Monday, November 11, 2013

One Site Leads to Another

One Saturday over a year ago, I had nowhere to go detecting and I stopped to hit a yard sale at a house that I knew was from the 1870's.  I got talking to one of the homeowners and it only took a few minutes before she said that I had to meet her husband.  We were interested in the same things and both loved history, she thought we would hit it off.

It's amazing how this hobby can create friendships and instant bonding.  Rachael (the homeowner) was genuine and generous, giving me things to take home for the baby.  (Carissa was expecting our daughter at the time.)

A few days later, I got in contact with Rachael's husband, Jeff.  We spoke for a few minutes before he invited me over to his yard.  He was eager for his first real lesson in metal detecting.

I brought my Prizm for Jeff to use.  It's a basic machine and easy to learn the starting key elements.

After a brief explanation and demonstration, Jeff was off and running.  He easily picked up the basics.  He was a natural.  And wouldn't you know it?  About 20 minutes later, he came running over to me with a coin in his hand.

We wiped off the dirt and I was thrilled to tell him that he'd just found his first Indian head penny, dated 1900.  He was so happy and so was I.

I told him it was a great find!  It took me months to find my first and he got one on his first day.

We continued to hunt for a while longer.  I actually ended up scoring an early 1900's Indian head penny, too.

 Group finds - Jeff's first hunt

The site also turned up some of the usual relics, like buttons and bullet casings.  

I also found a really nice compact.

That was the start of my friendship with Jeff.  Since then, we've hunted his yard a few times and turned up some cool relics.

I even dug 

the rim to an old coin purse 

and I remember wishing so bad that I could find the rest of it - full of coins.  But there was no silver to be found.  

That's how it goes.  The only thing I can do is keep on digging.

Total finds - Jeff's yard, second hunt

A couple of months or so went by, and Jeff scored us permission to dig his neighbor's house.  Built in the 1880's, it was just a few years older than his.

So we met up one night after work, got geared up, and started digging.

We didn't have much time before sunset, so I headed for the side yard, where I figured most of the activity had been.  At first, I dug my share of clad, but then I began to find wheat pennies.

The next cool target was

a skeleton key,

in great condition with the number 21 stamped on it.

A few steps later was an odd one coming out of the ground...

As I dug the hole and brushed away the dirt, I swore I saw a little face looking at me.  Turns out, I was right.  I'm not sure if this thing is creepy or cool.  I've dug several lead figurines in the past, but this one is larger than most and I'm not even sure what material it's made from.

 Creepy or cool?  (Carissa says it's creepy.)

As it was getting dark, I dug up a really cool, very tiny

 ball peen hammer, stamped "Smiths".

Total finds - Jeff's neighbor's

Recently, I went back to Jeff's neighbor's again.  I didn't have a whole lot of time, it was getting dark and cold.

Last time, I made a mental note that the wheat pennies were pretty deep, so I brought the big 8x14 DD Eclipse coil with me.

I started with the side yard.  The first signal in was a deep wheat penny, around 8".

A few feet away, I turned up the outer rim to an old pocketwatch.

I wasn't coming up with many more solid signals, and it was freezing by then, so I slowly worked my way back.  

I pulled up one more good target, and this was especially meaningful to me personally. 
 I believe it's a locker tag from one of the oldest cement companies in my town, dating back to the late 1800's.

Total finds - Jeff's neighbor's second time

I wrapped it up, and this time I finally got to meet the homeowner.  I introduced myself and thanked him.  Funny thing is, it turns out he's already a reader! (Hi, Steve!)

Jeff has been telling him about me and he follows the blog.  I think that's pretty cool.


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