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Medford treasure Trove.

by Eliza M. Gill.
On the morning of November 16, 1900, Medford awoke to the pleasurable excitement that she had again become famous; not through the renewal of any of her old time manufactures or industries, but because a fairy tale had materialized. Buried treasure had been discovered on the banks of the Mystic and the news heralded far and near.

On the preceding afternoon some boys playing in a field at the head of Spring street, were digging for the foundation of a hut. They struck a hard substance, [p. 49] which in attempting to dislodge, broke under their blows. It was a pottery receptacle, (covered with a piece of canvas) and contained a hoard of silver coins. Surprised and excited the boys ran home with what they could carry, telling the story as they went.

Curious throngs soon gathered to see the place where the money had been unearthed and various were the opinions expressed as to who had placed it there, and for what purpose. The mystery has never been really solved, and each has a right to his own opinion. Several came forward with claims for it, that they thought were good and reasonable, but as possession is nine points of the law, the boys were allowed to keep what they had found, a sum amounting at the lowest estimate, to three hundred dollars.

Naturally to the mind of every one, first came the pleasing tale of Capt. Kidd and his hidden treasure. A story so alluring that today even, it sends Harvard students off on expeditions to search for his yet undiscovered wealth.

William C. Sprague (1823-1911), whose life was spent in Medford, who lived for many years in that vicinity, thought the money was placed there by Francis Shed, to hide it from his family. Mr. Shed was born in Medford, 1772, and died here 1851. He lived for a while in the so-called Cradock house.

One of our oldest citizens, now living not far from there, thinks the money belonged to Nathan Sawyer, who died in 1873. This is in line with statements by the latter's daughter, now living in the old home on Riverside avenue. Mr. Sawyer was a ship blacksmith, doing the iron work in Sprague and Foster's yard. Having lost his savings by the failure of a bank, he thereafter kept his money in jars and pitchers in a closet. The daughter remembers seeing these receptacles, and of being sent to Boston to exchange a lot of foreign coins for United States currency. Later, an illness weakened Mr. Sawyer's mind, and his distrust and uneasiness concerning money [p. 50] increased. One day the family found jars and contents missing. He was never able to tell where he had hidden them, though desiring to, and called in a brother to assist in a search that was futile. The fact that he spoke of certain trees, and that the money was found near such a locality, leads many to think this the solution of the puzzle.

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