The Castine Hoard

Located south of Bangor, and north of Camden and Belfast, Maine, lies the small town of Castine, one of the oldest in New England. Named after Baron de St. Castin, the town is famous for the hoard of old silver coins found on the banks of the Bagaduce River, about 6 miles from the harbor.

In late November of 1840, Captain Grindle and his son Samuel were logging near the river bank in the afternoon. Sam found a silver coin, a French Crown, on a rock. The pair started digging around the rock and uncovered 18-20 more pieces, but it was getting dark. Stopping for the night, they vowed to return the next day. But as it happens in New England, a heavy snowfall occurred and they couldn't return until spring.

The following spring of 1841, they returned and uncovered a cache of 400-500 more silver coins. The cache contained coins from England, Holland, Spain, France, Massachusetts, and others. Unfortunately, Capt. Grindle used most to pay a creditor. Luckily, a neighbor, Dr. Stevens, was able to examine the hoard and selected at least 17 coins, Massachusetts silver coins, now part of the Maine Historical Society.

The 1942 ANS exhibit of Castine coins from the hoard inspired Sydney Noe to write his monograph The Castine Deposit: An American Hoard, compiled in 1942.