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Title: Buried Treasure of Casco Bay - A Guide for the Modern Hunter
Author: Kennedy, Bernett Faulkner, Jr.
Language: English
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                     BURIED TREASURE OF CASCO BAY:
                     A Guide For The Modern Hunter

                           B. F. KENNEDY, JR.

                      Forest City Printing Company
                         South Portland, Maine

                             THIRD PRINTING

   All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole

                 Copyright © 1963 by B. F. Kennedy, Jr.

                             _To my father:
                           B. F. KENNEDY, Sr.
                               who loved
                          Casco Bay very much.
                                  B. K._


The following people helped me greatly in the compilation of this book.

                                                              The Author

                        Miss Jessie B. Trefethen
                          Peaks Island, Maine

                          Mr. Herbert G. Jones
                            Portland, Maine

                          Mr. Francis O’Brien
                            Portland, Maine

                           Mr. Martin Coombs
                         South Portland, Maine


This little endeavor of mine that follows, is a small effort in a
literary way, to acquaint the reader with modern methods and information
on the art of treasure hunting and various facts and locations of same.
The Author sincerely hopes that you gather some information and
entertainment from the reading of this book.

                                                              THE AUTHOR
                                                          April 14, 1962


  How Treasure was Buried                                              19
  Fort Gorges                                                          21
  Fort Scammell                                                        23
  Peaks Island                                                         25
  Cushing’s Island                                                     27
  Willard Beach                                                        29
  Portland Head Light                                                  31
  Cliff Island                                                         33
  Richmond’s Island                                                    35
  Turner’s Island                                                      37
  Eastern Shore Line, Portland                                         39
  Cape Elizabeth Shore Line                                            41
  Mackworth’s Island                                                   43
  Jewell’s Island                                                      45
  Great Chebeague Island                                               47
  Great Diamond Island                                                 49
  Pond Island                                                          51
  Fort Preble                                                          53
  French’s Island                                                      55
  Bailey’s Island                                                      57
  Orr’s Island                                                         59
  Harpswell Neck                                                       63
  Shelter Island                                                       67
  Long Island                                                          69
  Pettengill Island                                                    71
  Sebascodegan or Great Island                                         73
  Treasure Hunting Equipment                                           75
  Bibliography                                                         77

                           _About the Author_
                          — Retired in 1976 —
             _Now City Historian for South Portland, Maine_

B. F. Kennedy, Jr. was born in Portland, Maine in 1916 and has spent
most of his life in this area, attending grammar school and high school
in Portland. Mr. Kennedy has also worked as a ship chandler and a
drugstore clerk. A collector by nature, his favorite hobbies besides
treasure-hunting are bottle collecting and mineralogy.

The author has done extensive research on buried and sunken treasure
locales. Working on information furnished by Mr. Kennedy, scuba divers
located three brass Revolutionary War cannons just off Portland Head
light. Mr. Kennedy has personally located old coins, an Indian axe circa
1640, and other valuable artifacts, often traveling as far from Portland
as Key West, Florida. On his days off or on his vacations, the author
can usually be found with his trusty metal detector scouting for more

Mr. Kennedy is married, with no children.


The locations given in this book do not guarantee that you will find
treasure there, or anywhere in Casco Bay. These locations are places
where history took place, maybe you will find treasure and maybe not.

The Author does not want to mislead you into thinking, that if you dig
at any of these locations; you will find buried treasure.

                                                              B. KENNEDY

                     BURIED TREASURE OF CASCO BAY:
                     A Guide For The Modern Hunter

                               CHAPTER I
                        HOW TREASURE WAS BURIED

The word, “treasure,” has excited people the world over for centuries.
When we were mere children we read about hidden treasure being buried on
lonely isles, by bands of cutthroat pirates, also the burying of caches
of money by the outlaws and bandits of the old West.

The early settlers were always hiding their money from the Indians and
bandits, and the best place to put their money was, of course, in the
ground, as they had no bank vaults in which to keep it safe.

So down through the years thousands of dollars in coin was hidden in
this fashion. Many of these caches are being discovered today in the
back yards of rustic old houses, in old wells, along the stone walls of
century-old homesteads, in fact almost anywhere around the property.

The many islands in Casco Bay were choice locations for the early
settlers; to settle on an island was one way to slow up the advance of
Indian raiding parties. The Indians, of course, would raid some of the
islands; but it was not convenient for them because of the trip across
the open water in order to reach their destination; therefore many
treasures that were buried on these islands still remain to be
discovered by the modern day treasure hunter. A good many of these
hidden caches were buried in old iron kettles, tough bags made of animal
hides, old iron chests and almost anything that would keep the coins
from getting too wet and corroded in the ground.

Now for some treasure hunting locations for the modern hunter armed with
his metal detector. First, we will go to an old fort in Casco Bay,
Maine, namely, “Fort Gorges,” we will call this location number one on
our list.

                               CHAPTER II
                              FORT GORGES

Fort Gorges is on Hog Island, Portland Harbor, Casco Bay, it is a stone
fort in a commanding position on a reef, guarding the entrances to the
upper harbor as well as to the ship channel. Although designed to
complete the harbor defense, it was not built until much later than the
earlier forts, Preble and Scammell. It was commenced in 1858 but was not
completed until 1864 or 1865. It was built under the direction of
Captain Casey, of the United States Engineering Corps, and in
bomb-proofs and barbette, was designed to receive 195 guns. Although a
formidable looking fortress it was designed for short range guns, so the
introduction of modern heavy ordnance made its period of usefulness a
brief one. Fort Gorges may be reached by boat from Portland or Cushings

The parade ground inside the fort is a dirt one, anybody seeking buried
treasure there, might find such articles as buttons, shoe buckles,
coins, bayonets and other properties carried by the soldiers who were
stationed there at the end of the Civil War. The buried artifacts would
not be too deep, maybe one or two feet for an average. This fort would
be one of the ideal locations for the modern treasure hunter and his
metal detector. I’m sure your time would not be wasted in a two or three
hour search there. If you decide to visit the old fort, do not forget to
take a box lunch, as the salt air will create a wonderful appetite.

