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Buried Treasure Found in York?

That’s what some excavators though in 1911, jumbling some history and jumping to conclusions. The York Dispatch reported the story:

Workmen Razing Old Express Building Looking for Treasure.

Workmen excavating at the old Adams Express building, West Market and Beaver streets, several days ago found an old English silver coin dated 1777 along with several other old coins.
Since the work of razing the building was started several weeks ago, rumors have been in circulation that money was hidden in the building when it was used as the United States mint. While digging, some of the workmen struck an object in the cellar which they thought was a chest containing money, but it only proved to be an abandoned sewer pipe.
People passing the corner every day stop and look at the old stone vault in the cellar on the Beaver street side. The vault is an arched stone construction about ten feet wide and six feet high. A door is at either end.”
As far as I know, the first United States mint was in Philadelphia, and the first U.S. coins weren’t issued until 1793. Money was issued in York when Continental Congress met here, but it was currency, produced by the Hall and Sellers printing press in the spring of 1778. It sounds like they have the site correct anyway–Hall and Sellers had set up their press at the northeast corner of Market and Beaver streets, later the site of the Bon-Ton department store, now county offices.
It’s not clear if the vault mentioned was thought to be a remnant of the currency printing operation or part of the business of Adams Express, the UPS and more of its day. No buried treasure, but at least the good citizens of York had something interesting to observe–and talk about.
Click here to read about the U.S. lottery in York.