Schenevus Myths

Monster In Schenevus Lake

From the scrapbook of Grace Lowell Gendell

Schenevus Lake, formerly known as Seward Lake or Mesohassie Lake, contains a mystery that has yet to be proven false.

Many years ago, a party encamped on the shore of Schenevus Lake were suddenly startled by the appearance of what they called a "submarine monster" rising from the water.  They told their story in Schenevus Village and were laughed at.  It was suggested that they had probably seen a bottle floating on the water.  However, it was never proven what the people did see.  Nevertheless, at least 100 people stuck with their story that they saw a monster from 18 to 20 feet in length, and from six to ten inches in diameter, in Schenevus Lake.  Could it be that there actually was a monster in the lake at one time or still is?

Gold In Schenevus

During the Revolutionary War, it is said that Tories and Indians passed through the town of Maryland many times.  There is a vague belief that during these trips, the Tories and Indians hid gold, believed to be either stolen or belonging to the British, near Schenevus.  This belief was handed down and kept alive by descendants of the Tories and Indians, who visited Schenevus at various times aroused attention with their supposed strange movements,  There is a story which goes along with this belief, and it goes as follows:

In 1870, an Indian claiming to be a medical doctor arrived in Schenevus.  Soon after his arrival, two strangers drove up to a farmhouse a mile or two from Schenevus, had their horses put into a stable, and went off by themselves.  They were seen in certain fields, apparently in  search for something.  After a couple of hours, they returned to the farm, got their horses, and left.  A few days later, they came back at early evening, put their horses in the stable, and went away, only to return  sometime during the night and ride off with their horses.

These strange movements aroused the curiosity of many people.  This curiosity was increased by a report that these men were descendants of Tories who had lived in Schoharie County during the Revolutionary War times.  A search was instituted for the cause for their strange movements.  Measurements were found that had been made from certain springs and permanent landmarks, and stakes were stuck in the ground along these areas. At one point, there was an excavation of earth, in which the dirt that was thrown out was returned.  The hole was reopened and at  the bottom was the plain form of an old fireplace dinner pot with a flat stone near it that fit as a cover.

The searchers never found out what had been in that pot, but the belief is that it was filled with gold at one time.