                              CHAPTER III
                             FORT SCAMMELL

On House Island, Casco Bay, you will find Fort Scammell. This fort was
built in 1808, under the direction of Mr. H.A.S. Dearborn, who under
authorization of the War Department, purchased for twelve hundred
dollars, all the southwest part of House Island containing twelve acres
more or less. On the highest point of this island an octagonal
block-house of timber was erected, with a porthole and a gun on each
side. The upper story projecting over the lower, two or three feet;
contained the battery. On the low upright center timbers of the roof,
was a carved wooden eagle with extended wings. Fort Scammell, like its
sister, Fort Preble, was named for a Revolutionary officer, Colonel
Alexander Scammell. Fort Scammell was never so extensive a fortification
as Fort Preble.

It was enlarged at the time of the Civil War, until its equipment called
for seventy-one pieces. Fort Scammell may be reached by boat from either
Portland or South Portland.

The treasure hunter, here too, will have a great time with his detector.
There should be, hidden out of sight, a number of old relics that could
be located with a good metal detector. The date of the fort being as I
mentioned 1808, therefore the artifacts that might be found here, would
really have some value. Don’t forget to secure permission before you
hunt on any property. The owner will like you better for this.

                               CHAPTER IV
                              PEAKS ISLAND

The Island of Peaks is located in Casco Bay and is approximately three
miles due east from Portland. It only takes a fifteen minute boat ride
to arrive at Peaks.

There are several good locations here for the treasure seeker,
especially if he or she is armed with a good metal detector.

The first location that I shall mention is located on the northerly end
of the island. It is about three-quarters of a mile from the boat

A few years ago construction of an addition to the Island school house
was begun; during the excavating, two silver coins were dug up. These
coins were identified as pieces-of-eight, or Spanish silver dollars.
Where they came from or who buried them, or lost them there; still
remains a mystery. If one could secure permission to go over the
remaining part of the yard, there is no telling what might be

Another spot worth checking out, is located on the back side of the
island at a place called “Picnic Rocks” or “Whaleback”. Here, near the
roadway, stands; or stood; a huge elm tree. This tree was approximately
eight feet in diameter. A few years ago a fire broke out in this section
of the island, and nobody seems to know whether or not the lonely elm
was burned. If it was, the huge charred stump should still be there. The
Author has not checked this situation as yet; but intends to shortly.

On the ground surrounding this immense tree, there are several mounds,
believed to be Indian graves. A real good search of the area, might be
well worth one’s time.

Last, but not least, the beaches on the back side of the island, (or
north-easterly side) should be gone over very carefully with the metal

Pirates were in this area around 1726, and most anything might be buried
along these sandy strips. Not only buried, but who knows what might have
been dropped or lost by these cutthroats of long ago. The Boston Pirate,
Edward Low, was said to have plied these waters, in and around Casco Bay
about 1726 or 1727.

Who knows what beach he might have landed on, in one of his longboats?

I most certainly would give this island a darn good check with my
detector, especially the beaches and the bankings leading up from them.

                               CHAPTER V
                            CUSHING’S ISLAND

One of our next stops should include this island of Casco Bay. It is
located just across the channel from Willard Beach, South Portland; in
an easterly direction from Willard Beach.

First of all, why do we wish to treasure hunt here? A little history at
this point might help the modern hunter, just a bit. We will go back in
history to the year 1632. The first pirate ever heard of in the annals
of piracy, was called; “Dixie Bull”. This pirate was believed to be of
English descent. He robbed and sacked Pemaquid, Maine, in 1632; then set
sail for Richmonds Island, which was next on his list to be robbed.

However, as the story goes, a storm came up with very high winds, this
pirate galleon was just entering the channel between South Portland and
Cushing’s Island, so “Dixie Bull” decided to put into a cove on
Cushing’s to wait out the storm.

It is said that he put ashore and buried some of the loot taken from
Pemaquid. There are several coves facing the channel. Which one was the
exact location of his landing?

Your guess is as good as mine, but I most certainly would go over these
coves, beaches, and bankings very carefully. If anything was located
here, you can bet it will be a real find.

The year 1632 was a long time ago, and any artifact uncovered here would
be worth its weight in gold, not only as an antique but as a real
historical piece.

Any article found here and checked as to relationship to “Dixie Bull”
and proved authentic; would be priceless.

The history of Cushing’s Island dates back to the year 1623, when
Captain Levett came over from the old country. He was looking for a
likely spot to settle and Cushing’s Island turned out to be that spot.

Captain Levett was the first white man to settle in Casco Bay. He traded
with the Indians and did not try to cheat them. He traded cheap jewelry
for beaver and otter skins and got along famously with the whole tribe.
Levett built his house near Cellar Point.

The Island of Cushing’s has had many names, among these being Andrews,
Portland, Fort Island and Bangs Island. Ezekiel Cushing took the island
over in 1762 and it has been called Cushing’s Island ever since.

If any of you readers are skin diving enthusiasts, you might try a few
dives in and around the channel between Cushing’s Island and Willard
Beach, South Portland, as a number of cannon were dumped overboard
during the War of 1812, and are probably still lying on the bottom of
this channel.

All sides of the island should receive a good going-over with your
detector, as this island is steeped in history of the bygone era of

                               CHAPTER VI
                            SIMONTON’S COVE
                             WILLARD BEACH
                              So. Portland

This cove located on the easterly end of South Portland facing Casco Bay
is the scene of early settlers to this part of the Cape, (Elizabeth).

Today the cove is known as Willard Beach. It was named for Captain Ben
Willard, who was born there in 1828. Ben was a fisherman, pilot, and

This beach was used by the early settlers, of about 1813 as a landing
spot for their fishing boats. Many little homesteads sprung up in this
area in the early 1800’s.

The old houses, of course, are gone now, but who can tell what might
still be hidden along the beach or in the vicinity of the beach and

Around the old point, that is on the south side of the beach, would be a
likely area for the metal detector. The old fishing shacks that were
there have vanished now, but many a cash deal was made on this old point
of land. There may be still, some loose coins lying around with a few
feet of dirt on top of them.

A few blocks to the rear of the beach was an old tavern that the stage
coaches stopped at years ago. This old house is still standing. You
probably will not be able to secure permission to go over the property
as the house is occupied. I told you about this old place, just to
convince you that this entire area is a fine one to look over.

