Buried Treasure Oshawa: War of 1812


Perhaps fact or legend,we too have a local Oshawa story of a buried Army Chest reported to be 37,000 pounds sterling or $100,000. At a distance of two miles to the west of Oshawa’s present day harbour is Stone’s Cove and Roger’s beach, During the war when Lake Ontario had a higher elevation instead of the current marsh and a creek, it was an area open to seafaring.

According to Gordon Conant, Crown Attorney for Ontario County a sloop called the Mary Ann, was transferring the military pay chest from Kinston to York. She was cited and pursued by two American vessels of Commodore Chauncey’s fleet and being unable to fight them, stood in for the shore at Bonniebrae know as Mr. Conant’s summer home.

They maneuvered the ship through the sand and up the Creek and beached her, then the crew abandoned ship, quickly buried the strongbox and retreated. The Americans followed this vessel in finding her abandoned, burned or scuttled her.

Some believe that the strong box was dropped overboard into the shoreline shallows or murky waters of the marsh. A popular theory after World War I was – by hiding the Sloop behind the tall trees fringing the marsh the MARY ANN’s crew managed to evade their pursuers. It was discovered the following day the vessel became hopelessly marsh bound, the hull having blocked the out-flow of water from the marsh, thus creating waves and the beach channel was filled with shifting sand! The strong box was then buried in the vicinity of the marsh to be retrieved later ….

To this very day the treasure hasn’t been found.

Thanks to Shawn Campbell and Paul Darnbrough

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Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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