2011 American Digger Sampler
Highlights of American Digger Magazine, Jan-Dec 2011 (Vol 7, Issues 1-6).
American Digger Magazine for Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage Vol. 7 American Digger American Digger American Digger Vol. 7 Magazine for Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage Issue 2 An Issue 1 Magazine for Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage 1840s Medal Vol. 7 Magazine for Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage Issue 3 Metal Detecting At An Alaskan Gold Mining Camp A Participant's View of Diggin' In Virginia XV How Do National Parks Keep Track Of Artifacts? Reveals Forgotten Horticultural Society Civil War Diggers Create Their Own Confederate Bullets Battlefield Park Deaf & Of The NC Blind Institute Finding Gold Coins Presents Varied The Many A Big Mystery Of Treasures Northeast Florida New Jersey Fossil Dig WWI Camp Is Defies Death A Wonderland Of Buttons Relic Hunter Captures Buckle Dig On Video Fortune Cookie Foretells The Dig Of A LIfetime Relic Hunting Octogenarian Still Digging Digging WWII Relics Can Be Frightening Progress Opens Windows Into The Civil War Indian War Token Reveals Colorful Western History Factory Reps Put New Detectors Through Paces Young Relic Hunter Has A Birthday To Remember American Digger On The Road Visits New York Exciting Finds Are Not Always What They Seem www.americandigger.com March-April 2011 $6.95 USA Arrowhead Hunting Trip Changes A Life Push Knives Fool Many Collectors www.americandigger.com Jan-Feb 2011 $6.95 USA www.americandigger.com May-June 2011 $6.95 USA Vol. 7 American Digger American Digger American Digger Magazine for Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage Issue 4 Vol. 7 Magazine for Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage Issue 5 Vol. 7 Magazine for Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage Issue 6 Indian Dugouts Surface During Florida Drought Granddad Shows Grandkids How To Dig A Buckle First Timer Reports On DIV XVII Hunt Teamwork At A Mexican War Site Yields New Info Successful Gold Prospecting In California 1800s Coins Pose Mystery In Tennessee www.americandigger.com US Civil War Weapons In Mexico Old Bottles Beneath The Waves River Ford Still Gives Up Relics Seven Year-Old Finds A 150 Year-Old Sword Interview With Digging Legend Dennis Cox Relic Reminder Of Those Who Fought WW II July-August 2011 $6.95 USA www.americandigger.com A Washington Button In New Jersey Coin Hunting, Relic Finding In Missouri Documenting Finds For Future Generations Metal Detecting Yields Cache Of Old Glass Mystery Sites That Aren't On The Maps Marriage Creates A New Metal Detecting Partner A Study of Confederate Scabbard Tips September-October 2011 www.americandigger.com $6.95 USA November-December 2011 $6.95 USA www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com All Terrain Power TM TM PN 1140461--MSRP $699.95 Garrett's All Terrain solution for the serious relic hunter. plus 4 FREE Accessories! The AT Pro now includes added stability from new shaft camlocks (Above) Relic hunter Vance G. from Texas with an eagle button he has just recovered with his AT Pro. (Below) the site of a 1800s buffalo hunters camp. ...and these bonus items: AT Pro control panel Serious features for serious searchers! Two detectors in one: choose from Standard or Professional Audio Modes High-Resolution Iron Discrimination: 40 levels to separate good targets from trash Exclusive DD coil design extended scan area provides excellent target separation Iron AudioTM Feature: recognize iron targets with distinctive audio Higher frequency (15 kHz) for locating smaller, thin targets Digital Target ID to more precisely identify one target from another Ground Balance: Manual or Automatic Light weight: 1.4 kg Bob F. found this 14k gold ring with 49 Land Headphones included diamonds in a swimming area at a lake with his Garrett AT Pro. AT Pro Camo Cap Carry additional detector, digging tools, food, and weight yet very durable material. Velcro tie-downs help secure additional detectors or digging tools. Garrett Detectorist's Backpack Relic Quest book Watch AT Pro Video Library Garrett Online DD Searchcoil Cover 24/7 Anytime, Anywhere Access FromVisit Garrett's video library at garrett.com to watch these the Field and other relics being Detecting Videos recovered with the AT Pro. Savings $10780 * Fits the AT Pro standard 8.5"x11" DD searchcoil to protect your investment. Tips and techniques from dozens of successful relic hunters. More than 1,000 color photos. 532 pgs. Optional waterproof headphones shown SubScribe to the Garrett channel www.youtube.com/garrettdetectors * Savings based on total cost of items if purchased separately. Special offer valid from October 1 to December 31, 2011 at participating U.S. domestic dealers only. You could earn a FREE (U.S. & Canada) Since 2009, Vaughan Garrett has selected his Favorite Find of the Month from Garrett customer MADE IN testimonials submitted electronically to www.garrett.com. Log on today for details. THE USA 800-527-4011 PRO-POINTER � For more information and to nd Magazine Sampler 0 American Digger your local Garrett dealer contact: 800-527-4011 (U.S. & Canada) A Wholesale Metal Detecting Distributor A Wholesale Metal Detecting Distributor Doing Business With Businesses Since 1977 Doing Business With Businesses Since 1977 Only a Multi-Line Dealer Only a Multi-Line Dealer Can Give The Customer Can Give The Customer A True Choice... A True Choice... We Give You We Give You That Choice! That Choice! Call For Your Nearest Dealer Call For Your NearestDealer or Dealership Information or Dealership Information The happiest customers are those able to try several metal detector brands The happiest customers are those able to try several metal detector brands before buying. If your dealership is handling only one or two lines, your clients before buying. If your dealership is handling only one or two lines, your clients are not getting the choice they deserve. Outdoor Outfitters believes that the are not getting the choice they deserve. Outdoor Outfitters believes that the customer should have every opportunity to view, handle, and test a greater customer should have every opportunity to view, handle, and test a greater variety of products. Become a multi-line dealer and let them find the unit they variety of products. Become a multi-line dealer and let them find the unit they need without ever leaving your establishment! Create better customer service need without ever leaving your establishment! Create better customer service through a complete selection and watch the sales increase and referrals grow. through a complete selection and watch the sales increase and referrals grow. We have the distribution power and the methodology to expand your business. We have the distribution power and the methodology to expand your business. Join our growing network of multiline dealers and give your customers every Join our growing network of multiline dealers and give your customers every opportunity to become better detectorists. opportunity to become better detectorists. Click here for more Dealers pleaseinfo! visit: Dealers please visit: www.outdoorout.com www.outdoorout.com 1-800-558-2020 1-800-558-2020 824 N. Hartwell Ave 824 N. Hartwell Ave Waukesha, WI 53186 Waukesha, WI 53186 www.americandigger.com Welcome to the 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler A note from the publisher Dear reader, Welcome back! Our 2010 online sampler proved exceptionally popular, and we expect this 2011 version to be even more widely received. Once again free online, we have not only selected features, columns, and finds from the 2011 year, Volume 7, Issues1-6, but also added more pages and extra features found in each print issue of American Digger Magazine. You'll also notice even more interactive hyperlinks than before, shown as a blue outlined box with drop shadows. Please click these and enjoy the many places they take you. If it is an advertiser's link, please support them by not only clicking the hyperlinks, but also by utilizing their products and services whenever possible. It is because of them that we are able to bring this to you at no charge. Above all, tell them you saw it in American Digger Magazine. Help them to help us to help you! In this 2011 Sampler, our goal was not to bring you the most spectacular finds, or best written articles, but rather an average sampling of what was seen in last year's American Digger Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 1-6. If you have not read our publication before in its hard copy bi-monthly form, we hope this gives you a taste of what you are missing. If you are a reader or subscriber of our magazine, we hope this helps bridge the gap between a hard copy magazine and an online version. We certainly feel that, at the least, you'll enjoy this recap of American Digger Magazine, 2011, in full color and free online. For the past 7 years American Digger Magazine has brought you the best in relics, bottles, coins, arrowheads, fossils, and more in high quality print form, and we intend to continue doing so. To satisfy online demand, our intention is to put an annual sampler online every year as long as the demand is there. From what we've seen and from what you've told us, the demand will only get stronger. We also have included here an index of all articles published in 2011 by American Digger Magazine. If you would like to read any of these articles not included here, please click the links given to order a particular back issue. You may also call 770-362-8671 or visit www.americandigger.com. Note that back issues often sell out, so we suggest you order as soon as you find the issue (s) that you desire. If an issue is sold out, don't despair! We also offer our entire archives on CD. Just remember this is but a fraction of the quality reading that in in American Digger Magazine each year. In 2011 there were well over 50 full length articles, 30+ regular columns, and hundreds of Just Dug (or found) items. If you really want to experience the hobby magazine America is talking about, we suggest you subscribe and have each issue delivered to your home or office. If you like digging, collecting, or just keeping abreast with artifacts, you won't be sorry! Regards, Butch Holcombe. Publisher American Digger Magazine 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler Dennis Nunnery, Tennessee Who Reads American Digger? A person who carries on the traditions of America's past; who has the patience to do it right but the ambition to make sure it is done. Someone who keeps history alive. You read American Digger... don't you? American Digger Magazine For Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage PO Box 126 Acworth, GA 30101 770-362-8671 Click Here To Find Out More! $3495/One Year or $67/Two years Continental USA, prices higher elsewhere (above prices subject to change) americandigger.com www.americandigger.com encouragement. O they kept more ex to include recordin artifact. That was as it was too late, I coordinates for eac The main objec housekeeping was that they could co That is followed by a general the next owner. A description of the site and point information about artifacts.COLOR 23 that has alrea likely still be Thank My Lucky Stars! - By Michael Wheless Pg. 26 most families may What does a fortune cookie and the best metal detecting day imaginable have Our in common? A lot, if you are this author. collecting and sup not likely qualified DIV (XVII) and Me - By Linda Erickson or know how to d Pg. 34 If you have ever attended a Diggin' In Virginia relic hunt, you will recall come. As such, ge the fun. If you haven't attended, this article will tell you what to expect. something only I c without basic info Saving the Best for Last - By Beau Ouimette Pg. 40 The author had been hunting the site for many years. Just when he thought it was almost hunted out, along came the best find yet. American Digger 0 Sampler For each site I recorded location coordinates and directions along with a map section showing the terrain. For Diggers and Collectors Of America's Heritage Even the more "modern" coins were exciting finds, as shown above by these post-Civil War dates. DocumentingNeil Watson, Infantry dug by History - By G. M. "Doc" two-piece buckle recovered Watson Mike is just NY cuff the job. by Dan Lawson. These are Digging an artifact Palmer, part of found by Documenting it properly Mike Harvey, and PA dug by appropriately called the for future generations is just as important. Here is one way to do it. Michael Bennett. "Brandy Station" pattern. US Artillery button found by Tongue portion of a CS Dave Beer hunted a North Carolina camp on the property, and among the relics he recovered were a NC button "A week later I returned to the site and quickly located the and rare .69 Nessler bullet. mud. Before long, I targets that were buried in the heavy May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 23 found here was a rare 1802 U.S. Domestic No. 6 1794." One thetags may have been issued to slave Large Cent error coin. On the back ory, although disputed by most, is owners in the late 1700s, an auof the coin is the fraction of 1/000 that it could be a Savannah slave thentic one has never been examinstead of 1/100. This coin is very tag from the 1700s. Although City ined, if indeed they do exist. valuable and highly sought by of Savannah records hint that such Another theory is that it may collectors. Another good be a fire insurance house find was a Revolutionary tag (often called a "fire War British 16th Regiment mark") used by early fire of Foot button. This regidepartments or insurance ment of British soldiers companies to show if fire was here in 1778 and 1779 protection had been paid for the capture, siege, and on a home. It could also battle of Savannah. The be a taxation tag for a carpewter one-piece button riage, a wagon, or even is in excellent shape and an animal, such as a dog, is also highly desirable. horse, or cow. We may A mystery relic was never know what it truly also found which has peois, but it sure stirs up a lot ple guessing and specuof conversation with relic One of the best finds was this 1802 lating on its purpose. The hunters and collectors. Large Cent error coin. Note the fracoval brass tag mentioned There would be several tion is "1/000" instead of 1/100. previously reads "C.S. other days left to hunt this Photo by Dave Beer Pg. 46 Sharing The Wealth display it proudly in The Digging a goldhotel for people to find. We never stayed around to watch gold and Sharing our home and 52share coin? Nice. Digging a high denomination cherish Pg. will anyone scratch off the tickets, but I expect that at least a the wonderful experience of our first DIV hunt with friends, coin? Very Nice. Digging 13 gold coins with your son? Priceless! WealTh 50 American Digger Magazine - By David Lee had uncovered a nearly complete Civil War poncho..." Patty Edwards' British buttons and sash buckle. __________ Uncle Johnny did his best to get the kids excited about arrowheads. Now, years later, one nephew still carries the torch. Photo by Beau Ouimette The lot seemed to have good potential because there were quite a few pieces of broken ceramics and oyster shells mixed in along with the rubble from the original 1800s home. I im- should have been the find of a lifetime, but many more would follow before the author was finished at the site. Pg. 78 three miles I checked to see if it was still there, and even moved it to the passenger seat so I could see it and touch it easier a ritual repeated many times before arriving home. The Wreck of the H.M.S. Oregon rested, pulled out three One Reales stuck together! That got me out the boat and back to hunting. Seeing something as odd as the trio of Reales stuck together reminded me of an odd silver find I'd recently made. A good friend, Bob Spratley, had generously put me on a hot spot. Twenty minutes into the hunt, I heard a good signal. Digging through the sand and shells, I pulled out a One Reale. Rechecking the pile, I found a very small piece of silver. Back at home, I cleaned it up. I was stunned to see a cross on it! Checking the book Cobs, Pieces of Eight, and Treasure Coins, by Sewall Menzel, there it was: a very rare Quarter Reale! Pg. 84 les and ide be rm, toded shup. dig ole, ighad during the three day hunt he dug in an artillery impact 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler area on the 4000+ acres. included a Virginia button. On Our freelance writers are the best in the industry! Want to write for Finds made by Beau OuimettehereJoel Koren holds a Shenkle shell American Digger? Click for writer guidelines. holds a musket ball and hat she had just dug. _________ There were some good CS relics to find if one was willing to walk hard. Brian Jones was willing. e r a day soon afterwards, Robann, Patty Edwards, June Downing, Richard Downing, and myself headed to a different Spanish and British military camp site. Again, I was tying down the boat while everyone else began detecting in the woods. Moments later, I heard - By Captain Dan Berg Thirty-two miles from Freeport, NY lies a wealth of 1880s bottles, china, and other artifacts. The only catch? It's 130 feet below the surface. 38 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 38 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 11 Late 1700s cuff links and broken shoe/knee buckles found by Robann. Pg. 72 March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 35 March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 35 Patty yelling. My first thought was she had found a rattlesnake or wild hog. Instead, it turned out that she had dug a very nice civilian British buckle, then seconds later, a 16th Regiment British Infantry button. Amazingly, the pewter button had remained in remarkably good condition despite the harsh Florida conditions. Later research revealed that the 16th British Infantry had arrived in Pensacola, Florida in 1767, and took part in actions at Baton Rouge, LA, Port Royal Island and Cowpens, SC before returning to England in 1782. family, and our local club members. If you've not had the opportunity to participate exciTing hunt and are passionate WhaT'S more in a DIV Than finding your event The New Jersey Death Dig - By Glenn Harbour about relic hunting, this is an firST not to be missed. gold cache? ay artifacts millions of years old can be a relaxing and the red dirt or by being a newbie 3 brought exhausted diggers and more finds. Don't be intimidated by Sharing ThaT Sometimes recovering The best part of the day was seeing all the amazing to the hunt, exciTemenT WiTh your Son.hunters to be very for we found the veteran easy way to spend a day. people had found and can be stressful and dangerous. By david lee the opportunity again, relics Other times, it displayed at the hunt welcoming and helpful. If given Towns and go mediately the headquarters while we all enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch. would I participate inlifecities across the countrysur- hunt? began swinging my detector, anticipatingthat Absolutely! through a another DIV cycle. Some manage to possibilities. It was slow going and after an hour all an Indian And then, way too soon, it was California over. After nearly 4,000vive and thriveof driving, however,was iron, cans,wrong, theIHead cent, and aartifacts fr miles while others disappear. had surfaced Pictures of were good next time coins the Many have a long history and, as expected, Barber dime. Don't get me American Digger on the Road: treasures packed in the-car, John we'll fly. life cycle includes birth, growth, prosperity, de- finds but I always hope for something "special." By Velke their Sunday morning, with our think terioration, abandonment, and rebirth. This is a story As I headed for the car, I kept my headphones on site complete the entr about detecting in a 250-year-old town along the Delaand scanned the lot along the way. I heard a faint sigThe Mojave Desert is beautiful, but Our experience at DIV was a we headed west for 26 hours. here's also the probability that ware River that had great periods of prosperity. Those nal, and even though I was very tired, I began to dig. years are long gone. There is little evidence of its forI went over the eight inch deep hole but got no signal. mer thriving shipbuilding, iron pile dirt to the side I saw everything we expected and more. Before I bug that's visitor intent on prospecting there will catch aleft home for hard to shake.manufacturing industry,building, and even Glancing at the gold.ofThe possibility ofofathe hole,being a industry, clothiers, gristmills, buggy the glimmer of target hat making. Streets are lined with vacant houses and gold coin is so unlikely that, even when the detectorDIV, I decided that even if I didn't find a single relic, the buildings. Hundreds of empty lots are filled with trash. ist staring one, really doesn't set right away, The business tax base left long ago so redevelopment and was the the About The Author isthataroundatthecaseitwith me. Iitbrushedinawaystareddirt experience itself would be worth the money spent, the comes slowly, if at coin, picked up and just at Chasing Thehours on the road, and the vacation days used. We had the- By Jimmy Ericksonall.and her husband, Ron,November-December 2011 Treasures Of Northeast Florida Koenig these forgotten East When I'm not detecting elsewhere, it. I flipped it over back and forth. It was Linda I sometimes visit have the size of a quarshiny gold and about Coast towns. used detect ter. But still it didn't really sink in. been metal Ilots buttothe trashthe together for 18 years I read, "UNITED STATES opportunity to meet some more people in the hobby. The coast of Florida offers much awesometo treasure hunters than just just toodetectingabandoned vacant signals Only after were much to handle. Now I OF AMERICA TEN D," did it fully It was an honor and a privilege to beSpanish wrecksin the USA.lots that have recently been able to hunt look for They are now beginning to hit me. And it hit me hard. I stood plan modern beach jewelry to detect and offshore to dive. by the city or by a private bulldozed there in disbelief. It was an 1899 developer.big adventure: November I came gold Eagle, my first. the Beauregard Farm. Although our case of relics is not their nextlotInbeing cleared2009workers. their first metal does crazy things to people across a by Gold They said the site would be used to build and I was no exception. I looked over as impressive as some and does not contain the more detecting given the OK low-income housing. I wastrip to England. my shoulder as I returned to the car. I put Just A Smallspectacular relics By John T.veteran hunters, we will Spark - found by the Anderson to detect on the weekends when they the coin in the front seat cup holder were not working on the lot. This 1899 $10 gold Eagle coin and headed for home. Every two or few finders were excited with the $5,000 "winning" lottery ticket they'd just found. D T Pg. 56 with a sizable chunk of rubberized material attached. I swept the hole and, sure enough, there were still multiple targets all around. Having learned my lesson when I hurried the dig and broke the saber bayonet, I decided to wait a few days and let the water recede a little and clear up a bit. I'm glad I did. A week later I returned to the site and quickly located the targets that were buried in the heavy mud. Before long, I had uncovered a nearly complete Civil War poncho! After carefully cleaning it and drying it out, the material is very well preserved and remains supple. It even has small melted areas on it where it appears the soldier may have stood a bit too close to a fire. I then met a fellow digger online, Mike Palmer, and he asked me if he could tag along on one of my water hunts. Up to that time I had been having pretty good luck at the The author holds up a US box plate he had just found. Note the lack of patina, a common phenomenon with some underwater finds. Some of the plates found here are shown lying on the recovered poncho in the large photo above. ford and battle site and decided to take him there. I still have my extra White's Surfmaster II water machine to loan out for just such occasions. I handed him the machine and after a quick explanation of the controls, off we went. Barely five minutes into the hunt, he pulled up his first water find, a beautiful shot Enfield bullet. He quickly added several more to his pouch and even found a complete lead base cup to a Dyer artillery shell. Not to be outdone, I found a handful of bullets and a US belt plate that day. Our next trip together to the spot was even better. My first really cool find that day was a shiny US box plate. It had almost no patina on it and looked to be in nearly "as issued" condition. After a quick high-five we continued hunting. It was only a few minutes later that I got a loud signal from named Bonanza Gulch, hit pay-dirt when they discovered prospecting, park hunting, and seeded hunts. If you live or a large quantity of gold. I was hoping that they, and the visit Southern California, look them up. You won't find many who have worked that area since then, had left a better hospitality than what this club has to offer. little gold for us to find. Next stop was the Walt In California any indiBickel Gold Camp, located vidual can make a claim for a short distance from the mineral rights on BLM (BuBurro Schmidt tunnel. Both reau of Land Management) locations helped get me in Photo by property for up to 20 acres. the mood to look for gold. In Groups, like the treasure 1906 William Henry "Burro" hunting club I was with, can Schmidt started digging a claim mining rights on pargold mine on the north face cels of up to 160 acres. One of Cooper Mountain. No one thing I did not know or realnow living really knows if he ize is that a "claim" is only kept digging because he was a claim for the mining rights following a vein of gold, or if of the property. The owner(s) he just reached a certain point of a claim have no right to and then decided to go ahead fence, barricade, build, or aland dig all the way through ter the landscape in any way. the mountain, thereby giving This 3� oz. gold nugget was recently him a short-cut to the nearest A claim owner can't bar another person from crossing found by Dan Anderson while dredging town. It took him 38 years, near Bagby, CA. Holding this nugget or being on the property. by himself, without benefit The only legally enforceable will make any prospector's hand shake. of heavy machinery, to dig September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine 39 Vol. 7, Issue 4 Pg. 64 Ran Hundley American D-Mail..........8 Just Dug......................10 Q&A..........................22 Stumpt.............................24 News-n-Views.................90 Product/Book Reviews....92 The Savage Facts...........96 The Hole Truth............98 Publisher Founded in 2004 by those that love the hobby American Digger Butch Holcombe Anita Holcombe Bob Roach Marketing Director Marketing Assistant Editorial Assistants Copy Editors Teresa Harris Eric Garland Photographer/Consultant Webmaster Charles S. Harris Pat Smith Consultants Wylene Holcombe John Velke Dwayne Anderson Barry Banks. Dennis Cox, Howard Crouch, William Leigh III, Jack Masters, Jack Melton, Mike O'Donnell, Ric Savage, Mike Singer, Bob Spratley. Accountant Sandy Edwards American Digger (ISSN# -) published bi-monthly by Greybird Publishing , PO Box , Acworth, GA 00. (0) -8. "To promote the responsible excavation and collecting of all artifacts related to America." Our Mission: Six covers of six issues of America's magazine for diggers and collectors, American Digger! In each and every issue you'll find a wealth of artifacts recovered and collected by folks just like you. Arrowheads, Civil War relics, Colonial items, bottles, coins, fossils, meteorites and so much more. We hope this complimentary online sampler gives you a better idea of what we are all about. Call us at 770362-8671 or visit us online to make sure you never miss another issue! Cover Photo Periodical postage paid at Acworth, GA and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: American Digger Magazine, P O Box 126, Acworth, GA 30101 We respect our readers' privacy, and never sell, rent, or publicize subscribers' names or addresses. Yearly subscriptions USA, $34.95 Canada, $54.95; Europe $74.95 Mail subscription payment to: American Digger Magazine PO Box 126 Acworth, GA 30101 Or pay online at: www.americandigger.com Phone orders also welcome using most major credit cards: (0) -8 No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. American Digger has no affiliation with any hobby groups or websites other than our own. While we strive for accuracy, American Digger cannot be held liable for inadvertent misrepresentation. Reader submissions are encouraged, and you may write or visit our website for guidelines. E-mailed submissions should be sent to email@example.com. We reserve the right to reprint photos and text as needed. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence to American Digger is subject to publication We strongly oppose illegal recovery and wanton destruction of artifacts. Please dig responsibly. Our hobby depends on it! � 0 www.americandigger.com Digging Through Our Mail Box... Got aacomment or question? Write or e-mail us! Got comment or question? Write or e-mail us! Have a for a A friend of mine is lookingHeartmetal detector and The very day after I read the D-Mail letter about "Heel wears a pacemaker. Have you ever heard of any Plate Mysteries" (Americanhe shouldVol aware of? I interference or dangers that Digger be 6, Issue 4) dug upMerritt Kevin an identical one with a heart on it! I do not live in an area where troops would pass through � in Richland, VA fact, I dug it in a hay field far 1) away from any houses (Originally published in Vol 7, Issue or a population center. My idea is that it was lost by a little girl out playingandthe field here farCentral MasExcellent question, in one that is in beyond our sachusetts. This directed your inquiry towoman's shoe expertise. So we theory of a "business" several major doesn't make sense to me. Roads here were often mud detector manufacturers, and received replies from both and rocks, notof Garrett Detectors and Mike Scott of Steve Moore sand! Erin Stevens First Texas Products stating that they are unaware Barre, MA of any complications or interference concerning Keeping Pace American D-Mail American D-Mail Digging Through Our Mail Box... Beepin ' Steve Meinzer using their products with a pacemaker. Steve Moore "Silhouette" heel"We (at includ- have done a great explains further, plates, Garrett) ing of research on this. at right) levels of a hobby bit hearts (see photo The energy continue to confound diggers, and will not affect a metal detector are relatively low with numerous theories on their field is concentrated pacemaker. The electromagnetic use. While search coil and the(if around the we feel that most long distance between not all) were not intended to repthe search coil and pacemaker provides a significant resent Corps badge Ed. margin of safety." - emblems (as once thought), the true purpose of the designs remain a mystery. Detectorists To The Rescue Overall, we here at American Digger believe that all On February , 0 went were beach decorative. of these, including theIheart, to the merelyaround 0 AM. I packed up to leave around indeed used them While "working girls" may have AM and walkedto to my car. Once I sat in the sand," it I also likely that advertise, via "heartsdown in the car, isnoticed I didn't have females wore ring with no ill back down to the manymy engagementthemon! I walked intentions whatbeach to tell the lifeguard, the what happened. I was a soever. Compare them to Jose,stiletto heeled shoes of mess! while some "shady" ladies where I was sitting today: He calmly helped me to find wear them as "adand said he would get a number for a wear them as vertising," other more innocent womenmetal detector man he than Jim Berry. Ed. no moreknew, a fashion.- Jose found the number and let me use his phone to call him. Unfortunately, Mr. Berry was at the airport to leave town for the weekend, but told me he would look for it when he got back on Keeping Pace Monday. I mine is looking for a Gerry, and told him A friend ofthen called my fiance, metal detector and what a pacemaker. Have his ever heard Saint, who wearshappened. He called you friend, Jackof any interalso has a dangers that he should busy but gave ference ormetal detector. Jack wasbe aware of? Gerry Jim Sharp's phone number, who was available. I sat on Kevin Merritt the beach VA Richland,marking the spot where I had sat, awaiting Jim's and Gerry's arrival. Jim found me and came over to start looking with and one that Within a minute, Excellent question, his equipment.is far beyond our he'd found my white gold, three diamond, engagement expertise. So we directed your inquiry to several major ring! I hugged and kissed him and felt that I had known 4 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Many him my whole life. He's an angel! Issue 1 thanks to 8 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler "He thinks you're after his bones." Jack and manufacturers, and received that is from detector Jim for helping me find the ring replies so close to my heart; to my fiance, Gerry, and Mike Scott both Steve Moore of Garrett Detectorsfor his kindness and patience; Products stating that they his help. I of First Texasand to Jose the lifeguard forare unaware love you guys! of any complications or interference concerning Irene their products with a pacemaker. Steve Moore using Sobrino Palm Beach, FL explains further, "We (at Garrett) have done a great (Originally published bit of research on in Vol 7, Issue 2) this. The energy levels of a hobby metal detector are relatively low and will not affect a We are certainly thrilled that Jose had the foresight to pacemaker. The electromagnetic field is concentrated recommend a metal detectorist. He knows what much around the search coil and the long distance between of society coil to pacemaker provides significant the searchseemsandignore: the majority ofadetectorists are eager safety." - Ed. margin of to help when needed. It is sad that, with such good deeds, more and more anti-detecting ordinances and "No metal detectors allowed" signs are showing up, even at the beaches.-Ed Prospecting & Detecting Maps WWW. GOLDMAPS GOLDMAPS Prospecting & Detecting Maps WWW. .COM Eastern States & Calif. .COM (321) 783-4595 Eastern States & Calif. (321) 783-4595 I`ve been detecting quite a bit lately, trying to find one of the Spanish treasure ships and have located an area that's paying off. I'm not a spring chicken; arthritis and bursitis have been giving me fits in my shoulder. Today I saw my doctor, who told me I had a torn rotator cuff. Now, how do you tear your rotator cuff swinging a metal detector? So, I posed that question to him. Unfortunately, I cannot give you his response, as military doctors have no bedside manners, but it was both funny and shocking. Worst of all were all the cortisone shots in the joint. He told me to go home and pack it in ice, but instead I am packing my bags, heading south for a long weekend of detecting, as the pain is now gone. Please don't tell my doctor. Bob Spratley Middleburg, Florida (Originally published in Vol 7, Issue 3) Our lips are sealed. Please send the treasure ship's GPS coordinates to ensure that they remain sealed.-Ed In the Just Dug section of the last issue (American Digger Volume 7, Issue 4) there is an Indian artifact noted as coming from the Hiwassee River in Bradley County, Tennessee. That river is a historical site; you will be harassed by police or TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency) for just walking down the river bank with your head looking down. God forbid they see you pick up anything. I know one guy who was fishing the river bank, spotted a projectile point, then picked it up. A TWRA officer saw him pick something up and came over to check his fishing license. He then did a search and found the arrowhead. They (law enforcement) then went to his house and seized his entire collection under the assumption that all his relics were from that same area. Daniel Teague Riceville, Tennessee (Originally published in Vol 7, Issue 5) (Not) What the Doctor Ordered Tennessee Hunters Beware field in now-protected areas with Grandpa or Dad picking up arrowheads? We also are confused as to why wildlife personnel are responsible for the enforcement of such laws. As to the confiscation of relics presumed (but not proven) to have come from protected lands, we thought our laws assumed innocence until guilt was proven. As this right is granted to suspected murderers and rapists, we figured it also applied to relic hunters. Silly us. - Ed Ed is Dead...Long Live AD Although the artifact in question was actually noted as only being found near the river, we should have explained that was merely a point of reference. It was actually found on private property (legally, with the owner's permission) a considerable distance from the protected area. This gives us an opportunity to lament what is happening to our once noble hobby. It seems sad that it has become illegal to pick up an artifact from the surface of publicly owned property. How many people, including professional archeologists and those who helped pass the laws, got their interest in the past by walking along a stream or Be a part of our bimonthly publication... click here and send us a D-Mail! Boy, do I feel dumb! I've been trying to figure out who this "Ed" is who answers your D-Mails, even looking for someone by that name on your masthead, and it just occurred to me: it's short for "Editor." Right? Phil Ley Albany, OH (Originally published in Vol 7, Issue 6) Fret not, Phil! We are asked that question often, and because of the confusion, we will now officially announce that we have killed off Ed. Note the new signature as of this email. But please, no one ask us why there isn't a person by the name of "Ad" on our staff! - AD www.americandigger.com Just Dug Here's what our readers are finding... : Lamar White was detecting a yard in Ringgold, Georgia when he found this item. The copper token is from the early 1900s and was one of a multitude of good luck tokens distributed by private businesses. Note the swastika, which was a popular symbol of good luck until it was corrupted by the Nazi party in the early 1930s. Photos by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 1) Robert Averella eyeballed this unusual and scarce Native American tool while searching for arrowheads in the Sequatchie Valley of Tennessee. Known as an adelaide, these hollow stones assisted in spear and dart throwing. This one is about three inches long. Photos by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 1) Terry Watson was metal detecting in the vicinity of Chickamauga, Georgia when he recovered relics representing both sides of the Civil War. Shown are a US cartridge box plate and a Confederate Leach and Rigdon spur. Both were found in the same hole. