Question: At the turn of century, what was the best Downeast scam or scandal that drew the attention of New York Wall Street and industrial tycoon investors? Was it Theodore Roosevelt being accused of accepting corporate funds (1904)? How about Senator Joseph R. Burton being convicted of bribery (1904)? What about U.S. Senator Arthur Brown being murdered by his lover (1906)?
Answer: The Great Gold Swindle of Lubec, Maine.
In 1898, Mainers and New York investors were drawn to Lubec, Maine because gold was “found” in the seawater by Reverend Prescott Jernegan. Reverend Jernegan boldly claimed that he had extracted gold from seawater. Reverend Jernegan, along with his accomplice, Charles Fisher, actually hid true gold beneath a wharf in the Bay of Fundy during the night. Fooling many, both men drew the attention of Boston and New York investors to build a factory dedicated to Rev. Jernegan’s scam — a hoax that evaded civil and criminal action, a true story with twists and turns, and fantasies of gold wealth making this the ultimate “get rich quick” scandal of Downeast Maine.
Relive the actual events and meet the editor and writer, Ronald Pesha, of The Great Gold Swindle of Lubec, Maine, on April 27th, from 1 pm – 3 pm at Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery located at 24 Water Street, Lubec. Light refreshments will be provided.
To obtain a copy of the Great Gold Swindle of Lubec, Maine, visit www.northerntides.com, or call Northern Tides Art and Gift Gallery at 207-733-2500.