Silver Lake is a name first used about 150 years ago to a place that had been called Sandy Pond. The name probably was from the ice companies wanting a clean name for the ice. It certainly had nothing to do with any silver or gold.
60 years ago, though, youngsters found a considerable amount of cash in the water at Moxie Beach. On Sunday, Aug. 28, 1960, it was "Diving for Dollars," $231, to be exact. The story was reported on the front page of the Town Crier.
The first money was found by a girl about 4:45 p.m. A man claimed the money and gave her a dollar. Three boys, Wayne Hamilton, Eddie Sullivan and Ralph Smith then found more money, including a $100 bill. They gave the money to the same man, who gave them two $10 bills and told them to split it.
Another girl who found $30 refused to give the money to the man. She turned it over to the Wilmington Police.
The man, wearing Bermuda shorts, left in his car. Someone took the license number, but when police ran the number, it came back to an address in Boston’s West End, which had been torn down as a part of the massive urban renewal project.
It was reported that the man had been seen at Moxie Beach a few times prior to the money incident. It was also reported that when he left, he left his wife and children behind. The family was never identified.
The money find set off a thorough search of the area. Johnny Robbins found a wedding ring, but it was somehow determined that it was not connected with the money. A woman was reported to have been searching the area for her wedding ring for several weeks.
Moxie Beach was approximately where the fishing pier is today. It was so named because of a Moxie sign on one of the nearby buildings, formerly a lakefront ice cream shop.
In 1960, $231 would buy a decent used car. The classified ads in the Town Crier that month listed a 1951 Chevy for $75, a 1953 Nash for $100 and a 1954 Ford for $250. Gas was 31 cents a gallon; the median house price was $16,500.