10 Lost Treasures of New Jersey

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Cory Haasnoot

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In the lost treasures of New Jersey, you will discover 10 of New Jersey’s intriguing lost treasures. New Jersey has an interesting history that dates back to the pirate days of old. In this article, we will explore buried pirate treasures to lost revolutionary war treasures to even a hermit’s lost wealth.

New Jersey is one of the most populated states in the Union and it has been for a long time. You will be amazed at what’s buried and hidden in the small but great state. Maybe with some luck and further research, you may find yourself a lost treasure in New Jersey.  So without further adieu, I present to you the lost treasures of New Jersey!

10 Lost Treasures of New Jersey

Captain Kidd’s Buried Treasures400,000 British PoundsSandy Hook, Clifton Beach, and Cape May
Aaron Kitchels Buried Gold$50,000 in goldSomewhere in Hanover, NJ
Firman Dubel’s Hidden Treasure$200,000Burlington, NJ
The Fagan Gang’s Buried Loot$10,000 or moreFarmingdale, NJ or the Pine Barrens
Henry Roller’s Buried FortuneUnknownOn a farm near Folsom, NJ
Lost Revolutionary War Treasure100,000 British pounds of silver and gold coinsSomewhere near Hopewell, NJ in Mercer County
Captain John Bacon’s Buried BootyUnknownNear Barnegat Light on the northern edge of Long Island Beach
Arthur Barry’s Buried Treasure$100,000 in gold coinsSchooleys Mountain
Lost Silver Bars at the Bottom of Staten Sound1800 silver barsBottom of Staten Island Sound near Sewaren, NJ
The Hermit of Harkers Hollow’s Lost WealthUnknownNear the town of Belvedere, NJ

Captain Kidd’s Buried Treasures

Execution of Captain Kidd
Execution of Captain Kidd

Captain William Kidd was a privateer turned pirate in the late 1600s and early 1700s. Legend has it that Kidd set anchor at Raritan Bay off of New Jersey while he was on his way to Boston. While in New Jersey he is said to have buried many treasures in various spots throughout the state.

It is said that Kidd had 400,000 British Pounds of Treasure that he buried in New Jersey. He is said to have buried treasure on Sandy Hook, Clifton Beach, and Cape May. Some coins have been discovered in these areas over the years.

Soon after Kidd buried his treasures he ended up in Boston where he was arrested for the murder of one of his crew William Moore and for piracy. He was sent back to England to face trial and he was found guilty and his body was hung over the Thames River for all to see what happens to pirates when they get caught.

If his treasures are still buried in New Jersey they would be worth more than $20 million dollars! If you are in New Jersey you might want to take out your metal detecting and do some treasure hunting. You never know what treasure you may dig up. Just make sure you get permission before doing so!

If you are interested in more of Captain Kidd’s Buried Treasure stories then check out Lost Treasures of Massachusetts. In this article, you will discover more treasures that are buried in Massachusetts by Captain Kidd along with other lost treasures in that state.

Digging Deeper: Lost Treasures of Rhode Island

Aaron Kitchel’s Buried Gold

Aaron Kitchell was a blacksmith by trade and later became a representative of New Jersey in the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States during the late 1700s to early 1800s. Mr. Kitchel was also a paymaster in the Army for the Patriots during the Revolutionary War and he was a friend of George Washington. Another side note Mr. Kitchel was one of the pallbearers for George Washington.  Aaron Kitchel died on June 25, 1820, in Hanover, New Jersey.

That’s the background of Aaron Kitchel but this story is about his wife Phepe Kitchel. According to a newspaper article from the Traverse City Record-Eagle May 30, 1901Colonel Kitchel was ordered to Morristown NJ where British forces had suddenly advanced. Before he left he gave his wife $50,000 in gold that was meant for the troops. Mrs. Kitchel was to keep the gold safe while Mr. Kitchel was in Morristown.

The story goes on to say that Mrs. Kitchel buried the gold somewhere in Hanover, NJ where they lived she died before her husband came back from Morristown. The gold has never been recovered and is presumed still buried somewhere in the Hanover area. This story might not be true because Phebe Kitchel is said to have died March 12, 1807, not during the Revolutionary War as the story states. But all in all, it is a lost treasure tale that some have actually looked for in 1901 on the Henry Walker farm that was located near the banks of the Whippany River in Hanover-Neck NJ. The following is an 1800s map of the area in question.

1800s Map of Landowners in the Hanover, NJ area
1800s Map of Landowners in the Hanover, NJ area

Firman Dubel’s Hidden Treasure

Firman Dubel lived well below his means before he died in 1904. Although he said he didn’t have much in the way of money in actuality he had a wealthy estate on High Street in Burlington, NJ.

After his death treasure bonds along with gold and silver worth upwards of $10,000 were found in his home in Burlington. It is estimated that he was worth between $300,000 and $500,000 at the time of his death which was a considerable sum in those days and even quite a bit today.

Rumor has it that Mr. Dubel hid about $200,000 worth of his wealth somewhere on his property in Burlington, NJ.