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 1) Pike Limehouse and Cecil Hopper were hunting a trashy site in Dorchester County, South Carolina when they found these relics. Pike dug the two slave tags (an 1839 Porter and 1840 Servant) while Cecil recovered the locally manufactured 1850-60 era South Carolina Militia button. All three pieces were dug within 20 feet of each other. Photo by Cecil Hopper (Vol 7, Issue 1) 0 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler Over 400 Just Dug artifacts appeared in our 2011 issues! Click here to see more. Kenny Rogers was relic hunting at Fort Powhatan, Virginia and came across a previously unearthed hut site. Thinking that more might be in the hole, he dug down and found these three Civil War inkwells. One is gray pottery, while the other two are "snap case" styles. This type was blown through a rod connected to the well's neck, after which the inkwell was broken off of the rod. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 1) Quindy Robertson was hunting a Middle Tennessee camp occupied by General John Hunt Morgan when he dug this AVC (Alabama Volunteer Corps) button, backmarked "Lambert & Mast/Philada." Like many Southern buttons, these were ordered before the war. In Quindy's article "Chasing Gen. John Hunt Morgan C.S.A." (AD Vol 6, Issue 5) he notes that Kentucky buttons were the only state buttons found at this site. Obviously, that changed with this find. Photo by Dwight Jewell (Vol 7, Issue 1) Eva Goldstein was hunting a city park near Amherst, New York one day last October when she dug something she had always wanted to find: a Large Cent. The coin is dated 1810 and was recovered using a White's DFX metal detector. Photo by Anita Holcombe Bobby Mallard was relic hunting a site near Savannah, Georgia when he found this patriotic watch chain. While these are sometimes seen with imitation gold dollars, this military motif is quite unusual. A close-up reveals that one side shows a cannon at the ready, while the other depicts a mounted cavalryman or dragoon. It is believed to be from the early to mid 1800s. Photo by Anita Holcombe (Vol 7, Issue 1) www.americandigger.com Josh Silva was hunting in South Carolina at the site of an old stockade located on family property with his brothers, Justin and Jacob. With them standing a few feet away, Josh got a signal and pulled out this beautiful 1853 Liberty Head one dollar gold coin in near perfect condition. Josh uses a Whites MXT. Photos by Josh Silva (Vol 7, Issue 2) Dennis Nunnery was hunting on November 27, 2010 near Fort Donelson, Tennessee when he dug these two beautiful Mississippi Infantry " I " buttons. Both have a "Hyde & Goodrich" backmark, retain most of their original gilt finish, and also have intact shanks. Found within 10 feet of each other, both buttons are likely from the same coat. This was near the area where General Pillow staged his attack on the Federal center. Dennis was using a Tesoro Tejon. Photo by Dennis Nunnery (Vol 7, Issue 2) Mike Patterson was hunting in Central Virginia when he found this brass button with an iron back depicting Zachary Taylor. It dates to his successful 1848 presidential campaign. Taylor was not only the last Whig candidate to win a presidential election, but was also the the last President to hold slaves while in office. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 2) Earl Powers was searching a Trenton, Tennessee park when he recovered this coin cache with a Fisher 1266-X. The 34 silver dimes were all in the same hole, with the 1908 Quarter found only three inches away. Photo by Earl Powers (Vol 7, Issue 2) 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler Barry Lucero was hunting a Colonial house site near Charlottesville, Virginia on November 14, 2010 when he found a silvered George Washington Inaugural button. Made of brass, a layer of silver was fused to the front, and then struck in a die. Barry was using a White's Spectra V3i detector. Photo by Michael O'Donnell (Vol 7, Issue 2) George Lesche, of Predator Tools, has been using GPR (ground penetrating radar) to locate trash pits and hut sites, and it paid off at the DIV XV relic hunt. In one hole, he dug 23 bottles, two Eagle breastplates, and numerous bullets and buttons. George shared with those who offered their help, only keeping (l-r) a brown ST Drake Plantation Bitters Log Cabin, an amber John Gibson Sons & Co. Bourbon Whiskey, an aqua cathedral, and unmarked amber whiskey bottle. Photo by George Lesche (Vol 7, Issue 2) Joel Hegworth was detecting in Subligna, Georgia when he found this US Navy button. The one-piece button has a "Lewis & Tomes/ Extra Rich" backmark. This English firm imported buttons into the US from 18161830. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 2) Dennis Morrison was metal detecting at an old schoolhouse near Bluffton, Ohio when he found this 1865 Half Dollar. Upon closer inspection, he discovered the reverse had been engraved with a Masonic emblem. Photo by John Velke (Vol 7, Issue 2) www.americandigger.com Joe Haile made the Civil War find of the century with these 13 Confederate belt plates dug at a Tennessee house site. He dug seven on one trip, then returned the next day to find two more. Since then, he's returned several times, bringing his total to 13. It's believed that a small foundry on the property was subcontracted by the Confederacy to make the plates. Joe made the finds between November 2010 and February 2011, using a Fisher F-75 LTD with Bushmaster headphones. Photo by Joe Haile (Vol 7, Issue 3) Bill Moore had been hunting a house site in Antioch, Tennessee when he recovered this ring. Made of heavy silver, the stone looks to be either mother of pearl or moonstone. Although both Confederate and Union troops camped here during the War Between the States, it is thought to date to the late 1800s. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 3) Charlie Harris took a break from his American Digger Magazine photographing duties to find this lightning rod insulator in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The glass insulator was slid up a half round ground wire, with the large end up. The bracket was attached to the side of the building. The glass was then dropped into the bracket and turned until a square stud engaged and held it securely. This style dates to the late 1800s. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 3) Pete Tansill was climbing one of the many cliffs overlooking the Rappahannock River in Virginia when he glimpsed an odd looking stone. Picking it up for a closer look, he saw that it was this beautiful Native American piece, a 5� inch long polished stone gorget. These were worn around the neck as a ceremonial item. This one appears to be made of slate and dates to at least 300 B.C. and likely much older. Photo by Ran Hundley (Vol 7, Issue 3) 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler John Roth ended 2010 in December by digging a few bullets: 1302 in all. They were recovered from the same two foot deep hole and include 317 .69 balls, 90 three-ring Minies, 67 .58 Suhls, three .54 Suhls, and 825 buckshot (not shown). Also in the hole was a small block of lead and five wood screws. He made the finds while searching in Wilson County, Tennessee. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 3) On New Year's Eve of 2010, Rob Taylor decided to hunt a Union campsite in the Washington, D.C. area. Hearing a signal, he eventually recovered not only a .69 bullet, but an "E.P. Middleton & Bro. Philada. Wheat Whiskey 1825" embossed bottle. Two days later, Rob returned with a probe and dug the pickle jar and a medicine bottle embossed "Dr. Porter, New York." Photo by Rob Taylor (Vol 7, Issue 3) Jimmy Dillon was detecting near the Great Dismal Swamp in Chesapeake, Virginia when he came across this trifecta in the middle of a field. After finding the Revenue Cutter button, he then dug his first two silver coins for 2011. The Barber Dime is a scarce 1896-O and the Seated Liberty Dime is an 1891. Jimmy was using a White's MXT. Photo by Jimmy Dillon (Vol 7, Issue 3) Mike Estes was searching in Henry County, Georgia when he dug this rare accoutrement plate. It is a small size (2.5 x 1.5 inches) cartridge box plate embossed with "UG." There has been much speculation over the years as to the meaning of those letters, including Upson Guards. As this was found just north of Upson County, this seems to be a likely identity. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 3) Over 400 Just Dug artifacts appeared in our 2011 issues! Click here to see more. www.americandigger.com Arthur Cook was walking a path near the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee just before Christmas, 2010, when he saw something glistening in the mud. Closer inspection revealed it to be a late 1800s glass syringe plunger. Before it was over, Arthur had recovered several dozen of the unbroken plungers in both cobalt and green hand blown glass. The intriguing medical pieces range in size from two to nearly five inches long. Photo by Anita Holcombe (Vol 7, Issue 4) Mike Gladwell was digging at an old house site located in Greeneville, Tennessee when he found this gold "love token." It is jeweler made and finely engraved, measuring a full 1.250 inches across the flats. The initials are "GRN." These were often made from coins for a loved one, although this one shows no markings indicating a coin was used. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 4) Jamie Goldie was searching the fields of Chester County, Pennsylvania and eyeballed these ancient stone tools and points attributed to the Delaware group of the Lenni Lenape Indians. These were found shortly before the fields were planted and, as Jamie notes, "It won't be long until the field is under crops again." Photo by Jamie Goldie (Vol 7, Issue 4) John Branstetter and Tim Garton are searching in southwestern Missouri and continue to make great finds, both by sifting and metal detecting. Shown here is one of their latest, a silver 1800s cuff link found by John. Photos by Tim Garton (Vol 7, Issue 4) 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler Eddie Allman was searching Lee's retreat route in Central Virginia on March 12, 2011 when he got a signal that rang out on his White's XLT. After 30 minutes of digging, Eddie pulled out this rare and unexpected relic. It is an artillery grease bucket, missing only the chain and the lid. The bucket is solid with only surface rust, and has no holes or dents. These were used to store grease to lubricate the wheels and gun carriage. Photo by Jessi Allman (Vol 7, Issue 4) Perry Smyda was hunting in a city park in East Liverpool, Ohio in April 2011 when he found these six silver coins in one hole. Although he had hunted the open areas of the park before, this time he decided to hunt the woods located there. Perry was using an old (made in 1976) White's Coinmaster 6 D/B Series 1. The cache consists of three Silver Dollars (an 1887-O, 1893, and 1896), an 1877 Seated Quarter, and two Barber Quarters (an 1893 and 1896-O). Photos by Perry Smyda (Vol 7, Issue 4) Mike Bessillieu was relic hunting near Richmond, Virginia when he found this nice relic from the War Between the States. It is an officer's false embroidered shoulder bar. Although some were actual cloth or wire, many were stamped brass with a heavy gilt finish, such as this one. Mike was using a Fisher F75 LTD detector when he made the find. Photo by Ran Hundley (Vol 7, Issue 4) Bryan Kilby's been digging for 12 years and made some good finds, but nothing as rare as this, a Maine sword belt plate. Produced between 1825 and 1835, these were die struck copper with an applied tongue and bar. Bryan found the relic with a White's MXT at an old house site near Cedar Mountain, Virginia. Photo By Anita Holcombe (Vol 7, Issue 4) www.americandigger.com Jeff Pitts was excavating a colonial era trash pit in the Lowcountry of South Carolina when he dug this Revolutionary War buckle four feet deep. It is a rare British 3rd Regiment of Foot belt plate in fine condition. Including this one, only five have been reported found. Photo by Jeff Pitts (Vol 7, Issue 5) Danny Capps has been spending a bit of time searching in Lincoln County and Pike County, Missouri for Native American stone tools, and making quite a few nice finds. Among his latest finds are these two white quartz points. Photo by Danny Capps (Vol 7, Issue 5) Davy Keith found what may be the rarest button ever to appear in Just Dug. Albert's book, Record of American Uniform and Historical Buttons, lists this as a Confederate General Service button (CS 90). This one is 20 mm, is high lead content pewter, and was cast in a scissor mold with an integral shank. This is only the second example ever confirmed. Davy made the extraordinary find in southeastern Mississippi in June, 2011. Photo by Rob Stephens (Vol 7, Issue 5) Beau Ouimette was searching a construction site in Greencastle, Pennsylvania when he dug this Civil War bit boss designating Company "K" of the Second Cavalry Regiment. Although Beau has found other bit bosses, this was a first for him. Most found are the much more common "US" style. Beau made the find using a Teknetics T-2 detector. Photo by Beau Ouimette (Vol 7, Issue 5) 8 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler Over 400 Just Dug artifacts appeared in our 2011 issues! Click here to see more. Bill Blackman was digging in Brandy Station, Virginia when he found this 1860s pickle jar. Made of clear glass, the design has an usual "teardrop" coming down the neck on both sides. Bill also recovered a US Cavalry horse bit from the same hole. He made the finds in late March, 2011. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 5) Mark Schuessler was hunting near an early 1800s fort in upstate New York when he found this button. The style is loosely known as a diplomatic type, although some were worn by officers of the period. If Mark's name sounds familiar, it may be because he is also American Digger's regular News-n-Views legal columnist. Photo by Mark Schuessler (Vol 7, Issue 5) Gordon Smith was hunting a site in northern Virginia with a White's MXT when he found this unfired Read bolt projectile. This Civil War Confederate made item is for a three-inch rifled gun, and was made of solid iron, except for the copper sabot. It had no explosive chamber, but was designed to penetrate earthworks or masonry. The damage on the base appears to have been done with a hammer either during or after the war (possibly an attempt to salvage the copper). Photo by Ran Hundley (Vol 7, Issue 5) Sanford Edwards has been searching a colonial site in Central Virginia and making some good finds. One of his latest is this early piece of US coinage, a 1795 Large Cent. Sanford uses a Teknetics T2 detector. Photo by Ran Hundley (Vol 7, Issue 5) www.americandigger.com Allison Mastin and Liz Woodell were relic hunting in Partlow, Virginia when they stumbled upon some Native American artifacts on the surface. This small quartz point, recovered by Allison, was one of the more beautiful arrowheads found there. Liz, a flint knapper herself, notes that "I admire the Native American that made this. I'm learning flint knapping and it's not easy." Because of the find's location, it is thought to be from the Manahoac tribe. Photo by Allison Mastin (Vol 7, Issue 6) Paul Schilling was hunting the Confederate defenses north of Marietta, Georgia when he recovered this Confederate States of America belt plate. Cast of high copper content brass in a sand mold, this style is believed to be made by (or at least contracted for) the Atlanta Arsenal. Despite a bend, this example retains all three hooks. It was found using a White's DFX. Photo by Anita Holcombe (Vol 7, Issue 6) William Smith was hunting a little-known Civil War skirmish site near Hanover County, Virginia when he dug this group of relics. The highlight of the day was a Remington revolver frame, and the cavalry bit wasn't a bad find, either. Both had already been cleaned and protected, a must for iron, when this photo was taken. Photo by Tom Goodloe (Vol 7, Issue 6) Clyde Watts was detecting at an old house site near Talladega, Alabama when he dug this beautiful piece of antique jewelry, a custom made Masonic ring of 15 Kt gold. The center stone is a � Kt high grade "miner's cut" diamond. The ring has been dated to the 1870s1880s. It was found using a vintage Fisher 1266x detector. Photo by Anita Holcombe (Vol 7, Issue 6) 0 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler Randy Schuh was hunting in Knoxville, Tennessee when he found these two silver Mercury Dimes. While the 1937 is a standard issue, the 1941-S is a scarce error coin, known as a rotated die mint error. This can easily be seen when the reverse sides are compared. The error appears as being upside down when compared to a non-error coin. Randy found both with a White's MXT Pro. Photo by Anita Holcombe (Vol 7, Issue 6) Jody Miller was searching near a creek in Central Virginia when he dug this US cartridge box plate. The reverse has a leather thong to affix the accoutrement plate to the cartridge box. Damp conditions, such as creeks and mud flats, often preserve such organic material. He made the find with an Fisher F75 detector. Photo by Ran Hundley (Vol 7, Issue 6) Joe Baker took his father out for a few hours of hunting in Massachusetts on Father's Day, 2011. Among their finds was this set of silver cufflinks dug by Joe. They appear to have a "tudor rose" design on them and are thought to date to the mid 1700s. Photo by Michelle Baker (Vol 7, Issue 6) Rick Qualls dug this 1804 Spanish One Reale near an early 1800s ferry crossing in Tennessee. Reales, because of the scarcity of US coins, were accepted in the New World as legal tender in the early 1800s.Although Tennessee has restrictive laws on recovering artifacts from waterways, this was found on private property. Photo by Charlie Harris (Vol 7, Issue 6) www.americandigger.com ? ? Q&A With Q&A With Charles Harris Charles Harris the men of the Garden State Brigade (also known as the Washington Rifles) of Patterson, New Jersey. They adopted the distinctive style buckle (see photo below) that th was worn by the New York's 11th regiment, also known as the Washington Rifles. The primary differth ences between the NY 11th Regiment's belt plate and the one made California, that may remain a mystery, but I would suspect that it was brought by a veteran of the New Jersey Militia who headed west for either the latter day gold rush or the new business opportunities that were arising in Monterrey, once the capitol of California. No matter how it got there, it is a scarce and notable piece of American history. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 4) ? Q&A With Charles Harris frat nish as a cost A friend at my metal detecting club suggested that I contact you for information regarding this buckle that I found last year in Monterrey, CA. Is it th from a 19th century California militia group? Any additional information would be greatly appreciated, or perhaps a recommendation on where to find that information. Tanya Henry ave you ever seen one of these? It's silver plated brass and is a bird (maybe an Eagle or Kingfisher). Mike dug this at a Confederate picket Miller dug it at an old house site site in Mississippi. It is about recovered this interesting and where we were hunting. 1� inches in diameterpiece, Rob Stephens has buttin back with a brass face. a am having trouble figuring th 11th New York Militia out exactly what it is. The seal The Louisiana Pelican state iniWashington Rifles belt plate. tials it, plus the words "Mechanis onin the center are either "VMC" Yearsplate I probably California The ago, found in would have or and Agricultural Fair brass. This is an extremely interesting given useda different answer, or ics "VCM." It looks like it is Assoand you by the New Jersey Ran Hundley at Sgt. Riker's Civil find and one that I had never seen at least have said, "I don't know ciation of Louisiana." Any ideas Washington Rifles was War Shop said that you might it? before. It is listed on page 485 of what it is." But I have seen a few or help you can give me on can modeled after this one. help Stephens O'Donnell and Campbell's Book, of these in their complete form over Rob me identify it. Above photos courtesy of Michael O'Donnell, Above photos courtesy of Michael O'Donnell, American Military Belt Plates. American Military Belt Plates. Chris O'Kelly American Military Belt Plates, the past few ____________at Civil War years. Not ____________ plate 813. I highly recommend this shows or in Civil War collections, It looks to be a bridle rosette, albook as the most complete buckle for the antique stores. Yes,was the though with no loopare "VMC," but at New Jersey group it does The initials, which (these often book on the market. You are right use oflike a patriotic rather than stand off over time) it's hard to look a broad tongue, Eagle, but break for Virtue, Mercy, and Charity. the narrow tongue used on the NY tell. medallion,since most attached that it is an 1800s militia plate, but The However, originally tin back what you have is the top of a sewth 11th plates,There also the absence rosettes are post Civil War, let's and are various deit originated on the East Coast, to a chain and ladder type medal, ing bird. of a company letterbasically they look atof the Royal of this fairThis in the center not the West. This buckle was used is that the history Arcanum. assigns of these, but of the buckle. As to how it gotthe sociation. Although I found menduring the period of 1855-1875 by was a fraternal insurance company are upper and lower halves of to similar to those Click here by 16 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 4 that are connected and havea question for Charlie?sponsored to the 16 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 4 bird Got 0 American Digger MagazineaSamplerbetween them. The spring and read his and columnFellows, issue! subscribe Masons QA Odd in every which spring H I I foun sura peo bus Eve Hon cil o This succ insu tive Hon T them wha bac th arris to a chain and ladder type medal, and a few British prisoners from ket. It's brass I copper, is that of the Royal Arcanum. This 1781-1783. Even thoughordidn't dig out first drilling a hole. The reason them, I'd like to visible on it, was a fraternal insurance company and has designsknow more about for this was that the wall was plaswhat they crown. the Mercury similar to those sponsored by the including a are and The date. The ter laid over oak lathing strips that backmark on the size reference. says Masons and Odd Fellows, which Dime is shown forflag button their were extremely hard. Although I'm associations for members of "London" while the NC is "Hoole organized relief associations for Any ideas on whatto the idea ofbe not sure of the exact patent date, lodges. This led this is would a Mfg. Co. 58 Great their members. The Royal Arcanum greatly appreciated. Jones St N.Y." I do know that these date back at fraternal union for purposes of th Can Evangelista formed their own insurance com- Toddyou tell me their age and affili- least to the late 18 century. insurance. The Ancient Order of ation? related, pany based on the fact that in the United Are they Civil Warby John Workmen, founded maybe even Confederate? late 1800s, the prosperous minor- Upchurch in Pennsylvania, first Although these pieces continue to Marty Goble ity were the only ones that could incorporated the principle of comstump many diggers and collecafford commercial life insurance. bining fraternal cooperation with tors, it is one of the easier identiJohn Upchurch, founder of the An- the business of furnishing solid After talking with button authorfications that has been sent to me. cient Order of United Workmen, andWilliam Leigh, he confirmed my ity economical protection. While That is because we had them in saw this need by the masses and the details that these both dated to suspicion were somewhat ill conrelic hunter in Texas found the house that I was raised in on combined the cooperation of the ceived, overall it was no affiliation the late 1800s with what people this bullet. Have you ever is picture fraternity with the business so fur- Lookout Mountain. Itwasa planted wanted. The seed found this button but, of far, or painting hanger. In old housVol. 7, Issue 1 seen one like it? The base nishing insurance to lost members which would eventually lead to the I'm completely the on what es, you will often see a molding is not an insert, but cast into the as aitgroup, thus bringingaroundthe protection of many. is. Can you pass it down to somewhere between two inches bullet. It's .58 cal., 1.062 inches costs of your button The Knights of Honor was some of the insurance. consultants below the ceiling down to just at long, and the cavity is .250 deep. and The Knights an identification the tops of the door frames. The help me get of Honor was then founded in Kentucky, further Do you suppose it might have founded in Kentucky on sound in- improving sound insurance pracand age on it? been an early found this lead disc this molding, called friend tracer round? surance principles. The common top side of growth was rapid as tices. Their Travis Barnett Arthur Cook rail molding, has a distinct in Gravelly Springs, Alapeople loved the concept and the picture of modest means welcomed people it bama. It appears to be a business had by stumpt, so I sent lip on In where these hooks conthem. This one grew me leaps and bounds. nect. The 1876 two of itsafounders, sabot or cup fromwas an explosive My first thought a projectile, and paintings had cord atEventually of it the Knights of Dr. Darius Wilson and photographsfrom to American Dig- tached to the backside John Cum- has writing on it, but we base only bullet, but the cavity's can was where the Honor sprang Bob Spratley and mings, attempted to have the orgager consultantsthe Supreme Coun- hanging wire is now normally atsolid (an explosive I round would "1862." vaguely recil of the Royal Arcanum in 1877. nization incorporate an assessment make out into another chamber William Leigh. Both identified it as tached. This cord could rise anyopen up member seeing a similar piece at This from a was one life insurscale, sucessbeingcompany fraternal of the true where an imperative part of or four for the explosive compound). An from foot to three success stories(thethe fraternal life full moderna life insurance. With a show that was said to be from a in Supreme Counance company experimental tracer round also iece, insurance business and is still ac- 16 Americanthe topMagazine Vol. 7, Issue 6 War-era Hotchkiss projectile, Civil feet of the Digger population still mostabove general of the painting. seemed possible, but unlikely. Ficil of the Royal Arcanum) that is uring but cannot fathom how It would and ignorant of what tive today, while the Knights of distrustfulthen be hooked over the nally, I quit guessing it was used. still in existence today. The emblem and sent it initwo needed, their effort failed. outer prongs of this hanger. I know Dyer shells had a similar Honor was bankrupted in 1916. was manufactured as a pin during was to those who know bullets betMC" After the painting was leveled, cup on the bottom. Is this a variaReturning to Boston, Wilson ter than me. We received several the late 1800s, so independing on (Originally Published Vol 7, Issue 1) rass. tion of the Cummings worked to create a and hanging cords were squeezed varyingthat system? the reverse, it may not be a button. answers, including a .52 Civil Bill Lockridge together andand onput under the then November 5, new society, In the mid to late 1800s, life insurHindman (a rare Arkansas bulcan inner tabs for security. Once the ance failed to meet the needs of 1877 the new association, The Sulet). The only problem was that a painting was hung the brass clip It is from a Hotchkiss, but not from preme Council of the Royal Arcathe common people. Only the most feet above the top of the painting. Civil War-era Hotchkiss projectile, Hindman was a much smaller bulthe standard three-piece projectile could be slid num, received a hooked over the charter from the let. So what was how it was Bullet wealthy and prosperous minority It would then along the rail, allow- but cannot fathomthis really? used. be that we often see. Instead, it is the ing adjustments. State of Massachusetts. The Royal authority andshells had Thomas could afford to indulge in such an his item was found in author Jim know outer old houses, it was imbase Hotchkiss MC," expensive luxury. As well, thou- two In the prongs of this hanger. I pegged Dyer three inch a similar Arcanum story is one ofleveled, cup on forit,a sending photos variasuccess area known to have been After the painting was along the bottom. Is thisby Jim Above photos provided be fired in canister round. Made to a possible to drive a nail into the arity. sands had seen their costly protecin hanging cords were squeezed occupied by Hessian troops the the business of fraternal life in- tion of a description. It turns out with that system? hese were found in a bag of wall for hanging a painting witha Thomas shows various black three inch ordnance rifle, these ched tion vanish in bankruptcy proceedand a few British prisoners from together and then put under the that this mystery used is the mixed buttons at a flea mar- surance. Even today they are still Bill powder roundsbullet by actually Lockridge rounds were packed with numerous out first drilling a hole. The reason edal, ings and receiverships or copper, active. The same can't be said for a modern reproduction sometimes 1781-1783.Even though I didn't life inner tabs for security. Once the It's brass of the dig ket. NSSA. The arrow points canister small balls. When fired, theto the for Knights the wall was plasThis insurance business. visible on it, the this was thatHonor, whose inand has like to know more about painting was of used by the North South Skirmish them, I'd designs is designed to perform from hung the brass clip Itwasfrom a Hotchkiss, but notlike a bullet in question. ter laid business was bankrupt pany including a this era,The Mercury suranceover oak lathing strips that Association. Formed in 1950 and During are and the date. The could be slid along the rail, allowcrown. the Masons what they ____________ giant shotgun blast, sending out were extremely hard. Although I'm the standard three-piece projectile y the and Oddshown for size reference. by 1916. Dime is Fellows flag buttonrelief ing adjustments. still active see. Instead, it is has the backmark on the organized says not sure of the exact patent date, that we often today, smallgroup the a wide spread of balls and hich Any ideas item was found in an Issue 5 his on whatMagazine Vol.be Civil War three inch live 16 American Digger this is would 7, "London" while the NC is "Hoole I do knowold houses, date back at base for aera weaponin its firing Hotchkiss In the that these it was imdevastating anything path. for greatly appreciated.to have been area known competitions and demonstrations. Mfg. Co. 58 Great Jones St N.Y." possible the drive a nail into the canister round. canister presented a Made to be fired in to late 18th century. The Hotchkiss least to num Todd occupied by Hessian troops The (Originally Published inin Jim's 5) bullets ordnance 7, Can Evangelista affili- wall for hanging a painting withaproblem, though, forVol rifle, these three inch shown the Issue pholead base com- and ayou tell me their age andfrom few British prisoners tos (above) were all provided by (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 6) ation? Are they Civil War related, out first drilling a hole. The reason rounds were packed with numerous would engage the rifling of the gun, n the 1781-1783. It's brass or copper, a NSSA skirmisher in Gettysburg. maybe even Confederate? small balls.unevenfired, the canister Although designs visible on it, these pieces continue to for this was that the wall was plasgiving an When dispersion of the nor- and has The designed on perform like a Marty many diggers and collec- ter laid over oak lathing strips that Goble was specimenlook the top (pointed stump balls. If you to closely, you can ould including a crown. The Mercury out with an arrow) is sending out the same as tors, is shown for size reference. see shotgun one ance. Dime it is one of the easier identi- were extremely hard. Although I'm giantwhere thisblast,lightly bit into thewww.americandigger.com and one spread of small balls you are asking about. wide An- fications that has been sent to me. not sure of the exact patent date, athe rifling of the gun's barrel. dethey f the have pring ak of lace. o the The bird's a pin pins. and This ound ? T Harris Charles I A roun sma was gian a w deva The prob wou givi ball see the r ? ? Q&A With A Charles Harris Q&A With Charles Harris "Ho ent." thic ter r was fille and top can' cant I ha tach ball teen used a Ci side the with show and Rike the s give tell m Mik T T T This War. brac until From Mike &M didn abou ent s fema into until the t affix bles teen book arou is so TU S We don't know what they are. Charlie doesn't know what they are. Do you know what they are? Send your guesses, facts, theories, ideas, and related correspondence to: Stumpt, c/o American Digger, PO Box 126, Acworth, GA, 30101 or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org This copper disc, owned by Danny Brown, was found in Peru with some arrowheads. Another was dug in Culpeper, VA. Both have "United States of America" and "E Pluribus Unum" above the Eagle, with blank backs. Michael O'Donnell and several other authorities think it was made for the US Government around 1815. Michael mentions that he'd heard of the Government striking medals for the Indians as part of treaty settlements. Otherwise, we are stumpt and hope someone knows what these are and will contact us. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 5) PT M Bill Cross is hoping to identify this cast brass piece found at a Colonial site in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The size is about 1.5 x 2.1 inches. We would also like to know who the person portrayed is. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 5) John Foster dug this miniature brass hatchet (about an inch long). It is embossed with the word "Washington" which we think refers to our first president and ties into the legend of him chopping down the cherry tree. Otherwise, what is it? (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 4) James Kirby is trying to get a positive ID on this stamped brass piece found near Ringgold, GA. It is 1.7 x 1.22 inches and has no visible signs of attachment devices. The motif is obviously musical, but beyond that we are stumpt on the use or age.Can you help? (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 1) Steve Moore of Garrett Detectors is seeking an ID on these two brass items he found at a Texas buffalo hunter's camp (circa late 1860s to early 1870s). The larger piece has a wreath surrounding the perimeter, but is missing the center. The smaller one is about one inch across and has the typical star associated with Texas. Note the tiny "O"s surrounding the star. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 6) Stumpt! appears in each issue of American Digger Magazine. Click here to subscribe and help us solve mysteries like these! 0 American Digger Magazine Sampler Frank Cookerly emailed us to say that he believes the brass item shown in Stumpt, Vol 6, Issue 6, and found by Lamar White is a transom hook. These were mounted on a long wooden pole and used to open and close the high transom and casement windows so popular in the late 1800s-early 1900s. After looking at similar (but not exact) examples on the Internet, we are inclined to agree. If a reader will send us a photo of an identical one, we can call this Stumpt solved! (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 2) Feedback Don McMichael reports that his research shows the piece dug by Bob Kish in our May-June 2011 Stumpt is a medal given to sailors in Matthew Perry's fleet who participated in the 1853 opening of trade in Japan. Don says that a gold medal was awarded to Perry, silver medals to his commanders, and bronze medals to the crews. The silver and gold designs vary from this one. Knowing this, we hope someone can direct us to a photograph or illustration of an identical medal so this item can be 100% solved. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 5) Feedback Danny Brown's father brought this medal home from the Philippines during WWII, where it was taken from a Japanese soldier. The characters are cast into the medal, which is silver. It has heavy wear, which makes us think it may have been made before the war. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 2) Skip Mayorga sent us a copy of a newspaper clipping proving the identity of Dan Patterson's find shown in our last Stumpt column. According to a May 11, 1919 New York Times article, these "Victory Buttons" (actually lapel pins) were to be given to each soldier upon discharge, including those already discharged, and were intended to be worn with civilian clothing. One identical to Dan's is pictured in the article. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 5) Solved! Mark Hudson is seeking information on this bayonet he found in Duck Springs, AL. Most puzzling is the blade's profile. While the bottom two surfaces are fluted, the top is rounded. It appears to fit a .69 cal. weapon, and is about 17" overall. It's not listed in Hardin's book, The American Bayonet, which makes us believe it may be foreign. Beyond that, we are lost as to what it is or its era, but believe that someone out there can tell us. