1772 Blockhouse



A friend of mine that lives in the great state of Illinois, tries to get a hold of me and emails me when heís coming back home to Western Pennsylvania, so that we can go out metal detecting. Dan & Rodger & I actually meet on the day after the holidays. Dan made arrangements to hunt a field that a farmer has found gold coins on this field after one of his plowings. So it sounded pretty good to Rodger & I to be able to hunt a field that produced gold coins. Well when we meet at the meeting place, Dan and his brother took us to the golden field and thatís whatís dreamís are made of.

When we got there and the owner came out to greet us and I guess soon as he saw us and must have thought we were not worthy to go hunting on his field, because he changed his mine on letting us on the field. He said he was leaving to go hunting on Monday and he would not feel right us hunting the field when he is not there. I said okay and thanks anyways.

I talked to Dan about where else are we going to hunt! I said thereís a very old site not to far from here and it was an Old Blockhouse and then there was a Gristmill and 1790ís house built there too. You think we will be able to find it? Then we were off to the old 1772 Blockhouse that was waiting for us. I just love metal detecting very Old Blockhouses and Old Forts. You just always know what kind of relics you are going to find. If you have hunted as many these sites as I have you would know some finds are always the usual finds, but just different variations of the relics and coins. And thereís always some surprises too.

Blockhouses were very vital way of life for survival. There were a lot of Indian raids here in the early days in the way of life here in Western Pennsylvania. They were used as resting areas when the British & American were on there Expeditions. Plus the other families that lived near them as a safe place during the Indian raids. This Blockhouse had gone through many Indian raids during its lifetime. We know through research that this had happen and one person was killed in one of these raids and many other lives were saved because of the Blockhouse.

When we arrived at the Old Blockhouse & Gristmill site, we saw the old stone house that was built in the late 1790ís. In front of us were the farm buildings on the side of us. This is a beautiful two story stone house. Just by looking at the stone house you could see the original owner had money to build a prestige home like this. Dan & I went towards where we heard people talking. We saw an elderly man coming out of the building then his son came out. We started talking about his cows and we heard they where checking on how many calves they were going to get in the spring. He asked us how we knew we said we talked to his other son down the road. He said they did very well because they have 42 out of 53 cows.

Now we started to talk about the Old Blockhouse and can we metal detect it. He said sure thing and he told us about the Old Gristmill that was built just after the Blockhouse was made. He said he thinks the Blockhouse was right next to it. Then we headed across the field and then down the field towards the two creeks that meet. With all my experience told me thatís were the Blockhouse was at. I saw stone foundations to the right of me and that was the Gristmill in my opinion.

We all started detecting and almost right away we were finding relics and then Dan called us over to show us his first British copper. We were all excited after seeing the beautiful and full detail 1770 King George copper that Dan found. Itís always nice finding these great coppers, and these coppers were almost lost soon as it was made. Then I started finding relics right away. I was detecting the old road that lead to the Blockhouse. Then I found a sew ax head , then other tool parts and other relics I did not know what some of them were after a little cleaning when I got home. Thatís why you never throw anything away until you know what the relics are.

Rodger found a beautiful British square pole hatchet from the periods of 1750ís to the 1780ís. Then I heard Dan calling me over and I knew what he found before I got there just by looking at his face. Yep he found another British copper. It was in the same condition as the first. Dan was on a roll now. This one was a 1772 King George British copper. He went from not ever finding any to find two in one day. Later Rodger came over to me and showed me a brass gun powder flask. Wow that is a wonderful find especially here in Western Pennsylvania just to find any of these finds we were finding.

A little later I got a great signal and I dug down about 10Ē then I started seeing some rust in the hole. Boy I just love seeing rust. It gets me going and some of your best relics are made of iron. Started digging deeper and making the hole bigger then a horse shoe popped out. Itís always nice to find a horse shoe. It may not be worth big bucks but it tells us the story about the person that lived there, and what they had and it is a big part of the history and that is a important piece of the puzzle we are trying it solve.

I heard Dan again and he had that look again. I just shook my head and laughed. Itís looking to me this is beginners luck at the relic hunting. Sure enough he found another one but this was a Queen Ann copper this time. The date on this one was 1724. Wow what a find. I saw Rodger again and he was just pulling out something out of a very deep hole. I looked at what Rodger just found and it looked to me it was a smelting box for making lead musket balls. They would put the hot coals from the fire in the smelting box and then melt the lead in the ladle that was used. Wow what a great find and it still had some charcoal still in it. I wonder how it lasted all this time. Was it because of the clay dirt, or was it because of the rocks on top of it. Well we will never know that answer but we can at least wonder.

Yes you guessed it Dan found another two coppers and he found three buttons from 1760ís to 1770ís. Plus one was silver plated. This was Danís day he will never forget. Well neither will Rodger & I ever forget too. You never forget any British coppers you find here in Western Pennsylvania. These coppers are really scarce and they come with a lot of hard work. Research pays off in do time. Just keep at it.

Dan found his first colonial coat buttons. Two had designs on then and one was silver plated, and there other was a German silver button. The finds just kept coming, but in as iron relics. I was okay with iron relics as Rodger was too. Iron relics can be worth a lot of money depending what relics they are. Like axe heads, Hatchets, Tool parts, Padlocks, Cannonballs, Artillery hook & chains, Some gun parts, ect.

We had a wonderful time playing around the old Blockhouse & Gristmill. Not all the time you find places like these and with the amount of great relic finds and not to forget the British King George & Queen Ann coppers. I hope you try your luck finding these wonderful Blockhouses, Gristmills, Old Colonial stone houses, and Forts. I bet you will have a blast.

Donít wait too long because they are disappearing very quickly and others are hunting them too. So you better get out there and maybe you will see me out there with my Shadow x2 & x3. Donít get discourage about others being there before you, because this site was hunted by many others before us, and look what we found. And I know there are a lot more relics and coppers to be found on the next trip. You can bet I will be back there soon as I can. Until then I can keep dreaming about my next visit to the long lost and forgotten Blockhouse Take care and God Bless America.

Keep Your Coil To The Soil Bill(Pittsburgh,pa)

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