Warren County Historical Society Presents …

The Digital Version * * * “REWIND”

December 16, 2013

French Mountain Lake George – Queensbury Gold Tale.

From “LAKE PLACID NEWS”, FRIDAY June 23, 1950

Editor’s Note:  Tales of gold on French Mountain were oft repeated during the 1950s and even the 1960s. This article from The Lake Placid News of June 21, 1950, confirms the tale and attributes specific “facts” to various individuals. No trace has ever been found! A suitable year-end tale of yore for 2013. French Mountain dominates the Queensbury landscape North of Farm-To-Market Road (NY Route 149) between US Route 9 and Upper Bay Road! It also dominates the Easter and Southeastern landscape from Southern Lake George as well as Lake George Village.

$50,000 IN GOLD SAID BURIED YEARS

AGO IN ADIRONDACK MOUNTAIN AREA

Bear Pond atop French Mountain.

Bear Pond atop French Mountain.

 

That there was $50,000 in English

gold bullion or coins buried

during the French and Indian War

on or near French Mountain at

Lake George, and which has never

been found, is one of several new

“angles” which have turned up  in

connection with plans at Lake George

to observe its anniversary  of 150

years as a summer resort.

Trails and Ledges at Western end of French Mountain.

Trails and Ledges at Western end of French Mountain.

 

F. Donald Lockhart of Lake

George’s East Side, whose

progenitors had handed the legend

down to his father, the late Foster

A. Lockhart, when the latter

settled on the north side of the

mountain in 1840, remembers that

his father related how he and

Albert Lockhart were told the story

by “Old Ike” Oakland, who “carried

the mail from Lake George village

to Joshua’s Rock on the East

Side when we were kids.

View of French Mountain from atop Prospect Mountain.

View of French Mountain from atop Prospect Mountain.

Further inquiry discloses that

George Schermerhorn, now 85, of

Lake George, likewise had heard

the buried treasure legend many

times as a boy, Mr. Schermerhorn

now is a patient at the Lockhart

Convalescent Home on French

Mountain where he and Albert

Lockhart and other old-timers find

much pleasure in discussing the

“good old days” of early Lake

George.

Glen Lake in the distance; from trail up South side of French Mountain.

Glen Lake in the distance; from trail up South side of French Mountain.

 

The legend has it that British

soldiers holding out at Fort William

Henry at the head of the lake

had not been paid for months and

talk of a rebellion was heard within

the bastion. Notified, the British

Crown immediately dispatched

$50,000 to pay the soldiers.

French Mountain in background, viewed from Fort William Henry in Lake George Village.

French Mountain in background, viewed from Fort William Henry in Lake George Village.

 

French Mountain in background above and beyond the Lake George Steamboat Company Vessels and Docks.

French Mountain in background above and beyond the Lake George Steamboat Company Vessels and Docks.

All territory on Lake George, except for

Fort William Henry, was at the moment

held by the French and their Indian allies.

It was necessary therefore that the Gold-Bearing

troops of the British proceed

with extreme caution to Fort Ann, then

cross westward through the wild country

to the fort at Lake George. To arouse less suspicion,

the final lap of the journey with the gold

was undertaken by only a platoon of men.

The platoon was ambushed at French

Mountain and after burying the

gold safely all were massacred

save one man who managed to

escape to the Lake George fort to

to relate the tragic tale.

The Warren County Bike Path skirts the Western edge of French Mountain.

The Warren County Bike Path skirts the Western edge of French Mountain.

Later, as Britain‘s  hold on this

countryside became more secure

and outside troops became available,

the survivor of the gold-bearing

expedition led the way to the

campsite where his comrades had

died but was never able to locate

the hiding place of the gold. About

the turn of the  (20th)  century further

efforts were made to find the

gold cache but to no avail.

Old post card view of French Mountain.

Old post card view of French Mountain.


Original Copyright LAKE PLACID NEWS, FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 1950

© December 16  2013, Warren County Historical Society

Article researched by WCHS Webmaster, December 2013.

 

 

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