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 3) www.americandigger.com cky y Lucky Thank M y Lu Thank M tars! Stars! S It It (Never ignore a good fortune cookie!) (Never ignore a good fortune cookie!) chael Wheless By Michael Wheless By Mi is very rare for a course, most Chinese meals is very e t e t i n a is a l rare for course, mosttraditional meals course, most Chinese Chinese m e tveryd rare c for ga end with a Chinese meals m e tta ll d ett e c tiin g me a ng end with a traditional Chinese end with a traditional Chinese hobbyist d etoe c tfind fortune cookie to be enjoyed after hobbyist to find hobbyist to unfind fortune cookie to be enjoyed after I fortune cookie to be enjoyed after a potentially the meal has been consumed. a potentially unthe meal openbeen fortune cookie the meal has been consumed. I touched relic a potentially this hunting site in uncracked has the consumed. I touched relic hunting site in this touched relic hunting considercracked open themy meal, pulled cracked open the fortune cookie day and age, especially site in this included with fortune cookie day and age,so many other digday and are especially considerage, especially considerincluded little my meal, pulled included with slip meal, pulled ing there out the with my of paper, and ing there are so many other diging there are so out the little slip of paper, and out the little slip of paper, and gers to compete many It is also with. other digsilently read to myself its words gers to compete with. It is also gers to compete with. It is also silently read to myself its words silently read to myself its words very rare to discover a site that of wisdom. It simply stated, very rare to discover a site that very rare to discover a site that of wisdom. It simply stated, of wisdom. It simply stated, produces vast amounts of relics, "Your Lucky Stars Will Guide The author at the site. produces vast amounts of relics, produces vast amounts of relics, "Your Lucky Stars Will Guide "Your Lucky Stars Will Guide The author at the site. The author at the site. in a very small area, in such a You To Discover Great Things." in a very small area, in such a in a very small area, in such a You To Discover Great Things." You To Discover Great Things." short period of time. This story is I thought little more about it, short period of time. This story is short period of time. This story is I thought little more about it, I thought little more about it, about one such site that II was able to metal detect for having no idea that in the next several days would, about one such site that I was able to metal detect for having no idea that in the next several days I I would, about one such site that was able to metal detect for having no idea that in the next several days I would, two days in September 2010. by chance, happen onto one of the best relic hunting two days in September 2010. two days in September 2010. by chance, happen onto one of the best relic hunting by chance, happen onto one of the best relic hunting My adventure began in my hometown of Savannah, sites that II have ever been fortunate enough toto hunt. It sites that have ever been fortunate enough hunt. It My adventure began in my hometown of Savannah, My adventure began in my hometown of Savannah, sites that I have ever been fortunate enough to hunt. It on the weekend before Labor Day when my wife and is also hard to believe that I Iwould be the sole person toto and is also hard to believe that I would be the sole person to is also hard to believe that would be the sole person on the weekend before Labor Day when my wife and on the weekend before Labor Day when my wife I Idecided to eat Chinese takeout food for dinner. Of discover and hunt this great site. discover and hunt this great site. I decided to eat Chinese takeout food for dinner. Of decided to eat Chinese takeout food for dinner. Of discover and hunt this great site. Nondescript buttons and musket balls were among the first finds at the site. Nondescript buttons and musket balls were among the first finds at the site. Nondescript buttons and musket balls were among the first finds at the site. 18 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue Sampler 18 American Digger Magazine Magazine 3 26 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 3 18 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 3 Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 3 Click here to order single issues. Construction on the site had included the digging of a large site had included the digging of a large large Construction on the site had included the digging of aa large Construction trench so that a wall could be erected on the perimeter of the perimeter of the trench so that a wall could be erected on the perimeter of the trench so that wall could be erected on the perimeter of the lot. The dirt from that trench had been spread out to fill in the fill in the lot. The dirt from that trench had been spread out to fill in the lot. The dirt from that trench had been spread out to fill in the interior of the lot, making it perfect for metal detecting. detecting interior of the lot, making it perfect for metal detecting. interior of the lot, making it perfect for metal detecting.. Savannah, which is located trash pits all over the city. The pits all over the city. The Savannah, which is located located trash pits all over the city. The trash pits all over the city. The Savannah, which is located in Georgia, one of the original Georgia, one of the original original second largest Revolutionary War in second largest Revolutionary War second largest Revolutionary War in Georgia, one of the original second largest Revolutionary War 13 English colonies of America, battle took place here and relics 13 English colonies of America, America, battle took place here and relics battle took place here and relics 13 English colonies of America, battle took place here and relics has always been a great place to such as military buttons and musket as military buttons and musket has always been a great place to to such as military buttons and musket such as military buttons and musket has always been a great place to hunt for relics of all types. Since for relics of all types. Since Since ballsare found every time the dirt are found every time the dirt hunt balls are found every time the dirt balls are found every time the dirt hunt for relics of all types. Since Georgia was a buffer colony for is disturbed. During the Civil War, disturbed. During the Civil War, Georgia was a buffer colony for for is disturbed. During the Civil War, is disturbed. During the Civil War, Georgia was a buffer colony for the other colonies to the north, colonies to the north, north, Savannahbecame one of the most the other Savannah became one of the most the other colonies to the north, Savannah became one of the most Savannah became one of the most Savannah has had a strong military heavily fortified cities in America. Savannah has had a strongmilitary military heavily fortified cities in America. heavily fortified cities in America. Savannah has had a strong military heavily fortified cities in America. presence from its beginning, with Soldiers from every state, North th presence from its beginning, with with Soldiers from every state, North Soldiers from every state, North presence from its beginning, with Soldiers from every state, North 18th century apothecary 18th century apothecary 18th century apothecary historical sites everywhere in the sites everywhere in the the and South, served here with their South, served here with their historical and South, served here with their historical sites everywhere in the and South, served here with their weights found by the author. weights found by the author. weights found by the author. city. Military relics from all eras, respective armies. Blessed with city. Military relics from all eras, eras, respective armies. Blessed with respective armies. Blessed with city. Military relics from all eras, respective armies. Blessed with as well as civilian artifacts, are wealth and prosperity, Savannah as well as civilian artifacts, are are wealth and prosperity, Savannah as well as civilian artifacts, are wealth and prosperity, Savannah wealth and prosperity, Savannah found here. here. did not suffer the destruction of invading armies like not suffer the destruction of invading armies like suffer the destruction of invading armies like destruction of invading armies like found did not found here. did As a major seaport in the new world, Savannah, many other cities during periods of war, nor has many during periods of war, nor has many As a major seaport in the new world, Savannah, a major seaport in the new world, Savannah, many other cities during periods of war, nor has many As many other cities during periods of war, nor has many has welcomed emigrants from all over the globe. They destroyed huge portions of the past. has welcomed emigrants from all over the globe. They from all construction projects destroyed huge portions of the past. has welcomed emigrants from all over the globe. They construction projects destroyed huge portions of the past. construction projects destroyed huge portions of the past. brought with them valuable goods such as jewelry, coins, All of these facts add up to one thing: Savannah can with them valuable goods such as jewelry, coins, goods such as jewelry, coins, All of these facts add up to one thing: Savannah can All of these facts add up to one thing: Savannah can up to one thing: Savannah can brought brought with them valuable goods and china that over time have been lost to privies and sometimes be a relic hunter's dream. hunter's dream. and china that over time have been lost to privies and have been sometimes be relic hunter's dream. and china that over time have been lost to privies and sometimes be aarelic hunter's dream. Revolutionary War era relics abounded at the site. Finds included (left-right) era Revolutionary War era relics abounded at the site. Finds included (left-right) included (left-right) Revolutionary War era relics abounded at the site. Finds included (left-right) cannonballs, an engraved Brown Bess musket butt plate, and 1700s pennies. an engraved Brown Bess musket butt plate, and 1700s pennies. engraved cannonballs, an engraved Brown Bess musket butt plate, and 1700s pennies. and 1700s pennies. cannonballs, May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 19 May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 27 May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 19 19 www.americandigger.com May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 19 company that am emcompany that II am employed by required me to ployed by required me to work on the Labor Day work on the Labor Day holiday this year, so holiday this year, so II was not able to enjoy the time off to be with my was not able to enjoy the time off to be with my family. The day was slow and after lunch I decided family. The day was slow and after lunch I decided to close up the workshop and ride around in the old to close up the workshop and ride around in the old section of downtown Savannah to look for a metal section of downtown Savannah to look for a metal detecting site. To my surprise, came upon a parkdetecting site. To my surprise, II came upon a parking lot that was being redone in conjunction with an ing lot that was being redone in conjunction with an office building renovation. had seen this fenced in office building renovation. II had seen this fenced in The Mid-1800s items found at the tiny construction site Mid-1800s items found at the tiny construction site included both Civil War relics and civilian artifacts, as shown in relics and civilian artifacts, as shown in the above photos. (L-R Above) Boy Scout (L-R Above) Boy Scout token, "Crusade" token, "Crusade" medallion, and medallion, and Winfield Scott disc. Winfield Scott disc. Interestingly, the Interestingly, the Boy Scout token has a Boy Scout token has a "Good Luck" Swastika "Good Luck" Swastika on the reverse (Left). on the reverse (Left). 20 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue Sampler 28 2011 Digger Magazine Magazine 3 20 American American DiggerVol. 7, Issue 3 construction site before, but this time it was open was open construction and only a few employees were working there. I there. I and only a few took a chance and approached the construction site construction site took a chance supervisor, politely asking for permission to metal to metal supervisor, politely detect the area under construction. To my surprise, surprise, detect the area his answer was "yes." The hunt was on! Construction on the lot had included the digging the digging Construction of a large trench so that a wall could be erected on erected on of a large trench the perimeter of the site. The dirt from that trench that trench had been spread out to fill in the interior of the lot, of the lot, had been spread making it perfect for metal detecting. Hunting this Hunting this area was a dream area was a dream come true and there was virtually virtually no modern trash no modern trash to work through to get at the hidthe hidden relics. I immediately started finding old targets; relics. I immediately started finding old targets; den a musket ball here, a flat button there, and old coins a musket ball here, a flat button there, and old coins were everywhere. There were china shards, brass were everywhere. There were china shards, brass furniture parts, carriage ornaments, buckles, gun furniture parts, carriage ornaments, buckles, gun parts, cannonballs, Minie bullets, coins, and miliparts, cannonballs, Minie bullets, coins, and military buttons. Musket balls were everywhere, and I tary buttons. Musket balls were everywhere, and I found so many of them that I had to return to my found so many of them that I had to return to my truck several times to unload so that I could keep my truck several times to unload so that I could keep my pants from falling down. The day had been a whirlpants from falling down. The day had been a whirlwind of finds. Once the sun set, I returned home to wind of finds. Once the sun set, I returned home to do a cleanup and inventory on all of the relics that I do a cleanup and inventory on all of the relics that I had discovered. The results were amazing. had discovered. The results were amazing. I had found over 50 coins dating as far back as I had found over 50 coins dating as far back as 1734. There were 63 flat buttons and 11 knee buck1734. There were 63 flat buttons and 11 knee buckles, suspender buckles and kepi buckles. I had 72 les, suspender buckles and kepi buckles. I had 72 musket balls and three Minie bullets. There were musket balls and three Minie bullets. There were four Brown Bess gun parts, three knapsack hooks, four Brown Bess gun parts, three knapsack hooks, two bayonet scabbard tips, a cartridge box finial, two bayonet scabbard tips, a cartridge box finial, and the hand guard from an early sword. I had and the hand guard from an early sword. I had found two six pound British Revolutionary War found two six pound British Revolutionary War May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 21 21 May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 29 www.americandigger.com (Above) Two views of a Revolutionary War winged dragon sword guard. (Left) British 16th Regiment of Foot button. exposed, filled with relics. Again, there was not any competition to contend with and I spent the whole day digging one target after another. That day I would find another Revolutionary War cannonball, this time an eight pounder. I found 33 more coins and tokens, including two Barber Dimes, three Shield Nickels, five Liberty Head V Nickels, 12 Indian Head Cents, a pair of Two Cent Pieces, three US Large Cents, one Flying Eagle Cent, one Colonial British Copper Penny, one 1919 Boy Scout Good Luck Token, one General Winfield Scott token, and two early 1800s foreign coins. I also dug 19 more musket balls, 11 more flat buttons, and a religious medallion from the 1800s. One of the best items to be cannonballs and an unidentified oval tag (more about this on the following page). There were also six U.S. military buttons dating back to the War of 1812 and one Revolutionary War British 16th Regiment of Foot button. What a day it was! On the next Saturday, I once again returned to the site and had another great day of metal detecting. The ground had been reworked by a front end loader and a whole new layer of dirt was 22 30 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 30 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 3 Early 19th century buttons included a 3rd Artillery Regiment button. Even the more "modern" coins were exciting finds, as shown above by these post-Civil War dates. found here was a rare 1802 U.S. Domestic No. 6 1794." One thetags may have been issued to slave Large Cent error coin. On the back ory, although disputed by most, is owners in the late 1700s, an auof the coin is the fraction of 1/000 that it could be a Savannah slave thentic one has never been examinstead of 1/100. This coin is very tag from the 1700s. Although City ined, if indeed they do exist. valuable and highly sought by of Savannah records hint that such Another theory is that it may collectors. Another good be a fire insurance house find was a Revolutionary tag (often called a "fire th War British 16 Regiment mark") used by early fire of Foot button. This regidepartments or insurance ment of British soldiers companies to show if fire was here in 1778 and 1779 protection had been paid for the capture, siege, and on a home. It could also battle of Savannah. The be a taxation tag for a carpewter one-piece button riage, a wagon, or even is in excellent shape and an animal, such as a dog, is also highly desirable. horse, or cow. We may A mystery relic was never know what it truly also found which has peois, but it sure stirs up a lot ple guessing and specuof conversation with relic One of the best finds was this 1802 lating on its purpose. The hunters and collectors. Large Cent error coin. Note the fracoval brass tag mentioned There would be several tion is "1/000" instead of 1/100. previously reads "C.S. other days left to hunt this May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 31 23 www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 31 The above grouping of artifacts was found at the site. It is even more impressive when one considers that it was all found in two short days by one person. At upper right is the "Domestic" tag whose true origin still remains a mystery. site before it was covered up, and I would invite several friends to share in the enormous relic bounty that this lot held. We would find many more coins, buttons, and military goods, but nothing like the relics that I found in the first two days. I hear all the time from other metal detecting hobbyists that there are not any more great sites left to be hunted. That may be true for the most part, but for two days in September 2010, I can truly "Thank My Lucky Stars" for guiding me to the best relic site and metal detecting experience that I have ever had. There was no shortage of US large cents to be found at the site, as shown here. 24 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 32 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler 32 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 3 Michael Wheless was born in Savannah, GA and has lived there his entire life. He is also president of the South Carolina chapter of the Coastal Empire History Hunters Association. He and his wife, Nancy, both collect a variety of items, mostly Civil War period or earlier. In addition to being a valued contributor to American Digger Magazine, he is currently working on a joint venture with the club to publish a book of Civil War relics found in Coastal Georgia and South Carolina. About The Author www.americandigger.com 33 nd Me DIV and Me ke On America's XVII ALayout & Photos* First Timer's Take On America's by Anita and Butch Holcombe Largest Organized Relic Hunt. *(Unless Noted) Article By Linda Erickson ed Relic Hunt. nda Erickson We had the opportunity to meet fellow metal detectorist John Velke in ost of you have probably suggested the summer of 2010, who heard the term "football we attend a Diggin' in Virginia orgawidow." This term could nized hunt. Ron and I, along with our also apply huntingtreasure Jeff Lubbert, then beto a buddy, hunting widow. My husband Ron's attend a DIV event. gan the quest to hobby of prospecting and metalon the road to this hunt Our first step detecting started nearly 20 yearsmonitoring the Diggin' In began by ago when our kids were young. It was then that Virginia forum at MyTreasureSpot. I decided I would not be a treasure com, where registration dates are anhunter's widow. Not long after Ron nounced for upcoming DIV hunts. picked up the hobby, I joined him in After previous failed attempts to atthe quest for treasure. After a number of years of tend a types of digging, other hunt, we were excited to see our names relic hunting we began to focus on on the alternates' list for DIV XVII. We began various sites in Colorado, from old waiting and stage stops watching expectantlyon our names and military sites as crept up the list due to cancellations. the eastern plains to deserted ghost Our big Mountains. towns high in the Rocky day came on January 28 when our names were moved to the We also had a desire to hunt for Civil participant have seen in War relics like those welist. We were finally gorickson heads ing to have the to look American Digger Magazine. opportunity Author Linda Erickson heads field for some for Civil War about I like a Although we had talkedrelics! it wasback to the DIV field for some oto by Ron Erickson for a number ofwaitingitfor Christmas to arrive, fun. Photo by Ron Erickson kid years, wasn't undigging til 2010 thatwaking up to pursue our of the night we began in the middle dream of Civil War relic hunting. M Layout & Photos* by Anita and Butch Holcombe *(Unless Noted) We had the opportunity to meet fellow metal detectorist John Velke in the summer of 2010, who suggested we attend a Diggin' in Virginia organized hunt. Ron and I, along with our hunting buddy, Jeff Lubbert, then began the quest to attend a DIV event. Our first step on the road to this hunt began by monitoring the Diggin' In Virginia forum at MyTreasureSpot. com, where registration dates are announced for upcoming DIV hunts. After previous failed attempts to attend a hunt, we were excited to see our names on the alternates' list for DIV XVII. We began waiting and watching expectantly as our names crept up the list due to cancellations. Our big day came on January 28 when our names were moved to the participant list. We were finally going to have the opportunity to look for Civil War relics! I was like a kid waiting for Christmas to arrive, waking up in the middle of the night NC Button ld Watch Key CS Buckle da Pavlischak DougEd Wigart Alley Minelab GP5000 White's TDI Minelab GP5000 ME Button Breastplate Todd Hunt Andrew Martin White's MXT Minelab GP5000 Gold Watch Key Linda Pavlischak White's TDI NC Button Ed Wigart Minelab GP5000 ME Button Todd Hunt White's MXT Beureguard Farm, DIV XVI was held at conducted at the Beureguard Farm, DIV XVI was held at nearby The week before DIV XVII was nearby trates on the latter Rock Farms. Although to show concentrates on the latter event, we still wanted to show Brandy event, we still wanted this article acts found at the previous hunt. small sampling of the artifacts found at the previous hunt. a very 34 2011 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 4 Vol. 7, Issue 4 34 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 34 AmericanAmericanDigger Magazine Sampler 34 2011 Digger Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 4 Click here to order single issues. Gold Masonic ID badge of E. Graves, Co. F, 34th Massachusetts Volunteers. The tiny relic (less than an inch tall) was dug by James Walker. Graves, a First Sergeant, was later wounded on May 6, 1864 and discharged. It is missing the T-bar attachment pin. thinking about it and wondering what kind of gifts might be unearthed from that Virginia Civil War site. For those who have had the privilege of attending the event, I'm sure you remember the thrill of your first DIV hunt. I was nervous, excited, and just plain giddy to get out there and swing my recently purchased Teknetics T2 detector. Planning soon began. We decided to leave a couple of days early and drive a bit off course to Dover, Tennessee--home of Fort Donelson Relics--to view their amazing collection of Civil War artifacts. Seeing all the relics only added to the excitement of what we might find at DIV. We stayed a couple of nights in Paris, Tennessee, rested up after our Silver ID badge belonging to Henry Anguis, of F, Gold Masonic ID badge of E. Graves, Co. Co. E, th MassachusettsVolunteer Cavalry. On 34 22nd New York Volunteers. The tiny relic the back is the maker's name,was A. J. Wright (less than an inch tall) Dr. dug by James of Fredonia, Graves, a Firstwas a dentist by Walker. NY. Wright Sergeant, was later profession, buton May 6, a skilled jeweler and It wounded was also 1864 and discharged. made the pins for local soldiers. pin. is missing the T-bar attachment thinking about 17 hour drive, and even found a little it and wondering what time to do some from kind of gifts might be unearthed metal detecting and bottle digging. On Tuesday, March that Virginia Civil War site. For those 29, we have had final 10 hour drive. who began the the Our excitement of reaching Culpeper privilege of attending the event, was building. We of I'm sure you remember the thrill wanted to arrive your first DIV there a couplenervous,before the hunt hunt. I was of days in plain giddy to sightseeing, meet excited, and just order to do someget out there andsome other attendees, and visit a muswing my recently seum T2 detector. purchased Teknetics or two. Planning soonWe found We local museum and began. the devisitor's center early cided to leave a couple of daysstaffed with enthusiand drive a bitastic courseknowledgeable individuoff and to Dover, A picture is worth a Tennessee--home willing to answer ourAquestions is wort thousand als of Fort Donelson picture words. To answer the Relics--to view their amazing col- also told that answer question, about the area. We were words. To "Is the DIV an exhausting event?" we should visit the White Oak Mu- an exha "Is the DIV lection of Civil War artifacts. Seeone only needs to looking a very relics only added to the one only needs to at all the seum in Fredericksburg. With one tired and relaxed Ron Erickson. of what we might find at with 2,000 relaxed afternoon to spare and tired and excitement Photo by Linda Erickson Photo miles already on the DIV. We stayed a couple of nights in trip odometer, by Linda we hopped after car Paris, Tennessee, rested upin the our and drove to What more fitting relic from one of the biggest Civil War cavalry engagements than a saber guard? James Wark dug this one using a White's TDI. One of the rarest finds at the hunt was this What more fitting relic from and paid Kearney's Cross. Commissionedone of the for biggest Civil War D. B. Birney, only 463 by Brigadier General cavalry engagements of than a saber guard? James Wark dug these medals of valor were issued. It was found this one using a White's MXT by Todd Hunt using a White's TDI. 300. July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 35 35 35 35 Guy Lambert shows this Doug Rouner recovered a Federal Staff Officer's button he'd North Carolina button from just one pulled many the ground. of the from fields. Doug Rouner his first Ron Falk found recovered this North Carolina button from Confederate "A" artillery one at this hunt. buttonof the many fields. Ron Falk found his first Confederate "A" artillery button at this hunt. Fredericksburg. Locating the White Oak museumatmosphereticipants knew each other, and the atmosphere reminded Oak museum can be ticipants knew each other, and the can be reminded difficult, but itme definitely not to be missed. that first meeting, we felt is of a class reunion. From There was me of a class reunion. From that first meeting, we felt missed. There was one display welcomed into the DIV family. relics. Our Civil War relics. Our after another of amazing Civil War The committee welcomed into the DIV family. The committee ran an exran an exanticipation continued to grow for tremely efficient and orderly meeting, tremely efficient and orderly meeting, the start of the next day's hunt. during which time we were all given during which time we were all given The night before the dig, the lomaps of the hunt area. The challenge maps of the hunt area. The challenge cal Reformation Lutheran Church was to figure out where to start now was to figure out where to start now provided a fabulous dinner prior the next morning. to the next morning. the pre-hunt meeting. Just like mara- Thursday was the day we'd been Thursday was the day we'd been thon runners filling up on carbs bewaiting for. The weather was cool waiting for. The weather was cool fore a big race, we enjoyed a won- breezy, but with several layers of and breezy, but with several layers of and derful dinner of pasta, salad, bread, clothing topped off with a newly purclothing topped off with a newly purand cake. Before the meeting began, chased rain suit and girlie-pink rubchased rain suit and girlie-pink rubwe also had the opportunity to meet boots, I was Joca dug his first ever ber boots, I was ready to hunt. The ber George ready to hunt. The George Joca dug his first ever some of the other 450+ attendees and of Civil War buckle at DIV XVII, start of the hunt began with the firing start the hunt began with the firing Civil War buckle at names of those we DIV XVII, put faces to the of an actual cannon at headquarters of an actual cannon sword belt plate. a Federal at headquarters a Federal sword belt plate. online. had Photo by Mrs. G. Joca only communicated with and then everyone was off in search and then everyone wasMrs. G. Joca Photo by off in search It was obvious that many of the par- relics. Ron, Jeff and I headed out of relics. Ron, Jeff and I headed out of Bottles at DIV XVII: dug by Scott Walters at DIV XVII: n" bitters;(L-R) 1860 "Drakes Plantation" bitters; two two stard jars "1855 Old Bourbon," two mustard jars (one (one (back row)embossed "Neuhauser"), and (back row) two two whiskeys (oneUsing a White's TDI,In frontBochek dugUsing a White's TDI, Jerry Bochek dug a pit embossed "Patent"). Jerry of a pit nt"). In front of containing a "Patent" whisky bottle, several the whisky bottles are three bottles he found bottle, several containing a "Patent" whisky ottles he found New York buttons with cloth fragments, and at DIV XVI the previous weekend. New York buttons with cloth fragments, and weekend. Photo by Scott Walters solid shot cannonballs. two 12 pounder solid shot cannonballs. rs two 12 pounder 38 Issue 4 36 AmericanDigger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue Sampler Issue 4 38 AmericanAmerican Digger Magazine Sampler 2011 Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue44 36 2011 American Digger Magazine Richmond spur, lost by a Confederate Cavalryman and dug by Randy McMahon. This locket, found by Bruce Richmond John Lowe recovered this locket, f spur, lost by a This screw-on spur, and Barbour, once containedConfederate Cavalryman which attached the Barbour, onc directly onto the photo of a soldier's loved one. by Randy McMahon. boot heel. of a sold dug photo to a corn field just across the road from headquarters, had just foundcorn field just across shape and from were to a a US belt plate. The the road size headquarters, where a couple of bullets and button backs were found perfect, but unfortunatelyof bullets andplate at all, butwere found where a couple it was not a button backs a right away. We were fortunate to be in that same vicinity piece of farm equipment. were did find some more bullets vicinity right away. We We fortunate to be in that same when a seasoned DIV hunter found his first Eagle breastand a couple of buttons that first day, found his first Eagle breastwhen a seasoned DIV hunter so we thought we plate. It was fun to experience the explate. It waswere to experience start for newbies. fun off to a good the excitement of that moment with him and We ended the first day citement of that moment with him and over an to capture the event on camera. My enjoyable dinner with John Velke, to capture the event on camera. My best find of the day came soon after, best find of and day came soon after,Holcombe. the Butch and Anita with a nice, one-piece gilded button Although we had communicated by with a nice, one-piece gilded button marked "Extra Rich Super" on the email, this was our first opportunity marked "Extra Rich Super" on the back and what appears to be a flower to appears to and flower back and whatmeet Butch be a Anita. We talked on the front. Could this civilian buton the front.about our first day of hunting and Could this civilian button have been used by an ill equipped our plans an ill following ton have been used byfor the equipped day. Confederate? I'd like to think so. Confederate? I'd like to think so. Ron began digging another signal ay two was also Ron began digging another signal cool and Some of Perry Olinger'sand pulled out an oval shaped objectthatSome of Perry better and pulled out an oval shaped object overcast, but was caked in that famous red dirt. He held finds at the hunt. The item in that famous not dirt. He held caked in red going to dampen my at the h finds it up in the air to show Jeff, who was spirits. I made who was green the back is a Confederateitsword the air to show Jeff,repairs to my the back is a C up in 50 yards away. The look on Jeff's rain suit using on Jeff's some ever-popular 50 hanger. Photo by Perry Olinger yards away. The look hanger. P face was priceless, as he thought Ron duct tape and headed out face was priceless, as he thought Ron on my D Gord Thompson poses with a musket lock assembly he had just dug. John Leazier shows off an Eagle breastplate, his first in 15 years. Minelab dealerThompson The Wissingers, Leazier Gord John three generations an Eagle Mike Post holds a a musket poses with shows off few finds from the lock assembly he of serious relic breastplate, his hunters. in 15 years. NY Cavalry camp. dug. had just first No DIV is complete without showing the happy faces of the diggers. Here are just without showing the happ No DIV is complete four shots, chosen from the over 450 people who attended. Most were smiling, atfrom the overthe time. who attende chosen least part of 450 people July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine 39 July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine 39 www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 37 37 Photo by Joe Robbins Photo by Joe Robbins Confederate Infantry, Eagle US belt plate with bits of leather Massachusetts button shown Confederate Infantry,solid cast SC belt attached juts from the side of Massachusetts after publisher Butch US plate with bits of leather Infantry, and Eagle a seconds button shown Infantry, and solid by Cory Rind. attached juts from the side of a button dug cast SC pit excavated by Joe Robbins. seconds after publisher Butch it. Holcombe recovered button dug by Cory Rind. pit excavated by Joe Robbins. Holcombe recovered it. quest. We decided to hunt another part of the property a CS belt plate while digging a pit. Or so he thought. and I was not hunt another part of dug up a nice a CS Apparently, while Streak pit. Or so he thought. quest. We decided to disappointed when I the property sized belt plate while digging a was helping a buddy of his dig piece disappointed when I guys a nice to be Apparently, while Streak 30 yards away, buddyWilliams planted a another pit about was helping a Craig of his dig and I was not of artillery shell. Thedug upfound itsized much fake ceramic CS plate in the piece ofmore exciting than Iguys found it to be much artillery shell. The did, as I was another pit about 30 yards away, Craig Williams planted asidewall still in search of a buckle. of Streak's hole and, while more exciting than I did, as I was fake ceramic CS plate in the sidewall waiting At times, as I for Streak to return, told everyone still in search of a buckle. stood at the top of of Streak's hole and, while waiting some of the hills the top of in to vicinity what he had At times, as I stood atlooking out across for Streak the return, told everyone done. the now tranquil farmland, I would be When what he back to his some of the hills looking out across in the vicinityStreak got had done. pit to continue back to he saw the now overcome with emotion visualizing tranquil farmland, I would be When Streak got digging, his pit to the CS the scene that had taken place plate, jumped saw the CS overcome with emotion visualizing there continue digging, he out of his hole and so that had takenago many years place there bullets the did a out of his hole and the scene plate, jumpedvery impressive happy dance. flying and men falling and Randy McMahon asked him so many years ago the bullets only did a very impressive happy dance. to put imagining the pain and suffering they it on the asked him could flying and men falling and only Randy McMahonground so heto put hear it endured. My moments of silence and with his so he could hear it imagining the pain and suffering they it on the groundmachine, then replied that it Brad Upp dug six curry combs hisdidn't givethen replied that it meditation were broken only by the endured. My moments of silence and with machine, a reading. Streak whipped sound of the howling wind Brad in a pit. In curry combs meditation were broken only by the or Ron Upp dug six the same hole was a give ahis Garrett probe to check it and didn't out reading. Streak whipped calling on the wind then realized to check been sound of the howlingradio. or Ron out in a pit. In the horse shoe, was a horse's his Garrett probe that he'd it andhad. same hole and a bottle, a Inradio. good spirit of detecting the Streak, along with many others, calling on the bottle, a horse bone.and a horse's leg shoe, Photo by Perry Olingerthen realized that he'd been had. with friends and the fact that endured with many others, In the good spirit of detecting it wasleg bone. Photo by Perry Olinger Streak, alongsuch good natured ribbing April Fool's Day, there were with friends and the fact that it was some endured that seemed natured ribbing such good to be in abundance on great Day, there wereon fellow hunters. One incident pranks played some April 1. My husband, Ron, be in abundance onhimself, April Fool's that seemed to quite the prankster happened to veteran digger Kim "Streak" Cox, who April great pranks played on fellow hunters. One incident found 1. "lost" husband, fake winning lottery tickets around the My various Ron, quite the prankster himself, happened to veteran digger Kim "Streak" Cox, who found "lost" various fake winning lottery tickets around the 40 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 4 40 38 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 4 Joe Grabenstein was using Though it shines like gold when This tiny hand carved bone Joe Grabenstein was detector, butThough backlit, this isgold when glassThis tiny hand carved bone Doug it shines like actually a a White's V3 using ring was eyeballed by a White's V3 detector, but when backlit, this is actually a glass Monon ring was eyeballed by Doug it made no difference bottle seal for "CH Old Harris while digging a it made no difference when belt bottle seal for "CH Old Monon and Harris while in the New York / he eyeballed this sword Gahela Rye Whiskey," trash pit digging a he eyeballed this in a washout. Gahelapicked up by Brent Smith. trash pit in the New York / Rye Whiskey," and plate sword belt Massachusetts camp. plate in a washout. picked up by Brent Smith. Massachusetts camp. 