DownEast_Detecting

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Feb 26, 2020
428
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Maine
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I had about an hour to kill after work Friday. So i tried to think of a place i could go that didn't require a long hike in the woods first. One of the first places that popped into my mind was this old house foundation right next to the road, in the town i grew up in. Local legend says there was a fire that destroyed the building. And of a woman who owned a massive diamond ring. Every night she would take it off and set it on her night stand while she slept. The night of the fire, she awoke in a panic and ran out of her house. Supposedly the firemen had to hold her from running back into the house, when she realized what she had left behind. Now i'm not sure how much of that im suppose to believe. Its probably all bologna. But i do know there is a cellar hole there from playing in the neighborhood as a kid.


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And its right next to a stone bridge that is very old. so that was good enough for me.



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The topo maps show there use to be a house there in the late 1800's. Up until the 1930 map. So sometime between 1930 and 1960 the house either burnt down or was demolished/abandoned. Actually the earliest aerial photo from 1953 doesn't have the house there. Do you think that's the chimney making the shadow in the 1953 aerial and its gone in the 67 one. So perhaps it did burn down sometime between 1930 and 1952. And the chimney stayed standing for a bit?


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So looks like there was definitely a fire here. see the melted glass in the photos from inside the foundation.


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i found the privy pit or garbage dump out back 70 feet from the house.


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But the whole area is covered with that low growth vine stuff. It makes it impossible to swing a detector around. I will have to come back in the late fall. When some of the vegetation has died off. Or early spring before it has had a chance to grow.



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so i had to restrict my searching to mostly inside the foundation. Which has never worked out well for me. But i got a decent tone and dug this up. Its a metal social security card? i think its bronze or copper. Upper left seal says "Passed by Congress 1938or9". I know this person has probably been dead for a while. But it still didn't feel right positing their social security number. So do I track down a living relative? how would you feel about it? I personally would think it was pretty cool that some guy found my grand or great so and so's social security card at a house they lived in that burned to the ground some 70-100 years ago. but that's just me. I'm going to do a little research anyway. i'm curious and its a very unique name for a small town in Maine. I'm assuming this person wasn't originally from Maine or the U.S.A.
I know this post is kinda long winded for what many would think isn't that great of a find. But i'm way more into the relic side of things and the history that goes with it. So if i can track this person's name to the owner of the house. i will be happy. Its also the first thing I've found with someone's name on it.

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View from the opposite side of the river. And a big fresh water snail. and the old stone bridge
 

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DownEast_Detecting

DownEast_Detecting

Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2020
428
1,101
Maine
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Minelab CTX 3030
Primary Interest:
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If I were going back in the fall, I wouldn’t draw too much attention to the site before then. You could lose your permission due to someone else’s greed. I’d return it, if possible, after I completed my hunt of the site.
Best wishes
im a little confused, the owners of the lot now are not related to the guy on the card. Are you saying if i found a relative and tried to return it. That they would try to contact the present owners and get my permission yanked. The card isnt valuable and there probably isnt too much on the site that is. well you never know, but usually there isnt anything "valuable' to normal folks. i think we are a little different. hell im happy when i find a button lol. Anyway, just trying to figure out where someone else's creed comes in. but thanks for the advice, i hope you aren't speaking from experience in a matter like this.
 

JoshW

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Oct 1, 2018
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Valley Forge, PA
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I would definitely contact a living relative to return it if possible. Your story is very similar to my own experience many years ago, even down to finding the ID'd piece under a bridge. I have a posting about it on this forum. It was great meeting the relative and returning something that meant a lot more to her than it did to me. I found Richard's obit and included it below. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Salem Observer, The (NH) - Thursday, January 24, 2013
ATKINSON - Richard H. "Dutch" Hassell, 76, of Atkinson died Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at the VA Hospital, Manchester.

Born in Somerville, Mass., he grew up and was educated in Ayer, Mass. He was a bus driver for Trombly Bus Co. in Dracut, Mass., and was a U.S. Army veteran.

He is survived by his long time companion, Brenda R. Smith of Atkinson; children, Luke M. Hassell of Atkinson, Shawn J. and his wife, Dawn, Higgins Hassell of Bow, Kenneth Boudreau of Fryeburg, Maine; Leslie Gemignani of Washington, Freddie Boudreau of North Conway and Paul Boudreau of Texas; several grandchildren, including Kortnei and Hailey Boudreau; and several great-grandchildren.

Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home, 214 Main St, Salem, handled the arrangements.
 

