Monthly Archives: September 2012

The John Wilkes Booth and Jesse James connection…Both deaths Faked

The outlaw Jesse James was not killed by Bob Ford in 1882. Jesse faked his death
as an expedient way to throw off Pinkerton agents, assorted railroad barons, gun
fighters and the bounty hunters scouring the country for him.
He and Ford would become partners in many business ventures spanning decades.
James operated under more than 50 aliases in his long life before dying at the
advanced age of 107 under the alias J. Frank Dalton in 1951 in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Jesse was a 33rd degree Freemason and a high-ranking Knight of the Golden
The KGC evolved from a Scottish secret group known as The Society of the
Horseman’s Word, otherwise known as the Horse Whisperers. This fraternity
recited passages from the Bible backwards and practiced folk magic as part of
their rituals, in addition to having Masonic-style oaths.
Headquarters for the Knights of the Golden Circle was 814 Fatherland Dr. in
Nashville. This was the home of KGC operative Frank James, elder brother of
Jesse James. Years later it became the Dixie Tabernacle, original home of the
Grand Ole Opry.
The KGC claimed 200,000 members all over America during the war. All of the men
in Lincoln’s cabinet were Knights, save for Lincoln. The KGC was heavily
financed by the London and Paris Rothschild brothers. Their goal was to foment
as much chaos and discord as possible in order to keep the country divided and
to usher in a Rothschild-owned central bank.
But Lincoln had his own plans. During his presidency, his 50% tariff
jump-started the American steel industry, while his railroads, subsidies for
mining, free land for farmers and free state colleges transformed a bankrupt
cotton-exporting country into the world’s greatest industrial power within 25
Lincoln knew that he was waging a separate but equally brutal war against
Rothschild-dominated Wall St. firms with his attempt to reassert government
control of its credit. He put through anti-usury and other strict banking laws,
sold bonds directly to the people and issued hundreds of millions of national
With these reforms “The Great Emancipator” had signed his own death warrant.
Lincoln knew that his time was short. He confided to his bodyguard Ward Lamont a
week before he was killed that he had a vision of his own death.
But there were powerful people that believed in him.
During the Civil War Lincoln negotiated a pact with Czar Alexander of Russia
whereby the Russian Navy was sent into the ports of San Francisco and New York
to help block the Rothschild ships that were running armaments to the South.
After the appearance of the Russian ships in American waters, the Rothschilds
canceled contracts to build more blockade running boats. The Czar won the day
for the North as Russia promised to go to war with any nation that attacked
In 1867 when the war ended and Lincoln was dead, President Andrew Johnson
received a bill in the amount of $7.2 million for the rental of the Russian
fleet. The Constitution forbids giving tax dollars to any foreign nation for any
reason whatever except for the purchase of land. Johnson directed Secretary of
State William Seward to purchase Alaska from the Russians for $7.2 million.
These details of ‘Seward’s Folly’ have been excised from the historical record.
This is because Imperial Russia was the only European country without a central
bank. They were the greatest foes of the Rothschild Syndicate.
Also, since the time of the Empress Elizabeth, Russian Jews had been confined to
an area known as the Pale of Settlement. Jews could not live beyond the Pale.
Long ago attempts were made to remove all Jews from Russia entirely unless they
converted to the Orthodox Church. The Pale of Settlement was the next best
The Rothshchilds underwrote the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The murder of Czar
Nicholas and his family was their revenge for the treatment of their
co-“religionists” in times past and for daring to stand against the inauguration
of a Rothschild dominated central bank.
And the Rothschilds also underwrote the financing of the Knights of the Golden
Their gold and dollars were laundered through a Montreal bank by Confederate
Secretary of State, Judah Benjamin, ‘the brains of the revolt.’ Benjamin was
running so many Confederate spies out of Montreal that it was known as ‘the
second Richmond.’
Benjamin was very wealthy and owned a sugar plantation manned by 140 slaves.
After the war, he fled Richmond and eventually wound up in London where he made
a very comfortable living as a Queen’s Counsel. It is difficult to get data on
Benjamin as he burned his personal notes so frequently that one historian
referred to him as a ‘virtual incendiary.’
After the Lincoln assassination police found decoding sheets in Booth’s
Washington hotel room. A matching coding device was found in Benjamin’s Richmond
Returning to John St. Helen/David George/John Wilkes Booth
Jesse James was the treasurer and comptroller in sole possession of all gold
& silver bullion and money of the Knights of the Golden Circle. In this
capacity he paid Booth an annual pension of $3600 with the proviso that Booth
honor his KGC oath of secrecy and never talk about their activities or the
Lincoln assassination. He and other Knights repeatedly warned Booth to curb his
loose tongue, but to no avail….
Jesse had no choice but to silence his Lodge Brother.
Jesse tracked Booth to the Grand Hotel in Enid one winter evening in 1903. Jesse
made Booth drink a large glass of lemonade laced with a copious quantity of
arsenic. Booth drank the lemonade and quickly expired. Jesse scattered many of
Booth’s papers around the corpse for easy identification. He then went down to
the hotel lobby and gave the manager a gold coin and asked him to look in on his
friend David George in the morning, as George was feeling ill.
The next day the press had a field day. The story exploded. Thousands of
reporters came to Enid from all over the country to report the death of John
Wilkes Booth.
Booth’s body was taken to a mortuary across the street from the hotel that was
owned by W.B. Penniman. Many people identified the corpse as Booth including a
retired couple named Harper whom Booth had confided in.
Penniman embalmed the body and coated it with Vaseline. The arsenic went a long
way to preserving the skin. Booth’s attorney Finis Bates read the press reports
in Memphis and hastened to Enid where he identified the body. A funeral trade
journal in 1909 stated that within a few weeks the corpse had ‘the drawn and
tanned look of an old mummy.’
Penniman laid Booth out in his mortuary and charged curiosity-seekers 10 cents a
peek. Tourists viewing the corpse would steal the collar buttons and sometimes
remove locks of hair for souvenirs. One intrepid visitor tried to sever one of
the mummy’s ears with a pocket knife.
But when the drawing power of the Booth mummy waned, Penniman handed over the
body to Finis Bates. Later on, Bates rented out the body to carnivals and
The corpse traveled for years as part of a show featuring freaks and strange
animals. It even emerged unscathed from a circus train wreck that killed eight
At one point the mummy was even kidnapped and ransomed. In 1931 it turned up in
Chicago where a group of doctors performed an autopsy and took an x-ray and
pronounced its Booth-like injuries authentic.
In 1932 a couple named Harkin bought the mummy and displayed it from the back of
their truck. Hecklers would sometimes claim that the mummy was made out of wax,
but Mrs. Harkin silenced them by rolling the mummy over and opening a flap on
its back that had been cut away during the original autopsy. The mummy wore
nothing but khaki shorts and between shows Mrs. Harkin would lacquer the skin
with Vaseline and comb its hair.
Some wag declared that John Wilkes Booth was back in show business…..
The mummy vanished from the public eye in the 1950s.