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler 38 US Artillery button found by NeilUS Artillery button found by Watson, Infantry dug by Mike Palmer, NY Infantry dug by Neil Watson, cuff found by Mike Harvey, and PA dug by by Mike Palmer, NY cuff found Michael Bennett. Mike Harvey, and PA dug by Michael Bennett. Tongue portion of a CS two-piece buckle recovered Tongue portion of a CS by Dan Lawson. These are two-piece buckle recovered appropriately called the are by Dan Lawson. These "Brandy Station" pattern. appropriately called the "Brandy Station" pattern. Dave Beer hunted a North Carolina camp huntedpropDave Beer on the a North erty, and among the relics propCarolina camp on the he recovered were a NC button he erty, and among the relics and rare .69 Nessler NC button recovered were a bullet. and rare .69 Nessler bullet. hotel for people to find. We never stayed around to watch cherish and display it proudly in our home and will share anyone scratch off the find. We never stayed around to watchthe wonderful experience of our first DIV hunt with friends, tickets, but I expect that at least a hotel for people to cherish and display it proudly in our home and will share few anyone were excited with the $5,000 "winning" lottery afamily, wonderful experience of our firstyou've notwith friends, finders scratch off the tickets, but I expect that at least the and our local club members. If DIV hunt had the ticket they'd just found. opportunityand our local club DIV hunt andyou've not had the few finders were excited with the $5,000 "winning" lottery family, to participate in a members. If are passionate about relic hunting, this is an a DIV hunt to be missed. ticket they'd just found. opportunity to participate in event not and are passionate ay 3 brought exhausted diggers and more finds. Don't be intimidated by the red dirt or by beingto newbie about relic hunting, this is an event not a be missed. The ay 3 part of the day was seeing all andamazing best brought exhausted diggers the more finds.to the hunt, for we foundby the red dirt or by being a newbie Don't be intimidated the veteran hunters to be very relics people part of the day was seeing all the hunt had found and displayed at the amazingwelcominghunt, helpful. found the veteran hunters to be very The best to the and for we If given the opportunity again, headquartersrelics people had found delicious BBQ at the huntwould I participate helpful. If DIV hunt? Absolutely! while we all enjoyed a and displayed lunch. welcoming and in another given the opportunity again, Andheadquarters while we was over. a delicious BBQ lunch.After nearly 4,000 miles in another DIV hunt? Absolutely! then, way too soon, it all enjoyed would I participate of driving, however, next time I Sunday morning, with our treasures packed in the car, think we'll fly. 4,000 miles of driving, however, next time I And then, way too soon, it was over. After nearly we headed west morning, with Our treasures packed inwas car, Sunday for 26 hours. our experience at DIV the think we'll fly. everything we expected 26 hours. Our experience at DIV was and more. Before I left home for we headed west for DIV, I decided we expectedIand more. Before I left home for everything that even if didn't find a single relic, the About The Author experience decided that evenworth the moneysingle relic, the DIV, I itself would be if I didn't find a spent, the Linda Erickson and her husband, Ron, have hours on the road, andwould be worth the moneyhad the the About The Author experience itself the vacation days used. We spent, been metal detecting together for 18 years have opportunity to meet some awesome people in the hobby. the Linda Erickson and her husband, Ron, hours on the road, and the vacation days used. We had It was an honor and a privilege to be able to hobby. in the USA. They are nowtogether forto plan been metal detecting beginning 18 years opportunity to meet some awesome people in the hunt the Beauregard an honor and a privilege to be able to hunt Farm. Although our case of relics is not theirthe USA. adventure: their first metal plan It was in next big They are now beginning to as impressive as some and does not containof relics is not the more detecting adventure: their the Beauregard Farm. Although our case their next big trip to England. first metal spectacular relics found by the veteran hunters, wethe more will as impressive as some and does not contain Photo by Dave Beer Photo by Dave Beer D D spectacular relics found by the veteran hunters, we will detecting trip to England. Photo by Beau Ouimette Photo by Ran Hundley Photo by Beau Ouimette Photo by Ran Hundley Finds made by Beau Ouimette Joel Koren holds a Shenkle shell There were some good CS relics during the three Beau Ouimette he dug in an artilleryShenkle shell to find if one was willing toCS relics Finds made by day hunt Joel Koren holds a impact There were some good walk included a Virginia button. areadug thean artillery impact hard.find if one was willing to walk during the three day hunt he on in 4000+ acres. to Brian Jones was willing. included a Virginia button. area on the 4000+ acres. hard. Brian Jones was willing. July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine 41 July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 41 39 39 Saving The Best For Last By Beau Ouimette T his is the story of one of my first and favorite water hunting sites. I first researched this spot when I was fresh out of the Army in 1983. The river was the site of a major Civil War engagement and crossing. The nearby river ford had been in almost constant use since the early 1700s. It was close to the college I was attending and I could usually squeeze a few hours of detecting in during the day between classes. I don't think it did much for my GPA or ability to get through the program in four years, but the memories and relics of those days made it worth every moment. Like most students, I didn't have much money so instead of investing in a water machine, I tried to improvise. I taped a plastic bag around my land machine and, in order to see underwater, used a fishbowl held half submerged. Needless to say, at the end of the day, my machine had shorted out because of a dunking. My fishbowl turned out to be an even dumber idea because the glass shattered when I pushed it into a rock. I had found some odds and ends that day and even a bullet or two, but the experience of nearly losing my detector dampened my desire to get back in the water. Besides, I was located in the lower Shenandoah Valley, so there was no shortage of land spots to hit each and every day. Now let's fast forward a decade or more. I started hearing stories of local guys finding stuff in the river at "my" spot. I went out and bought a used White's Surfmaster II water machine and decided to give it another try. This time I was much more successful. I located the ford by looking for lost horseshoes. It wasn't unusual to find a couple dozen whole or broken ones each trip. But I was also finding relics. They were mostly bullets at first, but with perseverance and fueled by rumors of other diggers' finds, better artifacts began to surface for me. On one of my favorite days of hunting there, I was detecting the ford area with a couple of friends. There was also another group of diggers at the site. This was indeed the heyday of finding relics at the crossing. By this time I had invested in a Fisher CZ-20 metal detector. This powerful machine usually outclassed the other detectors that were in use there. On this day, my first unusual find gave me a nice high tone on the machine. After moving a few loose rocks, I could see a copper colored cylinder wedged in the rocks. I truly had no idea what it was, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was a small field telescope. I can only imagine the battle scenes that were viewed through that glass. I showed it around to the other diggers and enjoyed a few high fives. Then we all went back to detecting with added vigor. A few moments later, I heard another loud signal and after fighting the current and prying up rocks, up popped my first saber bayonet. Unfortunately for me, I had hurried the recovery and snapped the blade in two. That was a valuable lesson learned that day. This was followed by another One of the author's favorite days of hunting the ford resulted in these three Civil War era recoveries. (L-R): field telescope, Bormann artillery fuse wrench, and saber bayonet. Even with such finds as these, the best was still yet to come. 34 American Digger Magazine 40 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 5 Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 5 Click here to order single issues. "Over the years, the finds kept coming, but eventually they began to get further and further apart." round of show and tell and an equally frantic return to the and she was going to sit on the shore. Not long after we hunt. Then I heard yet another sweet high toned signal started, she went for a swim and lost her glasses. Being coming from the CZ-20. Again I dove beneath the surface the gentlemen that we are, my friend and I returned to with a face mask and snorkel on and was soon holding a the spot to help her look for them. After a half hour or so perfect brass Confederate Bormann and not finding them, I noticed my fuse wrench. This is the wrench friend had moved off and was back used to screw the fuses into a to relic hunting. I couldn't bear to cannonball and is actually a pretty break off the search for the glasses, rare find. After showing it off for a but fumed that my buddy had quit few minutes, I could tell my friends looking for them. Finally the girl had seen enough of my good luck. told me to give up the search and, Fortunately for me, it was starting after much protesting on my part, I to get dark and we all headed for did so. I started up river and within shore. Out of all of us I'm pretty a few minutes heard the loud, clear, sure I was the happiest. high tone beep of a good target I have also dug quite a few in my headphones. After a few plates at this site and have seen fanning motions with my hand to many more found. My favorite clear to sand away, I was greeted accoutrement plate from this spot with the sight of a beautiful US belt came to me not too many years plate. The face was perfect as were ago. I met one of my friends down the hooks. I have since bought a at the river, and he had brought reenactor's belt and wear the plate his new girlfriend along to watch on special occasions. It's a nice us dig. Of course, this actually This revolver cylinder with one shot reminder that by my putting in the meant we were going to water hunt extra time to look for the glasses, I remaining was found at the ford. September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 41 35 "On this particular day I had already found a Large Cent, a Two Reale 1773 Spanish silver coin, an Eagle "A" button, an Eagle breastplate, and a handful of bullets." had unknowingly positioned myself to walk right to the plate. That's good karma. Over the years, the finds kept coming, but eventually they began to get further and further apart. What was once a very common occurrence of having to share the river with a couple of other diggers gradually tapered off to almost always having the river to myself. I was still using either my Fisher CZ-20 or a CZ-21 that I had won in a contest sponsored by Clyde McFadden of Relic Hunter Supply. I didn't think I could be happier. Then 2010 rolled around. T his water season started out with what is probably one of my most unusual finds. The river was still up and murky from the spring rains and I was hunting the shorelines and doing very well. On this particular day I had already found a Large Cent, a Two Reale 1773 Spanish silver coin, an Eagle "A" button, an Eagle breastplate, and a handful of bullets. Then I got a series of high toned signals all grouped close together. It was an unusual sound and I had no idea what it might be. I reached into the thick mud and pulled up a handful, hoping the target would be there. Well, one of the targets was there, a brass grommet Both Federal and Confederate troops used the ford, as this Richmond style cavalry spur found there demonstrates. 38 American Digger Magazine Fresh from the water, a Hotchkiss artillery projectile dries onshore after being submerged for almost 150 years. 42 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 5 "A week later I returned to the site and quickly located the targets that were buried in the heavy mud. Before long, I had uncovered a nearly complete Civil War poncho..." with a sizable chunk of rubberized material attached. I swept the hole and, sure enough, there were still multiple targets all around. Having learned my lesson when I hurried the dig and broke the saber bayonet, I decided to wait a few days and let the water recede a little and clear up a bit. I'm glad I did. A week later I returned to the site and quickly located the targets that were buried in the heavy mud. Before long, I had uncovered a nearly complete Civil War poncho! After carefully cleaning it and drying it out, the material is very well preserved and remains supple. It even has small melted areas on it where it appears the soldier may have stood a bit too close to a fire. I then met a fellow digger online, Mike Palmer, and he asked me if he could tag along on one of my water hunts. Up to that time I had been having pretty good luck at the ford and battle site and decided to take him there. I still have my extra White's Surfmaster II water machine to loan out for just such occasions. I handed him the machine and after a quick explanation of the controls, off we went. Barely five minutes into the hunt, he pulled up his first water find, a beautiful shot Enfield bullet. He quickly added several more to his pouch and even found a complete lead base cup to a Dyer artillery shell. Not to be outdone, I found a handful of bullets and a US belt plate that day. Our next trip together to the spot was even better. My first really cool find that day was a shiny US box plate. It had almost no patina on it and looked to be in nearly "as issued" condition. After a quick high-five we continued hunting. It was only a few minutes later that I got a loud signal from The author holds up a US box plate he had just found. Note the lack of patina, a common phenomenon with some underwater finds. Some of the plates found here are shown lying on the recovered poncho in the large photo above. September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 43 39 "It took me few moments to realize I was looking at a Civil War musket complete with the wooden stock...it had been lying mostly exposed on the bottom in a foot of water." my CZ. I looked down and could clearly see a Hotchkiss artillery projectile lying on the bottom in about a foot of water. How we all missed this shell over the years is a mystery to me. We shot a quick video of the find that I uploaded to the internet. Mike was definitely hooked on water hunting at that point. ing and usually denotes either a large target or a very shallow one. The first 20 or 30 targets turned out to be fence wire and pieces of decomposing 55 gallon metal drums. I was beginning to tire of the junk when I got yet another "telephone ring" signal in my headphones. I always carry a long handled wooden pick with a powerful magnet glued in the end to help recover iron objects. With just a quick poke, the iron attaches itself to the magnet and I can just pull it up. As soon as the magnet thumped into the target, I knew it wasn't fence wire or a piece of a metal drum. It just felt different. I reached down and could feel a pipe-like object. Still clueless as to what the A three ring Minie recovered from target was, I gently worked it the river crossing with the paper free of the bottom and pulled it cartridge still attached. out of the water. B ut I digress, for it was the best that was saved for last of the present season, at least. This day found me alone at the river. I decided to work a section of shoreline that has been hunted many times by myself and a whole host of other diggers. I started out slowly working my way upstream, digging all of the non-ferrous targets as well as any iron that would sound off on my CZ-21 with the signal of an overload. This sounds like an old time telephone ring40 American Digger Magazine 44 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 5 "Although it seems unlikely that I will easily top my best find at this site, I still intend to continue working the shoreline, middle, and any deep holes I can find in that river." It took me few moments to realize I was now holding a Civil War musket complete with the wooden stock! It had been lying mostly exposed on the bottom in a foot of water. I was lucky because it was nestled in amongst a multitude of iron junk and we had all given up on this particular section of the shoreline. I still find it incredible that in the nearly 30 year history of numerous people relic hunting at this site, a complete musket could still be found not five feet from shore in a foot of water. I guess that is what keeps us diggers going out every chance we get, finding the unexpected. ing the shoreline, middle, and any deep holes I can find in that river. If a musket can go undetected that easily, I imagine a silver identification disk might as well. At least, that is my latest dream. Good luck with your digging and I hope to see you out there. A lthough it seems unlikely that I will easily top my best find at this site, I still intend to continue work- This heavy silver ring was also found at the ford. Unfortunately, the stone is missing. About The Author Beau Ouimette has metal detected and relic hunted for much of his life. He is also an accomplished diver and his skill at underwater history hunting is rivaled only by his landlocked finds. www.americandigger.com 45 41 September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine Documenting History Digging an artifact is only part of the job. Documenting it properly for future generations is just as important. Here's how to do it. By G. M. "Doc" Watson I f you own an artifact, you own history, pure and simple. Knowing where it came from, when it was found, and who found it is an important part of the artifact itself, and gives it more value and meaning in both a monetary and historical context. Keeping a good and accurate record of finds should be a goal for all collectors, although I'll be the first to admit that it took me awhile to give it the priority it deserves. First, a disclaimer: I am not a professional, but rather an amateur collector. This means that no tax dollars were used in the years I have spent amassing my collection. In fact, until the advent of organized hunts, the majority of it cost only the time spent detecting, with money for batteries thrown in on occasion. I never asked to be paid for my time spent searching, researching, recovering, cleaning, preserving, and identifying artifacts because, like most of you reading this magazine, it was and still is a labor of love. That said, the thousands of hours I have spent recovering and studying coins, fossils, arrowheads, and other relics of interest shouldn't be easily dismissed because I don't have a degree in Greek history or a seat on the local historical society. Being amateurs doesn't mean our collections lack quality or a sense of professionalism; it just means we weren't paid to do it. The winter of 2009 was unusual for our region of the Appalachian Mountains. Starting in October and lasting well into spring, temperatures ran 15 to 20 degrees cooler than usual, and the expected snowfall of eight to ten inches was bested by 40 inches. Together, these factors meant spending a lot of time indoors. By January, I had completed an earlier goal of getting the 46 28 American Digger Magazine last of the year's artifacts cleaned and into cases. By luck more than design, I had always kept my relics separated by the site on which they were found; then a few years ago some events occurred to reinforce that procedure. The first was I began attending the Diggin' In Virginia invitational relic hunts and the second was I discovered Riker cases. Actually, as I think about it, the two events were pretty much simultaneous; the proliferation of relics in my collection from the hunts is what necessitated the cases and spurred the need to become more organized. At the start of 2010, my documentation for drawers of arrowheads and cases of dug relics was a couple of 3� x 6� diary pages and a cryptic list of sites numbered 1-19. That was it. The 1-19 corresponded with Native American artifacts collected in the 1970s and 1980s. At the time of collection I had marked each item with a spot of WhiteoutTM, and then written the site number on it in black ink. Some sites had several hundred pieces and some sites had only one. The list was something I had written down to more or less jog my memory; it did not have meaning to anyone else. It sufficed for more than thirty years, but the first time I looked at an artifact and could not immediately remember where it came from, I knew that I had put the task of documentation off long enough and that things had to change before it was too late. I began by expanding the original list into a Microsoft Word document that included all sites where I had recovered artifacts. This was easy since most items were already in cases; I just needed to assign a number and name to the site. Sites of coin hunting were not included, but this was just my preference. If you have sites that have produced some nice coins by all means you will want to document them. I also recalled places where I found but a single relic, and after adding the organized hunts and newer sites of the past year, the list climbed to just under 50. Some of my relics had been stored in boxes for decades and not readily available for viewing, so taking a break from my writing task I took the opportunity to transfer these artifacts into their own cases. For relics that were too big to fit into cases, small "string tags" worked well. Now, for the first time, I could label all cases and relics with their respective site name and number. After years of record keeping inactivity, things were looking up. Now that the relics themselves were organized and accounted for, I needed to work on the written site documentation; at this point it was still just a list. Not sure how to proceed, I contacted several other Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 6 Click here to order single issues. 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 6 Passing on artifacts without basic information lessens their value and regulates them to mere object status, stripped of any cultural and historical relevance. detectorists/collectors and asked them how they documented their relics. Some reported that they keep their finds separated in zip-lock bags with a note recording date and location. Others admitted that they were still at the "hadn't gotten to it" phase and could offer little more than encouragement. Only one person disclosed that they kept more exacting records of their finds to include recording GPS coordinates for each artifact. That was one I hadn't thought of, and as it was too late, I decided I would at least note coordinates for each site. The main objective driving this long-awaited housekeeping was to document my finds so that they could continue to tell their story to the next owner. As humbling as it is, a stone point that has already survived 6,000 years will most likely still be around long after I am gone. Our families may understand our passion for collecting and support our hobby, but they are not likely qualified to know a collection's value or know how to dispose of it should the time come. As such, getting my collection ready was something only I could do. Passing on artifacts without basic information lessens their value For each site I recorded location coordinates and directions along with a map section showing the terrain. That is followed by a general description of the site and information about artifacts. Pictures of the artifacts from the site complete the entry. November-December 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 47 29 When known, historical background is provided, as well as photographs of the site. When known, historical background is provided, as well as photographs of the site. The information that you gather to document your finds increases their wealth by putting them in an historical perspective. The information gathered to document your finds increases their value by putting them in an historical perspective. 30 American Digger Magazine 48 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 6 Note: Exact locations have been modified on this page per property owner's request. and relegates them to mere object status, stripped of any cultural and historical relevance. Any information I could now record about the artifact to keep and pass on with it would be extremely helpful. Next, I used the internet to locate topographical maps and determine GPS coordinates and detailed directions to each site. A photo program was used to cut and paste each map section showing the site terrain, and a marker was overlaid with the site number and location. Along with the location information I noted general information about the site, including how it was situated and why it was suited for use. As part of a site narrative, I included a time line relating to when the artifacts were collected. For example: "Surface finds were collected from 1979 to 1982 when the field was plowed and planted in corn," or "Finds were from a onetime search of the area in 1978." As many of these sites were first explored years ago, I also noted the current condition of the site, if known. In looking up the 30 year-old sites, it was a little sad to see how many had been developed and no longer existed. Documenting the sites with maps, coordinates, descriptions, and locations was both tedious and time consuming. It took several weeks, but that was my penance for letting it accumulate for so many years. On the positive side, by spending so much time on the computer working closely between document and photo programs, I learned a number of tricks that made the task easier as it progressed. Once I had the basic information down for all sites, I looked to incorporate background information into the sites that had a known pedigree. I have been incredibly fortunate over the years to have hunted on historical ground; now online research makes it easy to gather period photos and information to add to the document. This was especially true for the Civil War sites in Virginia. By adding a battle map showing the site location, or pictures of troop encampments taken on the land, the artifacts found there took on a deeper meaning. This became very clear thanks to a suggestion from my wife. At several times during the project, I would show her my progress and solicit her input; my collection sites Including a size reference scale for artifacts is not difficult. This one was produced by setting exact column widths and coloring different cells in a table. November-December 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 31 49 Any information that can provide documentation to your collection is important. This includes information about the digger. Also make a cover no matter if the info is to be published or not. were now named, numbered, mapped and described in both general and historical terms. All I needed to do was to list what artifacts had been found on the site and I would be done. However, my wife suggested that I include photographs of the artifact themselves, as I had already taken them for much of my collection. Photos; why didn't I think of that? This would serve as a means to cross reference the artifacts themselves and add visual interest to an otherwise drab document. This also expanded the original goal of producing written documentation on the collection sites to include cataloging the artifacts. It was much more than I had originally planned on doing, but after inserting a few trial pictures into the document I knew it was the right thing to do. Besides, we were still in the grips of winter, with several months before the snow would be gone. A few of my sites had only produced a single artifact, so it was easy enough to cut and paste the item onto the page. As I continued, I found that the visual images were very strong. Whole cases of artifacts were added, 32 American Digger Magazine along with tables listing the items. For sites that I no longer had access to, once everything was listed, I was done. But for sites that I was still working, or, as a participant in an organized hunt returning to a prior site, the documentation remains an ongoing work. To make it easier to update in such cases, I did two things. One, I left off page numbers. As there is a table of contents listing all sites and addendums in sequential order, it's not that hard to find something. Two, if I return to hunt a site at a later time, the new finds will just add another page to that site's documentation. By printing out a hard copy of this document single sided, I can add pages anywhere into the document without changing the pages already completed. For a few things that I wanted to document that did not have a specific site, such as a set of Civil War soldiers made from camp lead, I add "addendums" at the end of the table of contents. This is also a way to document items where the specific site information is unknown or the items come from multiple sites, such as 50 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 6 No matter how large or small your collection, good documentation can only make it better. Shown here are but a few of the 116 pages the author has completed. a collection of Civil War projectiles received as a door prize. Adding a cover sheet and preface has brought my current documentation to 116 pages. I also added the reference information to the document by inserting footnotes when pulling information from another source. This way I give credit where it is deserved, plus have the information needed should I want to revisit the original material. And by adding bookmarks and references to the electronic version of the document, I can mouse click on the listing in the table of contents and jump directly to that site in the body of the document. A t the start of 2010, I was 35 years behind in my paperwork. Over the course of six months I was able to develop a style and a system of documenting my collection that is simple for me to maintain and easy to update. Now, in a few minute's time, I can create a new site entry with basic information and a map showing its location, and list my finds. When I started this project, I could not locate any examples for artifact record keeping that met my needs, so I developed this structure for myself. This is by no means the only way to accomplish this goal. I share this with fellow American Digger readers in the hope that I may motivate you to stop putting off your record keeping and develop your own system of cataloging your collections. If the bulk of your collection information is still in your head, consider starting on your documentation before it slips away; especially you guys like me that have been at this for 30-40 years. And to you younger guys, getting into the habit of keeping good records of your finds early will save you time and trouble in the long run. Most of us can't hunt year round anyway, so when you are on the computer researching your next hunt site, take a few minutes to update your records. It will be time well spent. Glenn M. "Doc" Watson, Ph.D., is a long time collector and metal detectorist. He resides in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia with his wife and son. About The Author November-December 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 33 51 Sharing The WealTh WhaT'S more exciTing Than finding your firST gold cache? Sharing ThaT exciTemenT WiTh your Son. By david lee T Towns and cities across the country go mediately began swinging my detector, anticipating the through a life cycle. Some manage to surpossibilities. It was slow going and after an hour all that vive and thrive while others disappear. had surfaced was iron, cans, an Indian Head cent, and a Many have a long history and, as expected, Barber dime. Don't get me wrong, the coins were good their life cycle includes birth, growth, prosperity, definds but I always hope for something "special." terioration, abandonment, and rebirth. This is a story As I headed for the car, I kept my headphones on about detecting in a 250-year-old town along the Delaand scanned the lot along the way. I heard a faint sigware River that had great periods of prosperity. Those nal, and even though I was very tired, I began to dig. years are long gone. There is little evidence of its forI went over the eight inch deep hole but got no signal. mer thriving manufacturing industry, shipbuilding, iron Glancing at the pile of dirt to the side of the hole, I saw industry, clothiers, gristmills, buggy building, and even the glimmer of gold. The possibility of a target being a hat making. Streets are lined with vacant houses and gold coin is so unlikely that, even when the detectorbuildings. Hundreds of empty lots are filled with trash. ist is staring at one, it really doesn't set in right away, The business tax base left long ago so redevelopment and that was the case with me. I brushed away the dirt comes slowly, if at all. around the coin, picked it up and just stared at When I'm not detecting elsewhere, it. I flipped it over back and forth. It was I sometimes visit these forgotten East shiny gold and about the size of a quarCoast towns. I used to detect the abanter. But still it didn't really sink in. doned vacant lots but the trash signals Only after I read, "UNITED STATES were just too much to handle. Now I OF AMERICA TEN D," did it fully look for lots that have recently been hit me. And it hit me hard. I stood bulldozed by the city or by a private there in disbelief. It was an 1899 developer. In November 2009 I came gold Eagle, my first. across a lot being cleared by workers. Gold does crazy things to people They said the site would be used to build and I was no exception. I looked over low-income housing. I was given the OK my shoulder as I returned to the car. I put to detect on the weekends when they the coin in the front seat cup holder were not working on the lot. This 1899 $10 gold Eagle coin and headed for home. Every two or The lot seemed to have good po- should have been the find of a three miles I checked to see if it was tential because there were quite a few still there, and even moved it to the lifetime, but many more would pieces of broken ceramics and oyster passenger seat so I could see it and shells mixed in along with the rubble follow before the author was touch it easier a ritual repeated from the original 1800s home. I immany times before arriving home. finished at the site. 38 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 38 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 11 52 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler 52 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 1 Click here to order single issues. What could be better than eyeballing one gold coin in the dirt? How about eyeballing two gold coins? Of course, it's pretty hard to beat watching your son dig his first gold coin- a $20 Double Eagle, no less! Once I got home, there was a complete change in the level of interest in my finds from my kids. My wife, April, has always been fascinated by my discoveries, but it was always harder to get the kids into it. However, putting a $10 gold Eagle in their hands created quite a fuss! "Let me hold it." "Where did you find it?" "Is there any more there?" "What's it worth?" "Can I have it?" "Let's go back!" The whole family was excited over this find! Researching the coin, it turned out to be an 1899 S Eagle in extra fine (although dug) condition. What was a $10 gold Eagle doing in a rundown town? Remember, the town was thriving at the turn of the century and had its wealthy population. It makes sense that one might find gold there. The coin got me interested in finding out the history of that particular lot. I opened one of my huge county atlases, this one printed by Smith & Mueller, Philadelphia, in 1892. This atlas opens to 22 x 34 inches and has 36 separate town maps and