Digging Deeper: 13 Lost Treasures of New Hampshire

The Fagan Gang’s Buried Loot

Pine Barrens of New JerseyBy Famartin Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Jacob Fagan and Lewis Fenton were the leaders of the Fagan Gang who were part of what was called the Pine Robbers. The Pine Robbers were many groups of British Sympathizers during the Revolutionary War. They would use the Pine Barrens in New Jersey as a base to do their criminal activity in the area.

The Fagen gang would pillage and steal from the residents in the area sometimes burning down their houses and even murder. Over the course of their pillaging, they got away with tens of thousands of dollars in stolen loot.

It is said that they also had underground hideouts in Farmingdale, NJ where according to Lewis Fenton they had hidden much of their loot. Fenton had been captured and told this to the authorities and he was hoping if he led them to the buried loot that he would get off. That wasn’t the because Fenton tried to get away but he was shot dead before he could reveal where the treasure was hidden.

The rest of the gang was eventually killed or hung and the proceeds from their escapades have never been recovered. Along with the Fagan Gang, there were many other gangs that roamed the Pine Barrens of New Jersey so there could be a considerable amount of treasure buried in that area.

Henry Roller’s Buried Fortune

Henry Roller had a farm near Folsom, NJ in the early 20th century. Rumor has it that he buried his fortune from the proceeds of his farm somewhere on his land. He died in 1915 never revealing exactly where he buried his treasure.

Lost Revolutionary War Treasure

Hopewell, NJ
Hopewell, NJ By Famartin Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

In 1778 British troops were watching over a wagon that had 100,000 British pounds of silver and gold coins in it. They were stationed in the town of Hopewell, NJ at the time. The Patriots attacked the British soldiers and killed them all. The Patriots then proceeded to bury the silver and gold coins in the area.

The Patriots soon after were slaughtered by advancing British troops and the buried treasure was lost. The treasure was never recovered and is still buried somewhere near Hopewell, NJ in Mercer County. Hopewell is found on County Road 518 which runs through the town.

Captain John Bacon’s Buried Booty

Barnegat Lighthouse
Barnegat Lighthouse – By Andrew Bossi Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Captain John Bacon was a British Loyalist during the Revolutionary War. He is said to have massacred twenty patriots as they slept on Long Island Beach on October 25, 1782. During his Tory raids, of ships that they lured into the Isles of Shoals Bacon and his men accumulated a lot of treasure.

Legend has it that John Bacon buried much of their booty near Barnegat Light on the northern edge of Long Island Beach. Barnegat Light is now part of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park so I’m sure any metal detecting and digging is not allowed. What a shame that would be an awesome treasure to find!

Arthur Barry’s Buried Treasure

A man by the name of Arthur Barry is said to have buried $100,000 in gold coins in Schooleys Mountains while he was staying at a health resort there. The treasure is presumed buried where old dwellings of the original German settlers lay.

There has been a health resort on that mountain since the 1770s. Before that Indians used the Springs there to relieve arthritis and for skincare. It would be interesting to see what artifacts and treasures that could be hidden on that mountain.

Lost Silver Bars at the Bottom of Staten Sound

Staten Island Sound – By Decumanus – English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Mallory Shipping Line was hauling a large amount of silver from Mexico to the American Smelting and Refinery Company on September 27, 1905, when the barge Harold accidentally dumped 400 tons of it in the waters of Staten Sound near what’s called Story’s Flat near Sewaren, NJ.

The Baxter Wrecking Company was commissioned to recover the lost silver. Of the 400 tons of silver, only 1800 silver bars were unrecovered. Those silver bars which would be worth a considerable amount today are still lying at the bottom of Staten Sound off the coast of New Jersey.

Digging Deeper: 16 Lost Treasures of Maine

The Hermit of Harkers Hollow’s Lost Wealth

Patrick Flynn also known as the Hermit of Harker Hollow was a man who lived well below his means in a ramshackle hut near Belvedere, NJ. He died in April of 1903 at the age of 82. After his neighbors had not seen him for days they decided to do a welfare check on him and found him dead in his chair.

Flynn was known to be a miser who distrusted banks so he hoarded his money in his home. The neighbors did a search of the home and found about $3000 worth of silver and gold coins and paper currency.

Flynn had a sister who lived in New York so the neighbors sent word to her about Flynn’s death and that they found some of his wealth at his home. Flynn’s sister arrived in New Jersey and told the neighbors that Flynn had a considerable amount more probably hidden somewhere on his property.

The exact amount of Flynn’s wealth is unknown but according to his sister, there is much more than what was found. There presumably is more treasure to find around the area where Flynn’s shack once stood near the town of Belvedere, NJ.

Conclusion – Lost Treasures of New Jersey

That sums up the lost treasures of New Jersey. There’s a little something interesting for everyone in this state. Especially if you are interested in pirates or the early days of New Jersey. I hope you enjoyed this article and if you are interested you can click here to find more lost treasure stories from other states in the Union. Until next time Happy Treasure Hunting!

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

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