It goes without saying that the state of West Virginia is mostly noted for moon shining and coal mining, not precious metals. That said, treasure tales concerning lost silver and gold mines in the "Mountain State" persist and the following personal account by one L.V. McWhorter of Buckhannon, West Virginia may provide a waybill to one of these lost mines. Please note that I've edited McWhorter's account for readability:
"I Was Shown the Ruins"
"Near Indian Camp in Upshur County, West Virginia there's a legend about a lost silver mine and a treasure of buried silver bullion. This mine dates back before the American Revolution and I think there's some truth to its existence."
"The way I heard of it, the mine was worked by a party of Spanish adventurers who were nearly killed off by local Indians. When I was at Indian Camp back in 1883, I was shown the ruins of a mine, but I was never able to locate any vein of silver ore. I was also shown a small polished stone disk, pieces of Indian basketry, and a chunk of shiny metal that had been taken from the waste of this mine, which upon further examination, proved to be silver."
"'S' for Silver"
"I also examined a figure, or some type of symbol, carved on a large sandstone boulder in a nearby rock shelter known as the Chimney Rocks. This symbol seemed to show the compass with all four points of direction. By way of further background, on July 15, 1867, Doctor L. S. Farnsworth found some rock inscriptions at the head of Stonecoal Creek. These were found in the company of one Valentine Lorentz and were carved on a large flat rock."
(Indian Camp historical marker.)
"About 3/4 of a mile northwest of the carving on the flat rock, an upright stone was also found. It was inscribed with a "S," which is thought to mean silver. Three fourths of a mile further northwest another small rock shelter was found. Just back a ways from the entrance was a large stone slab several feet across that had fallen from the overhead."
"Now carved into the roof of this shelter was a circle with the four points of a compass. Etched across the surface of this circle was a well-defined pointer like a compass needle. About the time I was at Indian Camp in 1883, someone else found several ancient tools in a cave on Grass Run Creek, close by to Indian Camp."
"These tools were described as unfamiliar or strange looking. Some believe that straggling bands of Spanish explorers from the Southern Tidewater region penetrated the Virginia and Kentucky wilderness, where they found gold and silver. Most were killed or absorbed into Indian tribes though captivity."
So there you are. Some basic research should help you determine whether this one is worth following up or not.
Either way, good hunting to you.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Basic Treasure Trove Laws"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2011
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org