MARYLAND LOST TREASURES & HISTORY

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Explore Maryland Treasure Stories

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$150,000 in Buried Gold in the Conococheague Valley  (In addition to the article found at this link, other stories claim that in 1921 Grover Cleveland Bergdoll and his brother Erwin were still on the run trying to avoid Federal authorities who were anxious to prosecute them for draft evasion during WWI. While staying at a hotel in Hagerstown, they had allegedly received $150,000 in gold coins as payment for some illicit activity, $110,000 of which was buried in 5 valises "as heavy as lead" somewhere in the area. One source says the hoard was cached to the south of Hagerstown in the general vicinity of Harper's Ferry. Others believe it is located just south of Brownsville, somewhere along Hwy. 67)

Assateague Island Treasure.  In 1748, Charlie Wilson, a cohort of Blackbeard from a wealthy South Carolinian family, wrote a letter from his prison cell in London, England to his brother George Wilson which detailed the location of an immense buried treasure on the barrier island of Assateague in Maryland just south of Ocean City.  The letter never reached George as it was intercepted by the prison warden, was filed in British Naval Records, and did not resurface until 200 years later when it was found in a steamer chest in an attic in Berlin in the late 1940s.  Charles Wilson, who had once been in the Navy and turned to piracy in the 1730s, was tried in the Admiralty Court in London and hanged.  The letter had read "There are three creeks lying 100 paces or more north of the second inlet above Chincoteague Island, Virginia, which is at the southward end of the peninsula.  At the head of the third creek to the northward is a bluff facing the Atlantic Ocean with three cedar trees growing on it, each about 1 and 1/3 yards apart.  Between the trees I buried ten iron-bound chests, bars of silver, gold, diamonds and jewels to the sum of $200,000 pounds sterling.  Go to the "woody knoll" secretly and remove the treasure."  When the letter became public, treasure hunters headed to the Assateague island beaches, but the island had been altered significantly over time.  There were then 11 new inlets and part of the island was under water, with some of the remains of stumps from the old cedar forest visible at low tide, and the treasure could not be located.  A man of the area from 1750 would have to be carefully compared with the present-day state of the island area to attempt to hunt down this treasure. Also, this beautiful island is now part of the protected Assateague Island National Seashore and has wild horses believed to be ancestors of a herd that survived a Spanish galleon wreck.

Revolutionary Coins Found at Gwynn's Falls

The Mansion House Treasure.  Legends tell of two substantial treasures consisting of $65,000 and sea chests of gold and jewels, possibly that of Captain Kidd, buried or concealed in the vicinity of the Old Mansion House in the Baltimore region.

Mansion House 2

There have been at least two different stories connected with mansions in the vicinity, which has created some confusion as to the true location of possible hidden treasure.  The most well-known mansion is located on Druid Hill in the center of Druid Hill Park where the Maryland Zoo (formerly Baltimore Zoo) is now located.  According to the historical book Maryland: A Guide to the Old Line State published in 1940, "On a hilltop south of Memorial Grove in the center of the park is the former home of the Rogers family.  It is Georgian with Roman treatment. An outside stairway to the second story peristyle gives the arcaded first floor the appearance of a basement.  The house is topped with a pyramid roof at the apex of which is a square cupola.  Its first floor houses a restaurant and its basement, the park police headquarters.  A rumor that Captain Kidd had buried treasure on this hill brought so much digging by treasure seekers that the house was in danger of being undermined and they had to be restrained.  No treasure was discovered."  