If stage coaches came and went from this locality you can bet that this
would be an ideal location in which to hunt. Go over the beach, then try
the land, but for goodness sake, be sure to get permission from any
property owner before you hunt on his property. We do not want you to
get arrested and land in court.

                              CHAPTER VII
                        PORTLAND HEAD LIGHT AREA

The history book tells us that many of the old sailing vessels came to
grief in this area. Portland Head Light is located on the government
reservation of Fort Williams and you definitely can not search here; but
the area outside of the Fort should receive your attention. If you
proceed in a southeasterly direction along the shoreline, going away
from the Fort there is no telling what you might find. The ships that
were wrecked in this area of the bay, carried all kinds of cargo; such
as silks, silverware, jewelry, tools, money, tea, coffee, guns, pottery,
glassware, etc., just to mention a few.

Many of these articles washed ashore from the wrecked ships. It is my
guess that there still remains, buried in the sand of the many inlets
and coves; relics of a bygone era.

One of the wrecked ships in this area was the Annie C. Maguire. She came
ashore in 1886 and went to pieces on Portland Head Light Reef.

One of the earlier shipwrecks was that of the “Bohemian.” She came to
grief on Alden’s Rock; located about three miles off the Cape Elizabeth
shore. The year was 1864. She had sailed from Liverpool, England; her
destination being Portland, Maine. Many of the Cape Elizabeth residents
still have articles in their possession that came from the “Bohemian”.
(The Author has a silver plated spoon from this wrecked ship, that will
rest in the Cape Historical Society.)

The days that followed the disaster were busy ones for the people along
the shores of the mainland, as well as the islands of Casco Bay. They
were salvaging the bolts of silk cloth, along with many other items that
were washed ashore. The story goes; that the ladies of the area soon
were seen wearing new dresses made out of the cloth from the “Bohemian”.

                              CHAPTER VIII
                              CLIFF ISLAND

The location of this island will take us down the bay beyond Peaks
Island, and about three miles due east from Long Island.

Many stories have been written about Cliff Island. Some were fact and
others were legendary. We will try to stay with the facts as close as
possible. First a little about the geography of Cliff Island. It has
great coves, low sand bars, and many lush pine groves; a nicer haven for
the artist, scholar, or traveler, has not been found. The Island has not
always been known as Cliff; for it originally was called, “Crotch”
Island, named after a curious “H” shaped chasm that was hewn out of the
solid ledge on the southeastern side of the island. On each side of the
“crotch”, are great coves which should be given your undivided
attention, as to metal detection.

Near Gravelly Cove, there once stood an old house, built in the early
1700’s. Its walls were constructed of hand-hewn wooden planks, stood on
end. It was termed a “piggin”, a type of dwelling very uncommon in
Maine, there being only one other like it built at Kittery Point, about
1630. It is said to have been erected by John Merriman, one of the
earliest settlers.

One of the Indian battle grounds was the field above the old wharf at
Strouts Point. Here many of the early settlers met their death at the
hands of the savages.

On May 2, 1780, a party of Colonial soldiers camped on the island for
several days, while on their way to the eastward in search of British

There is one prominent legend of the island that the natives keep alive.
It concerns the notorious, “Captain Kief”, who was believed to be a
smuggler and one-time pirate. He lived alone in a hut and during the
stormy weather, would fasten a lighted lantern to his horse’s neck;
riding up and down the narrow stretch of the island, in the hope of
luring passing vessels to their doom on the treacherous reefs.
Unsuspecting pilots soon found their ships pounded to pieces and their
cargoes salvaged and confiscated by this island ghoul. He got rich out
of the spoils.

Today the islanders hate to point out to the curious, the “Captain’s”
own private graveyard, a pretty, grassy meadow which ever since has been
known as “Kief’s Garden”, and where his innocent victims are said to
sleep their last long sleep.

Now the reader should understand, that by reading the preceding tale,
you have a good location here on Cliff, for a real treasure hunt. The
Author wishes you good hunting.

                               CHAPTER IX
                           RICHMOND’S ISLAND

Here we have one of the earliest settlements in the Casco Bay area. In
1604, Champlain, the great explorer, landed here on Richmond’s Island.
This was, of course, sixteen years before the landing of the Pilgrims at
Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. In other words, this island has a real old
history in the annals of time.

The first trader or shop keeper to settle here was Walter Bagnall. He
traded with the Indians and got along fine until he started to cheat
them. That was his undoing, as they found it out and later killed him.
This island was “the” trading post of the area. People came by boat and
overland to trade here.

Richmond’s Island today is rather a deserted place compared to the old
days. There used to be thirty-five or forty houses here, plus two or
three churches.

The leading industry of the island was the curing and drying of salt
fish that were caught just off shore. You can walk around the entire
shoreline of this island in about an hour and a half. A metal detector
should react here to something buried long ago. The island, being a
trading post, should reveal some treasures of the bygone era. The island
has a wonderful beach on the westerly side. If you also happen to be
interested in shells you will find many “sand dollars” here. A “sand
dollar” is a shell fish shaped like a silver dollar. They are very
interesting to study.

There is a breakwater from the mainland out to this island and you can
cross over at low tide, but the walking is pretty rugged due to the
large granite blocks used in construction. These blocks were placed at
various angles so it is hard to walk over them. The best way to the
island is by boat, either from Breakwater Point or from Crescent Beach,
Cape Elizabeth. A small rowboat is all you need, as the inlet that you
cross is not very wide.

Richmond’s Island is owned by a gentleman who lives on the mainland. I
would most certainly get his permission before landing on the island. We
treasure hunters want to live up to our good reputation, so don’t spoil
it by trespassing without the owner’s O.K.

                               CHAPTER X
                            TURNER’S ISLAND

This small island was settled by Ralph Turner in 1659. He was a farmer
who kept his cows and garden on this island. He, however, did not live
on the island, but had a house on the mainland of the Cape. The river on
which the island was located was called Casco River. It is now called
Fore River and is a part of Casco Bay, or an inlet from the Bay.

Turner’s house was located near Barbeery Creek, which now is industrial
property in South Portland.

I mention this location because of its early settlement. If this area
was screened carefully some mighty interesting relics could be revealed.

