The Silver Lane Letterbox  LbNA # 11890

Placed DateOct 30 2004
LocationEast Hartford, CT
Planted ByWild Rover    
Found By Inkfamous
Last Found Apr 16 2016
Hike Distance?

Veterans Memorial Park (lower)

***As of 02/02/08 this box was confirmed ACTIVE*****
The contents, which are prone to flooding were placed (don't be alarmed) in an ammo box and re-placed in the original hiding place. There is no ink (please bring blue)or logbook, but the stamp was fine. Thanks. --WILD ROVER

In 1780, King Louis XVI of France sent General Rochambeau with four divisions of the French Main Army to help the Americans defeat the British in the American Revolution. The French landed in Newport, Rhode Island, with orders to meet up with General George Washington on the Hudson River. With help from Rochambeau, Washington defeated British General Cornwallis at Yorktown (you might remember this from “Last Of The Mohegans”).

On June 22-25, 1781, while marching westward from Newport to join Washington’s forces on the Hudson, the French Main Army under the command of General [Count] Rochambeau stopped and rested for an extended period in East Hartford. “His army, 15,000 strong, camped in the fields north of Silver Lane. Their stay was marked with much good feeling, and was a memorable event for townspeople.” {1} “ The elegant French soldiery was followed day after day by sturdy baggage wagons and carts, bearing chests of silver heavily guarded by special elite forces.” {2}

General Rochambeau lodged at the hospitable mansion of Squire Elisha Pitkin, built in 1740 with two chimneys and a gambrel roof. Other officers were quartered in other houses along the thoroughfare that came to be known as Silver Lane, while the French troops camped in fields on the north side of Silver Lane. The French silver was stored in the James Forbes House on Forbes Street near the Hockanum River, where the army paymaster drew on the hoard to pay the soldiers.

The silver “hard money” of the French lent itself to the naming of the thoroughfare as Silver Lane, the silver coinage being a rarity. “For the people of colonial Connecticut, where a silver coin was as rare as a Roman Catholic prayer book, the sight of all those Frenchmen spending their silver wildly in the community inspired commemoration of a permanent sort. So a main road near the center of Rochambeau’s encampment was called Silver Lane.” {2}. The French so enjoyed East Hartford that on their march back from Yorktown to Boston they encamped again on “Silver Lane” from October 29 through November 4, 1782. The Sons of the American Revolution dedicated the “Rochambeau Boulder” in a small park on Silver Lane, which remains there today.

The Silver Lane Letterbox pays tribute to General [Count] Rochambeau’s extended stays in East Hartford, pausing to rest both before and after assisting General George Washington defeat General [Lord] Cornwallis and his British army at Yorktown. The stamp incorporates the uniform style of the “elegant French soldiery” of the day, as heretofore noted. This is the 5th in a series of six boxes planted in East Hartford by Wild Rover. Good Luck and thanks for looking!!!


From the town line where Spencer Street in Manchester becomes Silver Lane in East Hartford (near to where 384 joins up with 84), continue on Silver Lane into East Hartford, past the Silver Lane Cemetery on the right, and take the next right onto Cipolla Drive. Drive past the tobacco barn and fields on the left and take the first right at the historic red Josiah Spencer House (1783); the road serpentines through a neighborhood and eventually reaches a dead end, where you park in the cul-de-sac. Be sure to have clues to May Eve’s “Coins Of The Lane” letterbox, a sister box to this one, as well as clues to the “Soaring Eagle” letterbox nearby.


From the cul-de-sac walk straight into the clearing ahead and take a right. Proceed down the hill into the valley (below Veteran’s Memorial Park) and onward through the clearing, bounded on both sides by woodlands, to a small, solitary oak in the middle of the clearing. A little further ahead you will see a pair of twin sister trees next to each other in the narrowing clearing. Stand between the pair of twin sister trees and take a reading of 120 degrees. Walk about 50 steps (every foot) at 120 degrees, into the woods along the right side of the clearing, to what appears to be the biggest, oldest tree in the immediate area -- it might have been a wolf oak in a field when Rochambeau’s troops marched through. With this large oak tree at your back, and with the dry stream bed to your right, walk due East along the bank of the stream bed about 28 steps to two large trees standing side by side along the bank, one with smooth bark and the other slightly rougher. It is at the base of these cousins, under a crude shanty of logs and leaves, that you will find the Silver Lane Letterbox. Please be sure to replace the box with care, as it is not an ideal hiding spot. Hope you find the box, and like the stamp!!! Thanks for looking !!!! ---Wild Rover


{1}. Historical text and information from: “The Memorial History of Hartford County Connecticut" by Joseph O. Goodwin (1886).

{2}. Historical text and information from: “Legendary Connecticut: Traditional Tales from the Nutmeg State” by David E. Phillips (1984).

{3}. Various excerpts of historical text and information from: “Rochambeau’s Travels Through Connecticut” @

Thanks are also again extended to my sister MayEve, and to my daughter Gillian (a/k/a Krusty Krab) for helping me to plant this letterbox. I hope you find it, like it and enjoy it!