We continue with the story of Treasure Mountain, as told by Ila Montroy in April of 1941. She is describing the activities of the French expedition, purportedly the discoverers of the gold from which Treasure Mountain derives its name.
“At first, the expedition lived in a land of paradise. Game was plentiful and the Indians friendly. As Leavenworth, Kans., was the nearest town in French Territory, they knew they could not get out with their gold until they were ready to leave for France. So they had to cache it until they were ready to leave.
“A key map or chart was made in anticipation of the time when they could leave with their treasures. By the time they left, they were in such a weakened and sickly condition that they passed away after making arrangements to send the maps and papers to France.
“France was having economic troubles and the maps and papers were forgotten for a number of years.
“After her economic troubles were straightened out, the French government dug up the maps and the reports sent in by the French expedition, and took measures to locate the buried treasure.
“A Frenchman by the name of Le Blanc secured the maps and papers in some way, and came to America looking for the treasure. Word got out about the expedition and the treasure, and many searched for it, but could not locate it.
A man by the name of William Yule got hold of a tracing of the maps, and was searching for the treasure in the neighborhood of Saguache, Colo.
In the early ’70s, Asa Poor, who then was at the mining camp of Summitville, and two partners went for a hunting trip on Treasure Mountain. He ran onto a grave, a marked stone, and other markings.
He, thinking the grave to be that of an Indian Chief, wanted to dig it up, thinking to secure some Indian relics. He intended to replace any bones and cover them up. His comrades, who owned the horses, were superstitious, and threatened to leave him behind if he so much as touched the grave.
They returned to Summitville. Mr. Poor secured a saddle horse, and a pack horse, and returned to Treasure Mountain. He dug out the grave and found it empty.
A few years later, Mr., Poor made the acquaintance of William Yule in Saguache, and learned of the French expedition and the buried treasure. Mr. Yule told him of his map, stating that he was searching for the markings of a false grave, a marked stone, and other markings that told of the location of the buried treasure. Mr. Poor told him that he knew of such a place, and that the spot answered every description he was searching for.
Yule took Asa Poor, A.T. Stollsteimer, and Leon Montroy into his partnership.
Stollsteimer hid the marked stone somewhere unknown and Montroy destroyed all the marks he could find with dynamite. They searched all over the neighborhood but found nothing.
They tried mineral rods, but a magnetic iron found on the mountain drew them off, so they gave it up after several years.
After a number of years of doing scarcely anything with it, a man by the name of Crouse, who had heard of their search wrote to them, and wanted to assist them with a mineral rod, which was not affected by magnetic iron. His terms were a percent of the treasure if found.
He set up his instrument and it took him about two miles from the false grave, where the soil looked as if it had been disturbed.
They dug down and discovered a shaft about 31.2 feet in the clear and walled up about 20 feet. They went to the bottom of the shaft, but found nothing. They sank four shafts from 42 to 63 feet around the original shaft, but not a thing was to be found. So the search was dropped.
Mr. Montroy had the map for several years, but it disappeared with other papers, and no one ever knew what became of it.
People are still seeking the hidden French treasure.