According to an article published in the Mid Valley News in January of 1989, there is a story of some gold hidden in a creek in Archbald. Supposedly, the gold was hidden by Indians in 1778. The Indians acquired this gold when they were paid to participate in the Wyoming Massacre in 1778. The Indians were chased out of the valley by Gen. Sullivan’s troops.
This story came to the attention of William Davies of Archbald’s Ridge section (now Eynon). Davies left the area for California in 1849 in search of gold. Along the way he met an Indian who was the son of one who took part in the massacre.
He told Davies that the Indians were driven out of Lackawanna Valley and, on their way, they camped with the gold at Hungry Hill in Dunmore. Later the Indians traveled for about a half a day to two streams. The stream to the east was Forty Foot Falls, meaning White Oak Creek in Archbald. Not far from this stream was a cave where the gold was hidden. Archbald was originally called White Oak. There is a tributary of White Oak Creek known as Indian Cave Creek.
Davies returned to Eynon in 1852 and began searching for the gold in secret. Soon the secret was out and people came from Scranton, Carbondale and Pittston looking for the treasure, but nothing was ever found.
Another version of the story is that some Eynon residents traveled to the state of Nebraska after selling their lands in Eynon’s Welsh Hill area. Some of these settlers heard the same story, and, after suffering misfortune, returned to the area and settled in the Nebraska section of Archbald, which is an extension of Jermyn Borough. Again, these settlers searched but found nothing.
The Indian Cave Creek may have received its name to honor a legend of young lovers. According to a history of Lackawanna County written by Dr. Horace Hollister, an Indian village existed in an area known as Mount Vernon or “stump field” in Archbald near an old suspension bridge over the D & H tracks. This village marked the end of one day’s journey from Wyoming to Milford along one of three Indian trails.
The trail went over the summit of the mountain along old Salem Road to the headwaters of White Oak Creek and its tributary known as Indian Spring Stream. As the story goes, once a year, the Six Nations sent a brave to get the yearly wampum allotment from the Delawares. A son of the chief of the Senecas went to the Lackawanna Valley Delaware Indians for the wampum, where he fell in love with a young woman who was already promised in marriage to the tribal medicine man.
The son promised her that he would return and marry her. On his return there was a war between the Six Nations and the Delawares. The son returned to the Delaware’s village and took the young woman. Going over the Archbald Mountain, the medicine man was waiting ready to strike them. A stone blocked their escape. A flash of lightning caused the outcropped rock to open, revealing a path of escape. The medicine man rushed in but the rock closed and caught his foot, leaving its impression there.
The events of this legend take place along the north fork of White Oak Creek. There is a fissure in rocks where the escape took place and it is known as Indian Cave.
There are two legends to choose from: lost gold or young lovers’ escape. The one thing for certain is that Indian Cave Creek exists.
The Forty Foot Falls at the mouth of Indian Cave Creek.
PHOTO BY RAYMOND CHIPPA