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1793. ‘Nuff said!

Posted by on September 12, 2014
Gorgeous cameo brooch

Gorgeous cameo brooch.

If you’re a relic hunter like me, then the following statement will have particular meaning to you. I gained permission to detect on a home built in 1793.

I’ll let that sink in a while.

Yes. 1793. The first year the United States started minting coins on a national basis. Not long after the Revolutionary War when British and Spanish currency was still in heavy circulation. When people buried what was then trash that is now treasure (from an historical point of view). Ah yes, 1793.

I was met by the homeowners with smiles and they couldn’t have been nicer. Here I am, a visitor on their property who wants to dig, and they welcomed me with open arms and immediately I felt at ease. They told me a lot about the property and how they uncovered about 300 in tact old bottles, some old clothing, and some children’s dolls (I could only imagine creepy old dolls as all dolls are!). They showed me pictures of them waist deep in excavated dirt where they removed bottle after bottle. I can tell you, digging a 10-inch hole is often strenuous when you factor in rocks and roots… so when I saw these craters I was blown away! They did this all without a detector, so certainly there was small metal to be found.

I focused my initial efforts on the area near the bottle dump. But all I was getting was junk. On top of that, I could barely get my shovel blade into the ground. It was the most rocky terrain I’ve ever encountered. How the heck did they dig out all those bottles?

I tried another area, and again, difficult to dig. And another. Still difficult conditions, I managed to scrape away enough dirt and gravel to find a very nice escutcheon (lock plate), and the latch still swivels! That alone made it worth the efforts.


Vintage escutcheon.

I then wandered into the front yard where there is a well. A well! Why didn’t I START there!? Oh, that’s right… I was wooed to the bottle dump. Well, the ground here was so much better. Like butter. And the finds started to reveal themselves.

This old, very old pewter spoon was a really good sign that there was oldness to be found here! This most likely dates to the mid- to late-1700s.

pewter spoon handle

Pewter spoon handle.

This gorgeous cameo came out of the ground in stunning condition. It still had the pin in tact until I decided to blow off some dirt … the pin blew off too!

Gorgeous cameo brooch

Gorgeous cameo brooch.

A nice, fully in tact Mason jar lid.

mason jar lid

I didn’t know what this was. Good thing it’s covered in writing that says, “DETACHABLE & RELIABLE RIMS SAVE TIME & MONEY OHIO” which, after quick research, told me it’s a 1908 Model T tire pressure gauge. Cool!

1908 Model T tire pressure gauge

1908 Model T tire pressure gauge

This is the first watch winder I ever found. These were used to wind watches before the external pins became popular in the late 1800s.

Vintage watch winder

Vintage watch winder.

This suspenders clip has seen better days, but still a good find!

Suspenders clip

Suspenders clip.

And I think that’s just the beginning! Thanks for reading!

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