14 Lost Treasures of New York State

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Cory Haasnoot

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New York State is one of the most interesting states of the whole of the United States. Being one of the most important ports of entry for immigrants to the U.S. means a whole lot of history and along with that many lost treasure tales to tell.

Long before New York became a state there were pirates who roamed the islands here to bury treasure that was lost to the hands of time. During the Revolutionary War, many treasures were lost and buried in the ground of New York. Even gangsters of the prohibition have buried treasures in this great state.

In this article lost treasures of New York State, we will examine 14 of this state’s lost and hidden treasures. So if you are up for a good history lesson and treasure hunt like I know you are then keep reading as we explore New York States’ numerous lost and buried treasures.

14 Lost Treasures of New York

Dutch Schultz’s Buried Treasure$150 million in gold and silver coins, paper currency, bonds, and jewelsPhoenicia in the Catskills which is about 60 miles south of Albany New York
Lost Revolutionary War GoldChest or cannon full of goldNear Rome, New York
Butlerbury Mansion TreasureUnknownThe Mansion is located near Fonda, NY on Switzer Hill overlooking the Mohawk River
Buried Treasure on Isle Royal$10,000 to a $100,000 On Isle Royal an island on the St. Lawrence River which is located off the port of Waddington, NY.
Lost Frenchman’s TreasureUnknownBuckhorn Island State Park
Loomis Gangs Buried Treasure$40,000Montezuma Swamp
The Treasure of Tiny Treasure Island$100,000 in coinsTiny Treasure Island. on the St. Lawrence River.
Moses Follensby’s Hidden Wealth$400,000 in gold coinsSomewhere near Tupper Lake, NY
The Haven Tory Treasure$75,000The Haven is on the Poultney River about a mile from Whitehall NY.
Shipwreck Dean Richmond’s Lost Treasure $191,000 in gold and silver coinsOn or near the beaches of Dunkirk, New York
Recluse Treasure Near Hicksville$750,000 in gold and silver coinsNear Hicksville, NY on Long Island
Captain Kidd’s TreasureUnknownGardiner’s Island
Pirate Charles Gibbs Buried TreasureUnknownSouthhampton Beach on Long Island
Fisher’s Island TreasuresUnknown Fisher’s Island

Dutch Schultz’s Buried Treasure

Dutch Schultz's Mugshot
Dutch Schultz’s Mugshot

Dutch Schultz one time gangster during the prohibition era of the twenties made his money by making and selling some of the worst tasting booze in New York State. It was so bad that Schultz and his men would have to strongarm speakeasy owners to purchase his horrible tasting brews.

During the 1920s Shultz made a fortune. In 1935 Dutch Schultz was under indictment for tax evasion by Thomas E. Dewy who was the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. So Shultz was worried he would be sent to prison on tax evasion charges the same fate as  Al Capone.

Legend has it that Schultz buried a safe containing what would now be worth upwards of $150 million in gold and silver coins, paper currency, bonds, and jewels in or around the town of Phoenicia in the Catskills which is about 60 miles south of Albany New York.

Dutch was later shot down in the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey in 1935. But before he died he is said to have told the police “Don’t let Satan draw you too fast” Some believe that was a coded message referring to the town of Phoenicia because near the town there is a cropping of rocks called the Devil’s Face and a large rock called the Devil’s Tombstone.

Many treasure hunters have been searching for that treasure for years to no avail. It has never been found. But one thing is for sure only Dutch Schultz and his bodyguard Bernard “Lulu” Rosenkrantz knows the real truth.

Digging Deeper: Lost Treasures of New Jersey

Lost Revolutionary War Gold

British Officer Barry St. Leger
British Officer Barry St. Leger

There are two different versions of this story the first states that British Officer Barrimore Matthew “Barry” St. Leger buried a chest of gold coins and bars while he was retreating from the Battle of Oriskany in 1777. The battle was for Fort Stanwix which is not the city of Rome, NY.

It is said that St. Leger buried the chest of gold in a farmer’s field just outside Fort Stanwix.

The second version states while the British were retreating from the battle for Fort Stanwix trying to run to Canada that they threw a cannon that was sealed and had gold inside into a swamp near the old Route 69.

Although there is no documentation that can back up this lost treasure story the second version could be possible because there are many swamps in the area of Rome, NY. I suggest that you don’t look for this treasure during the summer months because the swamps in the area produce an enormous amount of mosquitoes and from what I have heard there is an abundance of bees in the area.

Butlerbury Mansion Treasure

John Butler
John Butler

The Butlerbury Mansion was built by  Lt. Walter Butler and served as his son Walter Butler and his Grandson John Butler’s home from the time of 1742 to when they both fled to Canada during the Revolutionary War. The Butlers were Tori raiders Loyalists to the British Crown a much-hated pair in the area.

The Butler’s were a rich family all of whom were British Loyalists. Legend has it that they stashed and buried their riches near the Butlerbury mansion before they took off to Canada. The Butlers never came back and lived the rest of their lives in the Niagara region of Ontario Canada. The U.S. confiscated the Butlerbury mansion which still stands today.

The Mansion is located near Fonda, NY on Switzer Hill overlooking the Mohawk River. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is privately owned so you will need to gain permission before searching for this lost treasure.

Buried Treasure on Isle Royal

The Isle Royal is an island on the St. Lawrence River which is located off the port of Waddington, NY. In 1760 a French Commander is said to have surrendered the Fort there to the British but before doing so he buried a treasure there worth between $10,000 to $100,000 on the Island.

