Research and the Legwork that goes with It
As you can see by reading this story I had quite an adventure to finalize some of my research. I had a wonderful time with Harry and we all did find some great finds.
See I have found alot of relics and coins in my time and the best time was watching someone else find there first mercury or 1700's relics. I get a thrill just watching you guys. I still remember my old hunting buddy Pete. I still hunt with him now and then. Well that guy had a knack finding alot of silver coins and large cents. One year he found over 350 silver coins if I remember right and this was only ten years ago. I have the knack finding colonial buttons. What do you have a knack of finding..?
Well like most people my time is very limited and so I try making the best of it so thatís where the Research comes is. Harry and I was out this past winter checking out possible sites we have found well researching at one time or another. This is where the Legwork comes in.
The first site we checked out was an old school house we found on old maps on the Internet. Cliff Owens a member of our club brought this site to our attention. This map dates back to 1871. Remember when you are reading these maps that alot of roads are changed and alot of the roads don't exists any more. They could be old farm roads the farmer uses when heís going from field to field. Don't get frustrated just take the time check the maps with the Topo Maps and Photographic Pictures (satellite pictures) and it saves you alot of time in the long run.
Well we checked out the old one room schoolhouse I found on the 1871 map. As we saw that the map did not match the road as it was on the topo map. So we followed the creeks because they were still the same as they were in 1871. We found the old school house but the school no longer exists. But what we did find that supports the school was there is that the old road into it was still there and the horse poles were still there too. As we looked around from the driveway of a house that is built 60 yards from the site. I went up to the door and knocked to try get permission. Well the owners were not there today so I have to try some other time.
The second site was another one room schoolhouse from the same map, but the difference on this site is I had an aerial lay out that I got from the computer from Cliff. Same as the other site it no longer exists. I tried to find the owner but could not. So Iíll try some other day.
Itís not always easy to get permission to get on a site because they might not be in when you are always there and even if you do get them it is no before you can say SHITÖha!
See asking for permission takes brass balls. Meaning it takes guts. Please always ask before detecting and donít assume itís okay. That just makes it that much harder for the rest of us to get permission. Iíve been at sites that would knock your socks off but because of someone there before did not ask for permission so now itís banned for the rest of us. This hurts all of us in the end.
Now Harry and I stopped at the old church and detected for an hour. Harry and I found nothing. So I said to Harry letís go on a field trip and Iíll show you some place I know and am just trying to get permission and they were never in.
So we drove down the road about 8 miles. We saw some of the loveliest countryside here in southern Indiana County. I can see why it has so much history here. If you saw this countryside you would see itís worth fighting for, and itís one of the most beautiful countryside Iíve ever traveled in my years of detecting. It is up there with New Hampshire and Maine.
When we got near the site of an early 1800ís stone farmhouse I said to Harry here it is up here on the right. Itís is one of the nicest stone farm house Iíve ever seen. It has two floors and has five or six bedrooms. A stone house of this size and the beautiful quality and in this area, its original owner must have been a very wealthy person in his time. Well in the front of the house you saw the original road that went in front of the house and still see the horse polls they use to tie there horses up and the watering troth near the front porch.
Now it was time to try get permission to hunt the property so I can stop dreaming about this place. Well I knocked on the door and a woman in her mid 60ís came to the door and before I could get it out she said no. Then I proceeded to talk to her more about her property and give each other information on the stone house. But she still said no because some years ago some men just went in there without asking and now this old stone house is off limits because of that. I may still try again sometime but Iíll make sure I get her a baked ham and maybe she will change her mind and if not then she knows there are some good detectorist still out there. I got this idea from Mike McLellan from North Carolina. It has opened doors for Mike in the past and one of these days is going to see if it will open some for me.
As we were leaving this made Harry feel sick because of not being allowed to hunt here, but most of all because a few people did not follow the code of ethics. This is why we are going to lose our rights. So PLEASE get permission.
The next place was 5 miles down the road and I started to tell Harry about the next place. The next place was another early 1800ís stone farmhouse. It sat about a hundred yards from a major highway, but it was sort of hard to see if you were not looking for it. So I took the other road to get to the farmhouse and I finally saw that there were cars there. Then I proceeded down the long and narrow road to the old farmhouse. I started to get out and then 2 of the biggest dogs you ever seen darted out from the woodwork.. Well they might not been the biggest but it sure did at the time. Ha!
Well a lady in her 40ís came out and she said they would not hurt me so I got out of the car and started talking to her about her wonderful place she had. She was very interested in what I was saying to her because her house meant so much to her and she was surprised I knew so much about her place. Then I asked her if it would be okay if Harry & I did some detecting around her place to see if we can find something from itís past and she was more than happy to let us in there and detect. So I thanked her so much and I said we would take well care of her property.
I went back to the car and said to Harry we had the okay to detect the property. So we got out our detectors and got started. We started to find some early wheaties. Then I pulled out what I thought was a gold ring at first turned out to be gold plated with a red stone in the middle with diamond looking stones around it. After I checked it out then I proceeded to the side of the house where Harry was hunting. I went over to Harry to see what he had found and he showed me an dog tag from the days and in the other hand was a 1936 mercury dime in very good condition. Then I went back detecting and Harry after five minutes Harry called me over and showed me this watch fob with the date 1904 Roosevelt railroad campaign tag. Man it was such a great find and a great piece of history. Just to think that Roosevelt was around this area during his 1904 campaign to Washington DC.
Well we ran out of time and had to leave. Before I go I went to see the owner and thank her for letting us detect her property. She said you are more than welcome to come back. Before I asked I showed her the things I found and she took 2 colonial buckles and the gold plated ring. The funny thing was the ring was her daughterís ring. I am sure she was glad to have it back.
Well getting permission you have to be nice and look respectable and know what you are talking about before you go knocking on there door. I know this takes practice and time. If you do all that work researching then take the time to get permission. Itís all worth it in the end.
As you see we did not find a lot of finds but what we did find was a good relics from our past. Plus most of all we met some wonderful people.
Keep your coil to the soil
Bill the Relic