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  1. #1

    Mar 2006
    S.W. Pa.
    Deus, E Trac
    23 times

    Research question

    I know research has been talked about a lot on here but I'm still missing something. I live in and detect in an area that's been inhabited for a few hundred years and I feel I should be finding a lot more than I am with all of the time I spend detecting. I always end the season with finding almost no good or even decent finds. So, when you do your research to find an old potentially good place to detect what exactly do you look for? I've been to libraries. What do you look for when researching in a library? I've driven many back roads looking for old places. I detect a park that's well over 150 years old. I look for old foundations, only found a few. I detect my neighbors yards that are old. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    WolfPack member

    Aug 2009
    New Hampshire
    Garret Master hunter Cx Plus
    6260 times
    The Truth

    Re: Research question

    Get a hold of the WPA guide to your state. Lots of valuable info in there.
    WPA is the federal writers project guide from the 1930s. The government put writers to work traveling to each state to write all about that state, the towns,the cities, the local legends,the people,old stories. Just about every thing you want to know about the state you live in.

    ďA manís rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.Ē

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth
    becomes a revolutionary act. -- George Orwell

  3. #3
    Mar 2009
    Tuscarawas County, Ohio
    Tesoro Tejon
    48 times
    Relic Hunting

    Re: Research question

    Do you grid search? I find a lot more when I grid search. It is time consuming, but is productive. If you think a place has stuff then search every square feet even if it takes all season.

    Keep calm and dig on

  4. #4
    Aug 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
    White's Vision, White's 6000DI Pro
    52 times

    Re: Research question

    You live in the same general area of the country as I do so I can tell you one thing....after x amount of years, things end up deep!

    Take a look at the post I made of an old school in the middle of the town where I live. http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.p...tml#msg2860607

    Built 1921 and the brick sidewalk...in the middle of a milltown, is under 5 inches of dirt. So figure approximately 90 years to add 5" of dirt onto brick, let alone some place out in the woods where leaves and such go unraked, decompose, erosion, etc.....

    There is a suprising number of research tools online I use that would benifit you. "Google Earth" is great when you use it with the overlay feature with pics from "Penn Pilot". Google Earth also has the historic bar where they have images from other years so you can see changes over the last 20 years or so.

    Sanborn maps are available in most libraries. From the late 1800's to early 1900's, they were old fire insurance maps and extremely detailed, showing every building in detail, businesses, whatever was in the vicinity of buildings....like I said Very detailed. When Sanborn was free on the internet, I downloaded every single map available for Western Pa. Now there's no online access free to the public except through some libraries and universities. Neither Pitt not Penn State have online access nor the Carnegie Library. If you have a particular area in mind, I may be able to sent you a Sanborn map of the area in PDF format.
    And just a note...it took me days to download the maps and I am glad I did. I have them backed up on 3 different drives just in case....I find them that valuable.

    Most counties have websites and there's tons of information you can weed through just by googling a town. It's all about time and patience.
    I also hit 2nd hand bookstores and buy the history books that were written in the late 1800's, early 1900's. Much more information in them than the watered down versions of today.

    Carnegie Library has an inter-library exchange progrm with other libraries. The main branch in Oakland has a Pennsylvania room just bursting at the seams with historical data. But don't bother with the book on playgrounds. It is obviously well worn from the many detectorists that have looked through it....lol

    Depending on where you hunt, you may consider getting a bigger coil to give you that extra inch or 2 of depth and maybe even a smaller coil to hit that old historic park polluted with trash.

    Good luck in your research...Western Pa is indeed full of great detecting sites.


    Just one more thing...if you aren't a charter member on this site, you may want to consider it. The search feature is great and there are tons of good links to sites in the Pa. and maps forum.
    I think...therefore I am.

  5. #5
    Mar 2009
    Fisher F70 with 11"DD coil, CZ-21 with 10" coil, Fisher 1265X
    12 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Research question

    Most "research" turns up the exact same sites that have been hunted hard for the last 40 yrs. Same thing for driving back roads. Just think how many guys have driven that same road through the years and each and every one of them said the same thing when they saw the sights you did......."man, that looks like a great place to hunt".....and hunt it they did. If your current methods of finding sites isn't paying off, its time to completely change your approach.

    As for your hunting the private yards and finding nothing that makes me ask the question "how long have they owned the property?" If not that long than its possible that someone previously blitzed many of the yards in your town. Back in the '90's I lived in a small town and hit nearly every good yard there. I have wondered whether anyone ever bought a detector in that town since I left and threw it away in disgust after not finding anything time after time after time.

    I don't mean to discourage you because there are still going to be great places to hunt where you live but you are going to need to figure out what places people would have avoided back in the 80's and 90's because they had the "good spots" to hunt back than.



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