the owners of each property. The lot owner's name was easy to find. After an Internet search, I discovered the he was a prominent citizen, philanthropist, and business leader. Perhaps that explains why there was gold in that lot. But if it was such a well-to-do family, maybe there were more gold coins there. The following Sunday I decided to act on my hunch and try to find more gold. The previous night it rained heavily. I arrived at the site, put on my boots, and began swinging a 10 inch coil. As I walked slowly, about five feet away I saw what looked like a glimmer of gold peeking out of the ground. I walked over, put down my detector, and knelt to view it more closely. Gold! Sticking out of the ground! The rain had washed enough dirt away to allow me to eyeball it. I carefully pried it out and blew off the dirt. There in my hands was January-February 2011 American Digger Magazine 39 January-February www.americandigger.com 2011 American Digger Magazine 53 39 www.americandigger.com 53 (Left) Three of the coins found when the author and his son returned to the site; (right) All of the gold coins found there, a lucky 13! an 1883 S $5 Half Eagle and I didn't even need a detector to find it this time! Swinging the coil again (but much less disciplined due to the excitement), it was 15 minutes later that I received a deep but good signal. Carefully digging to about eight inches, I stopped and looked into the bottom of the hole. Another gold coin! Fantastic! This one was an 1881 $10 gold Eagle. An hour later, much to my disbelief, I saw what looked like a reflection of gold on top of the ground about ten feet away. Walking closer, I stared down at what seemed to be two gold coins stuck together, halfway out of the dirt. Incredibly, it was two more $10 Eagles, a 1907 and an 1881. It was then I realized that this might indeed be a cache. pinpointing the location. He got on his knees and dug and dug. He finally looked into the bottom of the hole and turned to me, with unbelieving eyes and the biggest smile I have ever seen. He reached in, took it out, and held it up. It was huge an 1876 $20 Double Eagle! The look on his face was worth the whole trip, but the gold didn't stop there. Corey found two more gold coins that day, a 1907 Eagle and a beautiful 1910 Indian Head Eagle. I was lucky also, finding an 1888 S Eagle, 1859 Eagle, and a 1901 Eagle. Yes, we had definitely found a cache of gold. It was now November and getting very cold. I had a couple of weeks to give it a go one more try before the season was done. This time I used a 14 inch coil to get even deeper than before. The strategy worked, because at about 14 inches was another gold Eagle, an Anyone who has kids will appreciate 1886 S. Digging deep again, I then found a first for this what I am about to say next. Wouldn't it site, a 1915 Indian Head Half Eagle! be great if my son could experience the Corey and I had found 13 US gold coins at the site, thrill of finding one of these gold coins? but winter had now set in. We waited until spring to My son, Corey, is go back, hoping the site would an occasional detecting partner be still be detectable. In April so the next trip to the site was 2010 we headed back to the with him a few weeks later. spot. Excitement built as we Hoping that the lot had neared the lot and started to turn not been built on yet, our car the corner. Then, the lot came turned the corner and we saw into sight and our hopes were heavy equipment on location, crushed. It had been changed but no change yet to the lot. significantly. Instead of merely Corey began detecting very digging a foundation for the carefully, listening to every new housing; they raised the lot signal. I was watching him eight feet with tons of fill dirt, more than concentrating on my and then built on top of that. It own detecting and soon saw was game over; anything left of Other items were found at the him stop and go over a signal the cache was now eight feet site, but it was the gold that back and forth numerous times, deep and possibly lost forever. caused the most excitement. a 40 AmericanAmerican Digger Vol. 7, Issue Sampler 54 2011 Digger Magazine Magazine 1 54 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Each of the fresh holes above shows where a gold coin was dug. At right, the author's son is dressed to fight the muck and chill of November for a few more pieces of gold. ________ g Gold finds are always unexpected. Corey and I will remember that special hunt for a long time. Like any unexpected find, there will always be lingering questions. How did the gold get there? Why would a wealthy owner bury or hide his gold and not put it in the bank? Were they hiding the gold to avoid the gold recall of 1933? Or was it just lost gold? How much is left for the next person to dig 100 years from now, if indeed they can get to it? Maybe Corey's kids or grandchildren will be around when they demolish the homes 60 years from now. We will draw them a map and leave it to them to discover again, a family attempt to share the wealth. About The Author David Lee and his family now live in the Philadelphia area. He grew up in Missouri where his initial interest in metal detecting began. This marks his first feature article for American Digger Magazine. January-February 2011 American Digger Magazine 41 41 January-February 2011 American Digger Magazine 55 www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 55 Sometimes Risks Must Be Taken To Recover The Past. Sometimes Those Risks Are Even Worth It. By Glenn Harbour THE NEW JERSEY DEATH DIG There is a dig site in Neptune, New Jersey that artifact hunters refer to as the "death dig." While this nickname speaks for itself, what's the payoff? Shark River is an early Miocene period (approximately 26 million years old) treasure vault which is an unusual time for both marine and land vertebrate fossils. The average Virginia, South Carolina, or Florida locale is mid to late Miocene (8-15 million years ago). By then the mega sharks had fully evolved, leaving their ancestors far behind. You won't find a five inch Megaladon tooth in Shark "The Shaft."- Shark River, NJ 2010 River, but you will dig the remains of their early relatives such as an Ariculatus or Chubutensis, which puts this area in a very unique geologic niche. Shark River also enjoys some fairly unique geography. During an epoch when sharks, rays, assorted bony fish, and cetaceans (sea mammals such as the carnivorous whale, Squalodon) were swimming a shallow sea bordering an ancient coastline, land mammals like Diceratherium (giant rhinoceros) and primitive peccaries (pigs) dominated the shoreline. All are preserved as fossils along the banks of the Shark River. But to truly know just how dangerous the pursuit of these remains can be, one must have a working understanding of both the geography and geology of the river's upper basin. Shark River winds through the middle of New Jersey's eastern flood plain, widening and eventually emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Belmar. Upstream, the valley that drives through the woodsy, swampy landscape cuts deep into the earth's past. Not only is this history recorded by its many fossil remains but also by its many geologic formations. It is not uncommon for the vertical banks of the river to obtain heights of 25-30 feet and as the layers of these tall cliffs descend, so does their age. These might look imposing to the casual observer but they are exactly what the serious digger needs to see. The heights that have been created by years of water erosion are precise treasure maps for those that can read them. Here, X does mark the spot and for some unknown reason, the higher the embankment, the greater the payoff and, unfortunately, the greater the risk. The Author prepares to enter " The Author Prepares To Enter The Shaft."-Sand River, NJ 2010 48 American Digger Magazine 56 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 1 Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 1 Click here to order single issues. Rick Shafto Shark River, Neptune, NJ 2010 T he topography at the highest level (surface) constitutes about two to three feet of topsoil and subsands which contain some Pleistocene or Ice Age deposits. Just beneath this strata begins the infamous (and deadly) Kirkwood clays. These clays can cascade for 25 feet or more. Exposures of the Kirkwood causes cracking which divides sections of the formation into huge blocks. This fracturing occurs not only from weight and gravity but also from countless gallons of water constantly pushing down as surface runoff. It doesn't take much to coax these wet, sticky boulders to the river bottom and some are as large as a V.W. Bug! For the unwary digger these blocks are potential man crushers. Underneath the many tons of Kirkwood clay (which, incidentally, contains no fossils) are the fine green sands, or pay dirt. Although this layer is usually only three to 12 inches deep, fossils (specifically sharks teeth) are plentiful there. Surprisingly, this layer is not the Shark River Formation, which is actually the rock-hard marl upon THE GEOLOGY Screening For Teeth Shark River, 2010 which the sands are perched. Instead, the dark slurry which hosts these early Miocene treasures is called the Asbury Park Member (yes, of Bruce Springsteen fame) of the Shark River Formation. The setup for this dig is critical for safety reasons. Each stage must be completed with great care. Lack of attention to details of every step could have dire consequences. For instance, you will eventually sieve all collected sands so there must be easy access to the water at all times. Therefore a wide, clean walkway must be cleared from the river bank to the shaft using the sturdy marl of the Shark River Formation as your foundation. At all times, it must remain free of tools, mud, and loiterers. If it becomes necessary to run for your life in a nano second, you don't have time to deal with errant muck, tools, or bodies. After chopping through all the fallen chunks of clay and removing the tailings (which requires monumental amounts of labor), you'll finally start to see the fine green sands and a few scattered fossils. Often, depending on conditions, it takes an entire day to get to this point. This is also where your runJanuary-February 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 49 57 Sand Tiger (Carcharias Taurus) Teeth From Shark River. way abruptly ends and the vertical rise of the Kirkwood clays begin. Every digger here needs to look up at these heights and create a workable strategy because it now becomes the main thing that will get between you and the finds you seek. At first, the cliff face is a neat 90 degrees to your walkway. As you dig out sand, however, that angle is compromised. The more you excavate, the more you tease those boulders with gravity. The risk becomes so great that after an hour or two, a man must be rotated to the bottom of the runway to keep a constant eye on the shifting clays. Retrieving fossils requires one man filling buckets (in the shaft), one man cleaning debris off the runway (just behind the sand digger) and your lookout (outside the tunnel). Then all three grab full buckets and waddle (buckets weigh at least 60 pounds full) down to the river, sieve the goods out, and then return to the shaft. This is when everyone spends 15 or 20 minutes removing whatever wayward clay has fallen onto the walkway. Sometimes this entire process continues uninterrupted for 8 to 10 hours, for to break at this point might invite a cave in. Diggers who tackle the Shark River digs must be in top physical condition. A few years, ago an older treasure hound had a go at it and gave himself a heart attack. He lived but learned a valuable lesson about limitations. 50 American Digger Magazine Anculatus Teeth, Early Miocene, 26 M.Y.A., Shark River, NJ. n February 3, 2010 my two stalwart digging partners, Rick Shafto and Glenn Vogel, met me at our usual diner for breakfast. Our weekend long "Death Dig" had begun. The shaft runway we choose to excavate was somewhat prepared from a previous dig, but we were certain that the normal megamuck and oversized slabs of clay that continuously collect would be there. Since it was mid winter in New Jersey, attention had to be paid to special gear, including neoprene waders, wool socks, thinsulated gloves, energy bars, and dry changes of clothing. We were working above a fast moving river and more than once I'd seen an overly eager hunter topple in. In the heat of summer such a misstep is called sweet relief; in the winter it's called frost bite or even worse. The hike into the site is an adventure in itself. The first stop is at Shark River Park (the oldest county park in New Jersey and open to the public), followed by a two mile walk through the far western section of the park. The landscape is rolling as it falls down hill toward the river. The ground is sandy, which east central New Jersey is famous for, so the going is hard on the feet. The surroundings, however, are a great diversion. Stunted hardwoods (caused from the poor O THE DIG 3" Long Anculatus Tooth Shark River, NJ. 58 Vol. 7, Issue 1 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Megalodon Tooth Approximately Actual Size (Carcharockss Megalodon) Shark River-Neptune, NJ soil), pitch pines (whose cones seed only a new hole, there is no fallen clay (this Add to this that we through fire), and wild rhododendrons is because you're standing on the river makes one feel like Indiana Jones bank and haven't reached the cliff face would be hauling heavy making his way to some exotic place to yet). On the other hand, when you buckets of green sand the restart an old shaft, you begin digging discover a long lost treasure. Just before exiting the park in the upright clay with mounds of next day, then bending property hunters must wade into the fallen debris everywhere. We spent over full screens while river and under the Parkway bridges. the next seven hours throwing out The Parkway is the most traveled clay and squaring up our old shaft. sieving, and the reader asphalt artery, other than the Turnpike, Since these were old works, the can understand what's in New Jersey. With tons of trap rock tailings on either side of our narrow rolling under your boots, this part of the (less than four feet wide) runway meant by the "Death journey can take longer than it looks. were high. The 10 to 15 feet tall walls Dig." It's not just the After emerging from under the of previously thrown materials were risk, it's also the pain! bridges one starts to hike through unmovable and there was nowhere the wild and scenic Blueberry Acres else to put the excess. Therefore, we (blueberries being one of Jersey's had to heave the dirt rather than just tastiest fruits). Within another mile you are a stone's throw toss it. This puts a far greater strain on the muscles. Add to from the dig zone. This is where the river banks start to this that we would be hauling heavy buckets of green sand vault upwards. It is where our labors would take root and the next day, then bending over full screens while sieving, also where we had to start watching our steps. and the reader can understand what's meant by the "Death Glenn, Rick, and I pushed from the river bottom up into Dig." It's not just the risk, it's also the pain! the old runway that we had excavated perhaps six months Every serious artifact hunter knows that the prize (when before. This shaft had been abandoned for greener fossil it so magically appears) far outweighs the agony and this pastures back then but the old dig was looking better now. is what motivates us. It is universal. Sunday morning we Once upon a time, it supplied us with some excellent quality awoke with multiple aches and pains, but small talk over teeth and, since most of our more recent digs had played coffee brought our thoughts toward discovery and away out, we felt it was time to return. from suffering. Today, all we had to do was walk up our This, however, was not going to be easy. When you start runway, plan our attack, and start excavating green sand. January-February 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 51 59 It was a good thing that Glenn remembered to pack extra gear; there would have been no way to get him to help before hyperthermia set in if we had to hike out. THE FINDS cusps. Additionally, the Cubutensis (which is a Megalodon with vestigial cusps) is commonly found. It is very difficult to distinguish these "Chubies" from their large cousins. Then, of course, there are real `Meggies' (Carcharocles megalodon). All these larger teeth run anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 inches in length although very large samples are hard to find here (this may be because the bigger sharks had not yet evolved to their largest sizes). Condition is similar to smaller types with most examples in good shape and fossilized in typical dark colors. Sometimes the teeth are found mineralized a light blue or brown. Occasionally, an extinct Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) tooth will almost magically appear on someone's screen. These teeth, like Megalodons, are serrated without cusps but are usually smaller and thinner, and shaped much like a Valentine's heart. For the next couple of hours, everything went according to plan. The green sand was plentiful and up to eight inches deep. It wasn't long before the glitter of shark tooth enamel began to shine from our sieve bottoms. The most common of these teeth are from Sand Tiger sharks (Carcharias Taurus). These constitute 70% of the finds. Most specimens are dark grey to jet black in hue. Color is caused by metallic type minerals leaching into the teeth from ground water, with higher levels of iron causing the darker palette. Sand Tiger sharks' teeth reach unusually large sizes along the Shark River. The average Potomac River, middle Miocene Sand Tiger tooth gets to lengths of perhaps an inch. In Neptune it is not unusual for these teeth to reach two plus inches in length. Perhaps this epoch was when these shark types achieved their zenith (just as the mega sharks were moving from smaller sizes at this time). As far as condition is concerned, our local green sand has done an excellent job at preservation for the last 26 million years. If there's a problem with condition, it mostly affects specimens found in the roots; there is a mineralogic reason for this, although its origin is unknown to me. Eroded roots come in clusters, so when one of these areas is encountered you must either dig through or avoid it because these specimens are uncollectable. Happily, this is the exception and not the rule. Most fossils that come from the Shark River are beautiful. Other small to medium species found in this basin are Mackerel sharks (Lamna nasus), Thresher sharks (Alopias superciliosus), Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) and Lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris). Additional small species that are far less common include Snaggletooth sharks, (Hemipristis elongates) and Cow sharks (Hexanchus griseus). When these appear it is cause for celebration indeed. Also rare are the mammal teeth and bones that occasionally crop up. On the other side of the size range are the mega sharks. They are here, too. The three species of Miocene makos are all represented at Shark River. They include the narrow type (Isurus oxyrhinchus), which is the most common, and the broad type (Isurus hastalis). Also found, but very infrequently, is the "false" mako or Parotodus benedeni. The Ariculatus type shark is a direct ancestor of the big boys and is basically a long, narrow Megalodon with After several buckets of green sand and a few good finds between us, things started to tighten up. Now, in order to pursue our coveted sand, we had to work underneath an ever-lengthening overhang. The Kirkwood clay looming high above was compromised and the more we advanced horizontally, the dicier our situation became. Soon paranoia set in for the "sand man" as he wondered if his lookout (who he usually could not see) was actually paying attention. Trust plays a large role at any Shark River dig. Fingers and toes were getting chilled in the 30 degree weather. This low temperature also made sieving in the river difficult. Although we had gloves it was still rough going. The only benefit to the cold was that it gave us the proper incentive to keep moving. We scooped up the last of the sand before having to clear up the runway, then headed down to the water. It can be difficult to find a convenient place at the riverside for sieving. Between fallen logs and water that was either too shallow, too deep, or too rough, this part of the operation was indeed a challenge. On one particular screening, Glenn V. was finding it hard to sit with both his bucket and himself in a workable posture. The first real sign of trouble, though, was him shouting a few well chosen words, followed by a sharp grunt and a loud ker-splash! Glenn, my regular bottle digging partner of 17 years, had taken a step too far. Still a bit of a Shark River novice, he'd managed to slip off a moss laden log while trying January-February 2011 American Digger Magazine 53 FACING THE DANGER 60 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler I was suddenly brought from my inner thoughts to the outside world as Rick let out a frantic scream. I knew what that wail meant only too well. to position himself to sieve. He was immediately able to stand again and was more shocked than hurt. This was probably due to the water temperature, which I guessed to be somewhere around 35 degrees. We helped Mr. Vogel up the path to the gear cache where he was able to dry off and quickly don a change of clothes. It was a good thing that Glenn had remembered to pack extra gear, for there would have been no way to get him to help before hyperthermia set in if we had to hike out. As it was, 15 minutes after the minor accident Mr. V. rejoined us back at the shaft entrance, shovel in hand. His situation had proven a valuable point: never forget the proper supplies for whatever it is you pursue. No treasure exists that is an even trade for your safety. But Glenn shook it off, manned up, and soon we were all back at work. In under an hour, we had cleared the runway of all unwanted visitors and I was back hovering over virgin green sand. We were now about 10 feet under the clay. This is when, structurally, things begin to look ominous. We knew that soon physics would take its course. I stopped and leaned back to get a little eye contact with my lookout, Rick. He shouted in acknowledge then I returned to my task. Soon my sentry and his duties were as far away as the constellations. In my imagination, I was traveling back through time, swimming in a primordial sea crowded with sharks, sea mammals and all manner of invertebrates. I quickly, and of necessity, pulled myself back to the present. I had to concentrate on the here and now. After two days of hard digging (not to mention the 26 million years that came before), there is no way of describing the dismal funk that damaging an otherwise perfect specimen will bring. The sand that I was mining was my responsibility; I was the caretaker. Then I was suddenly jolted from my inner thoughts to the outside world as Rick let out a 54 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 1 Large Megalodon Tooth (Carcharocles Megalodon), Shark River, NJ. frantic scream. I knew what that wail meant only too well: Cavein. Dropping my shovel, I simultaneously bolted for the outside runway like a frightened gazelle. Never looking up, I simply "beat feet" hoping nothing got in my way except the river. Glenn V. however, stood directly in my path. So sudden was Rick's call that my mad dash caught him in his unawares. "Run!" Rick had screamed, and so I did. What saved me that cold and sunny Sunday afternoon was Glenn's quick reaction once he realized what was happening. He did nothing more then immediately wheel and move, but if not for his alacrity, I could not have escaped; there simply was not enough room on the runway. With the towering walls of tailings that had become vaulted upward, our flanks were completely blocked. As it were, we both actually dove out of the way of a huge pillar of clay. Most blocks fall vertically, but sometimes a long boulder will crash to earth length wise. Such was the case that fateful day. After the flying muck settled, we lay there in a heap with me sprawled on top of my startled friend. He was unhurt; I had the tip of the column smack my ankle down on the hard pan with a vengeance. Luckily, I was not seriously injured. My friends told me I was white as a sheet for many moments, something they had never before witnessed. After my near death experience, I pulled up a nearby chunk of fallen clay and sat quietly for ten minutes contemplating my mortality. The entrance to our fossil mine was now completely closed by the errant pillar and the cave-in it had caused. It was just as well; we had neither the time or strength to continue. Also, I'm sure no one had the gall to reenter the shaft. That was it. We'd had enough. Our death dig (or near-death dig) was over. Miraculously, we were able to retrieve all three 5 gallon buckets from what was left of our cave. They each contained about half a pail's worth of the last sand of the day. www.americandigger.com 61 The message was clear: Be careful, be aware, but never give up. Take precautions, put safety first, and always keep your wits about you. A fter sieving the surviving buckets of sand, we were amazed to find that my container hid a nearly four inch Ariculatus tooth. Its root was complexly pock-marked but the blade and cusps were absolutely spectacular. It was the largest, best preserved tooth of this species that I had ever seen! THE FINAL REWARD It would seem that the gods were speaking to us through this final find and our close escape from death. The message was clear: Be careful, be aware, but never give up. Take precautions, put safety first, and always keep your wits about you. But know this: Nothing worth having was ever just handed to anyone. It required work and risk. In that respect, life is a treasure hunt. Dig on, but dig with care. About The Author Writer and folk artist Glenn Harbour has been digging and collecting the past for most of his life. Starting out with bottles as a teenager, he began collecting fossils and Indian artifacts in 1997 in Central New Jersey. He is also a frequent contributor to American Digger Magazine. Who Reads American Digger Magazine? Leaders of men. Followers of tradition. Those not afraid to march into the future while honoring the past. Movers, shakers, and history makers. Those who give proper respect and those who humbly receive it. People like us. People like you. American Digger Magazine For Diggers and Collectors of America's Heritage $3495/One Year or $67/Two years Continental USA, www.americandigger.com prices higher elsewhere January-February 2011 American Digger Magazine 55 PO Box 126 Acworth, GA 30101 770-362-8671 62 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Don't miss out! Contact us to advertise your product. Affordable prices and large circulation! www.americandigger.com 63 By John Velke I California Our Mission: To visit American Digger readers across the USA, attempting to find at least one historical artifact from every state in the nation. 've been infected. Thanks to John Chartier, my relic that you capture, the better you feel. The only problem is hunting host in California, and the Antelope Valley that, when the fever comes back, it will come back with an Treasure Hunters Society, I can add another malady to even greater intensity. my list of mental illnesses. During my On The Road with I went to California to learn as much about gold prosAmerican Digger trip to California, I was driven out to the pecting in one day as I could. I hope to convey as much as Mojave desert where bugs bit me and I contracted a high I can to you in one article. One day and one article are not fever. The bugs that bit me ranged in size from the very nearly enough to make either of us competent and bona small (pinhead size) to very fide gold prospectors, but large (about the size of a we have to start someplace. half dollar) and everywhere My education began in between. My fever broke when I pulled into John once late in the afternoon Chartier's driveway and but it's back now and I can't saw the equipment loaded seem to shake it. in the back of his pickup Of course the bugs I'm truck. There were shovels, referring to are "gold bugs," metal detectors, gold pans, the most common source of a leaf blower, a cooler, and "gold fever." According to a dredge looking thing with those I met in California, a long black hose attached, once you've been bitten, which I soon learned is reMembers of the Antelope Valley Treasure there's no cure for the fever. ferred to as a "dry washer." Hunters Society. (L-R) John Anderson, I confess that I first thought The best you can hope for is some slight temporary B i l l y C a n n e d y, D a n A n d e r s o n , Jo e it was awfully strange that relief when you trap one of Keeley, John McGrath, Ralph Kolbush, we were taking a leaf blowFred Smith, and host John Chartier. those little buggers in a vile er out into the desert where ______________ of water. The more of them there are no trees. John pa- Interior views of the cabin at the Walt Bickel Gold Camp. Note the pictures (above right) of the cabin from the outside and the portrait of Walt Bickel. 48 American Digger Magazine 64 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 4 Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 4 Click here to order single issues. An old-timer's dry washer. The air stream was created using the bellows beneath the catch basin. Leaf blowers are used to perform the task nowadays. ______________ tiently explained that the gasoline powered leaf blower John Chartier displays an is connected to the hose for the dry washer. As air blows 1880s era gold miners' pan. through the hose into the dry washer, it spins a four-bladed ______________ fan that has a bolt attached to one blade. The bolt makes the blade rotate out of kilter resulting in a shaking motion, much like what happens when you have wet towels Rock Canyon State Park. As the tantalizing names suggest, all gather up on one side of a washing machine during the there's quite a bit of history associated with this area. spin cycle. The combination of the shaking motion and They called them the forty-niners. Over 300,000 the air causes dirt to travel down the washer, leaving the men from all over the world converged on California heaviest items in the catch basins beneath each rung of during the late 1840s and early 1850s when gold was the ladder. discovered near the Sierra I was anxious to see this Nevada Mountains. They gear in action, but first we staked their claims and had an hour and a half drive dreamed of wealth as they to a gold claim in the El battled the weather, the elPaso Mountains. This gave ements, and claim jumpme the chance to bombard ers. A few men got rich but my host with all the stupid most didn't. By the early questions I could think of. 1860s, most of the hardiest For starters, I wanted to miners had turned their atknow where we were going. tention to silver or gone to The Antelope Valley TreaNevada to participate in the sure Hunters Society has Comstock Lode. Few men two gold mining claims and ventured as far south as the on this day we were head- Mark Aslin, wearing the wide brimmed El Paso Mountains and the ed for the 160 acre Rocky hat, stands with members of the Antelope Mojave Desert in search of Road Claim. This claim is Valley Treasure Hunters Society in front gold. This area was conlocated on Bureau of Land of a chair with a .45 caliber bullet hole trolled by Indians and they Management (BLM) prop- in it. The chair was recovered from a weren't the friendly kind. erty in Bonanza Gulch not "now haunted" nearby cabin where two A second wave of gold far from Last Chance Can- miners got into an argument over gold. prospectors began in the yon, in the vicinity of Red 1890s as the country entered Only one survived the argument. July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 49 65 Holes like this are now referred to as "spider holes" or "coyote holes." Miners actually called them home, living inside to escape the heat of the desert sun. a severe recession. Men without work converged on Calimisconduct is that no other person may remove the minfornia with visions of gold dancing in their heads. These erals from the earth. Encroaching on another's claim is men were called "Rainbow Chasers." They moved down referred to as "claim jumping" and it can get you killed. the state from mountain to gully in search of a virtual lepA few miles before we reached the Rocky Road Claim, rechaun's pot of gold. In 1893 two of these men discovwe stopped and met additional members of the Antelope ered gold just east of Red Rock Canyon near the mouth Valley Treasure Hunters Society. I had the chance to of Goler Canyon. Word got out and more rainbow chasers photograph some of their recent finds and witnessed the arrived quickly. They spread out and staked their claims. comradeship that grows from the monthly club outings. By December of that year the miners, in what was to be These outings vary each month and include beach hunting, named Bonanza Gulch, hit pay-dirt when they discovered prospecting, park hunting, and seeded hunts. If you live or a large quantity of gold. I was hoping that they, and the visit Southern California, look them up. You won't find many who have worked that area since then, had left a better hospitality than what this club has to offer. little gold for us to find. Next stop was the Walt In California any indiBickel Gold Camp, located vidual can make a claim for a short distance from the mineral rights on BLM (BuBurro Schmidt tunnel. Both reau of Land Management) locations helped get me in property for up to 20 acres. the mood to look for gold. In Groups, like the treasure 1906 William Henry "Burro" hunting club I was with, can Schmidt started digging a claim mining rights on pargold mine on the north face cels of up to 160 acres. One of Cooper Mountain. No one thing I did not know or realnow living really knows if he ize is that a "claim" is only kept digging because he was a claim for the mining rights following a vein of gold, or if of the property. The owner(s) he just reached a certain point of a claim have no right to and then decided to go ahead fence, barricade, build, or aland dig all the way through ter the landscape in any way. the mountain, thereby giving This 3� oz. gold nugget was recently him a short-cut to the nearest A claim owner can't bar another person from crossing found by Dan Anderson while dredging town. It took him 38 years, near Bagby, CA. Holding this nugget or being on the property. by himself, without benefit The only legally enforceable will make any prospector's hand shake. of heavy machinery, to dig 50 American Digger Magazine 66 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 4 The Rocky Road Claim facing north towards Black Mountain. the half-mile long tunnel which you can visit and still had success relic hunting in some trashy places, so I tend walk through today. If awards were given for the greatest to gravitate towards trash when I see it. After I kicked a American Diggers of all time, Burro Schmidt would have can or two away and got up under the bushes I started to to be a contender. get some really good signals. Unfortunately, every one of Similarly, as we looked around the Walt Bickel Gold the "good signals" I was getting turned out to be a BB or Camp and received a complimentary tour by the caretaker, a small lead fragment. The other guys weren't having any Mark Aslin, I came to realize and appreciate the solitary better luck, so after awhile John suggested that we set up lifestyle of a gold prospector (and of a caretaker). Walt the dry washer. Bickel inhabited this camp from 1930 until 1986 and This was what I'd been waiting for. I'd never done presumably found plenty of gold nearby during that this kind of digging so I was anxious to give it a try. I time. He never told anyone how much gold he'd found can now tell you that digging to fill a dry washer isn't but, judging from his vast collection of rocks, mining much different than digging a garden or a Civil War hut. equipment, and other paraphernalia, he knew how to make Digging is digging, and when you've moved a hundred the most of his time there. shovels of dirt, you ache in The BLM and the Friends the same places regardless of Last Chance Canyon are of what you're searching for. working hard to preserve the There are a few tricks to the camp for future generations. art of dry wash digging that A few more bumps in deserve mention. First, chop the rutted dirt road and we up the clumps of dirt and arrived at the Rocky Road remove the big rocks so you Claim. Everyone agreed don't have to contend with that we'd start the day in a clog in the dry washer. search of gold nuggets usSecond, in this section of ing metal detectors. After a the El Paso Mountains, you few pointers on a borrowed don't have to dig very deep metal detector, we each went to get to the gold. It is better our separate ways. I decided to dry wash the dirt from the not to wander too far from surface down to a depth of the truck, so I began huntfive or six inches rather than John Chartier displays a gold nugget ing up close to some of the dig a deep hole. Finally, if found on a previous outing to the prickly bushes and piles of you can find the tailings from Rocky Road Claim. rusted cans. I've previously rodent holes, that's good dirt July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 51 67 Miners built this dam made of rock and dirt to catch water during the rare rains. to put through the dry washer because it is generally without large rocks and clumps. Dry washers like the one pictured in this article are small and light-weight enough to be carried and operated by one person. It took less than five minutes to get the whole thing set up and just a few minutes to take it down when we were done. We shoveled a lot of dirt and cleaned the catch basins at regular intervals. At this stage, we were simply gathering the heaviest dirt to take back to the house in hopes that we might later see some gold. As with many types of digging, learning the mechanics of the equipment and how to dig is a whole lot easier than knowing where to dig. It stood to reason that we were digging in a place where we might find gold, because gold had been found here before. After a few hours of this, and a little bit more nugget searching with metal detectors, we decided to head back to the house and see if we'd found any gold while dry washing. John unrolled the garden hose and showed me how to use the gold pan to methodically separate the lighter dirt and Joe Keeley searches for gold nuggets with a Minelab GPX5000. Even with a retail price of almost $7000, these have become the top choice for many prospectors. (L-R) Fred Smith was having a good month of prospecting when the author showed up, as seen by this vial; Dan Anderson found all these gold nuggets during 2010. 