Mystery House Journal

robertk

Bronze Member
May 16, 2023
2,261
10,604
Missouri
Detector(s) used
XP Deus II
White's Spectra v3i
Garrett Ultra GTA 1000
Whites Coinmaster
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Just about the time I got my new Deus II, I was looking at an old map of my neighborhood and discovered that in 1940, there was a house sitting in what is now my front yard. This surprised me greatly, so I started hunting old photos and found a 1955 aerial photo, with no trace of the house. So it was there sometime before 1940 to get "on the map", but was completely vanished by 1955.

So I worked out the distances from the old map and got a good guess to where the house was, and started hunting. I quickly discovered that my entire front yard is littered with iron.

I don't know when the house was built, but I'm assuming mid to late 1800's. So far I haven't found anything with a date on it, but what little I have found seems to back up those dates.

So I'm starting this thread to post interesting things, mostly for feedback as I try to understand the history of those who were here before I was. Here's some of the stuff I've found so far. Any comments on what they are, or what they are used for, are welcome.

This was identified (thanks to this board!) as a suspender adjuster, pre-1920.
suspender_clip_front.JPG suspender_clip_back.JPG

And this one is part of a victorian bed rail attachment.
bed_rail_hardware.JPG

This one is a spoon, obviously. Silver plated, well worn. I haven't found an exact match on the pattern and I can't quite read the maker's mark, but the stuff I find that's close is in the early 1880's. Interestingly, I found this standing vertically in the ground, big end down. It took some digging to extract it.

spoon.JPG spoon_front_close.JPG spoon_back_close.JPG spoon_stamp.JPG

I've also found a few shotgun shell end caps. At first I ignored these thinking they were just trash from a careless modern hunter, but after investigating, these are from around 1900 (Union Metal Cartridge Company, "New Club" style, produced between 1891 and 1911).
caps.jpg

And some iron stuff...

horseshoes.JPG bolts_nuts.JPG insulator_front.JPG insulator_back.JPG

I've found several of those square nuts. They look like they might be blacksmith-made because while the hole diameter is pretty consistent, the size and thickness of the nut itself varies quite a bit. And that thing that looks like a telegraph insulator is a mystery -- iron wouldn't make a very good insulator.

Then there's this partial plate -- quarter inch thick and heavy. Maybe a stove part?
round_plate_front.JPG round_plate_back.JPG


And then there's this thing.
massive.JPG
It's about 8" diameter, about an inch thick, with a 1/4" "rim" around one side, totally flat on the other. And it's heavy -- weighing exactly 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs) in its current state. No obvious handle or anything to indicate use.

So there's what I know so far. I will post more as I discover it...
 

Upvote 35
Another hour in the yard, and more "stuff". Mostly familiar things, but at least one new one. The obligatory spike, stove parts, and random cast iron pieces. Some square nails, a couple of random copper bits, a complete but broken harmonica reed plate, and what I think must be a heel plate for a shoe (can anyone verify?). Front and back of the "shoe plate" are below. It's about the size of a silver dollar. The harmonica reed plate was all in one hole, but was already in several pieces when I dug it up.

IMG_3764.jpeg IMG_3762.jpeg IMG_3763.jpeg
 

Last edited:
Another hour hunt yesterday. Not much of note, just a few interesting items.

IMG_3829.jpeg

I think the two long pieces are two halves of a hinge, though the ends of both pieces are incomplete so I can't really tell. Both were in the same hole. That crumpled mess in the upper right looks like the top of a large tin can that was opened with a P-38 or similar device. Some nails, some cast iron, the usual stuff. I'm not sure what that square "rod" is at the lower left. I'd normally guess square nail, but it does not seem to be rusted at all, and it rang up with a VDI of 91. So I don't know.

There is a weird looking thing that strikes me as maybe a car part or something? (I know the person who moved here in 1907 had a car at some point, so maybe?)
IMG_3831.jpeg

There's a buckle that I'm guessing is horse tack of some sort. It still moves.
IMG_3830.jpeg

And finally, one nice little thing that isn't iron. A little buckle. Not sure if it was for suspenders or what, but it's a nice little brass buckle. Rather thin and dainty, but it actually still works. No makers mark or anything though. Here's front and back.
IMG_3832.jpeg IMG_3833.jpeg
 

Looks a bit like a star wheel adjuster for brake shoes.
Should be toothed on edge of greatest diameter where it looks smooth in the pictures. The toothed area being how it is adjusted through the access hole after original installation and adjustment at that (original) time when it could be turned by hand/fingers before the brake drum was installed.
 

