Over Thanksgiving weekend, I went back to my childhood home to see what else I could find. It was cold and muddy, which I wasn’t expecting, and I hadn’t dressed properly to fend off the elements. My feet, fingers, and body got cold fast, so the hunt was shorter than I had planned.
I did manage to find some interesting items during my short mission.
I found this shoe horn from the NYC Traymore Hotel. I can’t find any information on the hotel other than it had undergone renovations in 1911.
Hem weight (pictured next to a penny for size comparison)
On a recent trip to explore the more rural parts of Southern NJ, I got lost trying to find one particular out-of-the-way colonial structure. Though I had GPS via my phone, apparently the area was so rural that even modern technology couldn’t accurately assist me in finding my way. Intent on reaching my destination nonetheless, I decided to pull into a windy dirt driveway so as to ascertain from the homeowners (1) where the heck I was and (2) directions to my target location. I immediately received a friendly greeting from the homeowner, who happened to be outside working on his house. After hearing about my predicament, the homeowner pointed just beyond his property and across the road to a grouping of trees; there, he said, was the location I was looking for.
After thanking him, we struck up a conversation, which inevitably had me explaining my metal detecting hobby. The homeowner was intrigued and granted me unsolicited permission to search his property for historic relics. Though I really didn’t have time to do so right then and there, I told him I certainly would be back. Before leaving, he showed me items he had recovered from his property, all of which were found right on the surface of the ground. I could see old bottle pieces and pottery fragments, not to mention a matron head large cent. “Hmmm,” I thought, “this place certainly has potential.” I thanked my new friend and told him I’d be in touch.
About a week later, returning to the property, the homeowner told me that the current home was built around 1890, but the original structure had been built sometime in the 1700s and burned down around 1860. (Later research dated the original structure to 1754 or 1756.) This had me wondering if I could locate items specific to the original structure.
After an anxious start, the first item of note that I dug was my first silver Walking Liberty half dollar (1937). To see a large silver disc in the hole is thrilling; the size and design makes this coin look really majestic.
1937 Walking Liberty silver half dollar
While I was out detecting one wet, rainy day I hit a spot that transported me back into the childhood of a boy from the 1930s. Dig after dig, I started recovering a bunch of different Barclay/Manoil lead toys form around 1935. They’re all in amazing shape, and the only thing that powered them was imagination. Please click on each image below to learn more and enjoy a trip back in time.