State Treasures - Massachusetts

By Anthony M. Belli
From page 29 of the February, 2011 issue of Lost Treasure
Copyright © 2011 Lost Treasure, Inc. all rights reserved


Operation Paukenschlag
Leaves Sunken Treasure
Off Massachusetts Coast
BARNSTABLE COUNTY – Three days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Adolph Hitler, on December 11, 1941, declared war on the United States.
After that, all restrictions on German U-boats not to attack American shipping were lifted. Operation Paukenschlag, (translated means “Drumbeat”) would be Germany’s first strike against the U.S.
The original plan called for a devastating and swift blow against the U.S.’s eastern seaboard with 12 type IX boats, but Hitler kept several in the Gibraltar area and only assigned six to the mission.
One, U-128, was down for repairs, leaving just five that sailed for America in late December.
It was U-123, under the command of Hardegen, which struck first on January 11, 1942, claiming the SS Cyclops as Operation Drumbeat’s first victim.
On January 13th, all German U-boats were in position, creating an operational net extending from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, south to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Operation Drumbeat ceased operations along the east coast on February 6th and the U-boats returned to Germany. Hitler’s first strike sank 25 ships with a loss of cargo of 156,939 tons. Commander Hardegen of U-123 personally sank nine ships, with a loss of 53,173 tons.
One of the vessels Hardegen sank was the armed American merchantman Adair in the last week of January.
The Adair was under military jurisdiction and, on her final voyage, she carried military supplies, spare aircraft parts, and $30,000 in gold bullion.
Her destination was Iceland, which had been occupied by American troops since July 1941 in order to extend the American Security Zone in the Atlantic.
The Adair hailed east to clear Long Island and proceeded north for Newfoundland, unaware that Hardegen had surfaced U-123 off the Massachusetts coast and could clearly see her profile against the background of coastal lights.
He stalked the Adair for 30 minutes before bringing U-123 to bear on her.
A single torpedo was fired, which detonated directly beneath the Adair’s hull, instantly breaking the ship in half.
The exploding vessel lit up the sky for miles as the Adair went down with all hands in deep water off Cape Cod. The ship was never salvaged.Lost Treasures of the Doomed
- Village of the Damned!
FRANKLIN COUNTY – Residents of Deerfield, Massachusetts, number less then 5,000 today. Most embrace their tranquil small town way of life, nestled away at the north end of the Pioneer Valley, with the unhurried Deerfield River setting the pace as it gently passes by.
Once an important agricultural center, present-day Deerfield is driven by tourism and hospitality.
One of Deerfield’s best attractions is old Colonial Deerfield, also known as Pocumtuck Fort, and the town’s unique, “unquiet” history.
In 2010, the Pocumtuck-Deerfield story is for the first time not only available in the Anglo, or dominate culture’s historical account, but in the historic accounts and viewpoints of the people from the five sovereign nations, all who once claimed ownership to this contested piece of land between 1675–1704.
This was made possible by archaeology work completed in 2009, at the site of Pocumtuck Fort, and the willingness of the community to reconnect with its past and include it in their present-day tourism business plan.
Though settled in 1673, most historic buildings in old Deerfield date from after 1750. This the direct result of two massacres that occurred on this site where the town was put to the torch and completely razed both times.
The first incident occurred on September 18, 1675, in South Deerfield and is known as the Battle of Bloody Brook.
An 80-man force under the command of Captain Thomas Lathrop was destroyed while escorting a train of Deerfield men to the mill just north of Hadley’s garrison, only seven or eight survived. Not one Deerfield man survived; all 60 were slain. A patrol of 60 soldiers under Captain Moseley heard the fight and raced to the scene. For six hours a bloody fight raged with neither side gaining ground.
Finally, 100 Connecticut soldiers and 50 Mohegan ally warriors arrived and rooted the ambushers.
Survivors struggled into Deerfield that night, where everyone watched from a safe distance as the enemy danced by campfire light gleefully as they displayed the blood soaked clothing of the English dead.
