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Saddle River Shells

Posted by on April 17, 2012

My wife and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our lives recently. While it’s been wonderful and life changing, my life and schedule hasn’t been my own since then. And while I’ve been plenty busy between being a father, a husband, and a dedicated employee, my desire to treasure hunt hasn’t dwindled.

James “Half Cent” Nicholas, my metal detecting partner, has been out digging his neighbor’s yards (lucky him) but he too has been itching for a good, solid day out with our detectors. (Check out James’ digs. Lots of silver coins, clad, and odds and ends.)

Since we started our hobby, we’ve been jonesing to hit up my aunt and uncle’s property in Saddle River, NJ. They have about an acre of wooded land that’s been waiting to be explored. While there’s no solid history around the property, the town itself has seen some decent activity from Native Americans and some mild Civil War action. And again, the property was ours for the searching.

James showed up at my house bright and early at 7am, which is a testament to his dedication as he lives nearly 2 hours away, has a wife, three kids, and more recently a puppy. Way to have your priorities straight!

Anyway, he jumped into my car and handed me some great new wave CDs and a few books on metal detecting and relic hunting. Gotta love when someone shows up bearing presents! A half hour later, we were in Saddle River. The morning started off rather chilly, in the mid-40s. We bundled up in layers, doused ourselves in Off trying to cover every inch, and then put on poison ivy repellent cream to any exposed areas (I also lathered up under my gloves).

Let the hunting begin!

I was very anxious to start off in the creek that runs down the border of one side of their property. Particularly the bend, where I decided things must gather in abundance! After searching for a while, all we came up with was some old beer cans. Oh well, time to hit the dirt.

Shotgun shells found in Saddle River, NJ, circa 1912-1925.

Shotgun shells found in Saddle River, NJ, circa 1912-1925.

We got a lot of good, solid hits. But our digs only revealed junk: nails, beer bottles and cans, and landscaper scraps. We did find a host of shotgun shells dating back to the early 1900s through 1920s, and we both found one clad penny (mine was a little bent out of shape).

Perhaps my most humorous find of the day was toward the end, when I made my way closer to the street, near the creek. I was getting a HUGE solid hit, and I dug and dug and hit metal. And when I hit the metal I heard a loud echo. That’s strange. What is this? Then it hit me. I dug into the massive drain tunnel that took the creek under the street and into the next yard. That find I left in the ground.

Overall it was a fun day to be out searching for lost treasure and we both took home a few souvenirs.

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