52 American Digger Magazine 68 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In this series of photos, John Chartier demonstrates how to find gold using a dry washer. (1) Set up the dry washer using rocks to keep it in place. (2) Shovel dirt into the top while the leaf blower is blowing and stay out of the cloud of dirt. (3) Empty the heaviest items out of the catch tray after 100 shovel fulls of dirt are processed. (4) Save this dirt and black sand until you get back home. (5) Add water to your pan of dirt and sand, then rotate gently allowing the lighter dirt and pebbles escape over the brim of the pan. (6) All that should be left now is black sand and gold. Continue swirling. (7) On the left is... GOLD! On the right ... a pebble. Use tweezers to remove the gold and add it to a vial of water. The water also serves as a magnifier, making a tiny bit of gold look a tiny bit bigger! July-August 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 53 69 The Rainbow Chaser I By Kenneth Rand Circa 1914 John Velke puts in some time with the gold pan. No matter the methods used, gold prospecting is hard work. It is also extremely addictive, as prospectors have known for well over a hundred years. ______________ pebbles from the heavier black sand and gold. Gold is 19.2 times heavier than water, and significantly heavier than anything else that stays in the pan. John let me give it a try, but I was pretty nervous about doing it. After all the work we'd done up to this point, I was afraid that I'd let some gold slip over the lip of the pan and end up in the grass in his front yard. After a few swirls (so I could say I actually have gold-panning experience) I turned the pan back over to John. 've followed my restless heart To the uttermost ends of earth � New stars arise in alien skies, Yet what is my roving worth? Have I wasted my wealth of years In a profitless wayside mart, And garnered a crop of rue and tears From heritage-seeds of dearth? Aye, the way is over-long, And the road is ever new � It may be right or it may be wrong And my love be false or true --So long as the rainbow hold, And its glittering arch extend, I'm off for the pot of fairy gold On a road without an end! On a road without an end � Though Fate be harsh or kind � Ah, Love may sleep and eyes may weep, But we've left the world behind! 've followed my fleeting love From the east to the luring west, And north and south through flood and drought I've carried my soul's unrest. Have I bartered my house and home, And my hopes of Heaven above, For a castle built of fairy foam And a maiden's merry jest? Aye, my palace of a dream May be over far away � Ye know, who follow the rainbowgleam, How dear is the price ye pay! Ye know, and yet ever bold, Wherever the trail may trend, Ye're off for the pot of fairy gold On a road without an end! On a road without an end � With never a goal to find � Ah, Love may die and so may I, But we've left the world behind! Mining photos courtesy of Library of Congress I T he panning was done just as the sun began to set. We cleaned up a little, shared a few more stories, and I took some more photographs. I had a long drive and a plane to catch, so we said goodbye and I hit the road. Gold prospecting with John Chartier and the Antelope Valley Treasure Hunters Society was a whole lot of fun and an experience I'll never forget. One of the things that interested me most about my California adventure was the contrast and similarity between gold prospecting today and that done more than 100 years ago. What I mean is that metal detectors offer a huge advantage to those searching for nuggets today, but dry washing is not that much different than it was when the first prospectors went out in the desert looking for gold. There were times when I felt like I was re-enacting the life of an early 1890s rainbow-chaser. And in that vein (pun intended), I'll follow the example of the old-timers and keep to myself exactly how much gold we found. Suffice it to say that it was enough to give me "gold fever." 54 American Digger Magazine 70 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 4 You can purchase American Digger Magazine from these fine dealers! Alabama Southern Treasures Tuscaloosa, AL 866-849-7732 southern-treasures.com Alabama Prospecting Supply 789 Brentwood Drive Gadsden, AL 35901 256-546-3642 White's of the Mid-South 108 E 6th Street Tuscumbia, AL 35674 866-251-9570 California Rusty's Gold & Treasure Supply 5642 E. 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Knife Works Relic Room Hwy. 66, Sevierville, TN 800-251-9306 (Ext 173) smokymountainrelicroom.com Texas AA TV Repair & Metal Detectors 2435 College Hills Blvd. San Angelo, TX 76904 Virginia The Civil War Room Antique Village, Rt. 301 Richmond/Hanover, VA 804-353-1153 / 804-746-8914 firstname.lastname@example.org The Picket Post 602 Caroline St. Fredericksburg, VA 22401 540-371-7703 Lee's Headquarters 1016 Lafayette Blvd. Fredericksburg, VA 22401 540-654-9154 Centreville Electronics 9437 Main St. Manassas, VA 20110 703-367-7999 Regimental Headquarters 256 Cambridge St. Falmouth, VA 22405 540-371-3309 Sgt. Riker's Civil War Shop 305 Washington Hwy. Ste. 1 Ashland, VA 23005 804-798-6848 sgtriker.com Bull Run Relics & Coins 309 N Massanutten St. Strasburg, VA 22657 540-465-4090 www.bullrunrelics.com www.americandigger.com 71 Chasing The Treasures Of Northeast Florida Mention By Jimmy Koenig metal detecting in Florida, and many people see no further than finding modern jewelry on the beach. While there is nothing wrong with that pursuit, and it can pay off handsomely, there are other treasures in Florida. Historical treasures, and yes, even gold and silver. But it isn't just a "walk on the beach." Florida treasure hunting takes a determined person willing to face many obstacles, especially in warm weather (which Florida has more than its share of). Snakes, wild boars, alligators, poison ivy and poison oak, ticks, bees, and wasps are just the start. Digging around oyster shell can create cuts and start a nasty infection. If you're not a native, the heat, and humidity will drive you nuts, along with the No-see-ums and mosquitoes. That's just shore hunting. If you decide to engage in some water hunting, you can ignore some of those above hazards and replace them with rip-tides, jellyfish, and even sharks. Let's not forget sudden thunderstorms, no matter if you are on shore or in the ocean. But if you can put up with all that, Northeast Florida is a great place to detect for lost history. The coast line here is full of history, and just offshore are numerous uncharted shipwrecks from different countries, primarily French, Spanish, British, and Dutch. Even better, when conditions are right, you don't have to be a diver to recover some of this past. Beach hunting is a great place to start, especially between nor'easter storms. Also keep an eye on beach erosions. Both of these conditions will allow the shore hunter a chance at some shipwreck artifacts that have washed in. This area is loaded with lost history, just waiting to be recovered. History tells us that Ponce de Leon, searching for riches and the Fountain of Youth, reached the east coast of Florida in April 1513. He claimed this land for Spain, calling it "Pascua de Florida" (feast of flowers). Although tradition states that the landing took place at Saint Augustine, many historians believe that they first landed where Melbourne is now located, then moved north to Saint Augustine. Florida's mystery starts even at this early time, for not only is the exact location of his landfall unknown, but there is some evidence that Spanish slave traders made it to the shores of Florida 32 American Digger Magazine Aaron Scholten shows a find he has just made on a desolate stretch of beach. In the background his transportation, a boat, lies tied up and secured for the ride home. __________ as far back as 1494. After the landing, the Spanish armada continued sailing throughout the Caribbean and South America looking for gold, silver, and emeralds for the king. In 1565, Pedro Menedez De Aviles founded a permanent settlement in Saint Augustine. During this period, the Spanish had small settlements and outposts throughout the area. Yes, there is plenty of history here, and the above just scratches the surface. We have a small group of treasure hunters that get together here in Northeast Florida and go through all the obstacles mentioned above. In return, at almost every hunt someone comes up with a great piece of history, from early Spanish to late 1700s British. We went out one spring morning to hunt a beach known as an early Spanish shipwreck site. My wife, Robann Koenig, a dedicated member of the group, was working a small cut as the tide was going out. She got a good target, but every time she dug the sand kept filling in. Persistence finally paid off, and after 15 minutes she uncovered a thin black and gray object a little bigger than a nickel. After cleaning it, we saw it was a silver Spanish One Reale coin. Closer examination revealed it was Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 2 Click here to order single issues. 72 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 2 That's the strange thing with beach hunting. Go five feet That's the strange thing with beach hunting. Go five feet That's the strange thing with beach hunting. in one direction and you're loaded with good,Go five feet in one direction and you're loaded with good, old targets, old targets, in one direction and you're and there aregood, old targets, loaded with then move over a few feet and there are no signals at all. then move over a few feet no signals at all. then move over a few feet and there are no signals at all. from the Cartagena Mint and marked in the boat to search for another spot. from the Cartagena Mint and marked in the boat to search for another spot. by Juan de la Hera, Mint and marked Iinworked the search for another spot. from the Cartagena a transitional asthe boat to waterline on the way by Juan de la Hera, a transitional asI worked the waterline on the way sayer. Armed with this information, back, and 20 minutes later got a way by Juan de la Hera, a transitional asI worked the waterline on the solsayer. Armed with this information, back, and 20 minutes later got a solwe knew the coin had to have been id, deep signal. I was later got a solsayer. Armed with this information, back, and 20 minutes racing against we knew the coin had to have been id, deep signal. I was racing against minted between 1625-26. have been time, as water keptwas racing against we knew the coin had to id, deep signal. I refilling my hole, minted between 1625-26. time, as water kept refilling my hole, Aaron Scholten and and my batteries were getting weaker minted between 1625-26.I then went time, as water kept refilling my hole, Aaron Scholten and I then went and my batteries were getting weaker just south of another cut on the beach, by the second. I wasgetting weaker Aaronof another cut on the beach, Scholten and I then went and my batteries were digging furijust south by the second. I was digging furilooking for more Spanish the beach, loot, but ously, racing theI elements and furijust south of another cut on by the second. was digging my looking for more Spanish loot, but ously, racing the elements and my only finding more Spanish loot, but batteries, when they finally died. looking for modern treasures. Still, ously, racing the elements and my only finding modern treasures. Still, batteries, when they finally died. modern jewelry and coins are better Having nowhen they finally died. only finding modern treasures. Still, batteries, extras, I started blindly modern jewelry and coins are better Having no extras, I started blindly than nothing. That's the strange better digging as further down the blindly modern jewelry and coins are thing Having no extras, I started beach than nothing. That's the strange thing digging as further down the beach with nothing. That's the strange thing Aaron, and Robann were packing up than beach hunting, go five feet in digging as further down the beach with beach hunting, go five feet in Aaron, and Robann were packing up Robann Koenig found this Robann Koenig found this one directionhunting, go loaded with and you're five feet in to leave. Desperate, were packingdewith beach Aaron, and Robann I turned my up one direction and you're loaded with to leave. Desperate, I turned my desilver 1625 Spanish Reale Robann Koenig found this silver 1625 Spanish Reale good, old targets, you're loaded with tector's switch off and turned my on. one direction and then move over a to leave. Desperate, I then back degood, old targets, then move over a tector's switch off and then back on. attributed to assayer silver 1625 Spanish Reale attributed to assayer few feet and there are no signalsover a at all. This gave me one final burst of power, good, old targets, then move tector's switch off and then back on. few feet and there are no signals at all. This gave me one final burst of power, Juan de la Hera. attributed to assayer Juan de la Hera. Move over yet another three feet and just enough toone final burst ofPulling few feet and there are no signals at all. This gave me find the target. power, Move over yet another three feet and just enough to find the target. Pulling __________ Juan de la Hera. __________ you're overto beanother three feet and out aenough to find the target.knew it Move apt yet in a "modern" sweet just large black flat object, I Pulling you're apt to be in a "modern" sweet out a large black flat object, I knew it __________ spot. You just be in a "modern" sweet never know. was a large piece of silver. Washing it you're apt to out an old black flat object, I knew it spot. You just never know. was an old piece of silver. Washing it After just never know. off showed that it was a 1635 Eight Reale. I learned two spot. Youtwo hours of digging, Aaron suggested we get was an old piece of silver. Washing it After two hours of digging, Aaron suggested we get off showed that it was a 1635 Eight Reale. I learned two valuable lessons it was a 1635 Eight Reale. I learned two that day: never give up on a good target After two hours of digging, Aaron suggested we get valuable lessons that day: never give up on a good target off showed that and always take extra day: never give up on a good target valuable lessons that batteries with you. and always take extra batteries with you. andAfter getting extra batteries withup, we headed to an always take everything loaded you. After getting everything loaded up, we headed to an area After gettingearly Spanish and, later,weBritish settlewhere both everything loaded up, a headed to an area where both early Spanish and, later, a British settlement,where once early Spanish time, later, a British settlearea were both located. This and, we were far enough ment, were once located. This time, we were far enough off the were once located. This only plenty of poison ivy, ment, beach to experience not time, we were far enough off the beach to experience not only plenty of poison ivy, but alsobeach to experience not only plenty of poison ivy, off the wildlife. Not far off, we could hear wild hogs rootbut also wildlife. Not far off, we could hear wild hogs rooting around, unaware (we off, we could hear wild hogs rootbut also wildlife. Not far hoped) of our presence. For the ing around, unaware (we hoped) of our presence. For the first around, unawareheardhoped) of our presence. For the ing 40 minutes we (we almost nothing but the sounds first 40 minutes we heard almost nothing but the sounds of the hogs. Finally, Robann got a faint low tonethe sounds first 40 minutes we heard almost nothing but and called of the hogs. Finally, Robann got a faint low tone and called methe hogs. Finally, Robann got a faint low tone andshells, of over. Digging carefully through roots and oyster called me over. Digging carefully through roots and oyster shells, at about 14 inches down a through roots history emerged. me over. Digging carefully rare piece of and oyster shells, at about 14 inches down a rare piece of history emerged. "Hawk's bell," Robann said, smiling, and emerged. at about 14 inches down a rare piece of historyheld it up "Hawk's bell," Robann said, smiling, and held it up for me to see. bell," Robann said, smiling, and held it up "Hawk's for me to see. for Sheto see. me rechecked the hole and nodded, saying "There's This 1635 Eight She rechecked the hole and nodded, saying "There's This 1635 Eight something else down there."and nodded, saying "There's She rechecked the hole Reale, minted in something else down there." This 1635 Eight Reale, minted in At almost 18 inches, we saw a small object spill onto something else down there."saw a small object spill onto Mexico,minted in At almost 18 inches, we Reale, was dug Mexico, was dug the dirt almost 18 inches, we saw a small hole. Itspill onto At pile we were making beside the object was anby the author at the dirt pile we were making beside the hole. It was anMexico, was dug by the author at other hawk's we were making beside the hole. It was anthe dirt pile bell, this one missing the shank. Either way, the beach site just other hawk's bell, this one missing the shank. Either way, by the author at the beach site just these were very nice first finds at the site. other hawk's bell, this one missing the shank. Either way, as his detector these were very nice first finds at the site. the beach site just as his detector Hawk's bells were used in the site. these were very nice first finds atmany ways in the new batteries died. Hawk's bells were used in many ways in the new as his detector batteries died. world: as fashion accessories, in manyto drivein the new Hawk's bells were used amulets ways away evil __________ world: as fashion accessories, amulets to drive away evil batteries died. __________ world: as fashion accessories, amulets to drive away evil March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 __________ March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 33 March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 73 www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 73 (From left): Hawk bells and Spanish doublet buttons found at the second site; Spanish civilian buttons; two thimbles, one regular adult size and the other very petite. __________ spirits, or used in falconry (their original intended use). These were highly prized by the Native Americans, and often brought by the explorers for trade. They were also used by the Spanish and Europeans as intended, tied in pairs on a hawk or falcon's leg for hunting. The theory was that two bells could be heard farther away than one, making it easier to find the falcon after it caught its prey. A couple of feet away, Robann got another low tone, this time a child's thimble. Meanwhile, at my suggestion, Aaron moved over to hunt where a fallen tree lay. In no more then two minutes, he dug six musket balls, a Spanish musket's barrel band, and a brass spigot. Shocked at his success, I moved a few feet away from Robann and found my own target. Digging through the dirt and shells, I chased the signal for over 15 minutes. Finally, a small Spanish doublet button, circa mid 1500s, appeared. Taking a lesson from Robann, I rechecked the hole and was rewarded with another button. After combing the area for another hour, finding scrap brass and lead, nothing else was forthcoming. By now it was getting late, and we headed home, deciding to check yet another site the next day. Another spring day dawned as we loaded into Aaron's boat the next morning and headed to another area where there had been both Spanish and British outposts and civilian settlements. The problem was that the site is also where folks go to party during the summertime, which means we had to dig a lot of modern trash to get to the good stuff. As I tied the boat up, Aaron started detecting the waterline. Within minutes, he'd gotten three mid-tone targets. Calling Robann to help him, they pulled out three Spanish buttons. From there, Robann started detecting around a fallen tree where she heard a target, a musket ball. While digging the ball, by chance she saw a small glass-like object. "Yellow flint," she yelled. It was probably from the very flintlock that the ball was intended for. After getting the boat squared away, it was my turn to find something. After 20 minutes, I got a signal. Thinking at first it was a modern quarter, 12 inches down I pulled out a Spanish 1666 One Reale. After rechecking the hole and determining nothing else was in it, I walked eight feet and dug a piece These One Reale coins, dated from 16081609, were stuck together when first recovered by Robann Koenig. 34 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 74 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 2 74 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Front and back of the 1666 One Reale recovered by Jimmy Koenig, showing the unusual "double dating." Patty Edwards' British buttons and sash buckle. __________ Patty yelling. My first thought was she had found a rattlesnake or wild hog. Instead, it turned out that she had dug a very nice civilian British buckle, then seconds later, a 16th Regiment British Infantry button. Amazingly, the pewter button had remained in remarkably good condition despite the harsh Florida conditions. Later research revealed that the 16th British Infantry had arrived in Pensacola, Florida in 1767, and took part in actions at Baton Rouge, LA, Port Royal Island and Cowpens, SC before returning to England in 1782. Robann Koenig holds a musket ball and amber flint that she had just dug. __________ of cut "holed" silver. Such holes are common on old coins, and were used to sew the money inside clothing for safe keeping, to be worn around the neck as a charm, or simply to string several coins together. I was satisfied, and decided to go back to the boat for some fishing while everyone else finished up. Nearby, I watched Robann dig a soda can, then recheck the hole, looking puzzled. She resumed digging and below where the can had rested, pulled out three One Reales stuck together! That got me out the boat and back to hunting. Seeing something as odd as the trio of Reales stuck together reminded me of an odd silver find I'd recently made. A good friend, Bob Spratley, had generously put me on a hot spot. Twenty minutes into the hunt, I heard a good signal. Digging through the sand and shells, I pulled out a One Reale. Rechecking the pile, I found a very small piece of silver. Back at home, I cleaned it up. I was stunned to see a cross on it! Checking the book Cobs, Pieces of Eight, and Treasure Coins, by Sewall Menzel, there it was: a very rare Quarter Reale! On This One Reale dwarfs the rare Quarter Reale. Both were found by the author in the same hole. a day soon afterwards, Robann, Patty Edwards, June Downing, Richard Downing, and myself headed to a different Spanish and British military camp site. Again, I was tying down the boat while everyone else began detecting in the woods. Moments later, I heard Late 1700s cuff links and broken shoe/knee buckles found by Robann. March-April www.americandigger.com 2011 American Digger Magazine 35 35 March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 75 www.americandigger.com 75 Not all good finds are metallic. A Notbroken Spanish olive jar sitsA all good finds are metallic. with two got the ball rolling, and before long June got the ball rolling, and before long June a trash broken Spanish olive jar melted slag of gold and Richard Downing located metallic treasures: sits with two and they began finding 1750s to mid 1800s potRichard Downing located a trash metallic treasures: melted slag of gold pile where and silver, found by Jimmy Koenig. pile where they began finding 1750s to mid 1800s pot-HI Halfand silver, found by Jimmy Koenig. tery shards. June also found a 1784 Carolus __________ tery shards. June also found a 1784 Carolus HI a small area Reale. Robann and Patty were working Half __________ Reale. Robann and got into another patch small area with gold is a reason to dig deeper, so I went down another nearby and Patty were working a of artifacts, nearby Robann finding a 14th Regimentartifacts,button, along is a reason toThere, I heard a high tone, and plucked out and got into another patch of British with gold 18 inches. dig deeper, so I went down another Robannwith a pair14thcuff links, and pieces of shoe and knee finding a of Regiment British button, along 18 inches. There, I heard piece of silver. I plucked out on a a relatively large a high tone, and thought I was with a pair of cuff links, away, Patty of shoe and knee andrelatively large piece ofall there was in thewas on a buckles. Ten feet and pieces dug two axe heads a a roll, but that was silver. I thought I hole. buckles. Ten feet the late 1700s. two axe heads and a hoe from away, Patty dug roll, but that then decided to getin thethe woods and hunt beI was all there was into hole. hoe from the late getting the boat secured, I decided to workI then decided to get into the woods and huntday short. I 1700s. After fore the afternoon thunderstorms cut our beAfter getting highboat mark. Hearing a small target, I began thewandered around again forcut our day short. I huntalong the the tide secured, I decided to work fore afternoon thunderstorms almost half an hour, along the high tide mark. Hearing a small target, I pile produced ingaround again for almost half anpitch target, a good began wandered slowly. Then I got a very high hour, huntdigging. Running my probe through the digging. Running my probe through the pile producedmore inslowly. Then I got a very high pitch target, orgood more a small (3.9 grams) piece of gold slag. Hearing ing sign of silver. Another Reale, I thought, a maybe a small the hole, a bit more digging rewarded me with another of silver. Another Reale, I thought, or maybe more (3.9 grams) piece of gold slag. Hearing more in sign melted silver! the hole, a bit of gold, this one 3.2 grams. Obviously, melted silver! I was wrong. I dug deeper, down, and down, and piece more digging rewarded me with another melted But piece of gold, this one 3.2 grams. Obviously, melted But I was wrong. I dug deeper, down, and down, and I decided to get into the I decided to get into the the woods and hunt before woods and hunt before the cut afternoon thunderstorms afternoonday short. I wandered our thunderstorms cut ouraround again wandered half day short. I for almost around again for almostslowly. an hour, hunting half an Then I hunting slowly. pitch hour, got a very high Then I got a very high pitch target, a good sign of silver. target, a good sign ofthought, or Another Reale, I silver. Another Reale, I thought,silver. maybe more melted or maybe more melted silver. This This 36 American Digger MagazineDigger Magazine Sampler 76 76 2011 American Magazine Sampler 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 2 Patty Edwards takes a break during a British 16th, 22nd, and 14th Regiment th nd th British 16 , 22 , and 14 RegimentPatty. Patty Edwards takes a break during a Florida treasure excursion. buttons found by Robann and Florida treasure excursion. buttons found by Robann Vol. 7, Issue 2 and Patty. 36 American Digger Magazine I dug deeper, down, I dug deeper, down, and down, and down. and down, and down. Then, I saw the green Then, I saw the green tint of brass. It was a tint of brass. It was a well-preserved M1742 well-preserved M1742 British military enlisted British military enlisted man's sword guard, far man's sword guard, far rarer than a Reale, with rarer than a Reale, with the rack number (95) the rack number (95) engraved on it. engraved on it. Shown here are two views of the Model down. Then, I saw the green tint of brass. It Shown Britishare two Enlisted sword Model M1742 here Military views of the guard down. well-preserved M1742 British miliwas a Then, I saw the green tint of brass. It M1742 British Military Enlisted sword guard recovered by the author. Note the rack was a well-preserved M1742 British military enlisted man's sword guard, far rarer recovered by the engraved into the brass. number "95" plainly author. Note the rack tary enlisted man's sword guard, far rarer than a Reale, with the rack number (95) number "95" plainly engraved into the brass. __________ than a Reale, with the rack number (95) engraved on it. A single button was in the __________ engraved on it. A single button was in the hole also. According to John Powell of Half Reale and a pile of mid-1700s pottery shards. hole also. According to John Powell of Saint Augustine, Florida, who specialHalf Realethree a pileof Northeast Florida hunting among These and days of mid-1700s pottery shards. SaintinAugustine, Florida, who specializes Spanish and Colonial military material, even group were great days for recovering hunting among izes in Spanish and Colonial military material, even our These three days of Northeast Florida the treasures of though the guard is from a Model 1742 Pattern, these our past. That's the best partfor digging in Florida; thereof the group were great days of recovering the treasures is though the guard is from a Loyalist 1742 Pattern, these were still used by British and Model Forces through the the past.some type best part of digging in Florida;treasure always That's the of history to recover. If you there is were still used War period. Loyalist Forces through the Revolutionary by British and always some type of history tobe sure to respecttreasure hunt here or somewhere else, just recover. If you the hisRevolutionary War period. huntyou seek, the land you seek itbe sure to respect the you tory here or somewhere else, just on, and the wildlife hisended my day with a great piece of Florida history you seek, thewhileyou seek it on, and the wildlife you might encounter land seeking. ended my day and a great piece of Florida history. Robann, with Patty also did well, adding might encounter while seeking. Oh, also keep some extra batteries in your pouch! tory. Robann, and Patty also to well, adding two more pewter British military buttons didtheir pouches. Oh, also keep some extra batteries in your pouch! two moreRichardBritish military buttons to theirapouches. June and pewter also were successful, finding Spanish June and Richard also were successful, finding a Spanish I'd I'd The author wishes to give thanks to John T. Powell for information The author wishes to give thanksreferencingPowell for information used in this article, as well as to John T. the following books: used in this article,Eight, and Treasure Coinsthe Sewall Menzel Cobbs, Pieces of as well as referencing by following books: Cobbs, Pieces of Eight, and Treasure Coins Kathleen Deagan Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies Vol. 2 by by Sewall Menzel Artifacts Buttons of the American Vol. 2 by Kathleen Deagan Military of the Spanish Colonies Revolution by Don Troiani Military Buttons of the American Revolution by Don Troiani About the Author: About the Author: Jimmy Koenig is a native of Florida, and still Assorted buttons and jewelry lost in Assorted1700s by and jewelry lost at the late buttons British soldiers in the late 1700sandBritish soldiers at the last site by dug by Robann. the last site and dug by Robann. Jimmy there near Atlantic Beach. After aand still resides Koenig is a native of Florida, 17-year residesin the military, he began metal detecting full career there near Atlantic Beach. After a 17-year career in the military, he began metalare in pursuit time in 2004. Most of his days now detecting full time in 2004. Most of his of it found are in pursuit of Spanish treasure, most days now washed up on of Spanishbeaches of Northeastern Florida. up on the treasure, most of it found washed the beaches of Northeastern Florida. March-April 2011 American Digger Magazine 37 March-April www.americandigger.com 2011 American Digger Magazine 77 37 www.americandigger.com 77 Just A Small Spark Can Ignite A Lifelong Passion by John T Anderson by John T Anderson Introduction by Introduction by Dwayne D. Anderson Dwayne D. Anderson Everyone who enjoys a hobby involving the pursuit of anything, i.e. hunting for (you fill in the blank), began Everyone who enjoys a hobby involving the pursuit of anything, i.e. hunting for (you fill in the blank), began seeking their chosen quarry by being introduced to it by someone else. It may be years before they actually seeking their chosen quarry by being introduced to it by someone else. It may be years before they actually began in earnest themselves to engage in the hobby, but the spark has been struck. Even though overall the began in earnest themselves to engage in the hobby, but the spark has been struck. Even though overall the need of men and women to seek or "hunt" for a particular thing is common to the human race, it is outside need of men and women to seek or "hunt" for a particular thing is common to the human race, it is outside influence that nudges one into a particular direction. The following story shows how I, Dwayne Anderson, influence that nudges one into a particular direction. The following story shows how I, Dwayne Anderson, received nudge 40 40 years ago. The result was arrowhead hunting, rock hounding, gold panning, and received my my nudge years ago. The result was arrowhead hunting, rock hounding, gold panning, and metal metal detecting. This ledrelic hunting, which led ledfriends who enjoy thethe same, which turn ledled a posidetecting. This led to to relic hunting, which to to friends who enjoy same, which in in turn to to a posi tion of copy editor with American Digger Magazine. Recent health problems have prevented me from relic tion of copy editor with American Digger Magazine. Recent health problems have prevented me from relic hunting, so I am now learning to make arrowheads. In a way, it brings me full circle back to how this whole hunting, so I am now learning to make arrowheads. In a way, it brings me full circle back to how this whole journey began, as the following story by my mentor and uncle, John Anderson, will show... journey began, as the following story by my mentor and uncle, John Anderson, will show... On a beautiful sunny summer morning almost 40 years ago I awoke to the chatter of my two nephews who were spending the summer with me. It seemed that they were fascinated at how fat the bellies of my 6-week-old German Shorthair puppies were. A short investigation was conducted and I learned that the two youngsters had fed the puppies dry dog food, not knowing that I normally soaked their food in water before feeding them, as I was in the process of weaning them off their mother's milk. The poor pups looked like little melons with legs that didn't quite touch the ground. Figuring that I had best find the kids something to do that I could supervise a little more closely, I loaded them into my `51 Chevy pickup truck and told them that we were going arrowhead hunting. As I drove down the driveway which led from my home to the main road, many questions were asked concerning our new adven48 American Digger Magazine ture as we made our way west toward the community of Mulberry Grove, Georgia. This was one of my favorite locations to find Indian arrowheads. The boys continued their questioning, as youngsters their ages will do. "Where are we going, Uncle Johnny?" they asked. A young Dwayne Anderson A young Dwayne Anderson and his first find. and his first find. Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 3 Click here to order single issues. 78 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 3 Kirk Serrated Ft. Payne Chert Kirk Serrated (Central West GA) Ft. Payne Chert 4000-7000 GA) (Central WestBC 4000-7000 BC Copena- Triangular Dark Marron Chert Copena- Triangular (Central TN) Dark Marron Chert 1000-2000 BC (Central TN) 1000-2000 BC "We're going to hunt arrowheads," I replied. Then, of course, I hadarrowheads," these "We're going to hunt to explain to I refive and six of course, I had to explain to was, plied. Then, year-olds what an arrowhead these where they year-olds what an arrowhead was, five and six came from, who made them, how the Indians lost from, who made wanted to where they camethem, and why I them, how find them. lost them, and crash course to the IndiansThis made for awhy I wanted in Native American history of crash Western find them. This made for a Middlecourse in Georgia, a few remarks of Middle the two Native American historyconcerning Western little munchkins "being concerning the two Georgia, a few remarks quiet," and my telling them "We're almost there!" 100 times. little munchkins "being quiet," and my tellI had not reached my favorite hunting ing them "We're almost there!" 