The next day the colonists abandoned the town and Deerfield was put to the torch.
The faithful pilgrims of Deerfield would not lie down; they returned and rebuilt. Two years after Bloody Brook, the colonists incorporated the now stockaded town of Deerfield in 1677.
The land and Deerfield would remain the contested property of five nations, the Wobanaki, Huron, Mohawk, French, and English, for almost three decades.
The second incident where the town was put to the torch is known as the “1704 Raid on Deerfield.” Under the command of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville, an allied force of 300 French and Natives executed a pre-dawn raid on Deerfield on February 29, 1704.
The raiders burned the town and slaughtered 56 colonists, 25 being children.
One hundred and 12 Deerfield men, women and children were captured and made to endure a 300-mile forced march to Canada in brutal winter conditions.
During the 31 years between these two events, the residents of Deerfield opted to stay. Deerfield was New England’s furthermost outpost on the western edge of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for over two decades.
Regardless, Deerfield was frequently the battlefield for intertribal warfare. Skirmishes between Anglos, the French and Indians were commonplace, and Deerfield was the target of several French and Indian attacks.
As a result of decades of living under constant uncertainty, fear and violence, many tales of lost and buried caches have been told. Colonial period artifacts, valuables, and money from business and trade may have been consigned to the ground as common practice. Deerfield residents traded with their neighbors in nearby towns, and there were no banks.Stockbridge Massacre
BERKSHIRE COUNTY – Founded in 1734, the town of Stockbridge, during the French and Indian War, was burned to the ground and most of her residents were massacred.
Anticipating or pre-warned of the attack, Stockbridge residents and merchants are known to have buried their wealth and personal valuables.
What few survivors remained were later unable to identify key features and local landmarks after the town had been razed and scorched earth was all that remained.
The town suffered a 2nd devastating fire in 1849.Massachusetts
Ghosts by County
The following list of ghost towns, or near ghost towns, in Massachusetts was originally researched by Michael Paul Henson, who states his source was the U.S. Census Bureau.
To locate ghost towns that have long been completely abandoned, local research will be necessary.
Norfolk County
Check out the following leads…Caryville, Foxville, Rockville, South Bellingham, Brookville, Sharon Heights, Beechwood, and Canon Junction. There is also a story of an Indian treasure consisting of Colonial valuables that was hidden on Grape Island.
Dukes County
Ghost towns listed in Dukes County are, Pasque Island, Cuttyhunk, Creekville, and Tarpoulin Cave.
Worchester County
Worchester County has more than 30 ghost towns listed. Here are some to check out: Bayview, Dodge, Harwoods, Oakdale, West Auburn, Glenwood, West Sutton, Wheelockville, Dana, West Berlin, South Milford, Southville, Hubbardstown, Cherry Valley, Phillipston Station, and Wilkinson.
Bristol County
Bristol County ghosts include, Dodgeville, Shammut, Attleboro Falls, Meadowbrook, South Rehobath, Eastondale, Judson, North Station, Nonquitt, Longplain, and Crystal Spring.
Franklin County
Ghost towns for Franklyn County are Moores Corners, Shattuckville, Skimersville, Cooleyville, Lyonsville, Elm Grove, Levert Station, Watson, Bardwell, South Ashfield, Line, Riverside, and Monroe Bridge.Sources:
Ferguson, Jeff, “The Adair’s Sunken Bullion,” November 1974, Treasure World magazine, p.29
Helgason, Guomundur, Operation Drumbeat, http://www.uboat.net/ops/drumbeat.htm
Marx, Robert F., Buried Treasures You Can Find, 1993, Dallas, TX, Ram Publishing Company, p. 198
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Raid on Deerfield: The Many Stories of 1704, http://www.1704.deerfield.history.museum
University of Massachusetts, Battle of Bloody Brook, http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/bloodybr.html
Henson, Michael Paul, “Massachusetts-Ghost and Near Ghost Towns,” January 1988, Lost Treasure, p. 34.