Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?
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  1. #1
    us
    Sep 2008
    Pennsylvania
    Bounty Hunter Land Star
    372
    2 times

    Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    Did you find anything good?

    I was at the local library looking through some history books of my town. I came across alot of information about the Saw Mills and Grist Mills that were around my area and it included a map. All of the Mills were built in the 1800's and the last Mill standing was torn down in 1952.

    I would like to research some of the Mills further and find the exact locations on some of them to see if I can metal detect the area. I am just curious what I might find.

    Sue

  2. #2
    us
    Just an old man enjoying life...

    Jun 2006
    Banning, California
    ace 250
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    hey smurf,
    Good question, I have the same thing ( SoCal ) here as well. Please keep me informed..

    PLL

  3. #3
    us
    Feb 2005
    Bavaria Germany
    Minelab XT70, Fisher 1280, Garrett Ace 250 and MH5
    8,339
    173 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    I have detected several very old mills here in Germany and have not found much around them, a few coins and relics. Do not let that discourage you though, certainly worth having a look around the grounds as Americans lose more coins and relics than Germans for some strange reason. HH and good luck, Mike

  4. #4
    us
    Sep 2008
    Pennsylvania
    Bounty Hunter Land Star
    372
    2 times

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    Thanks B Mike for your reply.

    PLL I hope this helps you too.

    Sue

  5. #5
    us
    Jul 2008
    East Jordan, Michigan
    Minelab Etrac & Quattro
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    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    Here in Northern Michigan we have many old mills, cooperages, shingle mills, and logging camps.
    I have been in several of the old camps, a cooperage, a shingle mill, and around a couple of saw mill sites.

    Saw mill sites tend to have a lot of old sawdust with earth and vegetation grown over it.
    Small items, like coins, tend to be quite deep here. There is not much in the way of old coins at any of these kinds of sites here, but tons and tons of great relics. Many old tools, and personal items show up.

    I have found two copper stencils used for marking bundles of shingles, and hardwood flooring. These are very cool, because they give the brand name of the product, company name, and location.

    You may not pile on many coins, but I you would have a great time with the relics!

    Good Luck,
    Mark

  6. #6
    us
    Sep 2008
    Magnolia, TEXAS
    Whites MXT Pro, M6, 6x10 DD, 4x6 DD
    157
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    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    I hunted an old sawmill location her in TX That shut down in the early 40's. Had a small settlement for the workers. Never found much but I did find an old token that was used during the depression to pay the workers with.
    Metal detecting is like marrage...The better you listen the better the rewards.

  7. #7
    us
    Sep 2008
    Pennsylvania
    Bounty Hunter Land Star
    372
    2 times

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    As soon as the weather gets a little warmer, I think I might go searching (walking) to find where some of these old mills were.

    If I come up with nothing, at least I got out and got some excercise.

    Sue

  8. #8
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
    6,797
    144 times
    eating

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    I've hunted lumber camps in northern Michigan for many years. I've dug hundreds of pounds of relics but I never found one single lumber-era coin. I did find a cache of David Ward's lumberjack meal tokens once.

    Here's what you'll find at lumber camps:

    1. Horse shoes
    2. Harness hardware
    3. Axe heads
    4. Crosscut saw blades (I dug 3 crosscuts 6 foot long out of 1 hole).
    5. Blacksmith tools
    6. Pocket knives
    7. Buttons
    8. Wagon & Big Wheel hardware
    9. Farming equipment
    10. Lots of old rifle & shotgun cartrages
    11. Chains of all types and sizes
    12. Logging tools & hardware of all types
    13. Bottles and nearly rusted-away tin cans
    14. Script money tokens (very rare)
    15. Guns (very rare)
    16. Shovels
    17. Spoons & all sorts of dinnerware (lots of it)
    18. Padlocks (lots of them)
    19. And many things unknown
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  9. #9
    us
    Sep 2008
    Pennsylvania
    Bounty Hunter Land Star
    372
    2 times

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    That is a long list MB. I don't know of any lumber camps in this area. All I can do is search the areas and swing my detector and cross my fingers I find something. Been MDing for almost a year and haven't found anything good, coins, relics or jewelry. But it doesn't bother me if I don't find anything, I like getting out in the woods, hiking and being with nature. What other hobby can you do that with?

    Sue

  10. #10
    us
    Jul 2008
    East Jordan, Michigan
    Minelab Etrac & Quattro
    1,269
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    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    MB,
    Where are you in Michigan?

    I'm in East Jordan, and David Ward certainly plays into our local history too.

    If you get up this way, when the snow is gone, I'd be happy to take you to a couple of the camps in the Jordan Valley.

    Your list looks about right. Except I haven't found any tokens either.
    Ever find any stencils?

    Good Luck,
    Mark

  11. #11
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
    6,797
    144 times
    eating

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpostma
    MB,
    Where are you in Michigan?

