Erie County, Pennsylvania

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  • $500,000 in gold and silver sank with the La Jean Florin 10 to 15 miles northeast of Erie.

More information can be found in

Guide to Treasure in Pennsylvania

"The La Jean Florin is most likely a myth...this is from research gathered...the following is from an online wreck database.  
La Jean Florin: Frigate sank 7/?/1721 approximately 5 miles offshore between Erie, Pennsylvania and Barcelona, New York according to Ackerman. However, we are unable to find confirming documentation. Swayze suggests that the Florin more than likely sank off Barcelona Spain, since no vessels of its type were reported to have sailed the upper lakes at this date. We recently received word from Brendon Baillod which I have quoted as follows: "I wanted to let you know that I did find reference to a vessel by the name of Le Jean Florin that was lost off Barcelona, Spain. It was just a casual reference in a recent treasure hunting book, but along with the obvious historical contradictions, it does pretty much exclude this vessel from serious consideration as a Great Lakes wreck. I tried to track down the unscrupulous researcher who first propagated this myth and I traced it back to the late 1960s and one of the many obscure, low budget treasure books that were produced without references or footnotes. The authors (who aren't named) try to list possible sources for treasure in the Great Lakes and mistakenly placed Le Jean Florin off Barcelona, New York. I suspect it was done purposefully to sell books. I am relatively sure that this is the source of the myth because the wreck does not appear in any Great Lakes materials before the late 1960s."
You may wish to investigate further...of course it is a good story as is..."
Tony Frazer


  • Gold Specie and railroad iron sank with the Young Lion 2 miles off Walnut Creek.

More information can be found in

Guide to Treasure in Pennsylvania

  • $60,000 to $338,000 in gold is supposedly in the safe of the sidewheeler Atlantic, which sank in Lake Erie.

More information can be found in

Guide to Treasure in Pennsylvania

I believe most of the gold is believed to have been recovered as well...
174 Atlantic: Side-wheel passenger steamer of 267 ft sank on 8/20/1852 after colliding with the propeller steamer Ogdensberg in a heavy fog 4 miles due East of the tip of Long Point. This was the third of Lake Erie's three great passenger steamer tragedies. The ship was carrying far in excess of its usual number of passengers and anywhere from 150 to 250 drowned in this disaster. The Atlantic had a freight cargo and $36,000 of American Express gold (in 1852 dollars) in its safe. For this reason it became the focus of the most famous, long running, and unprofitable salvage operation in the history of Lake Erie. The wreck lies in 165 ft of water and Johnny Green the diver who was hired to raise the safe spent years developing new pumps and hoses capable of withstanding the pressures involved. For more information in this regard see the Erie number 171 above. In 1855 after many attempts over several seasons the safe was found and cut free. But on returning to the surface to obtain cables to hoist it Green suffered a near fatal attack of the bends. Elliott Harrington of a rival salvage company finally recovered the treasure on June 27th,1856. A subsequent court battle ensued and most of the money was returned to its original owners with only $7,000 going to Harrington and his backers. One of the later attempts to salvage the baggage and cargo involved the use of a submarine developed by a man named Philips. This sank while being tested and probably still rests near the Atlantic. In 1984 the wreck was rediscovered by Mike Fletcher with help from commercial fishermen out of Port Dover, Ontario. More recently the Del Mar dive Company of California obtained the title to the vessel and has been engaged in a court battle with the province of Ontario over the right to salvage the remaining cargo. WQLN-TV in Erie Pennsylvania produced and sells an excellent video history of the Atlantic. We shall post the order address and price as soon as we obtain it. The Niagara Divers Association's web site lists a position of 42deg 30.620', 80deg 05.086'. For more information regarding the Atlantic try this link.
I know....I'm getting annoying.....but I do love your site....keep up the great work...
Tony Frazer

Thanks Tony.


  • $141,000 in gold and $50,000 in zinc sank with the Dean Richmond 2 miles north of Erie.

More information can be found in

Guide to Treasure in Pennsylvania

  • The steamer Erie sank in Lake Erie taking with it $200,000 in gold coins, some of which have been found along the shoreline. 

More information can be found in

Buried Treasures You Can Find

I believe it supposed to be the Steamer "City of Erie"...the gold and silver were recovered....more info
171 Erie "City Of": Side-wheel passenger steamer of 176 ft caught fire, burned to the waterline and sank with a great loss of life on 8/9/1841 off Silver Creek, New York. This was the first of Lake Erie's three great passenger steamer tragedies. Just prior to leaving Buffalo the Erie had been largely repainted. The six painters remained on board to finish the job at the next lay over. Unfortunately they left their paint and turpentine in a pile on the deck where around 9:00pm it was ignited by sparks from the boats stacks causing an explosion. Three vessels, the steamers DeWitt Clinton, Lady, and Chatauque, all over 20 miles distant saw the flames and turned to attempt a rescue. The Erie carried over 200 passengers, mostly immigrants and all but one of the life preservers were aflame before the crew reached them. This was given to a Mrs. Lynde of Milwaukee who was the only woman to survive the disaster. The vessel's engines were stopped and two of the three small lifeboats aboard were successfully launched. These were quickly swamped and capsized in the waves. As the flames spread the passengers and crew jumped into the choppy water. When the Clinton arrived after the passage of over an hour it found a few badly burned survivors still clinging to the flaming hull. The Clinton picked up 27, most of whom had hung onto the overturned lifeboats. The Lady arriving shortly afterwards rescued two more, bringing the total number of survivors to 29. Among these were the Captain, most of the senior crewmen, and one of the painters. Early the next morning the remains of the burned hull sank in 66 feet of water while the Lady and Clinton were attempting to tow it to shore. Although considered impossible at the time, this vessel was raised and removed in 1852 by divers working for Johnny Green. Prior to this, dives of over 45 feet were considered suicidal. A great deal of melted gold and silver (supposedly worth over $200,000.00) was recovered making Johnny Green both rich and a local legend. For more information in this regard see the Atlantic number 174 below.
Tony Frazer

Thanks Tony


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