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Electoral College math: Not all votes are equal……

When it comes to electing the president, not all votes are created equal. And chances are yours will count less than those of a select few.
For example, the vote of Dave Smith in Sheridan, Wyo., counts almost 3 1/2 times as much mathematically as those of his wife’s aunts in northeastern Ohio.
Why? Electoral College math.
A statistical analysis of the state-by-state voting-eligible population by The Associated Press shows that Wyoming has 139,000 eligible voters — those 18 and over, U.S. citizens and non-felons — for every presidential elector chosen in the state. In Ohio, it’s almost 476,000 per elector, and it’s nearly 478,000 in neighboring Pennsylvania.
But there’s mathematical weight and then there’s the reality of political power in a system where the president is decided not by the national popular vote but by an 18th century political compromise: the Electoral College.
Smith figures his vote in solid Republican Wyoming really doesn’t count that much because it’s a sure Mitt Romney state. The same could be said for ballots cast in solid Democratic states like New York or Vermont. In Ohio, one of the biggest battleground states, Smith’s relatives are bombarded with political ads. In Wyoming, Smith says, “the candidates don’t care about my vote because we only see election commercials from out-of-state TV stations.”
The nine battleground states where Romney and Barack Obama are spending a lot of time and money — Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin — have 44.1 million people eligible to vote. That’s only 20.7 percent of the nation’s 212.6 million eligible voters. So nearly 4 of 5 eligible voters are pretty much being ignored by the two campaigns.
When you combine voter-to-elector comparisons and battleground state populations, there are clear winners and losers in the upcoming election.
More than half the nation’s eligible voters live in states that are losers in both categories. Their states are not closely contested and have above-average ratios of voters to electors. This is true for people in 14 states with 51 percent of the nation’s eligible voters: California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Maryland, Louisiana and Kentucky. Their votes count the least.
The biggest winners in the system, those whose votes count the most, live in just four states: Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada. They have low voter-to-elector ratios and are in battleground states. Only 4 percent of the nation’s eligible voters — 1 in 25 — live in those states.
It’s all dictated by the U.S. Constitution, which set up the Electoral College. The number of electors each state gets depends on the size of its congressional delegation. Even the least populated states — like Wyoming — get a minimum of three, meaning more crowded states get less proportionally.
If the nation’s Electoral College votes were apportioned in a strict one-person, one-vote manner, each state would get one elector for every 395,000 eligible voters. Some 156 million voters live in the 20 states that have a larger ratio than that average: That’s 73 percent — nearly 3 out of 4.
And for most people, it’s even more unrepresentative. About 58 percent of the nation’s eligible voting population lives in states with voter-to-elector ratios three times as large as Wyoming’s. In other words, Dave Smith’s voting power is about equal to three of his wife’s aunts and uncles in Ohio, and most people in the nation are on the aunt-and-uncle side of that unbalanced equation.
“It’s a terrible system; it’s the most undemocratic way of electing a chief executive in the world, ” said Paul Finkelman, a law professor at Albany Law School who teaches this year at Duke University. “There’s no other electoral system in the world where the person with the most votes doesn’t win.”
The statistical analysis uses voter eligibility figures for 2010 calculated by political science professor Michael McDonald at George Mason University. McDonald is a leader in the field of voter turnout.
Former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming defends the Electoral College system for protecting small states in elections, which otherwise might be overrun by big city campaigning: “Once you get rid of the Electoral College, the election will be conducted in New York and San Francisco.”
Sure it gives small states more power, but at what price? asks Douglas Amy, a political science professor at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts: “This clearly violates that basic democratic principle of one person, one vote. Indeed, many constitutional scholars point out that this unfair arrangement would almost certainly be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on those grounds if it were not actually in the Constitution.”
Article 2 of the Constitution says presidents are voted on by electors (it doesn’t mention the word college) with each state having a number equal to its U.S. senators and representatives. While representatives are allocated among the states proportional by population, senators are not. Every state gets two. So Wyoming has 0.2 percent of the nation’s voting-eligible population but almost 0.6 percent of the Electoral College. And since the number of electors is limited to 538, some states get less proportionately.
Adding to this, most states have an all-or-nothing approach to the Electoral College. A candidate can win a state by just a handful of votes but get all the electors. That happened in 2000, when George W. Bush, after much dispute, won Florida by 537 votes out of about 6 million and got all 27 electoral votes. He won the presidential election but lost the national popular vote that year.
That election led some states to sign a compact promising to give their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. But that compact would go into effect only if and when states with the 270 majority of electoral votes signed on. So far nine states with 132 electoral votes have signed, all predominantly Democratic states.
Because of the 2000 election, conservatives and Republicans tend to feel that changing the Electoral College would hurt them, George Mason’s McDonald said, and after their big victories in 2010, the popular vote compact movement stalled. But that analysis may not necessarily be true, he added. McDonald said before recent opinion polls started to break for Obama there seemed to be a possibility that he could win the electoral vote and lose the popular vote because of weak turnout — but still enough to win — in traditionally Democratic states like New York and California.
Former Stanford University computer scientist John Koza, who heads National Popular Vote, which is behind the electoral reform compact, said Democrat John Kerry would have won the Electoral College in 2004 while Republican Bush won the popular vote, if only 60,000 Bush votes in Ohio had changed to Kerry votes.
History shows that candidates have won the presidency but not the popular vote four times, and in each case it was the Democrat who got the most votes but lost the presidency: 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000.
The Associated Press analysis suggests that in this year’s election, the current system seems to benefit Romney. The AP re-apportioned electoral votes based on voting-eligible population and not congressional delegations, so that, for example, Wyoming and the District of Columbia would have only one elector instead of three, and California would have 58 instead of 55.
Based on polling, states strongly in the Romney camp have 191 electoral votes in the current system but would have only 178 if the electoral votes were allocated based on voting-eligible population. Based on similar polling, Obama would benefit by about five electoral votes if electors were apportioned by that population. The nine battleground states would gain even more sway, jumping from 110 electoral votes to 118.
That would compound the perceived problem of a shrinking number of battleground states being all that mattered in the election, leaving the overwhelming majority of states standing around as “spectator states,” Koza said.
John McGinnis, a professor of constitutional law at Northwestern University, defends the current Electoral College, arguing that while the mathematics of electoral proportionate calculations is correct, the conclusion that it over-represents small states is not. Larger states still have more sway because they have more electoral votes, he said.
Further, the historical agreement to give each state two senators regardless of their population and to base electoral votes on congressional delegation rather than population “was an essential compromise” when framers were drafting the Constitution, McGinnis said. Without that compromise, there might not have been a Constitution or nation, he said.
But Finkelman said his reading of history is that the compromise wasn’t about power between small and large states as much as it was about power of slave-holding states. He said James Madison wanted direct popular election of the president, but because African-American slaves wouldn’t count, that would give more power to the North. So the framers came up with a compromise to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for representation in Congress and presidential elections, he said.
Electoral College supporter McGinnis said the emphasis on battleground states is actually good because they are representative of the country. But he acknowledges as an Illinois resident, “I realize when I vote here it’s completely irrelevant.”

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The search for Jimmy Hoffa’s body: 6 rumored burial grounds…..

1. The Roseville backyard burial
On Friday, Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality is taking a core sample from the driveway of a house in the Detroit suburb of Roseville, after a recent radar scan of the driveway found an anomaly two feet underground. If forensic anthropologists find human remains in the sample, local police will excavate to find the body, be it Hoffa’s or someone else. An unidentified tipster told Roseville police that he saw the man who owned the house in 1975 — a bookie for Detroit mafia captain Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, one of the men Hoffa was going to meet the day he vanished — stay up all night mixing concrete for his driveway on the fatal day. Retired Detroit FBI chief Andrew Arena is skeptical. “You’ve got to check it out, but this doesn’t sound right,” he tells the AP. “I just don’t see [the mob] burying the body basically at the intersection of a residential neighborhood with this guy standing there.”

2. The horse barn interment
In 2006, the FBI followed “a fairly credible lead” to a horse farm about 30 miles west of Bloomfield’s Machus Red Fox restaurant. On the day of Hoffa’s disappearance, there was a lot of activity at the farm, including reports of a backhoe appearing on the property — reputedly a mafia meeting place at the time. The feds hauled in a whole team of investigators, archeologists, and anthropologists, plus enough heavy equipment to dig around and demolish the horse barn. Two weeks and $250,000 later, the FBI left empty-handed, mystery unsolved.