100 times. spotI when I reached my favorite hunting had not suddenly decided to check out spot I suddenly decided road in spotawhen not far off the pavedto check some spot pine trees. the area had been out a scrubnot far off The paved road in eroded over the trees. The area had been some scrub pineyears and was filled with gullies over the years and This was with eroded caused by erosion. was filledback when caused would abandon the back gulliesfarmers by erosion. This was land to the elements for more suitable land when farmers would abandon the land to farm. When the soil was depleted of the elements for more suitable land its nutrients, farm families would of to farm. When the soil was depletedjust move on. Between families would could its nutrients, farm these gullies, you just still find Between topsoil and sometimes move on.a layer of these gullies, you could arrowheads would topsoil and sometimes still find a layer of be found at the edge of the pine straw and be clay at arrowheads would redfoundon the bank of edge the pine straw and red clay on the bank of Snapped Base Kirk (Central West Kirk Snapped Base GA) 4000-7000 GA) (Central WestBC 4000-7000 BC Pine Tree Ft. Pine Tree Payne Chert (South Central TN) Ft. Payne Chert 3000-6000 BC (South Central TN) 3000-6000 BC John Anderson Spear Point John Anderson 2009 AD Spear Point 2009 AD Kirk Serrated Dover Chert Kirk Serrated (South Central TN) Dover Chert 4000-7000 BC (South Central TN) 4000-7000 BC the gully. Sure enough, my youngest nephew spotted a Sure enough, black flint arrowhead the gully. nicely shaped my youngest nephew with beveled sides. He ran to me and asked spotted a nicely shaped black flint arrowhead "Uncle Johnny, is this ran to with beveled sides. Heone?" me and asked "Yes!" I said this one?" "Uncle Johnny, is excitedly and praised him highly for I said excitedly and unexpected) "Yes!" his first (and very praised him find. for I did something that I feel highly Thenhis first (and very unexpected) guilty for find. ThentoI this day. I put thethat I into did something point feel my pocket. this a short time, point this guilty for toAfter day. I put thewe left into spot in the After a short time, to left this my pocket.pines and moved onwe the cow pasture and field that I normally the cow spot in the pines and moved on to hunted. We did make a I normally hunted. pasture and field thatfew more finds that dayWe did make offew more finds that of a couple a broken points and assorted couple chipped flint and and day of a colors ofof broken points lots of quartz. In of area of the and lots assorted colorsour chipped flint country, flint is not a native stone. One must of quartz. In our area of the country, travel not a native stone. One any flint is as much as 100 miles inmust direction much as 100 miles in any travel as in order to find any natural flint outcroppings. to find any natural direction in order The Indians from those areas would use flint for trading flint outcroppings. The Indians from purposes with tribes here in our part of those areas would use flint for trading the state. Flint was here in our part of purposes with tribes highly prized due to its color, sharpness, and, prized all, the state. Flint was highly most of due the ease in sharpness, and, most of all, to its color,which it could be fashioned the ease in American Digger Magazine 49 May-June 2011 which it could be fashioned May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 49 www.americandigger.com 79 79 www.americandigger.com Elora Elora 1000-2000 B.C 1000-2000 B.C Pickwick Pickwick 1500-4000 BC 1500-4000 BC Autauga Autauga 5000-7000 BC 5000-7000 BC Jude 4000Jude to 7000 BC 4000 to 7000 BC Benton Benton 2000-4000 BC 2000-4000 BC similar outdoorsman could understand and relate into tools, spear points, and arrowheads. The similar outdoorsmanexperienced on the night beinto tools, spear found byand nephew was most to the excitement could understand and relate small arrowhead points, my arrowheads. The to thethe next big hunt. The thrill and excitement fore excitement experienced on the night besmall arrowhead found by my nephew was most likely made from a piece of flint brought here fore sometimes overwhelming when excitement is the next big hunt. The thrill and anticipating likely made from a piece of flintSouth Georgia, by Indian traders from North or brought here isthe discoveryoverwhelminghistory which has resometimes of a piece of when anticipating by Indian traders from North or South was deep or perhaps Central Alabama. Now it Georgia, the discovery of unseen for hundreds or even thoumained buried, a piece of history which has reor perhaps Central Alabama. Now it except for in the pocket of Uncle Johnny and, was deep mainedof years. What untold storiesor even thousands buried, unseen for hundreds and lost facts in the pocketshowings to my wife, itexcept for a couple of of Uncle Johnny and, was never sandsbe told byWhat untold storiesthe past? facts can of years. these treasures of and lost What ato be seen again by its young andit wasexcited couple of showings to my wife, very never canpleasure by these treasures of the past? person a be told and honor it is to be the one What to be seen again byas I young this story,excited finder. Even now its write and very I wonawho is able to unlock it is to be the one person pleasure and honor an artifact's otherwise final finder. Even now as I write this story,be wonder what my nephew's reaction will I when who is able to unlockfewartifact's otherwise final resting place just a an inches under the earth to der what my nephew's reaction will be when he learns that I still have in my possession his resting place just a few inches under so long. to release its secrets held dormant for the earth he learns that I still have in my possession his very first historic find. releaseknow many relic and artifact hunters like I its secrets held dormant for so long. very first historic find. know many myself who, after a find, ask me share with you why, at this myI nephew and relic and artifact hunters like me share with you why, realizamy nephew and myself we know cannot beask point of his life, the at this many questions which who, after a find, anpoint that his life, the realizamany questions which we know cannot be antion of his first find still exswered. Who wore the spur that Dwayne found swered. Who wore the spur that Dwayne found ists could have tion that his first find him. exgreat significance to still My a while back? What were that soldier's final days ists could have great significance to him. least. alike? Did he What were that and whatfinal days while back? have children soldier's happened nephew has not had an easy life, to say the My nephew has not had anand has run his ownleast. easy life, to say the busilike? Did he have children and what happened He has worked hard to them? What was the Indian like who made He has worked fair living has his family. Over the to them? What was the Indian like who made ness making a hard and for run his own busithe little black arrowhead? What sort of things ness making a fair living forlovefamily. Over the his for the outdoors the little black arrowhead? What sortwhich I am years, he has developed a did he think as he walked the ground of things years, he has developed a love tookthe the hobby did he think as he walkednatural that which I such and in his young adulthood he for up outdoors presently walking? It is the ground we ask am and hunting relics with a metal detector. hobby in his young adulthood he took up the I think presently walking? It is questions aswe ask such of never-to-be-answered natural that we go about of hunting safe in with a metal detector.to distant never-to-be-answeredactivity of as we go about that I am relics saying that traveling I think our almost spiritual questions uncovering lost that I am safe in his friends and walkingdistant saying that traveling to untold our almost spiritual activityjust uncovering lost locations with and forgotten history. It is of what we do. The locations with his friends and walking his earand forgotten history.joints andwhat we do. The miles listening for that distinct beep in untold sore feet and aching It is just tired muscles are miles listening for that distinct beep in his earsoreno consequence joints and tired musclesfinds phones has become his passion of the highest of feet and aching as we go through our are phones has become his passion of the highest of no consequence as we go through our finds degree. Metal detecting and digging, hoping for of the day. degree. Metal lifetime, I'm sure fill his mindfor detecting and digging, hoping as of the day. finds are great, and some are not so the find of a Some the find of his head onI'm sure filland closes as Some finds cases, there are no are not all. he places a lifetime, his pillow his mind his John Anderson great. In many are great, and some finds at so he places his head on his pillow and closes his John Anderson great.in spite of it all, it there are no finds at all. eyes each night. As many of you are, he is a true But In many cases, never crosses our minds to Blade eyes each night. As many of you are, he is a true But in Our sightsall, it never crosses our minds to American digger! quit. spite of it are always set on the next weekBlade 2009 AD American digger! quit. Our sights areonce again on the next weekOnly an arrowhead hunter, relic hunter, or end and heading always set to the field where 2009 AD Only an arrowhead hunter, relic hunter, or end and heading once again to the field where Let Let 50 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 3 50 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 80 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 3 Drill Drill 10,00010,00012,000 BC 12,000 BC Mud Creek Mud Creek 4000-7000 B.C. 4000-7000 B.C. Copena Copena 4,0004,0001,800 BC 1,800 BC Brewerton Brewerton 4,0004,0002,000 BC 2,000 BC Bolen Bolen 6,0006,0008,500 BC 8,500 BC Elora Elora 1,000-4,000 BC 1,000-4,000 BC Alachua Alachua 500 AD500 AD2000 BC 2000 BC the little treasures are waiting. and a dread of the next sunrise. I would the little treasures are waiting. and a dread of the nextfor myself. would Think back and try to remember what or probably feel very sorry sunrise. I Think back and try tosparked your interremember what or probably feel very sorry for myself.now 46 who influenced you and Yesterday my nephew, who is who influenced you andand exciting hobby Yesterday my nephew, A is of 46 est in such a wonderful sparked your interyears-old, paid me a visit.whofewnow his est we such a wonderful andall start? Recall in practice. How did it exciting hobby years-old, paid him adown from Atlanta. as friends drove me visit. A few of his as wemost significantdid it all start? Recall friends drovewe chatted through the open your practice. How finds and relive the Upon arrival, him down from Atlanta. your mostexcitement of the and relive the significant finds find, wipUpon arrival, we chatted through the open thrill and passenger window of his friend's vehicle thrill and excitement of the find, wippassenger windowthe his friend's vehicle ing off the layer of dirt, blowing off the while another of of party in the group ing off the layer ofthe object in a creek dirt, blowing off the while another of the party in the group dust, or washing removed a wheelchair from the back of dust, or puddle. Who object in first person removed a wheelchair from the back of or mud washing the was the a creek the SUV. As we all helped Dwayne make or mud puddle. Who What a thrill, person was the first what a the few short, but very painful, stepsmake SUV. As we all helped Dwayne to be that you showed it to? that you showed it to? What a thrill, what a the fewin what I came painful,his chariot, high, what an experience! And we can do seated short, but very to call steps to be high,again next weekend or the we can do what an experience! And next day seated in what I came to call his to days it all I couldn't help thinking back chariot, it all again nextBoy, whator life!next day Igone by when my nephew wasto days couldn't help thinking back strong for that matter. weekend a the for that matter. Boy, what a life! morngone by when my nephew wasthe two Now imagine waking up one and healthy with the energy of strong Now imagine waking up one able to and combined. the energy had come ing to learn that you will never be mornof ushealthy withBut now he of the two ing to learn that you will never be able to at of us combined. But now he hadto ask practice your passion again. No more rising down to Pine Mountain, Georgia come practice fixingpassionlunch, loading up your at down to Pine Mountain, Georgia to besunrise, your a sack again. No more rising that I give him some pointers on howto ask sunrise, fixing a heading out loading favorsack lunch, to your up your that I giveflintknapper, a hobby that Ito beequipment, and come a him some pointers on how have equipment, spot heading out to your favorcome a flintknapper, a hobby that I have ite hunting and in the piney woods, field, practiced since returning home from Tenite old home place the enjoy your lifelong hunting spot in to piney woods, field, practiced since returning home from Tenor nessee in 1985. Although Dwayne has or old home place to enjoy your lifelong nessee inforced to give upDwayne has passion. Searching the hills and dales been 1985. Although his passion passion. Searchingtreasures of history the hills and dales been forced to givedue to his mediDwayne Anderson for those hidden for metal detecting up his passion Dwayne Anderson for those hidden Gone forever history for condition, he hasdue to his up his Blade /Point will be no more. treasures of are the cal metal detecting not given mediBlade /Point will be no more. Gone forever are the cal condition, he His not given up his 2010 AD excited phone calls to your friends passion for life. has legs don't work 2010 AD excited phone calls to What friends passion for life. His legs don't work to share the day's finds. your visions so well any more but his hands and to share the day's finds. What visionspillow each night would fill our minds as our head hit the arms do. He told me so well had been exercising in order that he any more but his hands and woulddrifted off to sleep? Speaking the pillow each night arms do. He told upper body had beento have the strength as we fill our minds as our head hit for myself, I am sure to strengthen his me that he in order exercising in order as we drifted offof arrowheads, Minie balls, beltI buckles, to strengthen knapping procedure called have the strength that the visions to sleep? Speaking for myself, am sure perform a his upper body in order to pressure flaking. that the visions of arrowheads,replaced by sleeplessness tocan see a huge difference in his excitement and flaking. buttons, and coins, would be Minie balls, belt buckles, I perform a knapping procedure called pressure attitude buttons, and coins, would be replaced by sleeplessness I can see a huge difference in his excitementMagazine 51 May-June 2011 American Digger and attitude May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 51 81 81 Postscript: As of this publicaeach day as he makes the transition ing how I would handle a situation tion date, of this has shown a Postscript: As Dwaynepublicaand plans what the transition each day as he makeshe will do the next how I would handle a situation ing where my world was turned upside marked improvement from tion date, Dwayne has shown a his day. what he his do now learning down overnight. I think that and plans He spendswill timethe next where my world was turned upsideif we illness and can from his marked improvement now walk unknapping, working on his website, day. He spends his time now learning downhave a passionthink that if we all overnight. I for life itself then aided for short periods of time. and working his reproductions have a passion for life itself thengiven usillness and can now walk unthe rest is gravy. God has all knapping, marketing on his website, of aidedAlthough periods of time. baffor short his doctors are artifacts which he once hunted. a is gravy. God has given us and marketing his reproductions of the restbeautiful world. What a shame if fled, his doctors are bafAlthough Dwayne has the answer: His phone calls are still we do not enjoy it a shame if artifacts which he once hunted. filled with beautiful world. Whatto the fullest like a fled, "It's a miraclethe answer: he Dwayne has from above," excitement as he lets me with His phone calls are still filledknow how do notnephew. to the fullestgave him we my enjoy it When life like says with a smile. "It's a miracle from above," he he progresses. He calls his how excitement as he lets me know old friends nephew. When life gave him We my lemons, he made lemonade. says with a smile. not to tell of his his old friends should made lemonade. We he progresses. He callsrecent relic finds but lemons, he all learn from him, and if About the Author one door closes on us, and if not toto find newrecent relic flint, coral, agtell of his sources of finds but should all learn from him,just try openJohn Anderson's been a soldier, About the Author ate, and other materials to work. one door another. us, just try openIt ing closes on to find new sources of flint, coral, agJohn policeman, fireman, soldier, Anderson's been a and retired is other watch his progress and ing I am ate, andgood tomaterials to work. It to another. proud of my nephew andpoliceman, fireman, and retired years in August 2010 with 35 feel that I had aprogress and to small part in getting I think it only right that I remove fromin August ranger with the U.S. Army is good to watch his am proud of my nephew and as a 2010 35 years him had a small part in How happy feel that I to where he is today.getting think my pocket that little black flint ar-as a Corps of Engineers. All the while, it only right that I remove from ranger with the U.S. Army I where he is today. up the old Chevy pocket thatand place it firmly in theCorpshe has continued the while, of him to am that we loaded How happy my rowhead little black flint arof Engineers. All his passion and headed to the piney Chevy hand of place it firmly in the I am that we loaded up the old woods those rowhead and its original finder. This I willhe has continuedauthentic arrowheads hunting for his passion of many years ago. woods those gladly do at my first This I will and headed to the piney Little did I know hand of its original finder. opportunity! hunting forcreating his own modern and authentic arrowheads a manythat one dayLittle did would turn gladly do at my first opportunity! years ago. Dwayne I know and reproductions. own can see more creating his You modern tragedy Dwayne would turn a that one day into triumph all because of a of his-and his can see more at reproductions. You nephew's- work little piece of black flint. tragedy into triumph all because of a www.archaic-creations.com of his-and his nephew's- work at I have found little piece of black flint. myself wonderwww.archaic-creations.com I 52 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 3 have found myself wonder52 AmericanAmerican Digger Magazine Sampler 82 2011 Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 82 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 3 Combining Dwayne and his Uncle Johnny's talent and love of the past, their Dwayne Archaic Creations, now offers not love modern custom Combiningcompany, and his Uncle Johnny's talent and only of the past, stone creations but backlit offers not only modern custom their company, Archaic Creations, now displays and quality jewelry. stone creations but backlit displays and quality jewelry. American Digger Mart Gettysburg Battlefield Relics & Souvenirs By Mike O'Donnell. Lots of photos, perhaps the best Civil War relic book in years. Hardcover. $35 (+ $4 shipping) By Robert Gregory. Covers Small Arms, Artillery, Ammunition, and Packing Boxes. Hardcover $49.95 (+ $4 shipping) By Joseph & Thomas Thatcher. Comprehensive study on a fascinating sabotage weapon. Softcover. $19.95 (+$3 shipping) By Dean Thomas. New and much needed volume on Confederate ammunition. Hardcover. $50 (+ $4 shipping) Civil War Ordnance US Army & Militia Canteens 1775-1910 By Mike O'Donnell. This comprehensive book is truly the encyclopedia of US canteens. Hardcover. $38.50 (+ $4 shipping) Confederate Coal Torpedo By Howard Crouch. Comprehensive guide to Civil War artifacts, over 1700 artifacts shown. Hardcover. $45.95 (+ $4 shipping) Civil War Artifacts: A Guide for the Historian Round Ball to Rimfire: Part Four By Dave Poche Associates. Learn what artifacts tell us! Softcover. $13.95 (+$2.50 shipping) Interpreting History From Relics Found in Civil War Campsites Uniform Buttons of the United States, 1776-1865 By Warren Tice. 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Softcover. $19.95 (+$3 shipping) Historic American Spurs Record of American Uniform and Historical Buttons By Alphaeus S. Albert. Most accepted button reference of all. Hardcover. $45 (+$3 shipping) Relic Quest by Stephen L. Moore Full color, 532 pages, over 1000 photos. Covers almost every facet of relic hunting, relics, and equipment. Softcover. $22.95 (+ $4 shipping) Each disc has three issues reproduced as an Adobe PDF. $9.95/disc (+$2.50 shipping) McGuinn & Bazelon. A must for button collectors. Hardcover. $24.99 (+$3 shipping) Never miss another issue of America's premier magazine for diggers and collectors! $34.95/one year or $67/two years. Combine items to save shipping $$! Call us to first to find out exact shipping charges on multiple items. American Military Button Makers and Dealers- Their Backmarks and Dates by The American Digger CD Archives American Digger Subscriptions Three Easy Ways To Place Your Order! Phone in your order at 770-362-8671 Order online at americandigger.com Or mail payment to: American Digger, PO Box 126, Acworth, GA 30101 Click here to order these titles and more online! www.americandigger.com 83 The Wreck Of The H.M.S. Oregon By Capt. Dan Berg T 130 feet below the surface of the Atlantic lies a wealth of bottles and artifacts for those With the skill to recover them. he Oregon was built for Stephen Guion in Trans Atlantic crossing and claimed the coveted Blue 1881. She was 518 feet long, had a beam of Riband award. The Oregon left Queenstown and 54 feet, and displaced over 7,000 tons, making arrived in Sandy Hook just seven days, eight hours her one of the largest ships of her day. The Oregon and 33 minutes later, averaging almost 18 knots. was powered by a three cylinder engine, which put In 1884, the Guion steamship line was forced into out upwards of 12,000 horsepower bankruptcy. Stephen Guion sold the and made her capable of running Oregon to his competitor, the Cunard "I never expected at nearly 19 knots. Although she Line, for 616,000 pounds. to see such an was a modern liner for her time, the On March 6, 1886, the Oregon affair go off so Oregon was just emerging from the departed Liverpool and steamed for easily. Not a soul time of sailing ships. Her modified New York. At 4:30 AM, March 14, on on board the clipper design hull carried two a clear Sunday morning, the Oregon Oregon was lost." enormous smoke stacks and was was jolted on her port side while Captain Cottier, fitted with four masts fully rigged running at full steam only five miles HMS Oregon for sail. off Fire Island, NY. Although there Her interior was designed and were many conflicting reports of fitted with the most elaborate and costly materials of exactly what caused the accident, it has been accepted the time. She had accommodations for 340 first class, to have been a collision with the three masted schooner 92 second class, and 1,110 steerage class passengers. Charles R. Moss of Maine which was reported missing She was also equipped with watertight compartments that night. and lighted completely by electricity. On her maiden John Hopkins, a passenger from Brooklyn on voyage, October 7, 1883, the vessel made a record board the Oregon, told the New York Times report28 American Digger Magazine 84 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 5 Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 5 Click here to order single issues. Dan Berg and Jim Fazzolare with tea pot, silverware, and ceramic bottles recovered from the HMS Oregon shipwreck. Photo courtesy Wreck Valley Charters ers the following story. "I was the only passenger up. vessel for her to stay afloat. The pumps on board the I had been sick all through the voyage and could not Oregon were worked to full capacity, but didn't stand sleep. I was taking some toast and tea, when I heard a a chance against the gushing water of the Atlantic. The crash and felt a shock that shook the Oregon from end eight hours that the Oregon stayed afloat was enough to end." Then he heard shouting coming from the bow time for all 845 passengers and crew to be rescued by section where he found crewmen the vessels Fannie A. Gorhan, Fullooking over the port rail. As soon as da, and a pilot boat, Phantom. There " I was taking some was even enough time for the crew he looked he knew what all the extoast and tea, citement had been about. There was to serve the passengers hot tea and when I heard a a hole so large that "you could drive toast, and for the passengers to be crash and felt a a horse and wagon through." sent to retrieve warmer clothing from shock that shook Another passenger, Mrs. Hurst, their cabins. It is reported that the the Oregon from reported seeing a red light and a passengers remained calm throughsail through her cabin porthole. The out the ordeal. end to end." John Hopkins, next event she reported was hearing As is the custom, Captain Cottier Oregon passenger a steward banging on all of the was the last to leave his ship before passengers' doors, advising them to she plunged bow first to the ocean hurry up on deck. floor, leaving all four masts still Although the compartments of the Oregon were sticking up above the water's surface. The Captain watertight, the schooner Charles R. Moss struck the commented to reporters that "I never expected to see largest compartment of the ship just below the dinsuch an affair go off so easily. Not a soul on board the ing salon. There was just too much water inside the Oregon was lost." September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine www.americandigger.com 85 29 T T Courtesy of Capt. Steve Bielenda, Wreck Valley Collection Underwater sketch of the Oregon shipwreck. Courtesy of Capt. Steve Bielenda, Wreck Valley Collection Underwater sketch of the Oregon shipwreck. oday, the Oregon lies in 125 to 130 feet of water 32 that allow experienced divers to penetrate the ship. oday, the Oregon liesof Jones Inlet, feet ofYork, an areathat allow experienced divers to penetrate the ship. miles southeast in 125 to 130 New water 32 The Oregon is one of the best artifact hunting wrecks miles southeast of Jones Inlet, New York, an area its The Oregon Divers of the brought up all kinds wrecks known as Wreck Valley. Her bow is resting on in the area. is one have best artifact hunting of artifacts known as Wreck Valley. Her bow Her steel on platesin the area. Divers have brought upornate chandeliers, clay starboard side on a clean sand bottom. is resting hullits including portholes, bottles, all kinds of artifacts starboard side onway to the elements Hertime and plates have given a clean sand bottom. of steel hull collapsed,including silverware, and fine china stamped with theclay pipes, portholes, bottles, ornate chandeliers, Cunard haveleaving way to the elements boilers standing upright. Inpipes, silverware, and fine china stamped with the Cunard the given only her engine and of time and collapsed, or Guion steamship crest. In her stern is an area called leaving stern her engine see her hugestanding upright. In inor Guion steamship crest. can fan the is an area called the the only divers can and boilers propeller half buried Button Hole. Divers In her stern bottom and find ornate the stern divers can see much of the wreck is low lying,in her huge propeller half buried someButton Hole.brass buttons. In other areas like the Connecticut the sand. Although Chinese Divers can fan the bottom and find ornate the sand. Although much of fallen into is low lying, structuresChinese brass buttons. In luggage and find personal items. of her hull plates have the wreck tent shaped some Hole we dig through other areas like the Connecticut of her hull plates have fallen into tent shaped structures Hole we dig through luggage and find personal items. (Above left) Some of the buttons and glass beads recovered from the wreck are shown here (Abovedisplayed on an intact Cunard glass beads (Above right) The author holds one ofhere left) Some of the buttons and china plate. recovered from the wreck are shown the displayed on an intact Cunard china plate. Photos courtesy of Wreck Valley holds one of the beautiful Oriental buttons. (Above right) The author Collection beautiful Vol. 7, Issue 5 30 American Digger Magazine Oriental buttons. Photos courtesy of Wreck Valley Collection 30 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 86 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 5 86 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Courtesy of Capt. Steve Bielenda, Wreck Valley Collection Underwater sketch of the Oregon shipwreck. oday, the Oregon lies in 125 to 130 feet of water 32 that allow experienced divers to penetrate the ship. miles southeast of Jones Inlet, New York, an area The Oregon is one of the best artifact hunting wrecks known as Wreck Valley. Her bow is resting on its in the area. Divers have brought up all kinds of artifacts starboard side on a clean sand bottom. Her steel hull plates including portholes, bottles, ornate chandeliers, clay have given way to the elements of time and collapsed, pipes, silverware, and fine china stamped with the Cunard leaving only her engine and boilers standing upright. In or Guion steamship crest. In her stern is an area called the Over the divers can see her huge propeller half buried in a comedy. I had a small can fan the bottom and find the past 30 years my friends and I have had quite the stern Button Hole. Divers handheld welders mask, but ornate a few adventures exploring the the wreck remains. About Oregon's is low lying, some dark glass had fallen out before I even reached the bottom. the sand. Although much of Chinese brass buttons. In other areas like the Connecticut ten of herago I plates have fallen intousing shapedtorches years hull had the bright idea of tent Broco structures The Broco torches worked great but every personal items. Hole we dig through luggage and find once in a while to recover a porthole. Many portholes on this wreck are small pockets of oxygen would explode, sending shock facing in and can be hammered off. waves through the water. This one was facing down and I had When I looked up, Jimmy, my no way of getting behind it. I had safety diver, was over twenty feet used these cutting torches a few away. He later told me he wanted times in the past to burn through to make sure he was not affected by prop shafts, but was no expert. I the blasts so he could better watch explained the process to my crew. over me. I'm not quite sure if I Ed Slater jumped in to set up believe that, but I did eventually the equipment. Jimmy Fazzolare coax him closer and because I was and I followed. Jim's job was to temporarily blinded by the bright be my safety diver. I explained torch we used his crow bar as a that as I blew oxygen through the cutting guide. Bottom line, we did burning rod some would collect recover the porthole but I also cut beneath the hull plate we were through Jim's crowbar and saw burning through. If a pocket of blue spots for a week. oxygen was ignited it would exA few years later Jim found a plode! I told Jimmy that when single bottle forward of her boilthis happened, left) Some of got buttons and glass beads recovered from the wreck are shown here ers. This discovery led to pinpoint(Above if the regulator the blown out of my mouth an intact CunardEd Slater with a blobright) The authorof the Oregon'sthe ing one holds one of cargo displayed on his job Capt. china plate. (Above top was to put it back in. beautiful Oriental buttons. from the wreck. Valley Collection torpedo bottle Photos courtesy of Wreckholds filled with crates of antique Photo The rest of Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 5 courtesy of Wreck Valley Collection the dive was like bottles. Although divers were able 30 American September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine 31 31 September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine 87 www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 87 T use of her depth this wreck is not for beginners, perienced wreck divers she is hard to beat. s that the Oregon did not die when she sank over ago; she has continued her life as one of the East est shipwrecks. The Oregon has everything a d want: good visibility, fish, lobsters, artifacts, inating history. For additional information on shipwrecks in the area collectively known Valley, and the variety of artifacts divers are sit www.aquaexplorers.com. Photo Digger Magazine Collection. mber-October2011 American courtesy Magazine 33 ber-October 2011 AmericanDigger of Wreck Valley33 32 American Digger Magazine Vol. 7, Issue 5 About The Author an Berg is a Master Scuba Diver Trainer s the 40' charter boat Wreck Valley. Berg ored over a dozen books and was the host ducer of the Dive Wreck Valley TV series. an received the prestigious "Beneath The ver Of The Year Award in Fazzolare, and Ed Slater with Dan Berg, Jim 1994 and holds rrent US patents for diving equipment. the water jet used to recover bottles from the cargo hold of the HMS Oregon. 88 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Jim Fazzolare holds up a still-corked Congress Empire mineral water bottle he'd just found 130 feet below the surface. Photo courtesy of Wreck Valley Collection. to break into small areas of the hard surface conglomerluck. Because of her depth this wreck is not for beginners, to break into small areas of the hard surface conglomer- for experienced wreck depth this wreck isto beat. beginners, ate and get their arms deep into the mud to recover an but luck. Because of her divers she is hard not for ate and get their arms deep into the mud to until but for experienced wreck divers she she sank over occasional bottle or two, we never hit the glory hole recover an It seems that the Oregon did not die when is hard to beat. occasional bottle and I we never the wreck with It seems has the Oregon did not die when she sank Capt. Ed Slater, Jimmy,or two,returned tohit the glory hole until years ago; she that continued her life as one of the East over 100 Capt. Ed Slater, Jimmy, and powered to the wreck Coast's finest shipwrecks. The Oregon has everything the East 100 years ago; she has continued her life as one of a a powerful water jet. The jet was I returnedby a surface with a powerful water jet. The jet was powered by a surface could want: good visibility,The Oregon has everything a mounted trash pump. We used the tool, which was built diver Coast's finest shipwrecks. fish, lobsters, artifacts, mounted trash pump. We used the tool, encrusted by diver Enrique Alverez, to blast away the which was built a diver could want: good visibility, fish, lobsters, artifacts, and fascinating history. For additional information on by diver Enrique Alverez, to blastof bottles. Pasaway the encrusted Yorka shipwrecks history.area additional information on surface layer exposing a huge assortment New and fascinating in the For collectively known surface layer exposing a huge assortment of were New York and the variety of area collectively known sengers and crew of the charter boat Wreck Valleybottles. Pas- Wreck Valley, shipwrecks in the artifacts divers are as sengers for their efforts. Hundreds of blob top as Wreck Valley, and the variety well rewardedand crew of the charter boat Wreck Valley were finding, visit www.aquaexplorers.com. of artifacts divers are finding, visit www.aquaexplorers.com. round well rewarded for their and three piece mold bot- top bottom, torpedo bottom, efforts. Hundreds of blob round bottom, torpedo bottom, tle whiskey bottles were recovered. and three piece mold bottle successful artifact dives seem Otherwhiskey bottles were recovered. only to require Other successful artifact dives seem her to require a little luck. Bruce Radden and I were exploringonly bow About The Author a little luck. Bruce Radden fork were exploring her section one day when I noticed a and I sticking out of the bow About Scuba Diver Capt. Dan Berg is a MasterThe Author Trainer section the day when I noticed a fork sticking out sand. Fanning one area we collected a variety of silverware of the Capt. Dan Berg is boat Wreck Valley. Berg and owns the 40' charter a Master Scuba Diver Trainer sand.pewter tea pot. What made the tea variety of silverware authored over a dozen books and was the host Berg Fanning the area we collected a pot interesting including a has and owns the 40' charter boat Wreck Valley. including a pewter tea pot. luggage. Carefully stored was that it had been packed in What made the tea pot interesting has authored Dive dozen Valley TV series. and producer of theover aWreckbooks and was the host inside was tea pot had been packed in luggage. Carefully stored the that it I found three wedding bands, two china Capt. and producer of the Dive Wreck Valley TV series. Dan received the prestigious "Beneath The inside the tea pot I found three wedding statues, and an assortment of other small items.bands, two china Capt. Of The Year the prestigious "Beneath Sea" Diver Dan receivedAward in 1994 and holds The statues, and an Oregon it of other small items. When diving the assortmentseems like the only secret sixSea" Diver Of The Yeardiving equipment. holds current US patents for Award in 1994 and to finding When diving the Oregonpersistence and a only secret or recovering treasure is it seems like the little six current US patents for diving equipment. to finding or recovering treasure is persistence and a little September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 September-October 2011 American Digger Magazine 33 www.americandigger.com www.americandigger.com 89 89 Reports And Commentaries On Issues That Affect The Hobby by Mark Schuessler Detectorists Win in Carthage! News-N-Views T he city of Carthage, Missouri has just witnessed a second Civil War battle. This time the battle was not between the Union and Confederate Armies but rather over what they may have left behind. The new battle waged almost exactly 150 years after the first. It began when two detectorists were searching a site on public property in the city of Carthage. Phyllis and George Burki located a number of items associated with the 150 year-old engagement. One of these was a Minie ball embedded in a bone. Phyllis described it as "the grossest thing I've ever found." Once it was discovered, they acted in a proper and respectable manner and contacted the city. Their finds and the location were divulged to Steve Weldon, the historian and archivist at the county records center, who was said to be very grateful for their efforts. A short time later, a front page article appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. It included an account of the Carthage battle and of the Burki's finds. According to Weldon, the published account of the finding was far less then accurate. That's when the attack was launched. A letter to the editor from Missouri State University Archaeologist Neal Lopinot attacked not only the couple who made the find but the City of Carthage as well. Included in the letter were the same tired old list of elitist archaeologists' mantra which, of course, included calling metal detectorists looters. A follow-up newspaper article featured Tim Garton, a Missouri metal detector dealer and avid relic hunter. He did an excellent job of explaining that relic hunters are not an undisciplined mob "stealing" the country's heritage but, in fact, are just the opposite, recovering relics that are otherwise rotting away in the ground. As is often the case, the newspaper still gave the last word to the archaeologists. After erroneously citing the Battle of Little Big Horn as an example of an archaeological achievement, the article ends by blatantly calling detectorists looters. For those who may not know, the Little Big Horn digs were made possible by the volunteer assistance of 150 relic hunters armed with metal detectors! Was it just an oversight that Lopinot left that part out? Obviously not, as he made that same statement in his ramblings to the city council. 