Rogers Cemetery Photo

Regarding this property, the history of Druid Hill Park began centuries ago when the Susquehannock Indians ceded this land to Lord Baltimore in 1652.  It was a desirable place for Native Americans because of its access to the Jones Falls stream valley as well as multiple springs on the site.   It was formerly the estate of George Buchanan, one of the seven commissioners responsible for the establishment of Baltimore City.  His Auchentorlie estate included 579 of the 745 acres that comprise Druid Hill Park now.  In 1709, the land was acquired by the Scottishman Lloyd Nicholas Rogers and renamed Druid Hill who maintained the site as an orchard and plantation for many years, relying on enslaved African Americans for labor.  Before it was sold to the city by his grandson Nicholas Rogers, the property had been laid out in the same style of an English country landscape. In 1860, as part of a nationwide movement to provide large parks for urban city dwellers, Mayor Swann selected 573 acres of land to purchase for the city's first large "country park" (third largest in the country) employing creative long-term bond financing over 30 years which Nicholas Rogers, one of the major land owners, was not pleased with and was resistant to.  When the Druid Hill estate was finally purchased, only the mansion house remained amidst acres of neglected old fields and orchards, a large stand of virgin forest, the cemeteries of the Rogers family in the northwest corner of the park (see photo above left), and an unmarked slave cemetery.  (Older pictures of the mansion on Druid Hill)  

A book about nearby Johns Hopkins entitled The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science also mentions a nearby old mansion house in an 1880 account, "On the east side of the Harford Turnpike, leading out of Baltimore City, adjoining what has for several years past been known as 'Darley Park,' about one and a half miles from the City Hall, has stood for a century past an old-fashioned, substantial and spacious mansion house, with numerous outbuildings, all of stone and old English brick.  It is just discernible through the branches of numerous aged trees, at a distance of perhaps three hundred yards from the road.  For half a century it has been known as the Barnum property, having been, and still being, in the possession of the family of that name, who were the founders of the famous Barnum's Hotel.  Thirty or Forty years ago the elder David Barnum resided there.  The tract comprises about twenty-five acres, and the grounds around the old mansion house, although sadly out of repair since the death of David Barnum some twenty years ago, are still inviting and picturesque, with their box-wood walks, bordered roadways lined with rows of cedars, fine old fruit trees, and rosebush clusters here and there.  In the rear, southeast corner of the enclosure stands the Columbus Monument, on an elevated plateau, which seems to have been artificially arranged, bearing the inscription Sacred to the Memory of Christopher Columbus, October 12, 1792."  

Another home often referred to as the mansion house (although much smaller than the mansion on Druid Hill) also owned by the Rodgers family was built by Robert A. Taylor in 1853.  This house is located on the northern outskirts of Baltimore near Rodgers Forge and Druid Ridge at 300 Dumbarton Rd., now housing the Baltimore Actors Theatre and Conservatory.  The original entrance to the home on what was once a sprawling estate is still marked by two gray stone pillars on Bellona Avenue at the west end of the Tot Lot.

Old Mansion House

The Taylor mansion with its 200-acre estate was purchased  by Joseph A. Rieman, with the easternmost section of the land eventually becoming the Estate section of the community, and the last 25 acres later passing to his daughter Mrs. Charlotte McIntosh before being sold in the 1950s to the Baltimore County Board of Education.  (Map of the Area)

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Bring Your Child's Party to Life with Our Fun & Unique Printable Themed Treasure Hunt Party Clue Games

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Easy Pirate Treasure Hunt Clue Game #2

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(Clues lead to a pot, picture, a map, paper towels, a cookbook, light switch, glue, broom, a decorative or toy frog, & a clock)

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NEW! SPOOKY HUNT
PERFECT FOR KIDS HALLOWEEN PARTIES
10 Themed Clues per Game. Only $7.99! 

(ages 5-9)

Fun and spooky kids Halloween, holiday, dress up, or costume birthday party clue solving treasure hunt for young kids children all ages parties plan exciting interactive ice breaker scary creepy clues riddles reality team games party supplies

Easy Spooky Treasure Hunt Party Game #6

Add to Cart

(Clues lead to a bat, spider, pumpkin, broom, skeleton, bandages (mummy), black cat, witch, apple (poison), and a bed fssheet (ghost))

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Print to Play Now! Only $7.99 

(ages 5-9)

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Easy Outdoor Treasure Hunt #4 (around the home)

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(Clues lead to a door mat, a garden hose, a tree, a mailbox, a bench or chair, a pot, a downspout, a rock, a car, and a flower)

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