There is reason to believe that a large hoard of gold and silver may still lie untouched beneath the earth in Carroll County, Ohio. Known alternately as the Great Trail Treasure (due to a much-traveled historic trail that crosses the County) or the Lost French Gold Hoard, no one to date has been able to locate the treasure, if indeed it exists (the jury is still out on that one....).
Legend of the Lost French Gold Hoard
The legend begins in the mid-1700s when the French and the English were at each others' throats during an interesting and often savage little conflict known as the French and Indian Wars. The conflict was not about gold and silver per se, but about who would ultimately control the colonies and nearby unexplored regions of eastern North America.
Anticipating an upcoming battle with the English, the French garrison commander at Fort Duquesne (now part of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) detached an escort of 10 soldiers to accompany a 16-horse pack train carrying gold and silver bullion and specie from Fort Duquesne to Fort Detroit (now known, as you rightly surmised, as "Motown"). The men were told by their commander that if attacked or threatened along the way by the English, that they were to bury the gold and silver, and record conspicuous landmarks so that the hoard could be recovered later.
After several days on the trail a soldier of the French escort spotted what appeared to be an advanced guard of English soldiers and gave warning. The members of the French escort moved quickly to unload the pack horses, bury the loot, and record the location of the stash. Not long afterward, the English attacked and 8 Frenchman were killed, leaving only 2 to escape. Subsequently in 1829, a nephew of one of the 2 surviving Frenchman made an unsuccessful search for the lost hoard after finding clues to its whereabouts among his late uncle's papers.
Research Will Tell the Tale
Once again, thorough research will tell the tale on this lost treasure legend. Both the French and the English maintained fairly accurate records of their military campaigns in North America during the period. Additionally, if this treasure tale has true merit perhaps some mention of the lost gold and silver may be uncovered in French historical records.
1) Most searches for the Lost French Gold Hoard have been conducted between East Rochester and Minerva, Ohio. Perhaps its time to look elsewhere in Carrol County or beyond.
2) Landmarks associated with the treasure include 2 springs, a deer carved on a tree 1 mile east of the treasure trove, and a large rock locked into place in a tree branch.
3) "Triangulation" is the key approach to pinpointing the treasure once these "signs" have been located.
Good hunting out there!
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Brother XII's Buried Treasure"
(c) J.R. 2008
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