Indiana “ The Hoosier State” was admitted to the Union on December 11, 1816. The French explorer Robert de La Salle first came to Indiana in 1679. During the late 1600s and into the 1800s many settlers came down from Canada and settled in Indiana.
Fort Miami later named Fort Wayne was established by the French in 1702. They would trade furs among other things there. And before the French arrived there were of course the Native Americans for thousands of years.
With all this early activity there are many lost treasures of Indiana that will pique your interest. From loot stolen from trains to buried Civil War gold, to Al Capone’s stash of whiskey you will find a little bit of everything in the Great State of Indiana in regards to lost and buried treasure.
So sit back and join me on this journey of the 12 lost treasures of Indiana.
12 Lost Treasures of Indiana
|Gangster Vincenzo James Genna’s Buried Loot||Steel box full of money.||Dirt road at the intersection of State Road 6 and 331 near Bremen, Indiana. In a field there.|
|Confederate General John Morgan’s Buried Gold Coins||$5,000 worth of gold coins||George Rogers Clark Historical Park in Knox County near county road 441 south of Vincennes, Indiana.|
|John Dillinger’s Buried Loot||$25,000 in cash||On old state road 267 which is now North Monroe Street at North Ridge Drive.|
|Josiah Hite’s Cache||Silver coins||Somewhere in Charlestown, Indiana|
|Bank Employee’s Buried Loot||$95,000 in cash and gold coins||A farm that was located outside of Terre Haute, Indiana.|
|Reno Brother’s Cache||$96,000||Between Rockford and Seymour, Indiana close to State Highway 31A in Jackson County.|
|Al Capone’s Whiskey Stash||2,000 cases of whiskey worth $300,000||In a cave along the shore of Lake Michigan close to Michigan City, Indiana|
|Train Robbers Buried Loot||$80,000 in gold bullion, coins, and cash.||Near the old Marshfield depot close to the border of Illinois in Indiana!|
|Harris Farmhouse Treasure||Gold coins||The Abner Bear Farm, located three miles east of Madison, Indiana.|
|Indiana Pirate Treasure||Possible Treasure chests of varying amounts.||Along the Ohio River a few miles south of Mount Vernon, Indiana.|
|Jim Colosimo Buried Diamonds||A cache of diamonds worth millions of dollars||Outside of Crown Point, Indiana along County Road 8 in Lake County.|
|Buried Gold Along The Banks of The Wabash||A large amount of money||Between Berne and Geneva, Indiana where Highway 27 crosses the Wabash River.|
Gangster Vincenzo James Genna’s Buried Loot
Vincenzo James Genna was the head of the Genna Mafia in the 1920’s. Jim and his family made most of their money bootlegging illegal booze around the Chicago area. In 1923 when he was on the run from the police he buried a steel box full of money under a rock pile in a field near Bremen, Indiana.
His driver said that the location of the loot could be found off of a dirt road at the intersection of State Road 6 and 331 near Bremen, Indiana. Not sure of the validity of this treasure story because the steel box was buried 8 years before he died which would have given him plenty of time to come back and retrieve it.
Also, the FBI and others looked for the loot but never found anything. It could still be in that field and it wouldn’t hurt to take a look maybe the FBI and others overlooked something. Just make sure you get permission before going on any private property.
Confederate General John Morgan’s Buried Gold Coins
John Hunt Morgan was a Confederate General during the Civil War. In July of 1863, General Morgan and his troops were on a 1,000 raid that extended into Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. They pillaged their way throughout the states stealing a considerable sum of loot along the way.
It is said that while Morgan was in Indiana he had $5,000 worth of gold coins on him that he stole from mill owners in Indiana. Fearing that soldiers from the north that were hot on his trail would steal his gold he buried the coins at what’s now George Rogers Clark Historical Park in Knox County near county road 441 south of Vincennes, Indiana.
The next day on July 26, 1863, General Morgan and his troops were captured near West Point. The gold coins have never been recovered and could still be in George Rogers Clark Historical Park. Not for sure but metal detecting and digging are probably not allowed in the park. So this treasure may never be found.
John Dillinger’s Buried Loot
John Dillinger was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 22, 1903. He was a gangster in the 1920s and 1930s. He is said to have stolen over a million dollars in his lucrative career of robbing banks. He spent a considerable amount of time in prison where he learned and crafted his trade of bank robbery.
There are many buried treasure stories about John Dillinger in numerous different states including Wisconsin and Indiana. This story takes place in Mooresville, Indiana in Morgan County where his father had a 10-acre farm. It is said that Dillinger buried $25,000 in cash on this farm in numerous spots.
The farm is still there and is located on old state road 267 which is now North Monroe Street at North Ridge Drive. The FBI looked for the stolen loot on his farm but they never found it. It could still be there waiting for discovery. Last I heard the farm is still owned by the Dillinger family and I’m sure many attempts at finding the buried loot have been tried.
Josiah Hite’s Cache
Josiah Hite was a currency counterfeiter in the 1800s. All I have on him is that he buried silver coins from his illegal trade near his homestead site in Charlestown, Indiana. It’s reported that he was arrested for counterfeiting but he ended up escaping. He never returned for his buried cache and it could still be buried somewhere in Charlestown.
