Issue 1-5-14 Website - page 11

Silver Bullets andDemons InBeaverMeadow
I came across a fascinating
story about buried treasure in
BeaverMeadow, southofLeRoy.
The storywas printed in1926 in
. Ihaveno idea
who wrote the article. Several
years ago, I mentioned it in one
of these
articles but
thought itwouldbe interesting to
include somemore details.
Beaver Meadow is the area,
about twomiles south of LeRoy
off Route 19. At one time there
was a salt mine in the area, but
the salt contained too much
iron and themine closed shortly
after the shaft was dug. There
was a legend that there was a
hidden treasure “placed there by
inhabitants of a past age.”
At one time a family by the
name of Rathbone lived in the
area and they built a house
of brick from the local clay.
The Rathbones believed that
an ancient civilization had
built a city on their farm. The
inhabitantshadbeen forewarned
of a catastrophe and abandoned
their city, but before the land
submerged, they buried a huge
Theysaid theydiscoveredahuge
strongbox, but ithadbeenburied
“under certain incantations and
devilishceremonies. Forassoon
as they attempted to move it, it
would slide away. “So one day
the father of the family came
to the blacksmith shop of John
Hascall inLeRoy and employed
him to construct a rod of steel,
sharpenedatbothendsand tipped
with silver. On the middle of
the rod were to be stamped the
letters GOD. The rod was for
the purpose of stabbing it into
thebox,dissolving thecharmand
holding thebox inoneplaceuntil
it couldbe liftedout.Themother
of the familybelieved thatoneof
the neighbors was a wizard and
to prevent him coming to injure
the family, nailed a horseshoe
over the door of the entrance to
the house.”
It was believed that the
Rathboneswere able to find and
recover the treasure.But they left
ratherunceremoniously forparts
unknown with no explanation.
The neighborswent to Jeremiah
Hascall, the local Justice of the
Peace and insisted on obtaining
a search warrant. The constable
cache of counterfeit coins and
equipment tomake it.
A few years later, after the
Rathbones left,ColonelBenjamin
Ganson bought the farm. Some
people in thevicinitystillbelieved
that therewas hidden treasure in
theareaand requestedpermission
of the Colonel to dig on the old
Rathbone farm. He agreed, and
the diggingbegan in earnest, but
“perhaps because they supposed
that the moon was the patron
deitywhichguarded the treasure”
theyonlydugat night. Theyalso
carried a musket charged with
silver bullets “which could not
be turned aside by any devilish
device, andproviding themselves
with a good quantity of drink,
that not only exhilarates but
inebriates theyprepared to renew
the operations and give battle to
Satan if necessary.”
They were digging with
renewedvigor,when they looked
up and saw a huge monster
approaching. Itwasnearly10 feet
tall, with its arms outstretched
“a most villainous looking
countenance and three-cornered
military hat on its head.” The
monster came within gun shot
and “one of the party, whose
nerves were steady enough to
permit it, seized the musket and
blazed away at the approaching
demon ...”.
“On came the hideous spectre
in defiance of the silver and all
other munitions of offence and
defense without a pause. This
was toomuchforhumannature to
bear: apanicseized thecompany
and theymade aworse thanBull
Runflight. Oneman reached the
Colonel’s premises and tumbled
headlong into the door, as pale
as a ghost and it was reported
years afterwards that he never
fully recovered from the effects
of the fright.”
Sometime later, a friend who
was visiting Colonel Ganson,
wasshownpartof the“demon’s”
costume. He suspected that the
Colonel,whohad survivedahail
of bullets in the British War of
1812, had little fear of the silver
bullets from the muskets aimed
at him from thedrunken treasure
The story of the buried
resurfaced, although it was said
that the excavations of the eager
treasure hunters remained for
severalyears. Iwonderwhatever
happened to the silver bullets?
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