To reach this area you proceed to South Portland, then on to the
Pleasantdale area. Anyone there can tell you how to get to Turner’s
Island. Of course the island is not an island any longer, as the gap
between the island and mainland has been filled in and today the island
appears to be part of the mainland. You can see with careful study that
the terrain still resembles the little island of 1659.

This area should have something hidden along the shoreline that would
make a metal detector sing.

                               CHAPTER XI
                            PORTLAND, MAINE
                           EASTERN SHORE LINE

The largest city in Maine offers the modern treasure seeker good hunting
grounds, especially the eastern side of town. This area is called the
east-end bathing beach. The shore line here was the scene of Indian
attacks and burning of houses back in the year 1775 when Portland was
known as Falmouth Neck. The British Admiral, Mowatt, attacked and
destroyed by shell fire the area from the Eastern Promenade to Monument
Square, and included the waterfront in this destruction.

If you think about this attack you will come to the conclusion that many
historical artifacts were lost in the ruins of the fire. Some of them
are probably still in the area, buried under three or four feet of dirt,
or maybe deeper. Of course the shoreline is built up now, but you still
have a good chance of finding something along the beach, the banking
near the railroad tracks, and some of the surrounding area. As I have
mentioned continually throughout this book, don’t under any
circumstances dig without securing the property owner’s permission.

Portland was founded by George Cleeves in 1633, so you see that any
article found that dates back to this era would be a real find. The
Portland area as a whole is steeped in history, the first settlers
arriving only thirteen years after the Pilgrims themselves.

A particularly nice spot for the detector to do its work is the foot of
Fort Allen Park along the railroad tracks and shoreline at the base of
the hill.

Many of the old windjammers used to anchor in the channel just off this
point. Therefore, the longboats or small boats from the mother ship
would land on the beach, while their occupants went ashore to complete
business dealings with the shopkeepers concerning cargoes, etc.

                              CHAPTER XII
                       CAPE ELIZABETH SHORE LINE

When starting out to check this shoreline a good starting point in my
estimation would be at the “Two Lights” section of the Cape. Go along
the shore checking as you proceed; all spots, both among the rocks,
sand, and higher water line. A short walk will bring you to the State of
Maine Park. Here you will not be able to use your instruments as there
are restrictions, but go beyond the park in a westerly direction and
this will lead you around the point to Crescent Beach.

In years past there have been a number of articles washed up on the
beach. Just above the beach is a salt-grass area that comes between the
beach and woods just beyond. I would most certainly check this section,
then proceed along to the field that lies about a thousand feet distant,
also in a westerly direction. There is no telling just what might be
buried here. A good method to use in this area, with your detector, is
the “grid pattern”; that is, walk up and down for awhile then reverse
direction and go across your own path. The design you will be making
will look like the plate on a waffle iron. This method is employed by
most of the professional treasure hunters, and is most effective.

The history of the Cape shoreline goes back to the year 1604, when
Champlain, the great explorer, was in this neighborhood. He landed first
on Richmond’s Island, then explored quite a bit of the mainland. He
could have landed or walked from Richmond’s to the mainland. Maybe some
of his belongings lie buried in this historical locality. Treasure
seeking demands that you don’t give up too easily, keep trying, and
remember these hidden objects will not let you know where they are, you
have to find them. Faint heart ne’er won fair lady, so get in there and
really search.

                              CHAPTER XIII
                           MACKWORTH’S ISLAND

Mackworth’s Island has an unusual and interesting background. According
to historians, the Indian Sagamore of Casco, known as Cocawesco, made
his home here. On an old English chart it is called Macken’s Island. The
island was named for Arthur Mackworth, who came to this country in 1631.
He died in 1657 and was buried on the island.

The State of Maine School for the Deaf is located on this island, which
may be reached from the mainland via a causeway. Please get permission
before trespassing on this property. Go to the administration building
and ask if they mind if you search along the outer shoreline. An area
such as this could reveal many nice finds because of the fact that both
our Indian chief and the first white settler here, lived on the island a
good many years. There seems as though there must be artifacts lying
around hidden from view just waiting to be discovered.

To reach Mackworth’s Island take Route 1 north from Portland, cross
Martin Point Bridge, and you will see the island to your right as you
are crossing this bridge. The first road to the right after leaving the
bridge should take you to the causeway leading over to the island. You
could also row over to the island from the mainland as it is a very
short trip.

                              CHAPTER XIV
                            JEWELL’S ISLAND

Now here is an island that fairly reeks with legend and treasure lore.
Certainly no island in the Bay so ideally lends itself to piratical
practices with its deep landlocked harbor, hidden coves and thick woods
that even today shelter all observation from the sea. All of which lends
credence to staunch belief that at one time in its history it was the
favorite haunt of smugglers and pirates. Jewell is only a little island
of but two hundred and twenty-one acres, one of the outer islands that
fringe the boundaries of Casco Bay. Being out of the beaten path of
tourist travel, it has not received the attention that its natural
beauties merit.

George Jewell, from whom the island is said to have taken its name, came
from Saco, Maine, and is presumed to have purchased the island from the
Indians in 1637.

From earliest times it has been traditional in the history of Jewell
Island that a pirate’s treasure lies hidden somewhere on its shores.

Jewell Island has several so-called “treasure markers.” These “markers”
are a pile of flat stones lain one on the other, until the marker
reaches a height of about four or five feet. It is near these markers
that treasure was supposed to have been buried. How near, or just where,
is a question that might be answered by your metal detector. I most
certainly would give the shore and beaches a good going over.

This island can be reached by the tourist boats that go to almost all
the islands in Casco Bay. If the boat does not stop at Jewell Island,
you can go to Cliff and cross over to Jewell by rowboat. The trip across
the channel is a short one.

                               CHAPTER XV
                         GREAT CHEBEAGUE ISLAND

Here we have one of the largest islands in Casco Bay. The name is
pronounced “Shar-Big.” This name in Indian language means “land of many
springs.” The Indians used this large island as a gathering place for
their outings and feasts. Many Indian families would come to Chebeague
Island and spend the day boating, fishing and eating. The Indians were
the forerunners of the modern day tourist.

On Chebeague you will find large shell heaps still visible after
hundreds of years. These piles of shells are the debris of countless
feasts held by the Indians.