Bank Employee’s Buried Loot
In 1920 there was a man who worked at a bank and he reportedly stole $95,000 in cash and gold coins from the bank that he worked at. It is said that he must have buried the cash and coins on his farm that was located outside of Terre Haute, Indiana.
The man later committed suicide not revealing where he buried the bank loot. It could still be buried on a farm near Terre Haute, Indiana. A search of land or property records from the early 20th century might prove lucrative!
Reno Brother’s Cache
The Reno Brothers Gang was a short-lived venture of a group of brothers in the late 1860s. The brothers robbed a few trains and banks during their exploits in the Midwest.
The story goes that when a train was stopped at the Marshfield, Indiana depot in 1868 that the Reno Gang boarded. As the train steamed away they broke into the express car where they broke open the safe and stole $96,000.
This became big news across the country and the Pinkerton Detective Agency was sent after the Reno Brothers Gang to try and recoup the funds lost in the robbery. Knowing they would be pursued by the law they buried the stolen loot between Rockford and Seymour, Indiana close to State Highway 31A in Jackson County.
Knowing that a posse was hot on their trail they fled into Canada and were never able to return and retrieve the loot. Most of the Reno Gangs plunder has never been found and could be buried somewhere in the Midwest United States.
Al Capone’s Whiskey Stash
Al Capone was well known for his bootlegging activity in the 1920s and 1930s. This story takes place on the Shore of Lake Michigan close to Michigan City, Indiana. Capone’s men were being followed by the police and they were carrying with them 2,000 cases of Al Capone’s whiskey.
Fearing that the law would catch up with them and confiscate the whiskey which was Capone’s gang’s lifeblood they decided to hide it in a cave. They blew up the entrance to the cave with explosives so no one could find it later.
They got into a gunfight with the police and they all were killed. To this day the cave or the whiskey has not been found. If the whiskey is still sitting in that cave unbroken it would be worth an estimated $300,000! What a find that would be!
Train Robbers Buried Loot
There were many train robberies in Indiana over the years. This is one of those stories that happened in 1928. A train was robbed by four bandits at the Marshfield, Indiana depot. The bandits got away with $80,000 in gold bullion, coins, and cash. A very large sum of money in for the 1920s.
The robbers were pursued by the law and all four were caught hung before they could reveal where the stolen loot was hidden. The loot was never recovered and could still be buried near the old Marshfield depot close to the border of Illinois in Indiana!
Harris Farmhouse Treasure
The Harris Farmhouse was owned by a free black named Chapman Harris who ran an underground railroad from the farm. He was a blacksmith who would hit an anvil with a hammer every time he was going to cross the Ohio river to help slaves over. The slaves on the other side would hear the anvil ring and they would know to get ready to board Harris’s raft.
Over the years he accumulated a lot of gold coins from his work as a blacksmith. It’s said that he buried these gold coins in different spots around his farm. The farm is now called the Abner Bear Farm and is located three miles east of Madison, Indiana.
The farm is still there and I’m sure the farm has been dug over many times but who knows with a good metal detector like the Garrett AT Gold that can find gold where other’s might have missed someone just might find the buried gold caches that Chapman Harris buried so long ago.
Indiana Pirate Treasure
Believe it or not, Pirates ventured into the Ohio River in the old days. Legend has it that they went as far as Indiana and hid out in a cave overlooking the Ohio River. It is said that they buried many treasures in the area a few miles south of Mount Vernon, Indiana.
The Historic BK Club in Mishawaka, Indiana even holds a yearly pirate festival. Fun for the whole family. Although it has been canceled for the last two years because of the pandemic.
You never know what you might find in Indiana. You just might even find a buried treasure chest there along the banks of the Ohio River!
Jim Colosimo Buried Diamonds
Big Jim Colosimo, also known as Diamond Jim was an Italian mobster back in the early 20th century. Jim made his money from prostitution, gambling, and racketeering. At the height of his criminal career, he was estimated as making $50,000 a month. Huge money in those days and even today.
Rumors have it that Colosimo buried a cache of diamonds worth millions of dollars outside of Crown Point, Indiana along County Road 8 in Lake County. He was later shot on May 11, 1920, while he was awaiting a shipment to his restaurant. The diamonds have never been located.
Buried Gold Along The Banks of The Wabash
The Wabash River is a 503-mile long river that runs Ohio through Indiana. Back when booze was illegal and many were making a fortune bootlegging an Indiana man is said to have buried a large amount of money along the Wabash River in Indiana. It could be gold or coins not a whole lot of information on this lost treasure.
If the treasure is there it’s supposedly buried between Berne and Geneva, Indiana where Highway 27 crosses the Wabash River. Might be there, might not, but it’s worth taking a look. It could be buried or maybe in a cave along the Wabash River.
Indiana is filled with lost treasures and interesting history. If you ever visit Indiana look up some of these treasures and talk to townsfolk. You just might learn something new that could put you on the right track to finding one of these lost treasures.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions or experience in searching for one of these lost treasures that I have mentioned I would love to hear from you! You can leave your comments below. Thanks for reading and Happy Treasure Hunting!
Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.