3. The Beaverland betrayal
Hoffa loyalist and Pennsylvania Teamster official Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran died in 2003, but not before suggesting to his biographer that he shot Hoffa in a home in the Detroit suburb of Beaverland. The account, by former prosecutor Charles Brandt, has Sheeran betraying his friend on the orders of Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino. According to the book, Sheeran lured Hoffa into the house, shot him in the back of the head, and left, while brothers Thomas and Stephen Andretta cleaned up and disposed of Hoffa’s body, burning the remains in a trash incinerator at a funeral home. In May 2004, local police pried up some of the floorboards in the Beaverland home to test blood found on the wood against a sample of Hoffa’s DNA. Their conclusion: The blood wasn’t Hoffa’s.

4. The New Jersey stadium burial
In a 1989 Playboy interview, convicted mob enforcer Donald (Tony the Greek) Frankos made one of the most enduring, and oddly specific, claims about Hoffa’s fate: After being lured to a Mt. Clemens, Mich., home by foster son Charles (Chuckie) O’Brien, Hoffa was shot dead with a silenced .22 pistol by New York Irish mobster Jimmy Coonan, dismembered with a power saw and meat cleaver by Coonan and fellow mob boss John Sullivan, bagged and frozen, then buried five months later in the concrete under Section 107 of the New York Giants’ stadium in New Jersey. Before the old Giants stadium was razed in 2010, TV’s Mythbusters squad looked for evidence of Hoffa’s entombment under the stadium and found nothing.

5. The GM headquarters tomb
This claim comes from a 2011 book by self-described “weasel” and mob “goon” Marvin Elkind: Hoffa was buried in the foundation of Detroit’s Renaissance Center, which was being built when the ex-Teamster boss disappeared. Elkind says he learned the location from Giacalone at a 1985 Teamster conference, when the mobster nodded toward the building and said, “Say good morning to Jimmy Hoffa, boys.” After Hoffa’s body was dumped in, “there was a mad rush to get the concrete poured,” Elkind adds. “It makes some murderous logistical sense to kill him and dispose of his body” in nearby Detroit — certainly more so than hauling his remains to New Jersey, says John Pearley Huffman at Edmunds Inside Line. But if Hoffa really is buried under the Renaissance Center, now the headquarters for GM, the largely union-owned auto giant’s home is “built upon a foundation that includes one of labor’s most famous leaders.”

6. The watery grave
In 1987, former Hoffa tough Joe Franco and ex-New York Times reporter Richard Hammer claimed in a book, Hoffa’s Man, that the FBI’s theory is all wrong. Hoffa wasn’t whacked by mafia and Big Labor rivals, but by two federal agents who abducted the labor boss, took him up in a small airplane, and pushed him out over the Great Lakes.

I was in Detroit when Jimmy turned up missing…the next day the rumor on the streets was……Jimmy was picked up and told he would be returned to his car after the “meeting” with Russ and Frank (“Russ” was the notorious mob boss Russell “McGee” Bufalino. “Frank” was no other than Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. Both were close friends and allies, and two of the only people Hoffa trusted with his life), instead he was shot in the head during the ride, taken to a scrap yard and tossed into a car ready for the crusher. The car was crushed into a standard bale, loaded onto a truck and taken to the foundry.
What happened next is what happens to all scrap, crushed cars…dumped into the vat and melted down. No body will ever be found if this is true.

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29 Sept 12…Moon rising over the Sandia Mountains.

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By Jakeof — Friday September 28, 2012 — Bosham Hoe, West Sussex, United Kingdom

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Legend of Smoothing Iron Mountain, Llano County, Texas


Smoothing Iron Mountain is located in northwestern Llano County and can be seen from Highway 71 between Llano and Brady. It is one of the highest landmarks of the county and is located near the old community of Esbon.

According to legend, a large gang of Mexican Revolution supporters frequently raided cattle herds in the Valley Spring and Field Creek region of Llano County. Many of the farmers and ranchers even claimed that the raids were being conducted by the revolutionary leader, Pancho Villa, himself.

In 1935, an ex-Ranger by the name of George Gregg told a story to a resident historian of Valley Spring about an interesting encounter he and a company of Rangers had late one night around the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1916). Gregg stated that he and his comrades were escorting a large shipment of gold from New Mexico to San Antonio and were taking a route through the Hill Country in order to avoid any confrontations with revolutionary bandits along the border. As they entered the Hill Country region, they recieved word that there were several bandit outfits raiding ranches and farms and stealing cattle to be taken down to Mexico in order to support the rebels in the revolution.

As the company of Rangers neared Smoothing Iron Mountain, they recieved more reports from residents that there was indeed a bandit gang of Mexicans operating in the area because they had seen the banditos as well as heard them at night. Knowing that they were going to be reaching the steep slopes of Smoothing Iron Mountain by nightfall, one of the Rangers said that he knew of an old cavern on the south end of the hill that had once been used by an outlaw he had assisted in tracking. He stated that the cave could only be accessed from one trail, was well hidden, and was extremely spacious. The party agreed to head for the cave in order to avoid an unanticipated ambush.

George Gregg later stated the cavern could only be accessed from a trail that began one mile down from the Cold Creek Cemetery and led to an old log cabin that the outlaw had used while he was hiding out in the cave. Continuing up the slope, the caravan reached the flat topped summit and continued to the cabin which was about twelve feet from a natural spring. The cave was located a ledge rock, about 25 feet from the cabin, and was near a two foot high ledge. It was large enough for a six team wagon to ride into it, as well as to turn around inside of it. Inside the former hideout, the Rangers buried seven of the chests and moved some sticks and rocks on top of them just in case the bandits were to discover their hideout.

That night, Gregg reported that the Rangers stayed inside the cabin and indeed did hear the bandits rustle several heads of cattle not far from their location. Concerned that they were going to have an encounter with the rebels, the Rangers decided to leave the seven chests buried inside the cavern and to continue on their journey with a lighter load. They drew up a map to the location and decided that they would return later for it after the bandits had left the region. Because of the increasing amount of violence along the border, the Rangers were never able to return. Gregg, however, did make some personal trips to Smoothing Iron Mountain to locate the gold, but he stated that the ledge had fallen down and concealed the entrance. He was going to return with a larger party to remove the stone, but was never able too.

It is said that the remains of the log cabin can still be found, but that no one has ever uncovered the buried treasure. The spring is said to still flow but only after a rain or thunderstorm. Is there a treasure upon Smoothing Iron Mountain?

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Alone and forgotten…what stories if the walls could talk….

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South Carolina…Ghost Towns/Treasure Legends…by county

South Carolina Ghost Towns/Treasure Legends by County
Spartanburg County
Union County
Laurens County
Greenville County
Cherokee County

Spartanburg County
Ghost Towns

1…Blackwood, 3 miles North of New Prospect
2…Paris, 3 miles West of Chesnee
3…McMullen, 4 miles Southwest of Chesnee
4…Brannon, 3 miles South of New Prospect
5…Bennett, 2 miles North of Campobello
6…Andover, 3 miles South/Southwest ofCampobello
7…Tular, 4 miles West of Moore
8…Cashville, 5 miles South of Reidville
9…Hebron, 5 miles South of Glen Springs
10..Evinsville, 3 1/2 miles North/Northeast of Cross Anchor

No Treasure legends for Spartanburg county

Union County
Treasure Legends

1…In 1865, Union troops chased a retreating Jefferson Davis, his cabinet and Confederate soldiers
were transporting the Confederate Treasury from Yorksville to Unionville. As the crossed the
river at Smith’s Ford, Union soldiers caught up with the rear guard, taking 10 prisoners. It was
reported that a portion of the gold and silver was buried near this ford and never recovered.
When the Yankees caught up with the group, they captured 7 wagons in the woods as the Confederates
were in the process of burying the contents near the fork of the Apalachee and Oconee Rivers.
They captured $188,000 in coin, $1 1/2 Million in bank notes, $4 Million in Confederate currency.
The buried cache has never been recovered from this area.

