Post By DeadElvis
Post By Tom_in_CA
May 20, 2012, 06:31 PM
Ever had the ultimate site not pan out?
I've been looking forward to today since Wednesday. My hunting partner gained permission to hunt two old home sites, and an old barn. In fact, the owner led us to the site(s). We followed him through acres of cotton fields to a wooded area on posted property. There were so many twists and turns I began to wonder if we could find our way out.
The main site was a farmhouse that was caving in, so much that I was scared to explore the interior. 50 yards away was the barn, and 100 yards away another home foundation. If I had to guess, I'd say the home(s) were built around 1900, latest. The floor was held up by roughly squared off logs. Still visible on the walls of the standing (well, sort of standing) house was ancient wallpaper.
The property owner was laughing at us a bit, saying he doubted the occupants had two pennies to rub together at any point in time. After we'd dug up a few nails and rifle cartridges, he left us to search.
I had visions of Indian Head pennies, mercury dimes and civil war relics (the site was indirectly in the line of the Forrest-Streight campaign) running through my mind. After about 4 hours of searching, not so much.
I swear to God, I bet they found pull-tabs in Tutankhamen's tomb.
Anyone else ever had a "premo site" not produce?
May 20, 2012, 10:22 PM
When it comes to detecting, you will always find me "out standing in the field".
May 21, 2012, 12:34 AM
Of course! I have permission to detect 10 old homesites on a very private ranch. So far 3 places detected. Finds...Nada. Walking up to the old adobe ruins I swear I could see barber dimes and gold coins by the bushel.
Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. Vietnam # 10 G.I Wolfpack
May 21, 2012, 10:10 AM
DE: I think part of that problem is in fact the relative poverty of some of our ancestors. They literally could not spare the loss of a cent, and took great care with their meager funds. Still, with two homes and a barn, I would expect something of value. That had to be disappointing.
May 21, 2012, 10:42 AM
Happens all the time. Old farm sites are far from an "ultimate" site. Like others said, most were living very spartan lives, and just didn't have much money to lose.
But, like I always say... If you don't go, you won't know.
May 21, 2012, 11:34 AM
Its always likely that you looked in the wrong places, or approached the hunt wrong. When I get on an old property, I focus on finding relics - discovering where people actually worked will help you figure out patterns of habitation. Often where people hid valuables depends on what type of place it was - farmers often buried valuables in the chicken-coop (they made a lot of racket if anyone disturbed them at night), and fence pole caches are common on old properties. If you are not accustomed to relic hunting, and are not willing to look for onsite trash dumps and outhouse pits, you will often walk away empty handed.
Dating a site is important as well. One great clue is to look for clear glass items in trash dumps - if you find that they have a light purple coloration, you can tell that the site was from before the 1st world war (US info only here) - why? Because manganese was used in clear glass production before then, but was not after (war effort required it, and glass was reformulated as a result) - ultra-violet light causes the glass to turn purple. I also look for the type of cans thrown away (Soldered tin cans - 100 or more years old).
A good site may take 20 visits to locate where the treasures are. I recall a huge stash of silver coins (found in California by Jimmy Sierra) that was all buried in multiple tin cans in a garden area. There are lots of caches to be found, but the original people that buried them did not make it obvious where they were. If you just went in looking for coins (and did not dig every signal), you will probably leave great stuff behind.
Last edited by jmoller99; May 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM.
Whites GMT, Whites GM Vsat, Whites 5900, Gold Mountain King Cobra, Bounty Hunter 3300
May 21, 2012, 01:58 PM
There is a common misconception that old homestead sites are necessarily going to be good places to hunt. On the contrary: There's LOADS of old homestead sites that you'll knock yourself silly to find anything good at (or the junk ratio will simply be too punishing for each keeper). Because if the homestead site was strictly a singular family concern, then .... you're simply going to be bedevilled with homestead garbage (perhaps less of a problem if abandoned prior to the 1910s...). Thus homestead sites are not *necessarily* good pickens.
Instead, the places to hunt are not singular family concerns, for the best coin/keeper ratios. On the contrary, you want to go where commercial activity or crowd-recreation/camping occured: stage stops, saloons, cross-road camp-stopping spots (d/t people carried their $ in those days, as opposed to persons at a homesite, who perhaps didn't bring out their $ till they specifically were going to town, for instance), old camp sites where people slept and recreated, etc... where travelers came and went from and $$ exchanged hands. Singular family concerns do not merit any of these criteria, so the coin ratios are not going to be as good.
Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!
May 21, 2012, 02:28 PM
Hobo camps, crop picker and farm labor housing and other similar places would be a poor bet...
As they say...didn't have 2 pennies to rub together...
A good bet is to look in milking parlors, farm tractor sheds, tool sheds and below water tower / tanks...this is where people bend and sit in odd positions and drop coins...as a kid I found a lot of loose coins in the milking parlors...
May 21, 2012, 03:01 PM
Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.
Every site is my Ultra Site. But you have to remember old sites don't usually hold any coins as people back then didn't carry money while they worked at a farm or did chores. If they dropped a coin they looked for it because it bought a lot more back then. The fun is in the adventure and finding anything.
(C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
"TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."
May 21, 2012, 04:17 PM
Makes sense. I agree about the fun factor too - I've only been MD'ing a couple of months but I've kept everything even remotely interesting and I am building quite a rustbox. If I were in it just to find coins I'd have already gotten mad and quit
Originally Posted by Sandman
May 22, 2012, 12:01 PM
Do not forget me 24601
Yep, my home was built in 1923 and has failed to produce one piece of silver coinage. On the plus side I have found 2 100 y.o. make-up tins, two original skeleton keys to the house, 2 old serving spoons, and wheats.
May 22, 2012, 10:10 PM
Seems to me that everytime I find a good looking or sounding spot, And start looking ,It never pans out. Then those spots you come accross that look soso, they seem to explode with the good stuff. Go figure...HH
If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
May 24, 2012, 06:36 PM
jmoller99 pretty much said what I'd tell you. 4 hours of hunting a big area isn't squat. When I've tried doing that I jump from here to there and then over yonder ...missing hundreds of square feet.
As everyone else was saying, homesites are a tough place to begin with, let alone one with lots of area. If you're not willing to go back several times to a place like that, odds are they'll never pan out.
I think...therefore I am.
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