MASSACHUSETTS TREASURES & HISTORY

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(Clues lead to a door mat, a garden hose, a tree, a mailbox, a bench or chair, a pot, a downspout, a rock, a car, and a flower)

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Explore Massachusetts Treasure Stories

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Buried Treasure Chests at Balancing Rock.  According to legend, in the late 18th century a lawyer and a friend of his stole two chests containing about $200,000 in gold and silver pieces from a pirate and buried them near a strange boulder on Kents Island.  This island is located northeast of South Byfield in the middle of a salt marsh along the banks of the Parker River that runs through this historic farm district.  The rock gets its name because of its odd positioning and the unusual "wobble" produced when you push against it.  The men supposedly marked the boulder by carving what appears to be the letter "A" on it which still is visible today.  The story claims that the pair were planning to return in five years to retrieve the treasure.  Where they went and the reason they had to wait five years is unclear, but locals reported that they never returned.  In the early 1800s, many people dug around the area of the rock and tried to locate the treasure to no avail.  An unconfirmed rumor later surfaced of one chest being found in the 1930's by a treasure hunter, but at least one other chest with the rest of the hidden fortune is still believed to be buried on the island. Today, the island is part of the Kents Island Wildlife Management Area.  To get to the island located east of Knights Crossing, take Boston Road east which curves to the right and becomes Hay Street, and then turn right onto Kents Island Road, which is the access road to the island. (Topographical Map)

Pirate Treasure of Clarke's Island

Stash on Martha's Vineyard

Treasure of Tenney's Grey Court Castle.  There is a legend of two eccentric brothers hiding a fortune in treasure near Grey Court Castle (pictured below), once the center of the Charles H. Tenney estate that was adjacent to the Searles castle ruins, in the hills of Methuen, Essex County, Massachusetts.  The region was originally part of the Pawtucket Plantation which was incorporated as Haverhill in 1645.  

Grey Court Photo

Tenney was a local wealthy hat manufacturer with a thriving business who held many gala events at the castle.  The hill, located off Charles Street, was described as a beautiful forest with massive stone works and sprawling green lawns, once known as Meetinghouse Hill when it had only a meetinghouse and barn used as a parsonage in the 1700s, a graveyard (pictured below), and a schoolhouse at the time, but once the church was torn down and relocated, the hill became known as Daddy Frye's Hill after Jeremiah Frye who ran a large tavern in the vicinity.  It is called Tenney's Hill on the 1900 census.  The brothers of this treasure tale were Mark and Nathaniel Gorrill, natives of New Hampshire born in the early 1800s, dairy farmers who had a falling out over the same girl whom they both courted and were rejected by.  As a result, they both became reclusive hermits, living together in their homestead nearby, although supposedly never talking to each other. 

Tenny Gate Photo

Nestled at the foot of the hill is a home built in the 1830s by a local farmer named William Whittier.  The original rough stone farm house which also served as a stage coach stop in its early days, along with 75 surrounding acres, was purchased and elegantly renovated by Charles and Fanny Tenney in the 1880s and would become known as the Tenney Gate House (pictured boarded up before renovation, and still standing as of this writing at 37 Pleasant Street next to the Methuen City Hall housing the Methuen Historical Society) where the family lived while the stone mansion on the hill was built beginning in the mid to late 1880s.  In old town meeting records from 1888, Charles H. Tenney and others request that edge stones be set on the easterly side of Highland Street from Pleasant Street to the top of the hill near the entrance to the C.H. Tenney estate.  There was both a front entrance and a back entrance on the south side of Pleasant Street.  

Old Cemetery Photo

The castle was used as a summer manor for the Tenney family after they relocated to New York, and was abandoned as a home by 1951, with 26 acres being donated to the school system (the high school was built on part of the land, and the middle school was said to be built close to the mansion), with Grey Court castle and the remaining land being sold to the Basilican Salvatorian Order who established a monastery on the site.  The monks at first lived in the castle, then the gate house, and then the old Tenney barn, renting the gate house to tenants, and renting the castle for use as a drug rehabilitation center called Challenge House.  The castle fell into disuse and disrepair in the 1970s, the roof was falling in, it was overgrown, and a series of fires eventually destroyed it altogether.  The Tenney gate house is said to be haunted according to many who rented it, passing down the story of the monk who hung himself in the tower room and strange happenings near the gravestone of Father Nicholas Demetrius in the monks' cemetery that used to exist (but was moved) between the Tenney Gate House and the Searles Building at 41 Pleasant.  The area surrounding the castle now comprises Greycourt State Park where an amphitheater was built over the castle ruins and only a small portion of the courtyard remains.  The park and its walking trails can be accessed from a path behind the Tenney gatehouse or from East St. at the St. Basil Seminary.  The gate house, which was renovated revealing several hidden fireplaces, is now open to the public with free admission on Sundays from 1-3 p.m., and showcases memorabilia from the Revolutionary and Civil War time periods, along with old photos taken of the inside the mansion and displays from the Tenney's hat factory.  What is interesting and perplexing about this treasure tale is that one local legend says that the brothers amassed a fortune and buried it somewhere on the hill, and another story from the region says that a townsperson had a vision of treasure being hidden in the wall of the castle, the castle was searched, and $20,000 in bonds was found in the cellar beneath one of the castle towers.  But considering that the castle would not have even been built until the brothers were around their late 60's, and they did not seem to have any close association with the Tenney family to have been inside in the basement hiding bonds, it seems highly unlikely that they buried the treasure found in the castle, but that any fortune from their farming business would more probably still be buried or hidden somewhere else on the hill.  (Map of the Area)

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Bring Your Child's Party to Life with Our Fun & Unique Printable Themed Treasure Hunt Party Clue Games

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Easy Pirate Treasure Hunt Clue Game #2

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(Clues lead to a pot, picture, a map, paper towels, a cookbook, light switch, glue, broom, a decorative or toy frog, & a clock)

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NEW! SPOOKY HUNT
PERFECT FOR KIDS HALLOWEEN PARTIES
10 Themed Clues per Game. Only $7.99! 

(ages 5-9)

Fun and spooky kids Halloween, holiday, dress up, or costume birthday party clue solving treasure hunt for young kids children all ages parties plan exciting interactive ice breaker scary creepy clues riddles reality team games party supplies

Easy Spooky Treasure Hunt Party Game #6

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(Clues lead to a bat, spider, pumpkin, broom, skeleton, bandages (mummy), black cat, witch, apple (poison), and a bed fssheet (ghost))

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Print to Play Now! Only $7.99 

(ages 5-9)

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Easy Outdoor Treasure Hunt #4 (around the home)

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(Clues lead to a door mat, a garden hose, a tree, a mailbox, a bench or chair, a pot, a downspout, a rock, a car, and a flower)

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