Ghost Towns

1…Pickney, on the tri-county line, 3 miles Northeast of Adamsburg
2…Bonham, 5 miles North of Union
3…Gist, 3 1/2 miles North of Buffalo
4…Colerain, 3 miles Southeast of West Springs
5…Delta, 3 miles Northeast of Whitmire on railroad
6…Ada, on railroad and Tyger River, 6 miles Northeast of Whitmire
7…Herbert, in the Southeast corner of county, 2 miles Northwest of Shelton

Laurens County
Ghost Towns

1…Jachin, 7 miles due East of Fountain Inn
2…Paul, on West county line, 2 1/2 miles Northwest of Hickory Tavern
3…Tylersville, 4 miles Southeast of Landord
4…Hintington, 5 miles, due South of Cross Anchor
5…Renno, on railroad 7 1/2 miles West of Whitmire
6…Garlington, on railroad and East county line, 5 miles West of Whitmire
7…Simpson, 8 miles West of Laurens
8…Ekom, 9 miles Southwest of Laurens
9…Owingsville, 6 miles due West of Waterloo
10..Baldwin, on South county line, 3 miles Southwest of Waterloo
11..Madden, on railroad, 3 miles Southwest of Laurens
12..Coldpoint, 5 miles North of Waterloo
13..Harris Springs, 2 1/2 miles East/Southeast of Waterloo
14..Milton, 6 miles South of Clinton
15..Sarah, 5 miles East of Cross Hill near the East county line
16..Carroll, and the Saluda River, 3 miles Southwest of Cross Hill
17..Manilla, near the Southeast county line, 5 miles Southeast of Cross Hill

Treasure Legend

1…Rufus Baker buried a cache of gold and silver coins in the vicinty of Cross Hill

Greenville County
Ghost Towns

1…Clara, in the far Northwest corner of the county on the State Line, 7 1/2 miles West/Southwest of Caesars Head
2…Venus, 2 miles South of Caesars Head
3…Riverview, 1 mile Northwest of Cleveland
4…Terry, 3 miles East of Cleveland
5…Merrittsville, 7 1/2 miles North of Tigerville
6…Ben, 5 miles Northeast of Tigerville
7…Bettie, 3 1/2 miles North of Tigerville
8…Tyger, 3 miles East of Tigerville
9…Mitchell, 6 miles South of Gowensville
10..Jesse, 1 1/2 miles Northeast of Marietta
11..Marydale, 4 miles East of Marietta
12..Sandy Flat, 5 miles North/Northwest of Taylor
13..Crotwell, 4 miles Northwest of Taylor
14..Grove, 3 miles North/Northeast of Piedmont
15..Woodville, 5 miles due East of Williamston
16..Flora, on East county line, 3 miles Southeast of Pelham
17..Clear Springs, 3 miles due East of Mauldin
18..Huntersville, 7 miles due East of Mauldin
19..Albans, 6 miles Southeast of Simpsonville
20..Lickville, 4 miles Southwest of Fork Shoals
21..Cedrus, 2 1/2 miles South of Fork Shoals

Treasure Legend

1…The Tory bandit Bloody Bill Bates used the mountain area near Travelers Rest and Greenville to hide caches of
stolen good, merchandise and loot. He was captured and shot at Greenville without revealing the exact location
of his plunder and it has yet to be discovered.

Cherokee County
Ghost Towns

1…State Line, on the state line, 5 miles Northeast of Chesnee
2…Maud, 7 1/2 miles Northwest of Gaffney
3…Goforth, 6 miles North of Gaffney
4…Terry, 3 miles Northeast of Blacksburg
5…Lawn, 5 miles Southeast of Gaffney
6…Goucher, on West county line, 4 miles Southeast of Cowpens
7…Asbury, 5 miles Northeast of Pacolet
8…Gowdeysville, 8 miles North/Northeast of Jonesville
9…Wilkinsville, 6 miles Southwest of Hickory Grove
10..Sunnyside, 10 miles Southwest of Hickory Grove

No treasure legends this county

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Bug Out Backpack item….water purifier……

Enjoy the Freedom to go anywhere with SteriPEN’s smallest, lightest and first rechargeable UV water purifier.
Eco-friendly, the SteriPEN® Freedom’s integrated battery recharges via a micro USB B port — recharge via computer, AC outlet or compatible solar charger. The metallic green Freedom provides 8000 0.5L (16 oz.) water treatments. In 48 seconds, the germicidal UV light destroys over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium. One liter volumes may be disinfected by treating twice. Perfect for outdoor, business and adventure travel. SteriPEN Freedom is highly portable (74g; 2.6 oz) and easy to use. Using instant-on technology with LED indicators, follow 3 easy steps:
Enjoy the Freedom to go anywhere with SteriPEN’s smallest, lightest and first rechargeable UV water purifier.
Eco-friendly, the SteriPEN® Freedom’s integrated battery recharges via a micro USB B port — recharge via computer, AC outlet or compatible solar charger. The metallic green Freedom provides 8000 0.5L (16 oz.) water treatments. In 48 seconds, the germicidal UV light destroys over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium. One liter volumes may be disinfected by treating twice. Perfect for outdoor, business and adventure travel.
SteriPEN Freedom is highly portable (74g; 2.6 oz) and easy to use. Using instant-on technology with LED indicators, follow 3 easy steps:
Remove the lamp cover,
Immerse the quartz-encased UV lamp and
Stir (autotimed for 48 seconds). The green indicator light lets you know when it’s safe to drink the water. The versatile Freedom also serves as an LED flashlight. USB cable, AC Adapter and neoprene case included.
see video:

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Michigan Treasure Legends……

At the end of the French and Indian War, France ceded the Great Lakes and the Northwest Territory to England. Twenty years later, by the Treaty of Paris in September 1783, England granted the Northwest Territory to the United States. A part of that grant became the state of Michigan which was admitted to the Union in 1837.

The French had monopolized the fur trade for over a hundred years, from about 1620 to 1725, before the British began to offer any competition. Thousands of dollars worth of furs were shipped to France. Most of the fur traders spent their earnings for whiskey and supplies, but there were a few thrifty trappers and government agents who buried or hid their savings.

Sometimes during raids into New York, Pennsylvania and the Illinois-Ohio country, Indians would carry gold and silver with other loot back to their villages around the Lakes. Since money had no value to them, it was lost, buried, hidden or thrown away.

Sixty-eight out of the eighty-six counties in Michigan have shown evidence of free gold and silver has appeared in several places. Also, the state has numerous ghost towns.

During Pontiac’s Uprising in 1763, Alexander Henry, an English trader, was captured by the Indians. Henry had made friends with the Hippewa Chief Wawatam before the uprising. After the Indians fortified Mackinac Island, Wawatam helped Henry escape the stockade, where all the English prisoners were being kept before being killed.

Wawatam took Henry to a cave in a sandstone cliff. While he was spending the first night in the cave, Henry discovered a large pile of human bones, skulls and curious objects.

The next day, Wawatam managed to ransom Henry from the other Indians so that he would not be recaptured and killed. When Henry told about the cave, a band of curious Indians went to see the place for themselves. It was a new discovery for these people, who had often camped on the island. Even the oldest tribesmen could not account for the cave or its contents.

Some of the Indians remembered their tribal story of a great flood and supposed that island dwellers had taken refuge in that high cavern, where they were caught by the rising water and drowned.

Alexander Henry left Mackinac Island with Chief Wawatam and never returned. It is a certainty that the superstitious Indians never bothered the cave. From a treasure hunter’s point of view, there are several questions that are unanswered.

