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Thread: Detecting a nice old house site: coins, pewter, bottles, and some great culture!

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  1. #1
    ca
    Oct 2014
    Southern Ontario
    Garrett Euro Ace 350
    893
    1425 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)

    Detecting a nice old house site: coins, pewter, bottles, and some great culture!

    Hey Everyone,

    Season's greetings!

    Some beautiful houses have been coming down around here lately. Jaw-dropping oldies, barns and everything, and this topsoil company is even trucking in extra dirt to put on top of everything, so overkill. Gone forever. Buyouts, suburban sprawl, etc. - I'm sure a lot of you know how it is. And for some reason I've been met with a lot of bitterness lately when seeking new permissions. It's weird, I don't know if it's the time of year or what - you'd think it'd be the other way around, right? If I had a nickel for every time I heard the word "liability" in the last few weeks. It's like everyone thinks the house is suddenly going to sprout legs and jump on top of you when you're detecting the yards and fields around it! People are increasingly unreasonable these days. I want us to trust each other again. Anyway, sorry, enough of that. I guess I've been a bit grumpy myself lately! It certainly can be a stressful time of year. Yes/no, Santa/Scrooge, whatever. Let's get on with it:

    Well, let's just say I got cheered right back up! I got a chance to do a nice old one. It's just a shell now. Rodent hotel. Windows all smashed, eavestroughs slacking, aluminum siding coming off (reveals the nice old red brick though, gorgeous). On the old map it looks like quite a few people had lived there, and I do know that the place had been occupied up until around two or three years ago - you know what that means! ALUMINATI. Another downside was that most of the area was almost unsearchable. You'd need a gas powered auger or even a backhoe to get through the tightly packed gravel. I had my work cut out for me, that's for sure.

    So where do I start? Well, first I tried probing the more penetrable parts of the yard for a privy, but got no result (where's jgas when you need him?). Deterred but not defeated, I broke out the ol' Euro Ace 350 and secured the coil with elastics and electrical tape like I always do, and by then I was feeling like a real pro, haha! "Ain't broken, don't fix it". I got to swinging and got exactly what I had ordered - enough aluminum for the next mission to the moon. Almost as bad as the gravel was the long matted down grass. I bet some veteran quilt making grandma would kill in cold blood to learn that weave. I was stomping and chopping and chomping on trail mix to build up my strength again.

    My first good find was an 1892 silver 'fish scale' (Canadian nickel) on the one side of the house near the covered well. I didn't get an in situ photo like I would have liked to, but I was relieved to find something decent and excited to get some more. I went on to find my first American large cent on the edge of the driveway, 1851, love it, always wanted one of these and she's a beauty. I found a gilt flat button, a tiny pewter silver plated rosette (other pewter included a spoon handle and a broken pewter silver plated ring with peacocks or pheasants or some kind of bird around it), and the outside half of a two piece button that I need your help with (EDIT: nhbenz solved this one, it's an overalls button).

    One thing I did differently this time was focus on culture. Since I was finding so much aluminum, I chose to dig a lot more of the iron signals (within reason), and I am very happy with the result. I think I got the whole darn tool shed! An awesome variety of axe heads, a horse bit, plenty of beefy iron rings, a coat/hat hook, a bunch of latches, some nice square nails, a big staple of some sort, and a bunch of iron things that I've never even seen before! I made the best of a frustrating situation and I'm proud of myself for that. Anyone know what the things on the bottom right are? Are they plow related? I had to make more than one trip to get this stuff home because it was so heavy. I also treated the iron finds with some unscented baby oil for the first time. I don't have an electrolysis setup, can't afford/justify renaissance wax, and, it's not like these are George Washington's square nails. I think they look pretty good! I'm happy with how they turned out.

    While digging a signal, can't remember what it was, I had what looked like a big marble come up. Turns out it's the most beautiful knob I've ever seen in my life (crack your joke, get it over with). But look at this thing! All cobalt glazed and painted by hand with...gold? I don't know, but it's old and it is absolutely lovely!

    Another chance encounter, and this was definitely the highlight for me, was my stumbling upon an old shallow trash pit. I went from already being elated to being catapulted into treasure hunting bliss. This hobby is so much about hard work and research and all of that, but you can't help but feel the power of that one sweet secret ingredient thing. Luck, chance, whatever you call it - when you aren't expecting anything at all and then suddenly you're living your wildest dream! A bullseye in the dark! While digging a signal at the side of the driveway (pretty much ON the driveway), I felt a very familiar feeling. It was glass. I clear out maybe 6 inches of dirt, nice and wide, and I'm suddenly finding ash and burnt material, and then the heel of the old black glass bottle that I had struck with my shovel. It was broken (not by me), but then there were other bottles that were whole! First I found this old clear slick, good age. Then I found this aaawesome cornflower blue vial (this was not a colour that I had dug yet, so I was pumped. I also found a similar aqua blue vial but it's damaged and isn't cleaning up very nicely). And then..."IS THAT WHAT I THINK IT IS? There's no way this thing is whole". It was whole. "From the Laboratory of G.W. Merchant, Chemist, Lockport N.Y." Early smooth base, key mould, applied finish. I've read different things about these bottles, and that the smooth bases were possibly made around the same time as their pontiled friends, but either way I'd date this bottle from anywhere between 1860 and 1875. This thing is absolutely perfect. It's like a 98/100. And so clean. It's a pretty collectible and sought-after bottle. It's not my holy grail or anything, but I certainly never thought I'd hold something like this in my hand. And it survived all that time, only inches under a hard, heavily used gravel driveway. One of my best finds ever!!! In the same pit I found my first stoneware ink (here it is after I wiped it off, at the depth I found it), and an interesting broken key that's copper or brass with like, a lead or pewter thumb, very interesting. I ended up finding what might be an old septic tank underneath. The ash and glass stopped, I hit natural dirt, and then I hit a bunch of gravel, dug about a foot through it, and then decided to close her up because it was getting dark. I still might have another go at it. You get thirsty after a pit like that - imagine what the privy will be like if I can find it! Anyway, I drew a little MS Paint illustration of the pit for you, for educational purposes - nah, it was for me, it was for fun, haha!

