State Treasures - New Hampshire

By Anthony M. Belli
From page 15 of the April, 2011 issue of Lost Treasure
Copyright © 2011 Lost Treasure, Inc. all rights reserved


Lost Algonquin Treasure CaveROCKINGHAM COUNTY – When the war between France and England spread across the Atlantic to North America it was the British Colonies that were targeted. French military-attachés in Canada were sent south to operate among the Native American tribes near British settlements. Already resentful over the loss of their ancestral lands, the French easily marshaled the rage the Indians felt.France supplied their allies, the Algonquin Indians, with firearms, ammunition, and training. Once accomplished, the French military advisors returned to Canada. By joining forces with neighboring tribes, the Indians carryied out a campaign of terror against Britain’s frontier outposts that lasted for 30 years.Raids were carried out that left farms and homesteads burned. Families were kidnapped as towns and villages were attacked, some destroyed. The Indians held their captives at a cave on Rock Rimmon Hill, two miles west of Kingston, until ransom was paid.The English paid five pounds sterling for a child, to 50 pounds for an adult. For payment, the Indians accepted gold and silver, silverware and jewelry, though these were of little value to them. They accumulated a fortune kept inside this natural cave.It has been reported that the Indians disappeared from the area, or were driven out of present day New Hampshire into the west. Either way, the treasure hoard was left behind. In 1903, a team conducted a search for this cave on Rock Rimmon Hill. Though they did find numerous Indian artifacts, they failed to locate the cave. Stub Hill TreasureCOOS COUNTY – Stub Hill sits in a remote area of northern Coos County less then 10 miles south of the Canadian Border and 1.5 miles west of the Maine state line. Somewhere along the base of Stub Hill is supposed to be a second large cache of Indian treasure, also acquired from ransom payments.Whites seized by the Indians of this region were forced to march north into Canada where they were held prisoner until their ransom was paid. According to several ransomed colonists, on one trip into Canada, two Indians in their party carried a large iron cooking pot full of ransom booty suspended between two poles.Just before reaching the base of Stub Hill, the Indians carrying the treasure fell behind. The rest of the party continued north, "skirting the mountain" (Stub Hill.) When the two Indians later rejoined the group, the kettle was not with them. Since the treasure was of no value to them, it is unlikely the Indians returned for it.Many believe the hoard was buried somewhere along the base of Stub Hill where it still lies today. In checking Google Earth, there is an unnamed dirt road that does skirt Stub Hill and connects with Haystack Mountain located just south of Stub Hill. This region today remains remote, but sounds like a plausible site to hunt with a good detector. Outlaw Trails - Hidden in the NotchCARROLL COUNTY – Located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in west Carroll County is Sandwich Notch, an overland passage extending for approximately nine miles that connects the region around the village of Sandwich with the Waterville Valley. Although a popular tourist and hiking area today, this passage was frequently used by outlaws to escape into Canada.Based on research work of outlaw trails developed by Anthony J. Pallante, we know of one such outlaw trail that ran from Newbury, Massachusetts, and followed the coast down to Salem. There the road divided, with one branch extending towards Springfield, and the other passing through the Sandwich Notch in New Hampshire and continuing into Canada.Pallante wrote that these outlaw trails consisted of… "a network of back roads and safe houses paralleling main transportation routes where fleeing bandits could avoid posses and find shelter and re-supply."Such rural roads were commonly lined with farms and ranches where travelers, even bad-guys, expected a warm welcome. Some routes offered advantages, such as a natural fortress or cave, but all had pre-existing hideouts and safe houses.Pallante cites the case of Ezra Dennison who fled Boston officers by riding all night into the Sandwich Notch. Dennison spent the day in hiding then escaped into Canada under the cover of night. Stories claim a number of smugglers and horse thieves maintained their own secret hideouts in the Notch, where they’d pre-cached food, weapons and money to aid them in their escape.It is believed that many outlaw caches of both treasure and supplies remain unclaimed in the Notch. Lost & Forgotten Forts of Old New HampshireCitadel of Safety (Rockingham County) – Also known as the Great House, this British fortification was part of the state’s first European settlement at Odiorne’s Point known as the Pannaway Plantation. Built by David Thompson in 1623, the settlement was abandoned in 1627.Bellow’s Garrison (Cheshire County) – This British fortification was built by Benjamin Bellows in 1752 somewhere near Walpole. It consisted of an L-shaped log house palisaded and armed with one gun.Old Swanzey (Cheshire County) – The original town site of Swanzey had three British garrison houses active from 1738 – 1747. Hammond and Evans’ Garrisons were palisaded, and there was a third fortification known as Meeting-House Hill Fort. After Indian attacks, the original settlement was abandoned in 1747. Today Swanzey is a small rural community.Fort Hinsdale (Cheshire County) – Built in 1743 by Colonel Ebenezer Hinsdale in the town that bears his name, this was a British blockhouse on Ash Swamp Brook by Oak Hill that complimented Fort Dummer across the river in Vermont.Hinsdale Indian Fort (Cheshire County) – A Native American fortification on a hill above the Connecticut River. The dates it was in use and its location are unknown, however, the site may still be marked by a trench that ran from the fort to the river.Fort at Aquedocatan or Weirs Blockhouse (Belknap County) – This was a British 14-foot-square blockhouse east of Weirs Channel near present-day Weirs Beach. Its exact location is unknown. Built June 11-25, 1736, by businessmen of Gilmanton, it was one of four they erected.Weirs Beach sits on Lake Winnepisiogee, part of the old Indian trail known as the Asquachumaukee Trail. It allowed the St. Francis [Canadian Indians] easy access to the lake and to the English settlement of Gilmanton. At that time the St. Francis Indians presented the greatest threat to English settlements. Woodsville CacheGRAFTON COUNTY – I have little on this lead, but research should help pinpoint the site. In 1829, a man remembered by the name of Woods operated a sawmill at the confluence of the Connecticut and Ammonoosuc Rivers, near the community of Woodsville, likely named in his honor.He is remembered as a miser who buried his fortune in gold coins near the mill. After his death, it was never found. Sources:Lets Go Diggin, Treasures in New Hampshire, http://www.godiggin.com/newhampshire.htmlPallante, Anthony J., "New Hampshire-Sandwich Notch," June 2001, Lost Treasure, p. 22Pallante, Anthony J., "New Hampshire," April 1997, Lost Treasure, p. 14Allen, Mary Emma, Wandering Through Sandwich Notch, New England Online, http://www.visitnewenglandonline.com/sandwich-notch-nh.htmNorth American Forts, New Hampshire, American Forts Network, http://www.northamericanforts.com/East/nh.htmlAndrews, Herbert Cornelius, Hinsdale Genealogy-Descendants of Robert Hinsdale, 1906, Lombard, Illinois, p. 84-85Unknown, The Fort at Aquedocatan, http://www.weirsbeach.com/Largejpgs/fort.htmlTerry, Thomas P., U.S. Treasure Atlas-Volume 6, 1985, La Crosse, WI, Specialty Publishing Company, p. 653.