Some more recent finds. The first photo is eyeball finds after the last rain -- including a lug nut that my truck has been missing for several months.
IMG_3880.jpeg


Then this photo is stuff from metal detecting yesterday.
IMG_3895.jpeg


The plow point is obvious, then a random piece of cast iron, a thing that looks like the top of a toothpaste tube, squished flat, a small iron dome, probably a cap to something, a larger iron whatsis, a lead/pewter whatsis, and a few nails. The black thing at center left is a pressure washer fitting from a different part of the yard (not from the old homestead site).

If anyone knows what the iron whatsit might be, I'd be very curious. It is toothed on one side like a gear, has an opening in the middle with an "ear" on one side, and that tab sticking off one side of the circle. I've got no clue what it was. Here's both sides, click to enlarge. It's about four or five inches in diameter -- larger than a tin can top, but smaller than a coffee can lid.
IMG_3896.jpeg IMG_3897.jpeg

And here's the other whatsit, which is another stumper to me. It looks to be a ring or cone that has been folded in half. The little nub sticking off the side is actually three parts, sort of like the top of a plus sign, with the two round parts on either side, and a flat part in the middle. I don't know if it was always bent into the current shape, or if it used to be flat like the ring would have been. Any guesses?

IMG_3898.jpeg IMG_3899.jpeg IMG_3900.jpeg IMG_3901.jpeg IMG_3902.jpeg
 

Might have a seed metering device in the eared gear lookin thingy do
IF the ear lifts a seed on the merry go round and controls it to a drop.
Or...it could be like a ground driven spreader you push and a smaller gear drives the one we see .
It (the larger picture round disc)would be horizontal then and seed/fertilizer/salt ect. forced into the open squarish hole.Which could be defended by a thin gate. to open and close to regulate flow rate.
Seeders carry(ied) fertilizer cans as well as seed cans. All fed through metering devices..
Or , I don't know!

Not sure what your other pieces are either. But I'll stick with seeders. l.o.l..
Here's the bottom of a hopper . Corn seeder but plates for other seeds are interchangeable on some units.
OIP.NTCR4RGlEHqZHuRhAqecIQHaE8
 

Haven't had much time for digging lately, and haven't found much notable when I did. Here's what I've come up with lately. Call it relics or call it junk... Lots of square nails and a few other interesting bits. Mostly iron but a few lead or other metals.

IMG_4060.jpeg IMG_4122.jpeg IMG_4121.jpeg IMG_4355.jpeg IMG_4356.jpeg IMG_4349.jpeg

The shotshell head stamp is a "W.R.A.Co Rival 12", a Winchester 12 Gauge paper shell, which was made from 1844 to 1929. I have no idea what the "Sh 70" piece is. I'll post it on the What is it forum, maybe someone there will know.
 

You find my kind of finds: rusty nails, farm iron, chunks of unknown iron. That’s my normal hunt results.
Still, a horseshoe isn’t all bad and the head stamp is a good find.
I’m guessing the sh 70 item may be part of a tool handle that came with an early automobile. Many of them were cast and had a stiffener rib up the back for strength and to lower cost vs a full form tool handle.
Keep hunting. You are obviously in an area that has targets. 👍🏼
 

It's been raining seemingly non stop for a month and a half now, so I've not been out much. But yesterday I got about an hour to poke around in the mud. The usual iron bits and one interesting little thing that I don't recognize. I'll post it on the "What is it" forum as well. It's round, about the size of a quarter, very thin, with five holes in it, and looks like attachment points on two sides. Looks to be silver plated. Any ideas?

