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Pennsylvania Treasures: The Counterfeiter's Gold

Here's the story of Cyrus Cole who, in the early 1900s, lived by himself in a shack near the swamps outside Eldred in McKean County, Pennsylvania. Cole was something of a bum, surviving by picking berries and trapping muskrats yet, strangely, he was never short of cash.

The United States Secret Service had agents investigating an influx of counterfeit silver half dollars and gold coins in the area, but could never get any leads. Then in 1912, they got an anonymous tip that Cole was the mastermind behind the counterfeiting ring. Armed with a search warrant, the agents searched Cole's shack and found some evidence, but not enough for a conviction.

They searched the swamp for evidence of the minting equipment, but came up empty-handed. Legend has it that Cole buried his counterfeit coins and his real gold and silver profits somewhere on the high ground near Eldred. None of it has ever been recovered.

©2006 The Greater Pittsburgh Parnormal Society™