What were the curious objects Henry saw? Apparently the skeletons were not Indian or the Indians with Henry would have known about them. Who were these people? Since the bones were in a dry cave, they could have been there for centuries. Were they the remnant of a race that predated the Indians? I can learn of no mention of this cave or its contents since Alexander Henry visited it in 1763. If nothing more, an interested treasure hunter, in finding this cave in the sandstone cliffs of Mackinac Island, could uncover something of an important historical nature.

From the 1880’s until 1902, a man named Porter Pritchard lived on a small 30-acre island in Higgins Lake in Roscommon County. Pritchard became known as the Hermit of Higgins Lake. No one knew why Porter isolated himself all those years. It was thought that he had murdered his wife and was hiding out, although no authorities ever checked on him.

The most widely accepted story is that Pritchard was a bounty jumper during the Civil War. Men were paid from $300 to $500 to take the place of any man that did not want to serve in the Union army. It is believed Pritchard used this method for three years to collect bounties in seven different states. If this is true, he came to the island with considerable money.

No one ever saw him spend any money except for food and tobacco. The money that Pritchard is believed to have, has to still be on the island because his body was found in 1902, in the dugout he used for a home. The money that was believed to be buried with his body was not found. Since this is a small island, it would be a good place for a treasure hunter to spend a vacation searching for this missing cache.

One of the most blood-thirsty Indians in American history was an Ottawa named Chief Pontiac. He always returned to Acole Island in Orchard Lake, in what is now Oakland County, Michigan, after a raid or foray into English territory. Local legend has told for years that Pontiac buried a fortune in booty he obtained in raids against the white settlers in Pennsylvania and Virginia on this island. This is highly possible, since Pontiac learned early in life of the white man’s greed for gold and silver.

His orders to his warriors were always the same during a raid, “Take what you want, burn everything else and kill the prisoners.” Since Pontiac made dozens of raids during his war on the whites, called Pontiac’s Uprising, it is probably that he buried a large quantity of loot on Acole Island.

Near Dowagic in Cass County, is a very good area to search for glacial diamonds. Several have bee found here within the last few years.

In 1874, Michigan’s biggest industry was logging. In August of that year, a gang of desperados laid to wait for the stagecoach carrying $74,000 in gold to a large lumber camp in the area near Benton Lake. The robbery came off as planned and the thieves made good their escape.

The bandits, knowing that the lumberjacks would soon be on their trail, decided to bury the gold until the news of the robbery had died down. They selected a site between two tree stumps on the north shore of Benton Lake. There they put the money into an old cast iron stove, dug a deep hole, and buried the whole thing.

Historians say the gold is still in the iron stove, waiting for someone to find it. Experts estimate the value of the gold cache to be almost a half-million dollars today.

The general location is easy enough to find but there are some difficulties involved. Benton Lake is still there on the left side of Highway 37, driving north. The lake is also south of Baldwin and west of the hamlet of Brohman. The problems are largely due to the time lapse. The two stumps are no doubt rotted away, and the shoreline of the lake may have changed.

This came from the magazine “Inside Michigan” in July 1953. “In the early autumn, of an unknown year, the Chippewas decided to fortify themselves in a lakeside position where they thought the Menominees with whom they had trouble would be most likely to attack. This was in the northern part of Benzie County, at the mouth of the Platte River.

“By spring the Menominees had not come across Lake Michigan from what is now Wisconsin to fight, so the Chippewas decided to cross the lake in canoes and take the Menominees by surprise.

“Before they embarked, however, the chief took all the money that the tribe owned, two copper kettles full, carried it alone over the brow of a nearby hill, and buried it in a spot that only he knew.

“The Chippewa warriors then launched their flotilla of canoes and crossed to the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan. In Green Bay, however, a sudden storm capsized their small craft, and all of the warriors drowned.”

This is an authentic story that could very well pay someone to investigate.

In 1823, Nicholas Biddle, president of an eastern banking concern, induced a group of investors to build cities along good harbors in Michigan. One of the planned cities was Port Sheldon, in Ottawa County. The plan was to create a city the size of Chicago, at a cost of $200,000,000. A railroad spur started the town, along with a large hotel with gambling halls but the project went bankrupt in 1837.

In 1839, a mob of investors planned a raid on the hotel to collect their money from Biddle. He learned of the planned and is said to have buried a quarter million dollars in a well near the hotel. The raid did not materialize, but Biddle was afraid to touch the buried money and reportedly died without revealing its hiding place. I have investigated this location thoroughly and can find no record of this cache having been found.

Michigan’s most noted train robber was John Smalley, known as the Whiskered Train Robber. Most of his train holdups and other crimes were committed outside the state of Michigan, but he made his home in Clare County.

It wasn’t until after his death, at the hands of a sheriff’s posse that his true identity was learned. It is not known how many robberies Smalley and different members of his gang committed during a several year period, but it is believed to have been considerable.

Smalley was visiting his girlfriend, Cora Brown, in McBain, Missaukee County, when the house was surrounded by a posse on the night of August 25, 1895. When asked to surrender, Smalley refused. After his girlfriend and her mother fled out a rear door, the posse began shooting into the cabin. Smalley was hit several times and died with a gun in each hand. He was buried in the McBain Cemetery.

The question has been asked many times, where was the estimated $1,000,000 that Smalley accumulated during the several years of train and other robberies. I believe that local research could payoff on this one.

Shortly after the Chicago fire, a part of the vast plunder taken during the three-day tragedy was brought in boxes to Leelanau County in a small schooner and buried by a group of five men. In 1871, that part of Michigan was sparsely settled, and the region offered an ideal spot for such an undertaking.

It is recorded fact that during the great Chicago fire, October 8-10, 1871, looters made away with an estimated five to twenty million dollars worth of goods and valuables. It is believed by most authorities that most of the stolen property was taken away by boat rather than overland, and if the repeated stories are true, none of the Chicago treasure has ever been admitted found and should still be where it was hidden. Part of this loot is believed buried on Leelanau County’s peninsula near Northport.

Gold has been found in 68 of the counties in Michigan. For those interested in searching, some of the best areas are: near Allegain in Allegain County; on the Antrim River in Charlevois County; on the Boyne River in Emmett County; near the town of Walton and on the Rapid River in Kalkasak County; on the Little Sable and Mainstee Rivers in Mainstee County; near Howard City and Greenville in Montcalm County; on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County; near the town of Whitehall and on the White River in Oceana County;; near Grand Haven in Ottawa County; near the towns of Burr Oak and Marcellus in St. Joseph County; near West Summitt in Wexford County; on Ada Creek in Kent County; on the Maple River in Ionia County; in the area of Birmingham in Oakland County; around Iron Mountain in Dickenson County; and near Harrisville in Alcona County. It could pay to pan any stream in these counties.

Here is information on a mystery ship in Lake Michigan that was supposedly carrying over $30,000,000 in gold. One of the most persistent rumors of sunken treasure is that of the Poverty Island wreck of an unidentified vessel which sank off Escanaba carrying a load of $4,500,000 in gold bullion. If Lake Michigan does hold this ship, it has the richest treasure in the Great Lakes. If legend is true, this nameless vessel was sailing from or to Escanaba. Its gold was being transported in five chests sent by a foreign power to help finance the outcome of the Civil War, in whose favor, however, nobody knows.

One theory is that the gold came from England by way of Canada and was to be shipped across Lake Michigan, taken by land to the Mississippi River, and then sent south to aid the Confederate cause.

The opposition learned of the cargo and attacked the ship. Hoping to recover the gold later, its guards chained the chests together and dumped them overboard. No one had yet been able to identify the gold-laden ship, though it has been referred to on several of the Great Lake shipwreck lists. The missing cargo could be worth as much as $35 to $40 million today.

