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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
Original Copyright LAKE PLACID NEWS, FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 1950
© December 16 2013, Warren County Historical Society
Article researched by WCHS Webmaster, December 2013.