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DownEast_Detecting

DownEast_Detecting

Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2020
428
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I would definitely contact a living relative to return it if possible. Your story is very similar to my own experience many years ago, even down to finding the ID'd piece under a bridge. I have a posting about it on this forum. It was great meeting the relative and returning something that meant a lot more to her than it did to me. I found Richard's obit and included it below. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Thank you so much josh! I am going to try and return it to someone. I was finding some of those relatives you mentioned. But now i have a complete list of relatives to try and contact. I will let you know how it goes. I'm trying to come up with a good opening paragraph i can send out to these people, without sounded like a crazy person or some sort of scam. lol
 

JoshW

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Thank you so much josh! I am going to try and return it to someone. I was finding some of those relatives you mentioned. But now i have a complete list of relatives to try and contact. I will let you know how it goes. I'm trying to come up with a good opening paragraph i can send out to these people, without sounded like a crazy person or some sort of scam. lol
Your welcome. Maybe point them to this posting? It gives them the background and shows you are not a crazy person.

Josh
 

Groundhogg

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so i did a keyword search of the local newspaper archive and found him.

View attachment 2095301
October 2nd 1947



View attachment 2095302
November 27th 1947




View attachment 2095303
This is actually describing the night of the fire! it was in an April 20th 1978 local newspaper edition, but it was in a 30 years ago section. so 1978 - 30 = 1948. So the house fire happened in 1948. and judging by the newspaper article. It looks like they left quincy, MA after another house fire there. wow, bad luck
Really cool thread or perhaps I should say wicked awesome. It's all about the research...great job! Keep the good stuff coming.
 

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DownEast_Detecting

DownEast_Detecting

Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2020
428
1,101
Maine
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Minelab CTX 3030
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Your welcome. Maybe point them to this posting? It gives them the background and shows you are not a crazy person.

JoshW
that a good idea. Thanks
Really cool thread or perhaps I should say wicked awesome. It's all about the research...great job! Keep the good stuff coming.
lol ayuh. today was a wicked pissah of a hot day bub.
 

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DownEast_Detecting

DownEast_Detecting

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Feb 26, 2020
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Nov 12, 2023
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Thanks Digger RJ

Yes, THANK YOU creskol for all your hard work!!!


Thanks so much.

oh man after trying a bunch of names with emails, FB messages and phone calls to wrong numbers. i think i finally am in contact with a legitimate living relative! :hello2:
Stay Tuned
It is so crazy to find this post. Raapzaad Heyliger Hassell is my father's second cousin (so I guess my second cousin once removed)! I was doing family research and figured I would Google his name as it is pretty unique and might come up with something. Someone on this post did some great research looking for family members! Oddly enough, I am a first generation American. Some Hassells (his aunt and uncles) moved from Sint Eustatius to British Guiana where my father was born. I was born in NJ, and moved to Vermont right on the NH border 23 yrs ago. Wondering where you found this in Maine.

Did you ever connect with the relatives you thought you may have found? Curious as to who they are and where they live.

Cheers! Nice find!
Thanks Digger RJ

Yes, THANK YOU creskol for all your hard work!!!


Thanks so much.

oh man after trying a bunch of names with emails, FB messages and phone calls to wrong numbers. i think i finally am in contact with a legitimate living relative! :hello2:
Stay Tuned
 

HEAVYMETALNUT

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I would def try to find a relative and see if they would like it. a very challenging site with the overgrowth and old metal trash. That picture of the bridge is stunning and could be on a post card. you should enter that in a photo contest. Best of luck in your search for family and detecting this site.
 

Georgivs

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That checks out with the melted glass for sure. Theres a site of an old house fire near me where they obviously piled all the ashes off to the side, probably while sifting through them. I found a lot of really neat ~1900s artifacts in it and even a silver ring.
This is actually describing the night of the fire! it was in an April 20th 1978 local newspaper edition, but it was in a 30 years ago section. so 1978 - 30 = 1948. So the house fire happened in 1948. and judging by the newspaper article. It looks like they left quincy, MA after another house fire there. wow, bad luck
 

Dec 4, 2023
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Hi! I'm a few months late but this is so interesting. Raapzaat is my Dad's great uncle. I don't think there are any remaining close relatives but my Dad and his sister. We're all Hassells. I didn't even know about that fire. It's in Quincy? If there weren't any other relatives to claim his card I'd definitely take it
 

Dec 4, 2023
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It is so crazy to find this post. Raapzaad Heyliger Hassell is my father's second cousin (so I guess my second cousin once removed)! I was doing family research and figured I would Google his name as it is pretty unique and might come up with something. Someone on this post did some great research looking for family members! Oddly enough, I am a first generation American. Some Hassells (his aunt and uncles) moved from Sint Eustatius to British Guiana where my father was born. I was born in NJ, and moved to Vermont right on the NH border 23 yrs ago. Wondering where you found this in Maine.

Did you ever connect with the relatives you thought you may have found? Curious as to who they are and where they live.

Cheers! Nice find!
I'd love to know now we're related! I'm a Hassell in Massachusetts, my great grandfather came here from Sint Eustatius. His brother is Raapzaad
 

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