A group of local men will be featured in a new national television program.
Dan Blanchette, his son Zachary and Larry French will appear on “Buried Treasure” on the FOX television network this fall. The Blanchettes are from Ticonderoga. French lives in Crown Point.
“Buried Treasure” is an unscripted series in which identical twin brothers Leigh and Leslie Keno travel across the country to help ordinary people discover the unknown treasures in their homes. The Keno brothers, stars of “Antiques Roadshow,” are modern-day treasure hunters, antique experts and appraisers who have helped people all over the world sell more than $1 billion worth of collectibles. From one-of-a-kind comics to a 300-year-old violin, the pair will travel the country to uncover age-old mysteries.
The show debuts on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m. The local men were told their episode will be the third or fourth aired.
Dan Blanchette and Ti resident Keith Dolbeck are nationally-known for using metal detectors to unearth historical artifacts. When the producers of “Buried Treasure” starting searching for someone to help locate missing gold, they learned of the Ticonderoga duo.
“Keith and I have been metal detecting 17 years,” Blanchette explained. “When the TV producers started researching metal detectors, they heard about us. They asked if we would help find a buried treasure.”
Dolbeck was unavailable to assist, so Blanchette asked his son and French to join him on the quest.
The local men was asked to find missing treasure on a farm in Windham, in the Catskill region.
“Years ago a gentleman took all his assets, converted them to gold and buried them on his farm,” Blanchette said. “His family had no idea where to find it.”
Blanchette and the others are prohibited from discussing specifics of the program until after it airs, but he acknowledged “we were very successful.”
The Blanchettes and French took part in two days of filming.
“It was one heck of an experience,” Blanchette said. “To be part of something like that is amazing. It was a lot of fun.”
Blanchette is quick to point out he and the others are not normally treasure hunters.
“We try to rescue artifacts,” he said. “We’re not really treasure hunters, but history seekers. Ticonderoga is a history-rich community; there is so much to find. We recently discovered an 18th Century historic site in a farmer’s field that had been plowed under.”
During the past two decades Blanchette and Dolbeck have found many items with historical significance. They would like to someday create a museum in downtown Ticonderoga to display the artifacts.
The history enthusiasts have also been active on several other fronts. They were leaders in the recreation of Lord Howe’s death in Ticonderoga a decade ago and routinely bring history programs to area schools and historical societies.
They recently arranged a $600 donation to the Ticonderoga Chapter National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) from White Electronics. Dolbeck and Blanchette test metal detectors for White Electronics. Dolbeck was recently sent two detectors instead of one. When he tried to return one of the detectors, Ken White, president of the company, told him to keep it or sell it and give the proceeds to a local charity. Dolbeck decided to give the proceeds to the DAR.
Blanchette noted the support of Ken White, Allen Holcolmbe and Melissa Wise of White Electronics. The company, he said, played a key role in arranging the television appearance.