    Anyway, I found so many other doodads and whatnots, so many firsts, and I just had such a great time. One of my most memorable hunts, no doubt. It was a big cake with plenty of icing. The only object in the group shot not from this hunt is the Native American celt at the top right, which I included because I haven't shown anyone outside of that forum yet, and I wanted to share it again.

    Thanks for coming along! Good luck and happy hunting,


    NJ

    EDIT: to include closeup pics of "PRESIDENT" piece and pewter/silver bird ring thing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by NJKLAGT; Dec 08, 2018 at 09:26 PM.

  2. #2

    Dec 2018
    2
    5 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Those identical spikes in the lower left corner of the “finds” picture came from old lawn mowers I’ve heard.
    sandchip, Hawks88, NJKLAGT and 2 others like this.

  3. #3
    us
    Randy

    Aug 2017
    SW Missouri
    Minelab CTX 3030 ; GTA 1000
    1,028
    2153 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Nice Hunt!!!! Congrats!!!!
    Hawks88, NJKLAGT, devldog and 1 others like this.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Country Dirt Kid View Post
    Those identical spikes in the lower left corner of the “finds” picture came from old lawn mowers I’ve heard.
    yes a Sickle mower, but I think you mean the lower right corner?
    Hawks88, NJKLAGT, devldog and 2 others like this.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT,YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'Time isn't money it's finds, unless your finds are money' 08/12/17
    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' 25/06/08
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.
    ONE LIFE - DETECT IT

  5. #5
    us
    Oct 2010
    Georgia
    Teknetics T2SE
    2,431
    2796 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Way to hang in there in those bad conditions. The Merchant's is a helluva payoff and quite the beauty!
    Hawks88, NJKLAGT, devldog and 1 others like this.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Classic car lover

    Jul 2017
    some where in the great state of Texas
    Teknectics eurotek pro bounty hunter time ranger bounty hunter quick draw 2 used a teroso compadre. Carry a 22 cal. six-shooter.
    5,462
    11436 times
    hunting,bottle digging,coin roll hunting,shooting,Metal Detecting, swimming,
    Banner Finds (1)
    amazing hunt that marble is awesome so is that green bottle
    Hawks88, NJKLAGT and devldog like this.

  8. #8

    Nov 2018
    South Georgia
    9
    83 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    so im guessing thats 1800 'S i found an axe similiar to the ones you found and in one of the pictures it had the date 1851 on the coin" good stuff and find
    Hawks88, NJKLAGT and devldog like this.

  9. #9
    us
    sprailroad

    Jan 2017
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    Garrett A3B United States Gold Hunter, GTA 1000, AT Pro, Discovery Treasure Baron "Gold Trax", Minelab X-Terra 70, Safari, & EQ 800.
    1,719
    2298 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    What a day. Every once in a while, you just flat have a all around good day out there, sounds like you just had one of those.
    Hawks88, NJKLAGT and devldog like this.

  10. #10
    ca
    Hawks88

    Aug 2012
    Niagara falls
    Equinox 600, fisher gold bug pro.
    5,100
    5004 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Nice assortment of finds. I like the axe heads and the marble is a beauty. Looks like you worked real hard for those finds but it paid off. Congrats.
    NJKLAGT and devldog like this.

  11. #11
    us
    Rust never rests

    Mar 2009
    Sunman Indiana
    Whites XLT MINELAB SE
    3,122
    2491 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I'm sure that had to be a fun hunt,I like all that stuff.
    NJKLAGT and devldog like this.

  12. #12
    Great finds,congratulations! Those are some nice axe heads and early bottles.
    NJKLAGT, devldog and Hawks88 like this.
    Da Deus Fortunae

  13. #13
    us
    Sep 2018
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Max
    205
    444 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Top notch story and some great finds! Nice work. That green bottle is really nice! That large cent is in pretty nice condition. Congrats on it all!
    NJKLAGT, devldog and Hawks88 like this.

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    TOM

    Dec 2012
    UPSTATE NEW YORK
    1970 COMPASS- WHITES SILVER EAGLE- WHITES DFX, 4X6DD COIL, 6X8DD COIL, 950 COIL, 10X12SEF COIL- GARRETT PRO POINTER AT, GARRETT AT PRO , MINELAB EXPLORER SE with 8.5x12.5 Cors coil
    5,161
    2838 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Super hunt !
    NJKLAGT and devldog like this.
    A BAD DAY OF DIGGING IS BETTER THEN A GOOD DAY AT WORK

  15. #15
    us
    Oct 2018
    MT
    AT Pro
    29
    73 times
    Metal Detecting
    Posts like this are gonna get me through winter. Thank you!
    NJKLAGT, devldog and Hawks88 like this.

 

 
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