Numerous relics of these Indian days have been found, and as late as
1935 crude implements of warfare, some household utensils, Indian
skulls, and a curious stone pipe were unearthed.

The first legal document pertaining to Chebeague was a transfer of
ownership dated 1650, so this island also dates back to a period of
seventeenth-century history. Chebeague has many large and small coves
which should command your attention. When you land on Chebeague ask
about the old homes there. In the old days there were many homesteads on
this island and some of them still remain. The area surrounding these
structures should have a number of hidden relics buried around the yard.
Don’t forget to ask the owner for his O.K. before you start any

The immediate shoreline would be the next location to receive a
treatment from your metal detector. As I have mentioned, the Indians had
their outings along the beaches and shoreline. The metal detector, of
course, is very valuable on a treasure hunt, but don’t forget to use
your eyes also. Some of the artifacts you may discover will not be made
of metal, but could be stone, wood or even leather. Articles such as
these, of course, would not register on your instrument, but
nevertheless they would qualify as historical treasure.

Even up to the present day some of these Indian relics are being found
and preserved by local residents. The Maine Historical Society has a
nice collection for your examination. The Society is located next to the
Longfellow House on Congress Street, Portland. You will be most welcome;
go in and browse a bit. It is worth the time, as many interesting pieces
are on display, and it will give you an idea of what you might uncover

To reach Great Chebeague Island you take a boat from Custom House Wharf,
Portland. Most anyone can tell you how to get to the wharf. The boat
trip takes only a short time to reach this island of the Indian days.

                              CHAPTER XVI
                          GREAT DIAMOND ISLAND

The history of this island, located just across the channel in a
northerly direction from Peaks Island, dates back to the year 1635 when
a lease was given to George Cleeves and Richard Tucker by Sir Fernando
Gorges, the King of England’s Representative. Diamond Island is one of
the earliest settled parts of our state. There is an old chart dated
1760 that shows farm buildings on the south side of the island. One can
still see the remains of an old graveyard with unmarked stones. The deep
water near Diamond Cove was believed to be the area in which Captain
Christopher Levett, the first white man to explore Casco Bay, anchored
his vessel in 1623.

Sir William Phips, the greatest treasure hunter of all time, also
anchored at Great Diamond before going to the Louisburg campaign.

There is a particular area that should be examined carefully. This spot
is almost directly across the channel from Trefethen’s Landing of Peaks
Island. Here you will find an old abandoned ruin of a farmhouse cellar.
This old cellar belonged to one of the oldest farms on the island. I
most certainly would check this area very thoroughly, as articles of
real interest may still be in the vicinity. Check the old brick walls
then the inside area, after which proceed to go over the grounds
surrounding the cellar. Some of the ancient tools and implements may be
waiting for your metal detector to bring them to light.

At the beginning of this chapter I mentioned George Cleeves and Richard
Tucker. They were the founders of Portland, Maine, so this section of
Casco Bay is a hub of the wheel of history in this bay and the state
itself. The south shore is the side towards Peaks Island and the metal
detector should be used along the beaches and high ground on this side
of the island. Don’t forget to check around any large trees that stand
alone, as the Indians liked to bury their dead in these areas. Stone
clubs, tomahawks and grain grinding tools might be in the immediate

Looking back over the history of this island it wouldn’t be too far
fetched to imagine the landing here of pirates, maybe to take on fresh
water and lumber. Speaking of pirates, I would check the south-easterly
end of the island, as this section is the closest to the open sea, a
good landing spot for a longboat coming from the old galleon itself
anchored a few hundred yards from shore. It could be a locality where a
little pirate loot may be buried, who knows?

                              CHAPTER XVII
                              POND ISLAND

In the vicinity of Harpswell you will find a small island that became
one of the most treasure explored islands in Casco Bay. Here we find, if
we check our legends of the islands, the spot of land in our island
studded bay that is said to be the location of the Boston Pirate Low’s
hidden treasure chest. To tell you a little about this I will go back to
the year 1726. At this time Pirate Low was sailing in and around Casco
Bay as he was preying on the northern shipping lanes.

A Spanish galleon named “Don Pedro Del Montclova” left South America
with a treasure of gold and jewels bound for Spain. She sailed up from
South America and reached the Florida Keys, then just as she started to
cross the Atlantic, a British gunboat gave chase.

The galleon swung off her course and headed north along the Atlantic
Coast until she finally outran the gunboat. She was now at the entrance
of Casco Bay and her Captain thought that this would be a good location
in which to hide among the many islands. What he did not know, however,
was that Pirate Low was anchored in Casco Bay and saw the Spanish
galleon coming around the point.

Low boarded the galleon, killing the crew and sinking the ship. He then
knew from talking to the Spanish crew previous to their killing, that
the British gunboat was on its way to the bay. Low decided to hide the
treasure as fast as he could. He landed on Pond Island and threw the
chest of gold and jewels into the fresh water pond that is there. He
knew the location of the pond because he had been there before to fill
his water casks.

After hiding the treasure he immediately left the vicinity ahead of the
gunboat. He was later captured and hung, so he never came back to claim
his hidden booty.

Many treasure hunters have gone over this island and land surrounding
the old pond, but to my knowledge nobody has located this cache of gold
and jewels. The pond itself is now dry, I understand. Maybe the treasure
is deeper than average; instead of four or five feet deep, this one
could be fifteen or twenty feet deep. It is a problem in geology, just
how the wind and rain change the terrain in so long a time.

I would say that a pretty sensitive detector should be used in this area
in order to reach real depth.

This preceding tale is mostly legend passed down through the years, but
who knows whether or not it is all legend?

I would give this island a very careful examination with my instrument
if I were you. There’s just no telling what is there.

                             CHAPTER XVIII
                              FORT PREBLE

Here we have a fort that was started in 1808 and finished about 1812,
just before the War of 1812. It was named for Commodore Preble,
prominent in the Revolutionary Navy. At the time of the Civil War it was
enlarged and had a complement of 72 guns. The early fortress was of
whitewashed brick ramparts which faced the channel.

On the site of this fort a log meeting house once stood, a gathering
place for the earliest settlers of this area. This location may be
reached by going to South Portland and proceeding to the Maine
Vocational Technical Institute on Fort Road. This school now occupies
the Fort Preble grounds. The old fortifications are in the rear of the
grounds at the water’s edge.