Lost Frenchman’s Treasure

Wood Creek on Buckhorn Island State Park , New York
Wood Creek on Buckhorn Island State Park By Richard apple Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

A Frenchman by the name of Clairieux and his companion named Julius Caesar lived on Grand Island now known as Buckhorn Island State Park in the late 1700s. Clairieux built a lavish house and pier on the Island. He would receive shipments of the supplies he would need to furnish the home from French ships.  He would always pay in gold coins. He would also receive huge chests and would bring them into the thick woods and hide the contents. Needless to say, he was a very rich man.

One day some hunters in the area found Clairieux’s home burned to the ground with the body of Julius Caesar lying next to it. But Clairieux was nowhere in sight. It is believed that his treasure whatever was in those chests and the gold coins he possessed are still buried somewhere on the Island.

Grand Island is now a nature preserve called Buckhorn Island State Park. It has many hiking trails all over the island. Much of it is now paved so the treasure could be buried somewhere under those paved parkway roads on the island.

100 gold and silver coins were found by an old foundation near the water on the island in the 1800s. Those coins dated to the 1500s so they could have been part of Clairieux’s lost treasure. So who knows Clairieux’s treasure might still be buried somewhere in the nature preserve.

Loomis Gangs Buried Treasure

The Loomis gang was a family of outlaws in the mid-1800s. They operated out of central New York and were at that time considered one of the largest criminal families in America. The Loomis gang was led by George Washington Loomis. 

The first Loomis Joseph Loomis immigrate to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the early 1600s. The first generation of Loomis’s was well respected in the area but not the George Loomis generation.

The Loomis gang had a large farmstead near Seneca, New York where it is said that they buried $40,000 in the Montezuma Swamp in the area. They ended up losing their farm in 1866 because of tax evasion. That generation of Loomis’s ended up in Hastings, New York. That was the end of their illegal activities.

Somewhere in the Montezuma swamp in Seneca County, there might be a treasure buried worth $40,000.

The Treasure of Tiny Treasure Island

Lord Jeffrey Amherst
Lord Jeffrey Amherst

On the St. Lawrence river between Louisville and Roseveltown lies a small island is known as Tiny Treasure Island. This tiny island got its name because legend has it that Lord Jeffrey Amherst a British Army Officer during the Revolutionary War had buried $100,000 worth of coins somewhere on this island.

Moses Follensby’s Hidden Wealth

Moses Follensby is said to have been a wealthy hermit who had a cabin 2 miles southeast of Tupper Lake in the early 1800s. Rumor and folklore say that Follensby was a trapper and hunter in the area and is said to have buried $400,000 in gold coins somewhere on his property near what is now Follensby Road in Franklin County NY.

Moses, unfortunately, disappeared in 1823 and his fate and his treasure have been lost to time. Somewhere near Tupper Lake, you might find a lost treasure from long ago!

The Haven Tory Treasure

In 1776, while a Tory a colonist who was loyal to the British named Robert Gordon was fleeing from the Patriot troops is said to have buried a treasure worth $75,000 in a marshy area called The Haven which is on the Poultney River about a mile from Whitehall NY.

Gordon was trying to make it to the British line but was killed by the Patriots before he made it. He died along with the exact whereabouts of the buried treasure.

Shipwreck Dean Richmond’s Lost Treasure

The Dean Richmond was a propeller freighter that sunk off the coast of Lake Erie near Dunkirk, New York in the early morning hours of October 15, 1893. She among other steamers sank during one of the Great Lake’s most ferocious storms.

The ship was carrying copper, zinc ingots, barrels of flour and rumors surfaced that she was also carrying $191,000 in gold and silver coins at the time of her sinking. In 1983 the wreck of Dean Richmond was located in 100 feet of water off of North East, PA. 

Although no gold and silver coins were found on the wreck itself doesn’t mean they could have been lost on or near the beaches of Dunkirk, New York. That might be a stretch but it’s possible.

Recluse Treasure Near Hicksville

This story states that a wealthy recluse who had an estate near Hicksville, NY on Long Island buried many caches of gold and silver coins amounting to $750,000. In 1960 when bulldozing the area a man found $89,000 worth of coins which presumably are part of that treasure.

Pirate Booty in New York

Pirate Treasure

There are numerous accounts of pirates frequenting the Islands of New York state. The following are some of those buried pirate treasures.

Captain Kidd’s Treasure

The notorious Captain Kidd is said to have buried treasure on Gardiner’s Island in Block Island Sound. It is said that he anchored at the island after he had stolen a ship’s treasure. Gardiner Island is now private property and there is supposedly a place on the island called Kidd Valley that contains some mysterious symbols on the rocks there that might be a treasure map of sorts.

Digging Deeper: Lost Treasures of Massachusetts

Pirate Charles Gibbs Buried Treasure

Lesser-known pirate Charles Gibbs is said to have buried a large treasure near Southhampton Beach on Long Island.

Fisher’s Island Treasures

Fisher’s Island is said to have been a hot spot for pirates back in the day. Pirates are believed to have buried numerous treasures here. Fisher’s Island is just north of Gardiner’s Island. This would be a good island to do some treasure hunting if you are ever in the area.

Conclusion – Lost Treasures of New York State

That’s the end of our treasure tales from the great state of New York. But it can the beginning of your own treasure hunt and maybe you will find one of these lost treasures in New York State. There is no doubt buried treasure in New York. If you are ever in New York City you might want to check out the Museum of the City of New York. They have a whole building dedicated to the artifacts and history of New York City.

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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