Friday, February 15, 2008

Treasure Tales, Kansas

In the mostly flat state of Kansas there are several stories of buried and lost treasure. Here are a couple of those you might want to research further.

In Barton County there is a place known as Pawnee Rock near Larned, KS. This is a place where travelers stopped along the old Santa Fe Trail and there are probably numerous artifacts and maybe even small caches in this area to find. There are also a couple of larger caches.

It is said that Coronado, the Spanish explorer, buried a chest of gold worth “several hundred thousand dollars” in the anticipation of an Indian attack that never materialized. Instead of digging the chest up Coronado left it where it was with the intention of returning at a later date to recover the chest. Apparently that date never came because the story goes that the chest is still where it was buried. The chest is buried somewhere near Pawnee Rock. Several Spanish markers and symbols should be in the area around the burial location of the chest.

Another story of buried treasure around Pawnee Rock involves a large wagon and pack train consisting of twelve wagons and 250 mules carrying merchandise and money. The wagon train was, you guessed it, attacked by Indians at Pawnee Rock. The survivors of the attack buried and hid the valuables that were being carried in the “Buffalo Wallows” to the west of Pawnee Rock during a severe winter storm. This cache has never been reported as being recovered.

Another quick story about Pawnee Rock says that Kit Carson was attacked by Indians in this area and buried his own cache of gold coins before escaping but he never returned to retrieve the coins.

Here’s a really intriguing one in Finney County, KS. There were two families from Illinois that decided to travel west and stopped in the extreme southwest corner of Kansas and set up a temporary residence. They found a large cave in the hill country that they intended to call home, at least for a while. The families kids, being kids after all, decided to explore the cavern one day and found a small opening in the back that went into a tunnel. As they crawled into the tunnel it opened into another cave where they came upon several boxes and casks along with a large stack of weapons.

The families soon moved to Arizona where it is said they became two of the wealthiest families in the southwest. I can hear the wheels spinning now. You’re wondering why I would tell a story about a treasure that was found and made two families rich. Well, here’s why.

After many years had passed one of the kids, a son, now an old, man talked about what they had found and said that in the boxes and casks was a large treasure of coins, jewelry and bars along with several books, the guns and some harnesses. The son also said that the two families had only removed two of the casks and one of the boxes before they filled in the opening to the tunnel. He said that they left behind at least 8 or10 casks, 15 boxes and the guns. Since it had been so long since the families had been to the cave the son couldn’t remember anything else about where the cave was except in the hill country in the extreme southwest corner of the state.

Happy hunting!

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