When you arrive at the fort, go to the Administration Building and
secure permission to check the old ramparts.

Here you will find many old gun emplacements. These should be given your
undivided attention; use your metal detector very carefully as many
artifacts and relics must still be lying about. Don’t forget to check
the beach area in front of the old ramparts. The ground inside the
granite walls should be another interesting spot for the metal detector.
One of the earliest cemeteries in the entire Cape is located on this
point of land. It is called the “Thrasher” burying ground. The Thrashers
were the early settlers of this area. They had a large farm on the point
back in the 1600’s.

Much trading with the Indians took place on Fort Point where Preble was
erected, so I would definitely not miss this location on my treasure
hunting expedition.

As I mentioned earlier the Civil War was in progress when the fort was
enlarged. There are probably many articles of this period still in the
compounds of old Fort Preble, so go over the area and see what you can
come up with. I’m sure your time will not be wasted.

This is one of the easiest locations to reach, as it is on the mainland,
and a short ride from Portland either by bus or taxi. There is a
restaurant within hailing distance of the fort, so you can get a lunch
and keep right on with your search.

                              CHAPTER XIX
                            FRENCH’S ISLAND

Considerable Indian interest is attached to French’s Island in the lower
bay. An Indian skull was found under three feet of clam shells and it
was figured that the skull was three or four centuries old.

French’s Island is located between Great Chebeague and Goose Island and
to the south of Bustin’s Island. To reach this island you proceed to
Flying Point, Freeport, then by boat to Bustin’s Island, then over to
French’s. It is a short trip from the mainland. You will have to hire
someone with a motorboat to take you across the bay. This island is
privately owned, so permission must be secured before you land and start
your treasure hunt. I believe a Portland resident owns this island. A
check of the records will no doubt reveal the owner’s name and address.

The finding of an Indian skull proves that if there were Indians on
French’s Island there could have been early settlers, and also pirates
on this small island. In days gone by some of the pirates preferred
small islands on which to hide their ill-gotten gains.

When going over this island I would give special attention to the
beaches. The pirates sometimes buried their treasure in a hurry, as a
government boat would be coming up fast in pursuit. It has been
mentioned in the history books that this island was a headquarters for
an Indian Sagamore, or Chief. Some of their trinkets and relics of the
early settlers may still be hidden from view awaiting your detection.

Many of these small islands had clear fresh water springs that attracted
the seafarer. The longboats would put in and fill their casks with fresh
water for the coming voyage, so a check in this area for a spring might
pay off.

Again I say, please be sure to get permission from the property owners
before you proceed with your expedition.

                               CHAPTER XX
                            BAILEY’S ISLAND

Here history tells us that the first settlers arrived about 1743. This
island is one of the larger islands of Casco Bay and there are still
many of the old homesteads there. A definite link with this early period
still standing on Bailey Island is the so-called “Gardiner” house built
in 1818. It stands back from the road at the northern end of the island
and in the rear is an ancient well. The timber came from the ruins of a
log house built by Deacon Timothy Bailey, for whom the island was named.

Another interesting house on the island is one called the “Captain Jot”
homestead. As the name implies, this house belonged to a sea captain. It
dates from 1763, an interesting location for the treasure seeker. Your
detector should be able to locate something of interest in this

There are many spots to be checked on this island. A good idea is to ask
the natives where these old houses are.

I have found that the inhabitants of a particular locale can tell you
the history of various points of interest, as most of the older folk
have this information at their finger tips. It usually pleases them, the
fact that you are asking questions about their own backyard. They will
point out many facts and locations that the history books have

This island may be reached from the mainland. From Portland take the
highway leading to Brunswick, Maine. There you will find signs directing
you to Bailey’s Island. It is a beautiful trip to the island. The road
is bordered by tall Maine pines, rolling meadows, streams, old farms and
neat modern homes. To me the trip down to the island is one of lasting

During your treasure hunting time on the island, don’t forget to have
some tasty Maine lobster for lunch. You can purchase these delicious
morsels right on the island all cooked. There are tables and benches at
which you may sit while enjoying one of Maine’s famous lobster dinners.

The beaches that face the open sea should be checked carefully with your
detector, as many landings have taken place here from 1763 until today.
Who knows what might be buried along these shores? This island should be
one of the finest on your check list, as it is so easy to reach. The
author wishes you the best of luck here.

                              CHAPTER XXI
                              ORR’S ISLAND

One of America’s famous authors, Harriet Beecher Stowe, made this island
stand out in the annals of Casco Bay by writing her popular story, “The
Pearl of Orr’s Island.” This story was published in 1862 when the island
itself was practically isolated and unknown. The appearance of this
story was a literary event for thousands of Mrs. Stowe’s readers.

The island takes its name from two brothers; namely, Clement and John
Orr, who in 1748 bought the greater part of the island for two shillings
an acre. The brothers originally came from the north of Ireland.

Here on Orr’s the treasure hunter will find at the north end of Long
Cove a small cove that is known as “Smuggler’s Cove.” Orr’s Island is
probably the best known island in Casco Bay. In the old days a rickety
old wooden bridge was built by the settlers to connect the island with
the mainland, and it was really living dangerously to go over this
ancient structure. This old bridge has now been replaced by a modern

On the Island of Orr’s many Indian attacks were repulsed by the early
inhabitants. If you are real careful when searching with your detector,
you should find Indian relics or artifacts that were buried by the
sea-going population of the 1700’s. Many a three- and six-masted
schooner sailed in and out of the harbor at Orr’s Island. Who knows what
pirate ship visited this area in the dark of night with maybe a
contraband cargo?

In this area I think that I would check every little cove and inlet very
carefully. Most anything might be found hidden along the shores and,
also, near some of the old dwelling sites. A good check along the
roadway to and from the island might reveal a hidden article. Especially
check both sides of the roadway and work back a ways from the edge of
the road about twenty or thirty feet. The old road did quite a bit of
curving as it wound its way to the island. These curves have been
eliminated to a great extent with the building of the new road. As I
mentioned, if you grid the area well back from the road, you have an
excellent chance of discovering some by-gone article. It could be a
pewter mug, buckles from shoes, gold coins and who knows what else?