64 90 American Digger Magazine Magazine Sampler 2011 American Digger Vol. 7, Issue 6 He was joined by more of his colleagues in attacking the city by email and blogs including a heated head-tohead exchange with the mayor. The city, in an initial knee-jerk reaction brought on by the pressure from these archeologists, proposed an ordnance which said that anything over 100 years old that was found had to be turned in to the city. This means that even a 1910 coin would be off limits. For that matter, even square nails, which are found by the hundreds of thousands, would have to be turned over to the city. The intriguing part was that the council did modify the proposal, stating that they were not going to ban metal detecting but that people should first get permission from the city. Steve Weldon also added that metal detectorists and archaeologists should work together. A noble goal, indeed; but that only works when it's a two way street. With the elitist attitude of University Archaeologist Mr. Lopinot, who sought a total ban on detecting, it seems abundantly clear that he wants nothing of the sort. Now that the word was out, the counter-attack commenced. Tim Garton mounted a vast email campaign to let everyone know what was going on. As the legislative chairman for the FMDAC (Federation of Metal Detecting and Archeological Clubs), I jumped into action as well. An email was formulated and the alert went out across America. Links to the newspaper articles were included along with the contacts for the mayor and councilmen. A few suggestions were made on discussion points along with a plea to be informative. It was clear that the council was being bullied and mislead by this group of archaeologists. When such as this is happening, we need to educate them (the council, for at this point, archeologists such as Lopinot have already shown themselves too prejudiced against metal detectorists to learn-or admit-the truth). In this instance, the council had already displayed a level of respect by not proposing a total ban, so proper education and communication was vital. The strategy worked well. A number of emails were forwarded to me from across the country. There was even one from England. All were well written and informative. Unknown to me was what was happening at the local level. It seems that one of "us" (a detectorist) knows some of the councilmen involved. After some personal contacts and spurred on by the many emails, the councilmen checked out what they were being told by the archaeologists. They were not pleased when they discovered that they were being misled. It is also quite possible that they were turned off by the attitude of the archaeologists. The council members also added that they were surprised by the many emails received. My original hope was that we could at least get some major changes in the ordnance such as we had Keep up with legal issues, subscribe and read the NewsnViews column in every issue! seen happen in Clay County, Florida. In no way did I imagine the outcome that prevailed. The vote was to have taken place on August 9, 2011. Instead, the council decided to table the proposal permanently. The vote for that action was unanimous. Thankfully, the council saw through the smokescreen put forth by the archeologists. Mayor Mike Harris stated that it was "exaggerated and erroneous information" that led the council to give preliminary approval to the ordnance controlling metal detecting. They took the time to review the information contained in many well-written contacts from metal detectorists. There were also some historians who feel that we play a vital and irreplaceable role in uncovering artifacts, with one noting that our role is "perhaps more vital than archeologists, who only do that (dig) for fees." This is more than just a simple win and defeating a potential new law. It goes deeper. It was a major setback for the archaeological elite in their quest to remove metal detectorists and relic hunters from the face of the planet. The council did not just rebuke them, they slapped them hard. I can only imagine how this is reverberating through their circles. This is the first time in my 35 years in this great hobby that I recall such an occurrence. The general ruse of bullying the governing body with misinformation, slander, and scare tactics had been exposed. To all who responded to the call for help, relish this victory. Then stand ready at the keyboard, for this is not the last we will hear from those who want our hobby stopped. We are winning battles, but we have not yet won the war. How sad it is that instead of encouraging detectorists to share their information and finds, the archeological community as a whole would rather make relic hunters hide in fear by passing laws that serve to stamp out our contribution in helping understand America's past. Even sadder, many use scare tactics and misinformation to accomplish that goal, as was the case here. Luckily, this time our detecting community stood up and those who make the laws listened to reason. There is power in numbers, and there are tens of thousands of detectorists in the world. Never ignore a threat like this, but instead spread the word through groups like the FMDAC and via email. Write intelligent, well thought out letters to those who make the laws. It is them who have shown they will still listen to reason if enough of us respond. One last thing. How about following up our contact to the Carthage City Council with one more letter? This time make it a well deserved "Thank You!" Opinions and research expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of American Digger. (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 6) At Last! Music For Both The Civil War HIstorian and The Relic Hunter! Aranged and preformed by veteran re-enactor and relic hunter Phillip Ley, including old standards and new pieces alike. Now availiable in CD from American Digger Magazine, Ohio Volunteer Relics, and Greybird Relics $10 (plus $2 US postage) www.americandigger.com www.greybirdrelics.com www.ohiovolunteerrelics.com or call (770) 362-8671 November-December 2011 American Digger Magazine 91 65 www.americandigger.com Product & Book Reviews people refer to George's tools as Lesche Tools. Yes, Lesche Tools are still made, but not by George. Now that we've straightened up that confusion, let's talk about the latest from Predator, the Raven Model 25. According to Predator, it is their fastest selling model ever, with orders flooding the company. After using the tool for three tough days in Virginia, I can certainly see why it is so popular. Let me tell you why it's my favorite digging tool to date. First, George listens to his customers. In past reviews I'd noted that certain tools had been a bit heavy. The Model 25 weighs in at a slimmer 3.9 pounds, and is well balanced to boot. That's with the optional foot pads installed, so if one still finds the weight restrictive, leave off the foot pads. Which brings me to my next subject. Last year, after testing a model which included rubber footpads, we bemoaned the fact that such pads were not offered on other models. George must have listened, because The Raven - Model 25 Specifications: Blade: ChromeMolly 4130 heat treated and tempered Weight (With two pads): Approximately 3.9 lbs. Dimensions: 40" Overall Handle 28 �" Blade 4 " x 11 �" Footstep 7 �" The Raven - Model 25 Made by Predator Tools Basic Tool $79.95 SRP Footpads $9.95 each Shipping $14.00 856-455-3790 www.predatortools.com W hat's in a name? A lot, if that name is George Lesche. Here's a shocking revelation: George Lesche makes Predator Tools. He does not make Lesche Tools, as an unfortunate business matter several years ago prevented him from continuing to use that name. Thus was born Predator Tools, currently the only ones which are handmade by George, a legendary maker of digging tools. I only bring that up because of the haphazard way that the Model 25 has them as an option. Not only do such pads prevent the bare metal blade from tearing up the user's boot sole, it also provides a cushion. This is best appreciated after one encounters an unexpected rock after putting full weight into the downward thrust. Such a sudden shock will be much softened by these rubber pads. Even without the pads, the top platform has been widened in relation to the blade, meaning that no longer will a digger have his boots cut by a metal corner, or a shin hurt by his foot slipping off. The blade also has serrated edges, and while I didn't encounter any large roots during the test, it did slice through small ones with ease. Add to these features the skill and craftsmanship that George puts into all of his products, and once again Predator has a digging tool that is the cream of the crop. This might be the first review, ever, in which I can offer no criticism of the product. I've heard a few complaints concerning the price, but these are very uninformed and the naysayers are obviously unaware that each of these tools are produced in the USA by a master craftsman. In my opinion, they are worth every penny. As Predator can barely keep them in stock, I'm not the only one who feels that way! Review by Butch Holcombe (Originally published in Volume 7, Issue 4) In each issue of American Digger we try to bring our readers reviews on both new prod ucts and books related to the hobby of digging and collecting. Here are but two from 2011. To see an entire years worth, be sure to subscribe! 92 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler S By Stephen L. Moore RAM Books A Division of Garrett Detectors 514 Pages - Softcover $22.95 MSRP Available from www.garrett.com, American Digger Magazine, and selected dealers. Relic Quest translates into greater weight. There are only two reasons a publisher uses really high quality paper when printing a soft cover book. Either they want the book to survive several centuries, they have included lots of pictures, or both. Before I tell you what's inside this book let me give you a few disclaimers. First, Butch and Anita Holcombe, owners of American Digger Magazine, asked that I do this book review because they are pictured in the book (on page 249) and they know the author. Second, I'm not getting paid to write this review. Third, when I agreed to write this review I did not know that a previous article I wrote about the late Bill Gavin would be listed in the bibliography. Fourth, in my entire life I've hunted with a Garrett metal detector for only about four hours. Fifth, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many pictures included in the book of people I count among my friends. Now back to that cover. It just so happens that the cover is a high gloss photo of relics found by one of those friends, Brian Pennington, of Southern Treasures who also happens to be an advertiser in this magazine. After you pause and admire some of his finds, you'll open the cover to find a table of contents listing 24 chapters ranging from "Detector Technology and Searchcoil Types," to "Target Recovery and Scouting Tips," and "Relic Hunting Ethics and the Law." In between you'll find chapters on just about every type of relic hunting with a metal detector there is, including "European Artifacts," "Frontier Wars and Battlefields," "Colonial and Frontier Relics," "Organized Hunts," "Civil War Relic Hunting," and many others. Each chapter is filled with great information accompanied by some of the best quality color relic photos I've ever seen. In fact, the photos are so good you'll not be able to start at ome say you can't judge a book by its cover but that's not entirely true. You can tell a lot about a book before opening it if you know what to look for. First, is the cover appealing? In this case, "Yes!" The cover of Relic Quest has a wide variety of drooling-over-quality relics on it. Is the book thick, meaning is it likely to be one that has something in it that will interest you? "Yes," again. At more than 500 pages you can't help but find something in this book that will make you smile, teach you a little something, or trigger an idea that will help you find more relics. And lastly, is the book heavy? Another "Yes," but let me explain. I don't buy "heavy" books because I'm using them as door-stops. The weight of a book is dictated by the number of pages and the quality of the paper it is printed on. High paper quality the beginning of this book and read each chapter without first flipping through the book and admiring all the photos. Two of my favorite chapters in the book are Chapter 5, "Researching Productive Sites" and Chapter 16, "Metal Detectors and Archeology." Both chapters offer a lot of useful information that will help even the most experienced relic hunter. It was particularly interesting to read about cooperation between state archeologists and relic hunters at the San Jacinto battleground where Texas troops assaulted General Santa Anna's Mexican troops in 1836. In my opinion, every instance like this of cooperation between relic hunters and archeologists needs to be celebrated and publicized. Someday such joint projects on publicly owned lands won't be so uncommon. You'll find references to Garrett metal detectors throughout the book but that should be no surprise as it is published by a division of Garrett. What did surprise me is that there were not more references to Garrett detectors. The author knew that a book titled "Relic Quest" should be about relics. It doesn't matter what brand of detector you use; you will enjoy this book. Its only drawback is that it does not have an index, so when you want to quickly find a photo of one of your buddies digging a trash pit or demonstrating a search coil technique, you have to start flipping pages again. I liked this book so much that I'm giving it my own guarantee. If you buy this book and it is not everything I said about it and more, send it to me along with one authentic Confederate button, and I'll personally give you what you paid for the book. Review by John Velke (Originally published in Volume 7, Issue 4) www.americandigger.com 93 94 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler www.americandigger.com 95 THE SAVAGE FACTS By Ric Savage C "Fighting Fakes Through Knowledge Shared" get of fakers. In most cases, the fakes are obvious. They are poorly made Pakistani reproductions that are artificially aged and marketed to the beginning collector. However, some made years ago by "House of Swords" can almost fool the experts. One of the first things to look for is fake stamps. Below is a typical fake date stamp: Fuller photos by Charlie Harris ollecting Civil War history is a rewarding hobby. It's also, in my opinion, the same as investing in the stock market except the market has a lot more potential for loss. As a collector and a Southerner, I like to invest in Confederate relics. The Confederacy only existed for four years and owning a part of that tiny blink in time that represents the last gasp of true Jeffersonian democracy is special to me. Like many who collect the Confederacy, I like the edged weapons. That, my friends, can be dangerous. I touched on blades in a previous column but a recent conversation I had made me think it was time for a refresher. Many companies made edged weapons for the Confederacy. Here is a partial list: Boyle & Gamble, Richmond, VA; College Hill Arsenal, Nashville, TN; The Confederate States Armory, Kenansville, NC; James Conning, Mobile, AL; Cook & Brother, New Orleans, LA; Courtney & Tennant, Charleston, SC; Robert Mole & Sons, Birmingham, England; A.H. DeWitt, Columbus, GA; Dufilho, New Orleans, LA; Firman & Sons, London, England; L. Haiman & Brother, Columbus, GA; E. J. Johnston & Co., Macon, GA; Kraft, Goldschmidt & Kraft, Columbia, SC; Leech & Rigdon (Memphis Novelty Works), Memphis, TN; W.J. McElroy, Macon, GA; McKennie & Co., Charlottesville, VA; Nashville Plow Works (Sharp & Hamilton), Nashville, TN; Palmetto Armory (William Glaze & Co), Columbia, SC; Thomas, Griswold & Co., New Orleans, LA; and The Virginia Armory (Manufactory), Richmond, VA. Confederate swords are highly prized. Their value begins in the low thousands and goes up from there. As you can imagine, they are a favorite tar- Southern makers didn't date stamp their swords unless the sword was for presentation and, in those cases, the date was a part of the presentation. Also, look at the letter font on the above. Commit it to memory because this is not a font you will ever see on a Civil War era sword. Above is a fake arsenal stamp. Learn your maker marks! There are many online sites, as well as reference books, that have information on the marks used by the Southern manufacturers. If you know your stamps and marks, you will be difficult to fool. What about the "Dog River" or other unmarked Confederate swords? First, remember that most Confederate swords have unstopped fullers. The photographs at the top of the next column show an unstopped fuller and (below it) a stopped fuller. Both swords are from the Charles Harris collection. Supposed Confederate swords with stopped fullers often are fakes. Look (Originally Published in Vol 7, Issue 3) at the grip and brass hardware. Confederate swords have a different style and shaped grip and the wire wraps are plainer. Look for casting flaws, for Confederate brass tends to have a more "unfinished look" than Union counterparts. Southern swords were made to perform and manufactured in a hurry as the war was starting. While they are expertly made and of good quality, they lack the polish of Union swords. Also look for fresh rust, which is always suspect. Smell the blade; any chemical or gasoline odor is an indication that the metal was aged. Look for rust lines. When blades are dipped into acid or gasoline, they leave a line or make a swirl pattern on the metal. Look at the pommel. Nuts and screws are a big red flag. Civil War blades had the tang "peened" flat to secure the grip to the sword. The best way to arm yourself against fake Confederate blades is to buy as many reference books as you can find, and handle as many originals as you can. Go to shows, talk to the experts, and look online. Avoid online auctions and buy from reputable dealers with ironclad guarantees. Also, do not get hung up on letters of authenticity. If it is real, it is real. An overpriced letter from a dealer will not make it more real. The experts often disagree anyway, so save your money. Until next time, keep your feet on the ground and a hand on your wallet! Unless otherwise noted, opinions, research, and photos in this column are provide by the author, and fully independent of American Digger Magazine. 96 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler May-June 2011 American Digger Magazine 71 Don't miss Ric's column in every issue of American Digger! Detecting and Collecting Clubs Want to find out how to see your club listed here as well as in each issue of American Digger Magazine? Call 770-362-8671 or email email@example.com to find out how! Hanover Metal Detector Club meets the 1st Wednesday each month at the Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad Building. Contact D. Yates at 804-241-9541. Middle Tennessee Metal Detecting Club meets in Nashville the 1st Friday of every month. See our website for information about the club and meetings. www.mtmdc.com Georgia Research and Recovery Club meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7 PM, Delkwood Grill, 2769 Delk Road Southeast Marietta, GA 30067 For more info visit www.garrc.com Central VA Civil War Collectors Assoc. 4th Tuesday of each month (except December) 7:15 PM, Glen Allen American Legion Hall, 2522 Indale Rd, Richmond. Visit www.cvcwca.com for info. Dixie Relic Recovery Club meets on the 1st Monday of every month at 7:00 PM at the Old Stone Church in Ringgold, GA Visit www.dixierelic.com for more information Northern Virginia Relic Hunter Association meets 7:30 PM, the first Tuesday of each month at the NRA building, Fairfax, VA. For more info, visit www.nvrha.com Stone Mountain Treasure Hunters meet last Tuesday every month at Fire Station #5, 3001 Old Norcross Rd, Duluth, GA. Coins, Jewelry, Relics, & Artifacts. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Coastal Empire History Hunters Association. Meets in Savannah, GA. For more information, contact Rick Phillips at 912-663-2382 Southern Middle Tennessee Coin and Relic Hunters meets the 1st Thursday of every month at 7PM at Shoney's in Fayetteville, TN 1235 Huntsville Hwy. All Welcome! North Georgia Relic Hunters Association meets 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7:30 pm, at at Kennesaw Train Depot, 2828 Cherokee St, Kennesaw, GA Palmetto Relic Hunters Club meets 7 PM, the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Cayce Museum, 1800 12th St, Cayce, SC contact Rudy Reeves at 803-665-6457, email@example.com Pelican Relic & Recovery Assoc, Baton Rouge, LA Meets 3rd Tues. of each month at 7 PM, Ryan's Steak House, 11650 Coursey Blvd., Baton Rouge LA. Info, firstname.lastname@example.org. Mid Florida Historical Research & Recovery Association, Ocala, Fl Meets 3rd Thursday each month (Oct.-May) 6 PM at Gander Mtn, 3970 SW 3rd St. call 352-873-9953 for info. www.americandigger.com 97 The Hole Truth... I The Publisher speaks... but will he ever shut-up? da so long ago that even snowbirds and retirees hadn't settled there yet. The list of generosity is unlimited and to thank each friend individually would take an entire magazine. The kindness of friends was recently driven home at the Nashville Civil War show. I'd been admiring a piece of 1860s railroad rail that Phil "Could've been a rock star" Ley had on his sale table. I related a tale to him of how, years ago, a friend and I had found a complete rail in Atlanta, driven it home tied on top of my sedan, and then discovered that a complete section of Civil War era rail is a very hard thing to display and preserve. Plus there was the custody issue: we both wanted it in our own collections. Eventually we decided on a solution and it got a new home, but I still wished for a small piece of rail to display. Phil caught on to this right away. The next thing I knew, I had the rail section, and not a penny had changed hands. It was a gift, free and clear. Not long after, Dennis "I can out-dig John Walsh" Nunnery came by with a reconstructed canister round. It would have made a beautiful display piece, but I couldn't justify spending our meager profit on luxury items for myself. He knew this too, and soon I had a canister round sitting with my rail, at the bargain price of nadda. Next, Merv "I'm the only AD distributor in Indiana" Wood came by and gave me a small container of dirt. Yep, you heard right. Dirt. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth before my chickens hatch, I thanked him and tried to decide where to best display my dirt. "Aren't you going to even look in the dirt?" Merv exclaimed. "No wonder you can't find a Georgia button!" So I began scratching in the dirt and there it was: A Georgia. I had received other Georgia's before (the last from Larry "I'm tired of digging Georgia buttons" Hockman a few years back, but this time I could actually say I found it. Planted, yes; postwar, yes again, but it didn't matter. It was the act of a friend. So I say to those just starting in the hobby, and to those who have been in it for 50 years, enjoy your finds. Cherish each gold ring, or belt buckle, or rare coin. Even cherish the common stuff. But above all, cherish the friends you'll make. They are the most valuable thing you'll ever find. Besides, they are the only people you can give stupid nicknames to and not risk getting beat up! first started metal detecting hunting in the late 1960s. I'd like to say, given my youthful age now, I was around two years old at that time, but that would be a lie and we'd have to change the name of this column. No, I was 12 when I started, meaning that I am at least 45 years old now, give or take a decade. But let us not quibble over my misuse of new math. Instead, I want to talk about all the things I've found in that time. For instance, I've dug approximately 25,000 Civil War bullets, 2,000 wheat pennies, a few hundred silver coins, several hundred Eagle buttons, 40 or so accoutrement plates, several dozen artillery projectiles, and enough miscellaneous scrap iron to make the guys on American Pickers roll on the ground and speak in tongues. Some younger readers will say, "Wow! You found all of that?" Yet certain older diggers will snicker and whisper among themselves at my lack of success. But wait, there's more. I've also found over 100 Confederate buttons, with nary a good old fashioned Civil War era Georgia amongst them. Never mind that I've dug some pretty rare Georgia Militia buttons, including a pair of Republican Blues, an Irish Jasper Greens, and a Georgia Military Institute. Also add in a Georgia boxplate, and an Atlanta style CSA belt plate (after all, Atlanta is in Georgia), and it helps take my shame away. Again, I hear you veteran hunters snickering "Only 100 Confederate buttons.... wow..." but I'm happy with my finds. Nor was everything old. I've found a switchblade, several modern pistols, a bullet-struck 1962 quarter, two obscene tokens, a whisky still the size of a small water tower, and a large piece from an aircraft. There was no crash involved, so don't worry. It just fell off. Airplanes have too many pieces anyway. Not every find is of the material sort. I've found that bees will chase you down, fire ants never stop biting, and poison ivy roots are just as ornery as the leaves. More recently and a bit more indirectly, I've found that the Internet is a great research tool, all forums are not created equal, and the Worldwide Web can magnify both a person's intelligence as well as their ignorance. I've found all this and more. But the best thing I've found through this hobby I so love? Friendship. I've experienced this many times before. I've had Dwayne "Hunted with Bocephus" Davis take me to his ultra secret relic site and let me dig a US plate beside where he'd parked. Greg "I love carved bullets" Heath give me a breastplate when he found two on one hunt. Tom "Put on your sunglasses, this button's got gilt" Williams presented me with a WMI cuff. Bob "Reale-a-day" Spratley sent me Spanish artifacts lost in Flori72 American Digger Magazine Happy Huntin' Y'all! In each issue "The Whole Truth" brings a smile to our readers. Don't miss out, subscribe here! 98 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Vol. 7, Issue 2 2011 Feature Article Index To order a listed issue, click link here: Note some issues may be sold out, orders subject to availability Land of the Midnight Sun By Jeff Lubbert Volume 7, Issue 1 (Jan-Feb 2011) Every good relic hunter knows that when going on a fishing trip, be sure to pack a metal detector... especially when heading to Alaska's gold country. Friends, Finds, and Family: A Participant's View of DIV XV By John Velke Much has been said of the Diggin' in Virginia invitational relic hunts, but the only way to know the real story is to be there. Streight to the Devil By Larry E. Linley History has all but forgotten the Civil War actions at Day's Gap and Crooked Creek. But this privately run battle park remembers. Sharing The Wealth By David Lee Digging a gold coin? Nice. Digging a high denomination gold coin? Very Nice. Digging 13 gold coins with your son? Priceless! Access Restricted: The Finale By Bob Roach After two years and countless requests for accountability of artifacts stored by the National Park Service, the author gets an answer. Uncle Matt and Maverick By Matt Jennings Give a kid a relic and he'll think it's cool. Teach him to relic hunt, and you'll insure the future of the hobby. This is especially true when he finds an artifact his first time out. The New Jersey Death Dig By Glenn Harbour Sometimes recovering artifacts millions of years old can be a relaxing and easy way to spend a day. Other times, it can be stressful and dangerous. Medal Detective By Rob King Volume 7, Issue 2 (March April 2011) Thanks to a metal detectorist, an engraved 1840s medal reveals the forgotten history of not only the man who owned it, but the horticultural society that awarded it to him. The Confederacy's Silent Helpers By Dean S. Thomas During the War Between the States, every Southerner was expected to pull their weight to help the Confederacy. This even included the students of a North Carolina deaf, mute, and blind institution. Chasing The Treasures Of Northeast Florida By Jimmy Koenig The coast of Florida offers much more to treasure hunters than just modern beach jewelry to detect and offshore Spanish wrecks to dive. In between, a whole world of opportunities await. Buttonland By Bob Roach When your first find at a WWI site is a military button lying on top of the ground, the chances are that you're in a good location. This was certainly one such place. Where It's At! By Michael Bennett What do you get when you take a 16 year-old relic hunter, add a father willing to play cameraman, and mix in a just dug Confederate buckle? The formula for pure excitement! American Digger on the Road: New York By Butch Holcombe Once again we take to the road with metal detectors in hand, this time to discover the natural beauty and historical past of Western New York state. It Ain't Always What It Seems By Mike Whitfield If you look for treasure long enough, you will find it. You'll also find junk. While not as thrilling as the "good stuff," some trash can cause heart skipping excitement. www.americandigger.com 99 Volume 7, Issue 3 (May-June 2011) Thank My Lucky Stars! By Michael Wheless What does a fortune cookie and the best metal detecting day imaginable have in common? A lot, if you are this author. Age Is Nothing But A Number By Darrell Taylor Relic hunting is both strenuous and healthy. Listen as this octogenarian tells of his years afield, and his plans to continue. Caution, Relief, Satisfaction By Beau Ouimette Searching a river can be relaxing, until WWII artillery ordnance is found. Only after it's deemed safe can a breath of relief be given. It's Just A Phase By Sid Witherington III Progress often opens a window of opportunity to recover the past. One small site provided several such opportunities. An Adventure In History By Ron Erickson This relic hunter's search didn't end when an Indian Wars token was found. Instead, it opened the road to a colorful past. Just A Small Spark Can Ignite A Lifelong Passion By John T. Anderson Uncle Johnny did his best to get the kids excited about arrowheads. Now, years later, one nephew still carries the torch. Don't Push Your Luck By Charlie Harris Push knives are a great piece of American history to find and collect. Just beware of tools that only look like push knives. Just Tagging Along By Butch Holcombe We don't review metal detectors. That doesn't mean we can't join the factory teams for a bit of fun while they test a new detector, such as the Garrett AT Pro. Volume 7, Issue 4 (July-August 2011) Canoes from Florida's Distant Past By Michael Chaplan Native American dugout canoes are pieces of ancient history not found every day. Yet, as this author discovered, Florida's peat bogs and wetlands have preserved their share of these fascinating artifacts. One Fine Day By Frank Dixon After spending most of his life relic hunting with his father, this author thought it was time to introduce the next generation to his family past-time. Granddad finding a US plate was icing on the cake. DIV (XVII) and Me By Linda Erickson If you have ever attended a Diggin' In Virginia organized relic hunt, you will recall the adventure. If you haven't attended, this article and pictorial of DIV 17 will tell you what to expect. Expanding the Boundaries of San Jacinto By Bobby J. McKinney With detectorists and archeologists working together, new discoveries from this Texas War of Independence battle are coming to light. This includes relics concerning the infamous "Twin Sisters" artillery. American Digger on the Road: California By John Velke The Mojave Desert is beautiful but inhospitable. There's also the probability that a visitor intent on prospecting there will catch a bug that's hard to shake. It's known as gold fever and, yes, we caught it. Every Relic Tells a Story By Quindy D. Robertson An old 1800s Tennessee homesite was the last place that these diggers expected to find 19 century foreign coins. With the help of a local historian and a lot of research, these detectorists now have a better idea of how this alien currency got there. th 100 2011 American Digger Magazine Sampler Volume 7, Issue 5 (September-October 2011) Few people know of Mexico's Caste War. Now, thanks to a bulldozer operator and some investigative work, we have evidence of the weapons imported by Mexico from the US after the War Between the States. The Wreck of the H.M.S. Oregon By Captain Dan Berg Thirty-two miles from Freeport, NY lies a wealth of 1880s bottles, china, and other artifacts. Before you go looking for it, brush up on your diving skills: it's 130 feet below the surface of the Atlantic. Saving the Best for Last By Beau Ouimette Even though the author first found the site in 1983 and had been hunting it for years, the last few years were especially rewarding. Just when he thought it was hunted out, along came the best find yet. It's Never Too Early By Steve Moore If you've been relic hunting for years and never dug a sword, you might want to pull out the crying towel before you read this article. Not only did a beginner find one, but he's only seven years old. 55 Years with a Coil on the Soil Interview by Butch Holcombe Dennis Cox has spent a lifetime collecting and detecting the past, but he doesn't show any signs of slowing down in this hobby he loves so much. We stopped him just long enough to hear his story. Fragments of the Past By Jon Parker Boys will be boys, and soldiers will be soldiers. Often, they were one and the same, both in the Civil War and in World War II. This digger has found proof that our protectors were still kids at heart. A Caste of Thousands By Charles Harris and Robbie Robbins Volume 7, Issue 6 (November-December 2011) A Washington In Jersey By Pete Schichtell It took awhile to get permission to hunt the old colonial house site, but once it happened, history spilled out of the ground, including a link to our nation's first president. Coin Hunting and Relic Finding By Don Vickers Ever have one of those days when things don't go as planned? Sometimes that can be a very good thing, such as when this planned coin hunt turned into an unexpected relic hunting bonanza. Documenting History By G. M. "Doc" Watson Digging an artifact is just part of the job. Documenting it properly for future generations is just as important. Here is one easy and thorough way to do it. Bottles Are Where You Find Them By Rob Taylor (with Quindy D. Robertson) Not all bottle finds are made by those who set out looking for them. When this detectorist got a good reading on his machine, he uncovered far more than the Civil War bullet he'd heard. Why Here? By Tom Goodloe Not all productive places show up on old maps or have visible remains of old house sites. It's ones like this unrecorded site that present the biggest mystery to those searching for the past. Digging With Big Ed By Don Mitchell Every digger needs a mentor to show them the ropes, accompany them on hunts, and share the laughs and dangers of a day well spent. It's even nicer if the mentor becomes your father-in-law. Especially Made For Southern Steel By Meigs Brainard Bayonet scabbard tips are found anywhere there were Civil War soldiers. But Confederate types and styles have remained a mystery. In fact, until this study published here for the first time, most didn't even have names. Note some issues may be sold out, orders subject to availability www.americandigger.com 101 To order a listed issue, click link here: PURE PERFORMANCE, EXTREME VERSATILITY TM All new. All terrain. All treasures. Relic recoveries made with the AT Pro: (Clockwise from upper left) Civil War cavalry cuff button recovered by Butch H.; Keith C. of Georgia with a dug rifle ball; Civil War bullets and knapsack hook recovered by Bill K. (Right, top) Roman coins, musket balls and buttons found in the UK by Brent W. (Right, lower) Civil War mini� balls and round shot found by Brian P. in Tennessee with the AT Pro. For more information on the new Garrett AT Pro, please visit: http://www.garrett.com/hobby/hbby_division.htm 800.527.4011 (U.S. and CANADA) MADE IN THE USA 1.972.494.6151 (INTERNATIONAL) 102 2011 American Digger FAX: 972.494.1881 EMAIL: email@example.com Magazine Sampler TDI. Remarkable depth and extreme sensitivity TDI. Remarkable depth and extreme sensitivity in the worst grounds. 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