    I'm in East Jordan, and David Ward certainly plays into our local history too.

    If you get up this way, when the snow is gone, I'd be happy to take you to a couple of the camps in the Jordan Valley.

    Your list looks about right. Except I haven't found any tokens either.
    Ever find any stencils?

    Good Luck,
    Mark
    Right now I'm near the Gaylord area but this is not where our home is located.

    I'd love to join you sometime but a couple years ago I hurt my left knee while digging out a lumber camp so I can't handle much digging or wild country anymore. This is why today I mostly just coinshoot by old houses. Maybe if I improve I'll check back with you.

    I haven't dug any stencils.

    Badger
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  12. #12

    Mar 2006
    S.W. Pa.
    Deus, CTX
    255
    29 times

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    My brother got an old map that has 2 lumber or saw mills on it. We went looking for them. Even found the road intersection. But for the life of us we couldn't find any remains of the places. Needless to say, we didn't find a thing .

  13. #13
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
    6,797
    144 times
    eating

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark v
    My brother got an old map that has 2 lumber or saw mills on it. We went looking for them. Even found the road intersection. But for the life of us we couldn't find any remains of the places. Needless to say, we didn't find a thing .
    I apologise to smurf-42 for commenting so much on his thread but this subject is just too irresistible for me

    When they tore down those early saw mills they usually didn't leave much behind. Anyway the mill site itself is not what you really want. You want to locate the camp "shanty" site or where the blacksmith work was done. They didn't have cars or trucks so there was constant need for the blacksmith. He also repaired broken mill equipment and just about everything else.

    Once you have the general location of a mill, put on a larger coil and hunt out from the spot where the mill was. When you get to the right place you'll know it. Your detectors will blast off with the coil a foot above ground.

    The 1st thing is to find the dump areas. All mills and/or lumbering camps had them. These were big holes dug and they simply pitched the worn-out stuff into them. I found one such hole back several years ago and I dug about 50 large logging horse shoes (giant), several saw blades, blacksmith tools, about 12 axe heads, and all kinds of scrap iron. At the bottom of the hole was some sort of large equipment that was too big to dig out. I think it was a farm wagon because I was able to uncover a wheel.

    Also, keep an eye out for any sign of timbers. One day I found an awesome site when I came upon a 4-6 foot length of barn timber hidden in tall grass (that ground was loaded with relics).

    I think that back during the Great Depression on into the 1950's the DNR (and other groups) torn down many lumber camp remains and buried the old rusted contents nearby.

    You can be digging out a hole with bottles and lumbering relics from the 1870's and come upon a soda bottle from the 1940's. All of it buried nice and neat under flat topsoil--this is the work of the DNR.

    By the way, if the land is now owned by the DNR, don't let them catch you digging on it. And don't tell anybody where you dug it even if you got it before the DNR took ownership.

    In Michigan if you get caught on state land detecting they can (and often will) take everything away except your birthday. I heard of a couple not long ago in Crawford county who got arrested for trying to carry a stone off state land. Just imagine what they'd do to you for removing relics.

    In fact the DNR is currently looking for the individuals who dug relics from a small "Ghost Town" up in the Traverse City area. I pity the doods when they catch them.

    Just remember--ONLY hunt private land with permission. It just doesn't pay to mess with the law. My stuff came from church property which was once used by the Deward lumbering company.

    The biggest problem with Michigan is too much state owned land. This is one reason I want to move south.

    Badger

    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  14. #14
    us
    Jul 2008
    East Jordan, Michigan
    Minelab Etrac & Quattro
    1,269
    14 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    Hey Badger,
    We are only about a half hour apart!

    My left knee is bunged up too, so I don't try to fight too much brush.

    I have some pretty decent places to hunt that are easy on the knees. Working on getting permission for an old church picnic grove, and revival meeting site next. If the snow ever melts.........

    Good Luck,
    Mark

  15. #15
    us
    Sep 2008
    Pennsylvania
    Bounty Hunter Land Star
    372
    2 times

    Re: Ever Detect Old Saw Mills or Grist Mills?

    MB...no need to apologize. We are all here to help each other out and learn from each other.

    Looking at the map I got with the information about the mills, there looks to be 4 blacksmith shops that were in my town. One was located near a salt works, another near 2 saw mills, another located near a store and wagon shop and the last blacksmith shop was located near a steam grist mill and a steam saw mill.

    I just need to find a way to get this map from paper onto my computer and have someone do a overlay for me. I don't have a scanner anymore on my computer.

    I am hoping to get better locations so that when the weather gets nice, I will have everything in order to actually go out and start searching, getting permission and everything else. As far as I know, the DNR in PA does not own any of this land. So I am guessing it is all privately owned land.

    Sue

 

 
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