Tuesday, December 17, 2013

METAL DETECTING: The old home stead

Well, I made it out to the old homestead place next to my sister's house. They had already torn down the house. I stayed out of the way of the backhoe and the dump trucks. I took two metal detectors with me. I had Kathi's Lobo Super TRAQ from Tesoro. It is a gold machine for prospecting for them gold nuggets and little pickers. The other detector is a Whites MXT. It can be used for gold prospecting also, but has the extra ability to also be used for relic hunting and for coins/jewelry.

I started out with the Super TRAQ. It will sound off on any metal it comes across. I started with it because I was told that the yard might have a lot of trashy stuff like pull tabs, nuts, bolts, screws, foil, and who knows what else. It did have LOTS of trash. So, I switched over to the MXT. With it I can tune out the trash. The MXT has a digital screen on it, that tells you what it sounds off on. There is a graph also that lets you know if it is iron, brass, nickel, dime, penny, quarter, or a ring.

Along the open parts of this huge yard (almost a full acre) between the fence on the west side and working my way east, I found pounds of scrap metal. There was so much that I could not go more than two feet in any direction. I found strips of sheet metal, wrought iron, flattened coffee cans (modern), bean cans with some of the labels still on them. I found pieces of a screen door with some of the wood still attached. And, of course, pull tabs.

As I was working my way further east, the owner showed up and I walked over and introduced myself. I thanked her for letting me detect the property. I found out that the house had burnt down once before some time in the '70's. At that time, the original homestead house had added on several rooms over the years and had been expanded over the dug out. The well that had originally been more in front of the place was now part of the front porch. 

When it caught fire back in the 1970's, a lot of the furnishings and collectibles from the 1800's were hauled off. Quite a few items were hauled to the dump. The house was scraped from its pad of concrete and the rubble was pushed over to the west side of the property, which would explain all of the scrap metal and stuff. I was also told that area had also been used as a trash area.

As I thanked her for the info, one of the last dump trucks moved from what would of been the front yard. The owner left and I started to work the front yard. After about 15 minutes or so, I got a good tone from the MXT. It said that it was a dime at about 3 inches down. I pinpointed the spot and dug a plug. In the plug was a dime. After a few more minutes, the MXT toned, this time it said penny, 4 inches down. I dug a plug and pulled out a penny. All told, I found about 40 some odd cents. All of the coins are from the 1970's.

As I moved closer to where the front porch was the MXT made a sweet tone, and it said nickel/ ring, 2 inches. I dug a plug, and sure enough, there sat a ring. Nothing fancy or valuable. It was too small for a man's ring, so it might be a woman's ring. It is silver in color, with a band around the outside that might be brass. And this brass, can be spun around the ring. Almost like two rings in one. I also found a small wrench.

All told, I spent 6 hours metal detecting. I picked up lots of trash and found some money and a ring and wrench. It was fun, and I got some good exercise. My knees were a bit sore. But hey, I learned that almost all of the good stuff had been hauled off by the people that lived there. And I learned some history of the place. I mean, can you imagine living there back when and working in your yard, then seeing Indians approaching, and you made your wife and kids get into this hole in the ground next to your home for protection? 

When you're metal detecting and you find stuff, it makes you wonder. What were the people doing when they lost the things we find years later? It would have been nice to have found something from the 1800's. I'm sure, at some point, I will. I'm hoping to find a gold coin one day. And, a diamond ring would be cool. My best find to date is a 14-karat gold pocket watch. But that is a story for some other time.

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