Contributed by Maine Historical Society
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The home of Dr. John Moreland Cummings, on a small island off the coast of Cape Elizabeth, has long been associated with the Richmond Island Coins, a buried treasure wrapped in legend, found on the doctor's property.
In May 1858, a farmer and his son working on the land, plowed up a broken stoneware jar, a signet ring and thirty coins of British origin (hailing from the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I). The booty, typically called the "Richmond Island Treature" was thought to have been buried by one of the island's 17th century inhabitants, Walter Bagnall. Bagnall was killed as a result of his dishonorable dealings with the local population.
Note from MHS accession log (1919) reads, "Ambrotype of Richmond's Island showing John Moreland Cummings' house, later destroyed by fire. Augustus and Stephen Cummings (and probably Dr. John [Cummings] too) are in foreground (184?-185?). The island was purchased by Dr. John Cummings and his father."
About This Item
- Title: Home of John Moreland Cummings, Richmond's Island, ca. 1855
- Creator: Howe, George M.
- Creation Date: circa 1855
- Subject Date: circa 1855
- Local Name: Richmond's Island
- Town: Cape Elizabeth
- County: Cumberland
- State: ME
- Media: Ambrotype
- Dimensions: 10.8 cm x 14 cm
- Local Code: Coll. 2003, Box 3/10
- Collection: Early photography collection
- Object Type: Image
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485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230
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