Metal Detector Stories - 1884 Farm House
This story is compliments of Brian Shalosky
Thank you Brian for the great story and pictures
I drive by an old farmhouse everyday on my way to work. It is only about Ĺ mile away from my house so I knew it would be a convenient spot to detect. The owner of the property is a Doctor in my town and I saw an ad where he was going to auction off the house and the property. I drove over to the house and he was out feeding some cattle at the time so I approached him and introduced myself and asked if I could detect the yard. He said I could and told me to come and go as I please. His brother lives in the house so I went and talked with him and he was very nice and said it didnít matter when or how much I detect the yard. PerfectÖ..now the stage is all set.
My first trip to the property was on a Saturday morning and it was very cloudy and looked like rain. I started in the back yard and dug a couple of buttons, an old piece of a watch and then some odds and ends. Then my first good signal!!!! A Lincoln penny, all well at least itís a coin. I continued sweeping the back yard and came up with a few more pennies, a nickel and finally a wheat penny. I was on my last section next to some hedges when I got a nice clear blast in my headphones. I pinpointed and dug a nice 1961-D Silver Quarter. "Thatís more like it" I thought and continued with a few more wheat pennies, some more odds and ends and an old Case Pocket-knife. Then it started to rain. I moved around to the side of the house where I was sheltered under a big maple tree and found my first token. It was a token for .50 cents off of a purchase at an old general store that closed in the 40ís. The rain was coming down really hard now so I called it a morning.
It was another week before I could get back for my second trip to the house and I was eagerly waiting to get another chance at detecting this yard. I started around the tree where I left off and started working across the front of the yard. I got a choppy signal and had a problem locating my target. The ground was very root filled and made for a hard time digging. I kept pulling out dirt and no target. I use the method of putting all of my dirt I dig into a Frisbee to make things neat and easy to locate my targets. I finally ran my finger under a root and I felt my target. A Buffalo Nickel!!! This was only my second Buffalo ever so I was pretty happy. As I continued I found several wheat pennies, some modern clad, then I hit a hole with two wheat pennies, a dime, and another Buffalo Nickel. A few feet later yet a third Buffalo nickel. I couldnít believe it, three Buffalo nickels in one morning. The man who lived in the house came out and I talked with him for a while and he told me about an old tree that used to be in the front yard that was no longer there. I could see the hole where the great poplar tree he talked about once stood. I made a mental note of this for a later hunt, as I wanted to finish up this part of the front yard as I was on a role. He also told me about a farmhand who found a Barber Half dollar over by some other trees one day while he was mowing. He said the mower deck scraped the ground to uncover the Barber half. "What luck" I said, "I hope whoever dropped that coin dropped some more". He said good luck and excused himself and I went back to detecting. Several more wheat pennies, some more clad then I got my first Indian Head from this yard. It was a 1904 in great shape. I continued for a few more minutes then I had to go. I knew Iíd be back for sure after todayís finds.
My third trip was a very short one evening after work one day for about one hour. My second target was an 1899 V nickel!!!! This was my first V nickel and I was thrilled! After I pocketed this great keeper I hit another good target and it was my very first Mercury Dime, a 1943!!! WOW two firsts in one day. I found several more wheat pennies and a few more odds and ends. I finished up the little area I wanted to cover and by then it was too dark to hunt.
I decided to play hooky from work on a Wednesday and go Metal Detecting. I got to the yard about 6:30 am and started hunting the rest of the front yard. I was digging a lot of old metal odds and ends and a few more wheat pennies. After about 1 hour I hit silver again. This time it was a 1941 Mercury. Two feet away was another Token from the same store as the first token. I then went toward the hole where the Poplar tree used to be and got a few buttons one of which was silver-plated. Then I found something odd for the yard. Half of a Piece of 8!!!! Someone cut the Reale in half and used it as a necklace. This was a great find as itís my oldest coin to date. I know it goes back to the early 1800ís maybe even the late 1700ís. The date isnít readable so I guess Iíll never know. Three silver items in one morning was really great. I started to work a grid around where this old tree used to be and got another strong hit. A childís sterling silver ring!!! Very nice ring and my first one that was this small. I continued working my grid that I had laid out in my mind and got another good signal. I dug my plug and looked into the hole to see a little silver edge looking up at me. I pulled it up and it was an 1840 O seated half dime!!!!! The only flaw was a hole that someone punched into the coin to use it as a necklace charm. This is my first seated coin and my 5th piece of silver for the day. Next was a 1905 Indian Head, then a 1908 Indian Head, then a 1940 Silver quarter, then another 1943 Merc!!!! I was in heaven. What a honey hole this little area around this old tree depression turned out to be. I found a few more wheaties and very little trash. I could get used to this. My watch told me I was in trouble with the wife so I headed home for the day with a burning desire to get back to that yard as soon as possible.
I got back to the yard for a quick evening hunt one day coming home from work. I looked around the area that proved so prosperous before and managed to pull up a 1903 V Nickel. I found a few more buttons and a couple more wheat pennies. Time was up for this evening and I still have a lot of ground left in this yard for a few more future hunts. The clock was ticking and time was running out before the new owners took possession of the house. I wouldnít be able to get back to the yard for some time because I was in the process of buying a home and was trying to get it painted, clean, etc.
On the Sixth trip I managed to scan a side yard that turned up more trash than the rest of the yard. I only dug 13 cents in modern money and found another pocketknife. That makes the pocketknife total of 5. After today, I only have7 days left to hunt the rest of the yard.
Seventh and Final Trip:
I got to the site early in the morning to finish up all of the side yards on this final visit. I started out without much luck, a few buttons and some modern pennies and some more
pull-tabs. I wasnít getting very many targets and I was digging everything that I had a tone. I hit a very loud and long signal that I knew was something other than a coin. It was a small childís toy gun. Neat find. I like finding the old toys as I like to picture what the kid was doing or what distracted them and made them lose it. I then got a nice loud tone and got another silver plated button. Thatís 4 buttons like this for the yard. Next was a faint signal but a constant one. My 5th Mercury dime at about 5 inches. This proved to be the best find of this final day as the rest of the side yards turned up little trash and no treasures. Iím sure there are still a few goodies In the yard as no one can get everything the ground has hidden away. I just hope that someday Iíll come across another house that has as much to offer as this one did.
1 Half of a Reale
1 Seated Half Dime
3 Buffalo Nickels
2 V Nickels
3 IH pennies
4 Mercery Dimes
1 Rosie Dime
2 Silver Quarters