Fort Michilmackinac was built by the French about 1715, in what is now Emmet County, Michigan. British troops captured the fort in 1761. On June 2, 1763, during Pontiac’s uprising, Chippewa Indians overran the fort. They killed most of the British soldiers and held the fort for over a year. During the battle the British soldiers are supposed to have buried, inside the fort, the large amount of gold and silver they had accumulated in back pay. This fort was abandoned after 1781 and soon reverted to wilderness. As far as can be learned, the gold and silver were never recovered.

This little known cache of $1,300 may not seem like a large treasure to search for until it is remembered that $400 of that money was in gold coins and the rest in silver, all dated 1920 or earlier.

This money was never recovered after six men robbed the Farmers State Bank of Grass Lake, Michigan, on July 29, 1920, and buried the money on, or in the vicinity, of Mack Island.

On the evening of that day, four men entered the bank and tied up two officials and two bank customers with fishing line. The bandits then proceeded to stuff over $69,000 into cloth bags. Making a clean getaway with their driver and lookout man, the gang headed for Mack Island, about five miles south.

When the robbery was reported shortly after it happened, word was sent to Laragee at Jackson, the county seat. After arriving at the bank, a deputy sheriff named Worden noticed the fish line that was used to tie up the captives. He knew that some out of town fishermen were staying at Wolf Lakes, which formed Mack Island. Playing a hunch, Worden took several men and headed for the island to check on the fishermen.

Upon reaching the island, Worden noticed Ted Harris, a known criminal, on the second floor of the tenant house. When Worden wanted to enter Harris’ room, he was refused permission. Becoming suspicious, Worden insisted, and Harris, standing to one side, jerked the door open. A hail of bullets came through the opening. Worden was killed instantly and a deputy named Verl Kutt was seriously wounded.

Two of the gangsters dropped from the rear second story window of the building and escaped into a swamp. Harris broke loose and fled into another swamp nearby. Two others of the gang gave up and the sixth bandit had been shot several times during the hail of lead from the room and was unable to move.

A few weeks later, when al of the gangsters had been captured and were taken for trial, the judge, because of their reputation and the murder of the two deputy sheriffs, gave two fo the gang double life sentences and the rest ten to twenty years for bank robbery and murder. A bank audit showed that $69, 851 in bonds, gold and silver coins, currency ad securities had been taken during the bank robbery. All of this was recovered except $1,300.00 in gold and silver coins, which has to still be hidden near where the tenant house stood on Mack Island, because the gangsters had not left he island. It isn’t likely that any of the gang returned, after long prison terms, for only $1,300.00.

Mack Island is located about five miles south of Grass Lake, between Big and Little Wolf Lakes. The tenant house and original buildings are gone now, and there are new homes in the area, but with the price of gold coins today, this cache would still be worth investigating.

At half past eight on the night of August 28, 1875, the 774-ton steamer COMET was carefully working her way through Lake Superior’s ever dangerous Whitefish Bay. She had just rounded White fist Point and had settled on course for Point Iroquois, 25 miles to the east, and the entrance to the Soo Canal.

The gray fog was thick, but patchy, and extra lookouts were on watch since Whitefish Bay was an area of major shipping congestion and therefore dangerous in clean weather, let along fog. Through a clear area a lookout spotted the pale running lights of another steamer, heading directly toward the COMET. Captain Francis Dugot kept the COMET on her course, trying to ascertain the true course of the other vessel before altering his course. However, because of the fog, he was never able to do so.

Without warning, the mysterious steamer nosed out of a fog bank, her sharp prow aimed directly for the COMET. With a splintering of wood, the strange bow stuck the COMET on the portside, 20 feet forward of the stern. The COMET was an old ship and only careful handling and management had kept her rotten, decayed hull afloat. The force of the collision was simply too much for the heavily loaded COMET to bear. Within ten minutes the old wooden steamer sank, taking eleven of her twenty-one man crew with her.

Part of the explanation for the rapid sinking of the steamer was her heavy cargo of 200 tons of pig-iron and 300 tons of high grade Montana silver ore. The silver ore was considered a loss of $50,000 dollars from 1875. What its worth today would be astronomical.

The remains of the COMET have never been located. Due to the fog at the time of the disaster, no accurate location sights were taken by the COMET crew. The best estimate by the Captain of the COMET placed the wreck 10 miles east of Whitefish Point, in a minimum of 90 feet of water. Subsequent salvage efforts directly after the sinking were completely unsuccessful, failing even to locate the wreck. Searches by monger divers have been equally unrewarding, but it’s out there somewhere and records prove it. $50,000 in silver ore still remains lost for over a hundred years.

UPDATE: Reader supplied new information through contact form.

The Comet was finally salvaged in the 1980s when artifacts from the wreck were illegally removed. The artifacts are now the property of the State of Michigan and are on display as a loan to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The fate of her silver ore cargo is unknown. Her wreck is now protected by the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve as part of an underwater museum.

Drummand Island, off Chippewa County, is at the northern end of Lake Huron. This island extends about 12 miles east to west at its widest point. Of importance to us is that it is the source of at least four treasure tales.

One take, about a French fur trader who established a trading post on Drummond Island in the 1750’s, is not too well known. As time went on, the fur trader became mentally unbalanced. During one of his more disturbed days, he lugged a pot of gold coins into the woods and secreted it. When his family discovered that the trader’s fortune was missing, they questioned him at length about it, but the old fellow refused to reveal the location of his cache, going to his grave with the secret.

The island was a hub of British military activity in 1813 when the Redcoats built another fort there. General Monk was in charge of the army funds which were kept in an iron chest. As was the custom in those early days, Monk buried the pay chest for safe-keeping. Perhaps the rigors of military life on the frontier were too much for General Monk, for he eventually became hopelessly insane and would not, or could not, tell where the chest was hidden.

The British abandoned the fort in 1828 and were forced to leave without their pay chest. Apparently it is still where Monk stashed it. Old Fort Drummond consisted of 14 buildings, located on the southwestern promontory of the island two miles from the channel landing. There are still traces of foundation walls, chimneys and fireplaces remaining by the natural parade ground and the old fort’s cemetery.

The British had previously occupied Drummond Island in the 1760’s, and there is another old story of a couple of enlisted men having stolen the garrison’s payroll at that time. According to old accounts, it was the soldiers’ plan to hide on the densely wooded island until search efforts were abandoned. This seemed like a good plan until the commandant of the fort announced a reward of $20 in gold for the heads of the thieves. This inspired two Indians to track down the miscreants and a few days later they returned to the fort with the thieves’ severed heads, but not the payroll, which had evidently been buried by the two before the Indians killed them. A further search was fruitless.

Potagannissing Bay, on the west side of Drummond Island, is also the reported site of another treasure, $55,000 in gold coins, but little is known about this treasure, other than the amount.

Old Francois Fontenoy, an Indian trader, supposedly buried a brass kettle full of coins on Wayne County’s Presque Isle in the Detroit River. Many years prior to the date of the burial, the old Frenchman had amassed a fortune in the fur trade. Like so many wealthy men of his time, he buried his fortune in the ground for safekeeping. Old records of the Northwest Territory mention this treasure, but little else is known about it.

The first shipwreck recorded in Michigan’s wild waters is that of Nicolet’s GRIFFIN, near the northern end of Lake Michigan. In the centuries that followed, more than four hundred ships were known to have taken a final voyage, straight down. Here are a few of the most famous:

In 1847, the PHOENIX sank off Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with the loss of 250 lives. Most were Dutch immigrants whose trunks contained their worldly accumulation in the form of gold. At least one family is known to have had more than $100,000 worth.

In 1854 the WESTMORELAND took to the bottom $100,000 in gold, $95,000 worth of whiskey and other cargo.

In 1860, the LADY ELGIN sank off Winnetak, Illinois with 297 lives lost, many of which were wealthy residents of Chicago’s North Shore out on a days outing.

