Baltus Roll  LbNA # 18100

Placed DateSep 10 2005
LocationSpringfield, NJ
Found By Niffer
Last Found Sep 9 2009
Hike Distance?

Difficulty rating: 1 (Easy, short hike. Straightforward clues.)

Terrain rating: 4.5 Not suitable for small children. (Terrain is off-trail with heavy overgrowth in spots, and a steep elevation change.) Watch out for the vines!

Lat +40° 42' 30.96", Lon -74° 19' 57.72"

Park in the Baptist Church parking Lot on Shunpike Road.

Hike up Mountain View Road and enter woods on right at Deer Crossing sign. Do not park on Mountain View Road.

Go Northeast over dry stream beds and find a deer path to lake.

Take the path until the lake comes into view, then climb the tall hill on the right.

The box is hidden behind a tree with five trunks, on its eastern side, near several fallen trees, on the Easternmost side of the hill. covered with bark and branches.

Crime of the Century

lorsutlaB Golf Club is named after Baltus Roll, a quiet, thrifty farmer who, in the early 1800s, raised oxen on the land where the golf course recently hosted the 87th PGA Championship. Roll was murdered on the night of Feb. 22, 1831. As the story goes, two men allegedly lured Roll out of bed that cold, snowy night, beating and battering him in hopes he would reveal the location of his fortune, which they had heard was stashed in the home. When Roll refused to cooperate, the thugs continued to pummel him before tying him up and tossing him outside, into an icy puddle where he died.

No one was ever convicted. One suspect, upon hearing the police were looking for him, committed suicide in a local tavern. The other was found not guilty after several items of incriminating evidence were found to be impermissible in court.

It was the crime of the century because while there were 96 witnesses who heard the suspects talking about this money. But the defense attorney was the Johnnie Cochran of his time, he gave a four-hour summation and the suspect was acquitted.

The verdict outraged the community, and an effigy of the suspects was burned in downtown Newark. The story became part of local folklore, passed down from one generation to the next. Some 65 years later, when farmer Louis Keller decided to build a golf course on the land that Roll once farmed, the name Baltus-rol was proposed, forever immortalizing the unassuming farmer.

Today, more than a century after the course first opened, nearly 175 years since Roll's murder, the case is still unsolved.

His grave stone reads:

And at the bottom of the tombstone, there's a poem:

Ye friends that weep around my grave
Compose your minds to rest
Prepare with me for sudden death
And live forever blest