Take your metal detector and ply the ocean side of the island. This
section seems most likely to have been populated by the seaman,
smuggler, pirate or what have you. It may be, that during trading and
making business deals with each other, the seaman could have lost some
coins in the dirt to be buried over and lost for hundreds of years. Also
many of the natives, no doubt, kept their savings in the private caches
buried from sight at the rear of their cabins.

Another likely area to check out would be the area where the old ferry
used to dock. The ferry ran from Orr’s Island to Bailey’s Island. If you
wanted to take the trip you signaled the ferryman by lowering the flag
that was flying high on the tall flagpole. The ferry would proceed
across the narrow passage of water known as Will’s Gut. The fare was
fifteen cents to Bailey’s Island, but to return to Orr’s Island, it
would cost you twenty-five cents.

The sea trip from Portland to Orr’s Island by the island steamers of
Casco Bay is a journey to remember. You, of course, can reach Orr’s
Island by automobile via a road that swings down to Orr’s from
Brunswick, Maine. When you reach Brunswick just follow the signs and
soon you will be on the “Island of the Pearl.” Good hunting to you.

                              CHAPTER XXII
                             HARPSWELL NECK

This long neck of scenic beauty is a close neighbor of Orr’s Island. It
lies to the north, northwest and can be reached by auto via the rotary
traffic circle at Brunswick, Maine.

Many stories and tales have been written about Harpswell, some fact and
others legend. Each has its own place in American literature. Located on
the east side of the Harpswells is the site of the Skolfield Shipyard.
This yard was the birthplace of many rugged sea-going vessels. Some were
three masted and others six. These full-rigged ships sailed into
practically every seaport along the Atlantic Coast. A visit to this site
will be worth your time. The next stop on our tour of Harpswell might be
the old meeting house where the early settlers held their town meetings
and discussed the Indian problem. The area near the meeting house would
be a good hunting ground for your detector, but please don’t forget to
secure trespassing rights before you proceed with your search.

One of the phantom legends of Harpswell, and perhaps one of the best,
was put into poetry by one of America’s best known poets; namely, John
Greenleaf Whittier. His poem was called, “The Dead Ship of Harpswell.”
It was written in 1866 and was inspired by the legendary tale told to
the younger set by their grandfathers and grandmothers. I suppose a few
great-grandmothers and grandfathers also told the ghostly tale. The
preceding words of phantom legend will give you a bit of atmosphere when
you arrive on Harpswell.

As you go down this peninsula check all coves and inlets with your
instrument. Leave nothing uninvestigated, as this area is one of several
that was abandoned in the late 1600’s due to Indian uprisings.

I would give my special attention to Pott’s Point; this point is located
on the very end of the neck and a good place for pirates or smugglers to
land and hide a chest of doubloons, pieces-of-eight or other booty taken
from some poor unfortunate vessel that came into their grasp. Check the
beach area, then go into the interior of the “Point.” Many treasures
have been buried under a large tree or boulder that was a thousand yards
from the shore. If you see a rocky cave or large boulder check them for
mysterious markings, such as crosses, circles, arrows and such, carved
or cut into the rocky surface. Some of these hidden treasures have been
located by following a crude direction sign left by a cut-throat on a
rocky ledge or in a rocky cave.

Use your probing rods as you check with the detector. The exact center
of the location of any buried object can be determined much more easily
with the probe. Your camera also is a much needed piece of equipment.
You can record your treasure hunting progress on film for viewing by
your interested treasure-seeking friends. Study your movies or still
pictures with your associates. Maybe some suggestions by them would be
of real help to you on your next treasure expedition.

                             CHAPTER XXIII
                             SHELTER ISLAND

“Shelter Island,” as you pronounce the name, it sounds almost like
“Treasure Island” of Robert Louis Stevenson fame. It not only sounds
like it, but this island comes as close to “Treasure Island” as any
island in the entire bay. We don’t seem to read or hear too much about
this small island in the very middle of Casco Bay. It is more or less
hidden from the open sea and was a perfect hiding place for the smuggler
and privateer who plied these waters while trying to escape and hide
from the revenue cutters.

What I have just mentioned in the preceding paragraph should make a
treasure hunter’s ears stand up. This island was not a refuge for
smugglers and pirates only; it also was a refuge for the early settlers
of Mere Point on the mainland. The settlers would be driven from the
mainland by vicious attacks from the Indians, and they would flee to
their blockhouse on Shelter Island. This blockhouse was built for this
exact purpose, so you can imagine what you might find on this island in
the way of buried treasure; not only artifacts from the early settler
days, but also relics from the old days of smuggling and privateering.

The location of Shelter Island is as follows: Take the Harpswell road
from Brunswick on Route 1 and proceed about half way down the Harpswell
Neck, then go to the northern side of the shoreline. There you will see
Shelter Island just off shore. The Author has never been over to the
island, but has seen it from a distance. It looks very inviting as a
spot to do some real down-to-earth treasure hunting.

On my trip to Harpswell, I think that I would inquire as to the
ownership of this little island, and try to include it in my tour of
treasure hunting locations. Here is a nice area for the metal detector
and probe to do their work. I think, with any luck at all, you should
locate something of treasure value here.

Please check as to trespassing rights before you land here. It’s better
to be safe than sorry. I most certainly would check the coves and
beaches very carefully, especially any good landing place for a

                              CHAPTER XXIV
                              LONG ISLAND

On our way down the bay we will find Long Island nestled in between
Peaks and Great Chebeague Islands, but don’t sell this island short, as
it has a history going back to the sixteen hundreds. The first settlers
were here around 1640, so you see we have a background of real early
history on Long Island.

The Indians gave special attention to Long Island because of its many
fresh water springs. It was, and still is, a delightful place to put on
an old fashioned shore dinner. The early settlers and Indians would join
together and have a mammoth outdoor shore dinner on this island to
celebrate some new trading deal between each other.

There are several nice beaches that should receive your attention when
checking with the detector, but, by all means, don’t forget to check the
areas surrounding the fresh water springs. The areas leading back from
the beaches should be gone over with the thought in mind to watch for
the sunken ground locations that could have been the site of old log
cabins or vegetable cellars. Many a treasure has been uncovered in a
locale such as this.