In 1868, the SEABIRD went down off Lake Forest, Illinois, with about 100 passengers, 66 barrels of fine whiskey, and an unknown quantity of gold and silver.

In 1905, the ARGO sank off Holland, Michigan with more than $100,000 of miscellaneous cargo, and intriguing term for divers and salvagers.

In 1929, the car-ferry MILWAUKEE, containing 27 railroad boxcars of general freight sank.

In 1956, the PRINS WILLEM V sank off Milwaukee with a multi-million dollar cargo. Despite its proximity to the shore, this vessel has so far resisted all efforts to retrieve her cargo.

One of the early settlers in central Michigan was a man named William Van Sickle. In the summer of 1838, he settled in the southern quarter of section 31, near the town of Ovid, 35 miles northeast of Lansing.

Van Sickle, a bachelor, cleared a small area and built a fairly comfortable cabin, but all efforts at improvement stopped there.

Several strangers seemed to be Van Sickle’s constant companions. None of the men were particularly neighborly, but this wasn’t unusual, for neighbors were few and far between. When a neighbor stopped by, he was nearly always invited in for coffee or a meal. However, Van Sickle and his friends never returned their neighbors’ visits.

The men made frequent trips, always one or two at a time. Whether they went by horse or buggy, they usually returned in a few days, frequently with provisions. For a time it was assumed they were hunting deer and wild turkey, for the men neither farmed nor made any efforts to clear the land. Even so, Van Sickle always had an adequate larder supplied with wild game and goodies not usually found in early settlers homes.

Soon the local settlers and merchants noticed an increasing number of newly minted Mexican silver dollars in circulation. Also, they remembered Van Sickle always had cash for supplies, though cash was rather scarce. Before long, the nosy neighbors decided van Sickle’s place was a hide out for counterfeiters.

Henry Leach of Scioto, notified the authorities in Detroit, who sent an expedition that captured Van Sickle’s gang. For years afterward, Van Sickle’s old place was known as Bogus Settlement.

Now comes and important question for modern-day treasure hunters, where did Van Sickle acquire his raw silver? Did it come from the Indians? Possibly, he had a supply of silver buried near his cabin that was overlooked when he was captured. Were any counterfeit cousins buried nearby? If so, the silver or the coins could be found, even at this late date.

The cabin is long gone, but a determined treasure hunter might find traces of it. Further research and work with a metal detector could really pay off.

Guesses about the value of ships and cargo which have disappeared into the Great Lakes begin at $50,000,000. The disappearance of many of these vessels is shrouded in mystery, but none more so that the CHICORA.

On the stormy winter night of January 21, 1895, the large passenger steamer CHICORA left St. Joseph, Michigan, for the short trip across the southern end of Lake Michigan to Chicago, Illinois, but she sailed out into Lake Michigan and oblivion.

The CHICORA was last reported off Benton Harbor, Michigan, but after that was seen no more. There was no distress signal, there were no known survivors, there was no sign that the CHICORA ever existed. One board when she vanished were 120 barrels of whiskey and over $50,000 in gold, silver and currency.

In the late 1960’s a fisherman’s net snared bits of wreckage in the southwestern part of the lake, which was though to be from the CHICORA. Other sources believe she never got more than 10 miles southwest of St. Joseph, where she lies in 10 fathoms of water.

The U.S. Coast Guard has recorded no efforts to recover the CHICORA. The U.S. Weather Bureau, which includes the CHICORA on its official list of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, has no knowledge of any part of the vessel ever being located or salvaged.

The Detroit area, which includes Inkster, has produced at least one prime coin shooting area, Sugar Island. This is a deserted piece of land in the Detroit River between Michigan and Canada, just south of the city of Detroit.

Sugar Island was the site of a big amusement park in the early 1900’s. Now only a few battered foundations and docks remain, along with dozens of coins lost by careless pleasure seekers. Most of the coins date from the late 1860’s to the early 1900’s, making them worth many times their face value. You’ll need a small boat to reach the island, but the trip could be well worth the trouble.

Somewhere off the coast of Michigan’s rugged Keweenaw Peninsula, covered by the cold clear water of Lake Superior, les the steamer SUNBEAM, with $10,000 in hard currency , at yester-year’s prices, in her safe and a small fortune in heavy copper ingots stored in her hold.

The 400-ton wooden steamer entered the Great Lakes trade in 1861 with a flourish. Since she was built at a cost of $50,000, Midwest newspapers hailed the SUNBEAM as the finest and most expensive steamer on the lakes. With ports of call at Chicago, Superior City, Wisconsin, Mackinaw Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Copper Harbour, Eagle Harbor and Ontonagon, the SUNBEAM did a very profitable business until Thursday, August 28, 1863.

At 6:00 p.m. on that fateful day, Captain William Dougall was easing the SUNBEAM out of Ontonagon Harbor into the open reaches of Lake Superior. Her next stop was to be Copper Harbor, 80 miles away at the trip of Keweenaw Peninsula. Tucked away in the ship’s safe, as previously mentioned, was an estimated $10,000 while deep in her hold were many tons of pure copper.

At first the SUNBEAM steamed into a moderate easterly breeze, but the wind suddenly shifted to north-northeast and increased to gale force. Until Friday morning, the ship successfully rode out the storm, but then her luck changed. With increasing regularity, waves swept over the SUNBEAM’s deck, washing away everything that wasn’t properly secured and much that was. The constant pounding by the waves had opened her seams and water poured into her hold.

Finally, 24 miles short of her destination at Copper Harbor, Captain Dougall attempted to turn the SUNBEAM away from the teeth of the gale and run with the storm until it moderated. It seemed the only way he could save his ship, passengers and crew.

But the SUNBEAM could not complete the turn. The ship became caught in the trough of the waves. Try as she might, the wooden steamer couldn’t climb out of her dangerous predicament and the inevitable happened. The increasing violence of the storm forced the SUNBEAM over on her beam ends and her fate was sealed.

At 8 p.m., that Friday evening, Captain Dougall reluctantly gave the order to abandon ship. In the heaving seas it was a difficult order to carry out. However, within minutes one life boat and the ship’s yawl were filled with passengers and crew, the other having been washed overboard by the waves. Because of the loss of a lifeboat earlier in the gale, the remaining lifeboat and yawl were dangerously overloaded.

All told, 26 passengers and crew lost their lives. A potential bonanza like the SUNBEAM has not been ignored by divers. The steamer has been the object of many searches, all fruitless. She is still hidden by the icy depths of Lake Superior, and still carries a fortune in currency and copper that is all yours if you can find her.

Silas, called Sile in local communities, Doty was almost a legendary figure in the areas of Branch and Hilldale Counties, Michigan. He is described as being no less than a Robin Hood, though in real life he was quite the contrary as he was the West’s first outlaw of note.

At the beginning of Doty’s career in the early 1800’s, Indiana was considered the West. Doty was mean, cunning as a fox, and was a murderously-inclined thief. He later spent more than half his life in penitentiaries in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Doty died in 1876 at the age of 76.

When lawmen were after him, Doty hid out on a friend’s fertile farm near the town of Hilldale. Also in times of need he scurried o to his son’s and married daughter’s farms near Coldwater. When Silas wanted to disappear without a trace, he vanished into the swampy lakes in Steuben County near Fremont and Angola.

Doty made scores of little caches, from $100 or so to more than a thousand dollars in gold and silver. Several caches were on his friend’s farm, or on the property of his son or daughter. But most of his secret caches were on little wooded isles hidden in the boggy swamps. He had several cabins on the island, and moved form one to the other whenever strangers searched the country.

