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Allegany County
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Garrett County Silver, page 2

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


able to identify was known during my boyhood as the Bancord farm. It was later owned by Lewis Warnick and still later by his son, William Warnick. It is at New Germany just below the Twin Churches and some five miles from the old National Pike.

Upon reaching home the chunk of rock was placed on the "whatnot" and forgotten except to show to the neighbors as a curiosity. At a much later date someone saw it and prevailed upon him to send it away for assaying. I do not know what the completed assay showed but the silver was extracted and minted into silver coins. When these were returned to Mr. Layman they amounted to $16.10. Daniel Layman, son of George and the writer's uncle, carried one of these silver half-dollars as a pocket-piece during most of his life.

While there are too many unknowns in the equation for an accurate estimate, it seems reasonable to assume that at that time $16.10 would represent a full pound (Troy) of pure silver. A man lost in the woods would probably not burden himself with a large amount of rock. The concentration of metal in the ore seems to have been very high suggesting a fissure lode of some form of native silver. There is, of course, no way of estimating the exact extent of the lode. It might be large or small.

When Mr. Layman learned of the true value of his find, he began an intensive search for the original location. The lapse of time had erased most of the details and the face of nature had changed. Although the search was continued for many years, nothing was ever found. Nature seems to have exposed her secret for a moment then dropped the curtain. A century later, her secret is still undisclosed.

In later years, after all hope had been abandoned, Mr. Layman confided to a friend the only clues which he remembered. The first clue, and a positive one, was the fact that the stream flowing away from the spring flowed in a due easterly direction. The second clue was that he believed the spring was on the west side of Meadow Mountain. There are literally hundreds of springs on the east side of Meadow Mountain that flow due east but comparatively few of those on the west side of the mountain do so. The natural slope is to the west. A few springs have been found that fit the description but they have been searched and studied with negative results. Some parts of the area have been cultivated for nearly a century but much of it is still covered with second-growth timber. The area in question stretches from New Germany to the North Glade section. This story is told for


Roy Durst


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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