. When he managed to find his way home, he was unable to find his way back to the cave.

Hill’s story was backed up by an early entrepreneur who traded liquor with the indigenous Indians in exchange for furs and silver. When he asked them where they got all their silver, legend has it that they blindfolded him and took him to a cave matching the one described in Hill’s story.

Pure silver was found in Indian burial grounds near Irvine, Warren County – approximately 15 miles upstream from Tionesta. However, the Cave of Silver has never been found.

Other Lost Treasures

Mount Carmel

An aeroplane carrying a quarter-million dollars in cash crashed near Mount Carmel in 1948. The money was thrown out of the plane just prior to the crash and was never found.


Bandit Michael Rizzalo stole a $12,000 payroll in 1888. He was said to have buried it in a tin box somewhere on Laurel Run Mountain, just outside the town of Wilkes-Bare. The money is supposed to still be there today.


In 1775, a gang of Tories5 hid $100,000 in gold coins in the Wernersville area. The loot was never recovered.

Warrington Township

To Whom It May Concern,

Years ago my grandfather buried some kind of “treasure” at a secret location in Warrington Township. He left a series of clues that led to the treasure but passed away before he felt the need to retrieve it. Having lived through the Great Depression I don’t think he was the type to trust in banks or government. I can remember that he hoarded precious metals of all kinds, as well as old and valuable coins, keeping them in linen trunks in the basement. Sort of an eccentric fellow.

My siblings and I hunted for the treasure all throughout our youth, but our enthusiasm waned as we matured. Even after many years of searching no one in my family has ever been able to find the hoarde. I think this is because none of us ever found the location of the first clue. Both my father and uncle assured me that they witnessed my grandfather in the area of the Bradford Reservoir with pick and shovel on more than one occasion. This was our one hint, but no matter how much we searched the forest we never found anything. He knew it too well, and we too little. Or perhaps the clues were lost to time, rusted and overgrown.

I don’t have it in me to hunt for treasure anymore. I was the last member of my family to give it up. In a month I’ll be moving in with the rest of my relatives out west – permanently – and I don’t want this little legend to die with us. Somebody should enjoy the hoarde. None of us want to let it rot in the ground forever, even if we can’t have it. I’ve talked it over with my siblings and we agree that it’s time to turn the treasure hunt over to people smarter than us. I would like to make this information public. I would respectfully request that you publish the story and the clues that my grandfather left behind.

Please respect my desire to remain anonymous in these matters. I do not wish to attract any undue attention to my family. As a metal detector hobbyist for many years I have heard my fair share of stories about the kinds of harassment families and property owners can face when rumours arise regarding “buried treasure” in the vicinity.

Undoubtedly with your resources you can spread news of this throughout the county and roundabout. I will be mailing this information to as many publications and individuals as possible, in the hopes that those with the means to do so will disseminate it freely. Any interested treasure hunters are encouraged to make for the hoarde. We relinquish all claims and consider the hoarde fair game.

I will be reading the papers and following this story with enthusiasm! I look forward to eventually congratulating the finder, if any.


Sonny Amou

PS — Family tradition has it that my grandfather buried numerous hoardes throughout the township, however we have only one set of clues. Whenever I searched for the hoarde I usually swept the area with a metal detector in case any other treasures happened to be near. My father, who I believe was in the know, said that the location of the hoarde was a clue to finding other buried caches – one of them in a barrow containing my grandfather! These were the sorts of colourful family legends told about the man; that he was secretly buried according to Anglo-Saxon custom, that his ghost floats through the forest bearing a lantern and a shovel, that the “hidden fortunes” of our family are scattered across Warrington in underground vaults. But none of us ever found anything. As I wrote earlier, the very first clue eluded all of us. I may have been a treasure hunter all my life but I know when to admit defeat and pass the torch.
The Clues:

Within 70 paces of the Lion’s Tree there is iron in the earth.
99 paces at 72 degrees the Sun shines underground.
At 9 o’ clock the Sun’s rays reach out 86 paces.
A book there rests which guides the way, it reads:

(read downward starting at column 1)




I can reveal the following: Warrington Township is in Bucks County, PA and “Sonny Amou” comes from a wealthy family. This letter went out to local newspapers — the Intelligencer, the Courier Times, Calkins Media (owner of the Intelligencer and the Courier Times), the Reporter, the Herald, the County Historical Society, and two employees of Calkins Media who Mr. Amou thought might be interested in the story (one a columnist for the Courier Times and one an archivist for the Intelligencer). As of this date no newspapers have run the material. Please help raise awareness of the subject, otherwise I won’t earn the second half of my commission. Thanks for your time.


The Clues:

Within 70 paces of the Lion’s Tree there is iron in the earth.
99 paces at 72 degrees the Sun shines underground.
At 9 o’ clock the Sun’s rays reach out 86 paces.
A book there rests which guides the way, it reads:

52 sets of 3 #s highest # from left to right is
lowest # left to right is
if the lion’s tree,is found,the dir of the iron has to be found
IE: Within 70 paces of the Lion’s Tree,there is iron in the earth.
i would hope it is a metal pole,and the only one that close to the LT
i put an img together,to see what im reading,i put the iron to the E
of the LT,it could be NSW too,either way though the 86p and book
back track the 99p,give or take a foot or 2,either side.thats if i figured
it out correctly,as to what the clue says
im going to have to think on the # sets,maybe a magazine has 10 paragraphs
i guess a book could too, if the paragraphs are short,2-3 lines

A Handy Tip


Digging for treasure is not with a shovel and three scoops later, “Voi la”, you uncover the top of a treasure chest! The more valuable the treasure, the deeper it is buried; is the rule. The average treasure (less than $100,000) is buried at a depth between four and six feet. This is well beyond the depth range of 99.9% of all metal detectors.

The Spanish King, Charles II, decreed that all treasure in North America that could not be brought back to Spain before the American Indian revolt of 1685 was to be buried at least 30 feet deep or 30 feet of tunnel from the outside of the mountain. Penalty for a burying treasure too shallow was death! Hundreds of Spanish mines “pickled” (stored) refined bars of gold and silver at least 30 feet deep. Extensive death traps were incorporated to prevent the occasional robber from stealing the treasure (Do your research of &ldquo eath Traps” before digging for treasure!). Spain did send expeditions back to open old mines and send refined bars back to Spain. Many sites are still waiting to be found as the ownership of the land changed hands from French to American, Spanish to American, and many miners never made it back to Spain with the secret code to relocate the hidden caches due to time, death, disease or tragedy.







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

dirtfishing © 2013 Frontier Theme