Doty’s rakes were selling stolen horses, cattle, swine, butchered meat, loads of sacked grain, new harnesses and farming machinery. He also pulled a few country store burglaries. When not sojourning in jail, he especially cleaned up during the Civil War as the leader of a gang of thieves. When men returned home from the Union Army, he was forced to become more cautious.

Accused of five or six cold-blooded murders, he was convicted only once of second-degree murder early in his life. Jails failed to hold him and he repeatedly escaped, once into Mexico, to allow things to cool off.

Lawmen never found more than a couple of silver dollars on Doty. The rest of his plunder was safe in the ground. Three of Doty’s caches were accidentally found years ago. There was a couple of hundred dollars in one cache, $500 in another and about $1,000 in the third.

Trace down the sites of the old farms where Dota hid out, and the Fremont and Angola regions where he once prowled. You may find a small cache, with either gold or silver minted coins that long ago would bring a nice chunk of money. Most of the swampy lakes have been drained, but the islands are still recognizable.

A legend with some well documented facts behind it is that of Silver Jack Driscoll’s many secret and periodic trips into the Huron Mountains and returning with his packs laden with huge gold and silver nuggets.

It was in the late 1880’s that the close mouthed old lumberjack and prospect first came to L’Anse for supplies. The unusual thing about he old prospector’s visits was that he paid for his purchases with pure gold and silver nuggets.

The lumber jack was forgotten until his second visit, and again his supplies were paid for in the same manner was the first. This now began to excite some of the townsmen. But no matter how hard several of them tried to persuade him to discuss his find, the crafty old lumberjack cheerfully evaded all questions pertaining to the source of his nuggets or to reveal the location where they were found. All that Silver Jack would day was that after his logging days were over he would stake a claim and retire with a fortune from his mine.

On several occasions Jack was followed but he would only return to his regular job in one of the many lumber camps operating on the Yellowdog River. There he would remain until his followers gave up in disgust and returned to L’Anse. This little game between Jack and his pursuers went on for several years, until unfortunately, on April Fools Day in 1895, after returning from the Spring Log drive, Jack caught cold, contacted pneumonia from working several weeks in the icy cold waters of the river. Jack died an untimely death in a boarding house on the outskirts of L’Anse without divulging the secret of his wealth, or having the opportunity to file a claim.

The remote area in which Jack found his gold and silver probably lies near the headwaters of the Yellowdog River where it rises in the foothills of the Huron Mountains, some twenty-five miles east of L’Anse.

Somewhere off Grand Island in Lake Superior lies a golden hoard of $30,000 in double eagles, just waiting for some lucky treasure hunter. The gold and 216 barrels of good drinking whiskey were the cargo of the steamer SUPERIOR, which sank during a savage storm on October 29, 1856.

The SUPERIOR left Sault Ste. Marie on October 29, bound for the mining towns on Michigan’s rugged Keweenaw Peninsula. The gold she was carrying was the payroll for men working in the copper mines.

By 11 p.m., the SUPERIOR was caught in a vicious northwest gale. Gold, gray swells swept her decks and carried away the stack and part of her deck cabins. The steamer continued on, pushing her blunt bow into the onrushing seas, sending a wave of spray into the darkness. About a half hour later, a wave of demonic fury carried away her rudder leaving the steamer completely at the story’s mercy. It was only a matter of time before the SUPEIOR sank.

Early the next morning a crewman cried out a single word, “Rocks!” The rolling waves pushed the steamer inexorable toward them. Before striking the rocks, the captain dropped anchor so the ship would swing into the rocks stern first. He hoped she would hold together long enough for the passengers and crew to scramble to safety, but it was not to be. A towering wave snapped the anchor chain and the SUPERIOR was blown broadside onto the sharpened granite rocks. Within 15 minutes she was completely destroyed. Of 46 passengers and crew, only 11 reached the shore alive. After wandering aimlessly over the desolate island for two days, they were rescued. When questioned, the shocked survivors could not even indicate where the ship had run aground.

Somewhere under the icy waters of Lake Superior, near Grand Island, rests a safe containing 15 canvas bags, which are filled with $20 gold pieces.

About 75 miles north of Michigan’s northern most point, a fantastic treasure trove of silver lies beneath a square chunk of rock. One of the richest silver mines in the world, one ton of ore assayed at $17,000. This is Silver Island located off the north shore of Lake Superior, one of the stormiest waters on the globe. The secret of this 1870 find would be to curtail the high waves that almost completely cover the island during heavy storms.

After several failures with logs and piling, a huge dam of rocks temporarily licked the raging sea. During the following 13 years, some $4,000,000 in silver was mined. The shaft, 100 feet deep and extending out under Lake Superior, was worked year around. However, the mine came to a complete stop in the fall of 1884, when the boat that was hauling the coal to fuel the boilers failed to beat the winter freeze-up. The pumps that kept the shaft dry depended on this coal. So, on November 13, 1884, Lake Superior did seal the mine for good.

Speculation has it that there may be a million dollars along in the massive pillars that support the mine shaft. So, until someone devises a system of recovery, the rich silver vein of Silver Island will stay there.

A reported treasure of several thousand dollars lies buried along the banks f Swan Creek in Saginaw County. The treasure is supposedly a logging payroll for one of the early day lumber camps. The money was being transported to the Saginaw area by water from the company’s southern headquarters. An Indian uprising caused the two men transporting the money to bury it in haste along the creek bank. As it was in the darkness of night, the exact location could not be found at a later date.

One of the landmarks given at the time was an old bridge. Remains of an old bridge are still in the area and are located about one mile south of the Crooked Creek Gold Course.

Big Beaver Island, in Charleviox County, was known in 1847 as the Kingdom of King James Strang. From 1847 to 1856, he was the leader of a group of Mormons. He was shot to death by members of his sect in July 1856, when a disagreement arose. That same month, a mob raided the settlement and forced all the Mormons off the island. The thrifty Mormons had accumulated several thousand dollars in gold which it is believed they hid on the island and neighboring islands before leaving.

King James had two outlaw brothers he had appointed as leaders of a band of robbers, who were to plunder the mainland, waylay visitors to the island and rob the mails. During King James’ reign, these brothers are supposed to have buried loot at the lower end of Big Beaver Island at a spot called Rock Mountain Point.

In the 1870’s, about one mile south of Fayette, in Delta County, a saloon was owned and operated by a man named Jim Summers. He also kept several women almost as slaves inside what was called the stockade. Eventually, a vigilante group raided the place, beat the owner almost to death and burned the buildings. The mob left Summer’s body on the beach, but the next morning it was gone. It was assumed he had revived and tried to get away by swimming and had drowned.

Rumors have persisted for years that Summers had buried a bag of fold coins near his tavern. This is highly possible because the Jackson iron Company paid its employees between $5,000 and $6,000 in gold every month, and a large part of it was spent in Summers’ saloon. As far as is known, the rumored gold was never found.

Douglas Houghton was Michigan’s first geologist. Between 1837 and 1845, he found gold on many of his surveys in the Upper Peninsula. On one of his trips with an Indian guide, he discovered a rich gold vein between L’Ance and Marquette. Several months later, while on another trip, his boat overturned and Houghton drowned. His body was found the next spring. Since he kept no records or notes of his surveys, the gold deposits were lost. All efforts to find his Indian guide failed.

Without doubt, this story contains some truth. More than $600,000 in gold was taken from the Ropes Mine in Marquette County, when Houghton found his gold lode. A spectacular specimen of gold ore from the Michigan mine in the same area was exhibited at the Worlds Fair in Chicago in 1893.

In Section 6 of Bloomer Township, Ionia County, on a hill between Vickersville and Butternut, the proceeds from several robberies are believed buried. Two brothers committed a number of robberies in the area. In 1910 they were killed during one of their forays. Before he died, one of them told the police the location of a large part of the money they had accumulated, but it has never been recovered.

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