IMG_4618.jpeg IMG_4619.jpeg IMG_4620.jpeg
 

I got a little bit more dig time yesterday and found some more relics (you say junk, I say relics... it's all just old metal).
There's a ridiculously large bolt and nut, the obligatory railroad spike and handful of square nails, some glass and pottery shards that were in the holes with metal, a thing that looks like a carpenter's plumb but is probably a handle, a hinge, a buckle, a shotshell headstamp (unreadable), an ornate cast iron something, some random metal bits, and a button.
IMG_4637.jpeg

Closer pictures of the more interesting bits.
IMG_4638.jpeg IMG_4639.jpeg IMG_4640.jpeg IMG_4636.jpeg

I'll put that "wing" piece in evaporust and see what comes of it. It's hard to see in the photos but there is a lot os scrolly design in it, very decorative, whatever it was.

The button is a two piece button, both pieces are there, but the back is trying to fall apart. Still pretty cool, IMO.
 

I got a little bit more dig time yesterday and found some more relics (you say junk, I say relics... it's all just old metal).
There's a ridiculously large bolt and nut, the obligatory railroad spike and handful of square nails, some glass and pottery shards that were in the holes with metal, a thing that looks like a carpenter's plumb but is probably a handle, a hinge, a buckle, a shotshell headstamp (unreadable), an ornate cast iron something, some random metal bits, and a button.
View attachment 2149646

Closer pictures of the more interesting bits.
View attachment 2149645 View attachment 2149644 View attachment 2149643 View attachment 2149647

I'll put that "wing" piece in evaporust and see what comes of it. It's hard to see in the photos but there is a lot os scrolly design in it, very decorative, whatever it was.

The button is a two piece button, both pieces are there, but the back is trying to fall apart. Still pretty cool, IMO.
Nice button
The winged piece is off...seen it before but can't pull it out of the grey matter this AM.
Post it up in the what is it for an ID.
 

Nice button
The winged piece is off...seen it before but can't pull it out of the grey matter this AM.
Post it up in the what is it for an ID.
I had the same feeling, but couldn't remember either. I put on the what is it forum, and @Mud Hut identified it as part of a cast iron wall sconce for an oil lamp. My photo was upside down, and the piece is broken at the bottom (though you can't quite tell from all the rust). Here's mine in the correct orientation, along with an image I found online of one that is very similar.

IMG_4695.jpg
s-l400.jpg
 

I got a bit more hunt time in yesterday, and did some experimenting with the Deus on known targets. It told me that I need to slow down, and that some things I've been ignoring as iron falsing may not be. I tried known copper, silver, and gold targets, and put them in the ground in the "iron farm". The masked targets sounded almost exactly like iron falsing. So I'm back in the "dig everything" mode for a while.

But on the up side, I found a few nifty things while experimenting. Lots of cast iron bits, a spike, several nails and miscellaneous metal and glass bits. But there are also some very thin brass or copper fragments (unidentifiable), a piece of a coin purse latch, some bullet casings and a smashed bullet, a glass button, some rivets, a padlock, and part of a (toy?) gun handle. Here's the overview:

IMG_4803.jpeg


And here are closer versions of the interesting bits. Click to enlarge. The white button appears to be glass or maybe ceramic -- it's extremely hard and glossy. The coin purse latch is probably a match to the similar one I found a while back.
IMG_4804.jpeg IMG_4805.jpeg IMG_4806.jpeg IMG_4807.jpeg

The padlock is so rusty I can't even tell where the key went. Sides and bottom all appear solid. I will drop it in Evaporust and see what happens.
IMG_4808.jpeg

And the gun handle is interesting. From the size, I would assume it's maybe a toy gun, but it could be a derringer or small pistol like that, I suppose. All of the toy pistols I've seen have always been pot metal. but this one seems to be iron. Heavy rust, but you can still make out the checkering on the outside. I'll drop it into the Evaporust and we'll and see what comes out. Front and back...

IMG_4809.jpeg IMG_4810.jpeg
 

I'm not done with the Evaporust yet, but the lock and the gun handle are definitely easier to see now. I still don't see anything by which to identify either one, though. Here are front and back after 48 hours in Evaporust.

IMG_4821.jpeg IMG_4822.jpeg
 

Robert...You have the heart of an archeologist. If I didn't find a coin by page 3 I would have moved on.
You deserve to find a nice cache for your enduring patience on that site.
 

If I didn't find a coin by page 3 I would have moved on.
Well I did fine one modern clad dime over by the driveway, but I don't think that counts.

I'm still convinced there's a coin or two out there somewhere. Just gotta find the right spot and dig all the nails....
 

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top