Stone walls also are a source of buried monies and household valuables.
A small metal detector would be just the instrument to use when checking
out cellars, walls, floors, old wells, etc. The six-inch loop detector
would be perfect for this type of hunting. These small detectors are
much more sensitive than the larger ones when seeking small objects.
Some of these smaller detectors also will detect through salt water
where the larger detector will work only through fresh water. The larger
detector, of course, will give you greater depth. I have read where some
of these larger instruments will detect a metal object that is five feet
long at a depth of twenty feet. This is a super job of metal detection.
The type of detector used, of course, has a lot to do with the size of
the object that you are searching for. Personally, if I were a novice at
treasure hunting, I would purchase a small detector and learn how to
operate it before purchasing a larger one. Of course, if you know how to
operate a detector, the size will make no difference whatsoever. The
Author has a small detector and is now thinking about the purchase of a
larger model. The choice of size is strictly up to you. Happy Hunting!

                              CHAPTER XXV
                           PETTENGILL ISLAND

To locate this small island we will follow Route 1 north from Portland
until we reach Freeport Village. Here we will make a right turn at the
yellow blinker light and follow the signs to Flying Point. When we reach
Flying Point we will look offshore across the small bay and there we
will see Pettengill Island. There are no inhabitants on this island
although I believe it is privately owned.

The Author rowed over to Pettengill and landed on the rocky southwest
point. Here I discovered an old iron cleat that had been sunk into a
large boulder. The hole in the rock had been hand drilled to accommodate
the cleat. Whoever drilled this socket in the hard rock surely worked
hard, as I could see it would take a person three or four hours to drill
a hole this deep with a hand drill. What type of boat was moored to this
cleat would be anyone’s guess. The cleat was checked as to age and was
believed to be about a hundred years old.

There are several open areas in the thick pine groves that could easily
be locations for buried treasure. On the easterly side of the island you
will find a small cove and perfect beach for landing. Maybe some band of
pirates also thought that this cove was a good spot to land and hide a
bit of loot. I would go over this cove area very carefully, and as I
mentioned, don’t forget the southwest point of the island. I still think
you could come up with something at either location. Your iron probe
would serve you in good stead, as most of the clearings are covered with
pine needles. The probe will push easily through the needles until you
reach harder ground. Most of the islands are very rocky, so anything
that was buried would not be too deep due to the rocky condition,
probably two or three feet deep in the ground.

                              CHAPTER XXVI
                      SEBASCODEGAN or GREAT ISLAND

This large island lies between Orr’s Island and the mainland. You will
cross this island on your way to Orr’s Island and Bailey’s Island. It
seems to be part of the mainland but actually is not. The name
“Sebascodegan” in Indian language means “marshy place and a place for
gun-firing.” Thus, the interpretation would mean “a good place for
hunting water fowl.”

To reach Sebascodegan proceed the same way as though you were going to
Orr’s Island. That is, go to Brunswick and follow the signs to Orr’s and
Bailey’s. On the way down the neck you will notice several historic old
churches with the old burying ground nearby. Many of the old gravestones
have some really interesting epitaphs. It is worth a short stop just to
read a few of these.

The first settlers to reach Sebascodegan arrived in the year 1639. The
first bridge to the mainland was built in 1839, so you see, you also
have some real old history connected with this area of the bay.

Near the end of the Revolutionary War several British privateers were
preying on the shipping lanes in and around Casco Bay. One of the most
notorious of these sea-going bandits was a “Captain Linnacum.” He was of
Scotch descent and commanded a schooner called the “Picaroon.” This
pirate captured many luckless coasting boats, and it is said, he buried
several caches of loot in and around Sebascodegan Island. Nobody seems
to know just where the treasures might be hidden. The many caves and
inlets should command your attention. I also would not forget to check
the inland areas. In the old days this island was criss-crossed with
Indian trails, so you see, anything might be unearthed along some of
these old trails. Of course, the trails have long since disappeared, but
I would use my detector in general directions leading from the coves to
the forests. I would give special attention to river banks and brooks.
There has been many a rich find located in the vicinity of a river or

The Brunswick Chamber of Commerce used to put out a regional map of the
Brunswick area. This map was a very good job, and it showed many of the
islands in the Brunswick area. You might stop and check at the Chamber
of Commerce. They may still be able to help you.

Cundy’s Harbor is located on the very end of this island and it would be
a likely spot for any pirate to anchor to come ashore. I would not
forget to go over this area very carefully with my detector. You could
ask some of the natives where the schooners used to land in the old
days. I am sure they would be pleased to help you with some information
on the subject.

    [Illustration: Sailing ship]

                             CHAPTER XXVII
                       TREASURE HUNTING EQUIPMENT

Some of the treasure hunters that I know really load themselves down
with all sorts of equipment. They remind me of a pack mule. You do not
have to have a truck load of this hardware on your back. Here I will
mention the essential articles you should take along on your next
treasure hunting expedition.

First, I would put down on my list a metal detector, of course. Next, I
would take a folding Army trench shovel. These can be purchased in
almost all Army surplus stores. Next, I would take along my camera,
movie or still, and several rolls of film. A permanent record on film
can be enjoyed in years to come. The next article to be brought along
should be an iron probing bar. You could make your own or purchase one
from the metal detector dealer. They are very inexpensive and very
valuable on a treasure hunt. If you decide to make your own, just obtain
a five-foot length of ¼-inch rolled steel. This may be purchased from
any steel manufacturing plant.

Next on the list should be old clothes. Never go on a treasure hunt with
your best clothes on. You may have to wade along a breakwater, cross a
brook, and who knows what else. I know I got caught by the in-coming
tide one day and had to walk along a breakwater up to my hips in the
cold Atlantic. Wear a pair of old shoes or canvas loafers. Something you
don’t care about and then it will make no difference if they get a salt
bath or covered with mud.

Last, but by no means least, take along plenty of lunch, or be sure that
the area in which you intend to hunt contains a store or a Maine lobster
shop. This Maine sea air will create a terrific appetite.

Best of luck to all my readers.



                  William Willis’ History of Portland
                              Vol. I & II
                            Bailey and Noyes
                            Portland, Maine

                             Forts of Maine
                            Henry E. Dunnack
                        State of Maine Librarian

                           Isles of Casco Bay
                            Herbert G. Jones

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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