Found brick pit? Need help please

Rock22

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Sep 9, 2013
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Hello,
I recently found a brick lined pit in the woods on my property. The pit was hidden under a lot of dirt and leaves but after clearing it I have a 3 foot deep pit that is lined with larger bricks that form 4 sides. It is pretty much 4 foot by 4 foot square. It was dug about 10 feet away from a very old cattle trail that once ran from the old barn on my land back to the grazing area along a ridge. The land was 1st settled in 1835. I currently do not have a metal detector to search around it but will soon have my new Tesoro Tejon once I pay it off. I am more interested in finding out what it may have been. The bricks are not hand made so I don't know how old they really are. It shows no sign of burning so I don't think it was a fire pit. Maybe a water trough? If anyone has any ideas please let me know. All I do know is whoever dug this really killed themselves. It took me days and a lot of sweat trying to dig this thing up.

Thanks, Bill

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tamrock

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Dig and screen through it. Some finds won't be detected with a metal detector. Maybe find that old bottle worth a fortune.
 
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longcut

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could have been a cattle dipping pit ............... the gov. passed some sorta law years ago that said cattlemen had to dip their cows in something to make sure they killed something on the cows ............. just a vague memory from some of my reading , sorry for the shadowy content ....
 
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digging440yrs

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Is there ash and/or broken or whole old glass bottles in it ? If so you may of found the the outhouse :thumbsup:
 
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sutphin

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DIG MY MAN LIKE A DOG WITH MANGE FLEAS LATER. AND LIKE THE OTHERS SAID USE A SIFTER FOR THE FINER THINGS THEN GO BACK WITH A DETECTOR LATER AND SEE WHAT ELSE YOU CAN FIND .
 
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Rock22

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Sorry but I am going nutz trying to put pictures up! Very difficult to do. I guess it will remain a mystery.
 
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MuckyBottles

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Sounds like an outhouse/sistern to me, however, 5ft is pretty shallow for an outhouse, at least it would be in my area, do you have any pictures of this pit?
 
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Rock22

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Dug it up real nice. I will try pictures again tonight. It seems to be a footer that is 4ft by 4ft and is about 30 inches deep.
 
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Rock22

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Pictures are up at the top! This footer/pit is about 10 feet from an old cow trail that led to the grazing pastures. At least that's how I see it. The blocks do not seem to have any mortar on them so they seem drystacked. The pit was well done though being very square. Please help,I really want to know what this was. Thanks!
 
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Charlie P. (NY)

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Lime pit latrine? Are you in a shale area where it's hard to dig very deep?

p049a.gif
 
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Rock22

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We do have shale here but not until you get very deep. This pit has clay on the bottom. I will assume it is the hardpan? This is located over 100 feet from the farmhouse. That's along way to walk in 3 feet of snow to poop. But who knows?
 
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MuckyBottles

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Yea, 100ft from a house is quite unusual for a privy. In this diggers experience, especially in the bottle department, farmhouse privies usually don't produce much glass, since most bottles were repurposed and we're used until they broke...
 
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Rock22

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Nobody out there knows what this thing was? Im searching all over the internet but cant find anything. Please help me end this mystery.
 
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Charlie P. (NY)

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You've got a much better chance than us because you're there. Anything found around it? Nails, broken bottles, etc. Took you days to dig it out - what did you remove? Was the soil in it lighter than the surrounding area soil, darker? Packed hard, loose, accumulated leaf litter and trash in it or deliberately filled in?

Could be anything from an ash pit for soap making to a hide for moonshine during prohabition. It's not store bought so what it was depends on what the builder wanted it for. May be the only one like it or there's one just like it still in use at the next property down the road.
 
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Tedyoh

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I think I see some modern "skinny" style cinder blocks, so probably not 1830's old, maybe 1930's?
 
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