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Offline CaptainMo2Topic starter
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« on: November 24, 2012, 02:35:11 am »
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Any advice on how to obtain leads from local historical society or in general, what to look for or where to start would be much appreciated. Live in FL gulf coast.

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Offline GoldDigger1950
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 08:29:58 am »
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Sit down in your favorite easy chair with a pad and pen. Then, while sipping a soothing beverage, start to imagine what things would be like if you lived in a time where an automobile was a rarity and family gatherings were major events. Then think about what to look for in the archives and journals of times gone by. Look for some of the following things. As you do, write down those thoughts on paper for later use at the historical society.

Reports of fairs, circuses or carnivals.
Reports of church or scouting bazaars and fundraisers.
Reports of swimming holes.
Stories about a local hero celebration.
Stories of how a road or railway line was built through your town.
News stories about local horse racing, watering holes (saloons, not for horses), gambling halls and dance halls.
Tales of bank robberies, jewelry heists, store holdups and murders with mention of missing items of plunder (eg. - the money was never recovered)

Any of those things might actually have locations where the events took place. On modern maps, they may now be unlocatable but on older maps, clear as a bell. A mall near me has two areas alongside of the parking lot that were resting places and smoking areas for a long ago dance hall and music hall. Both have turned up thousands of items from that time. I have buckets full of 100+ year old coins, jewelry and relics. Right next to a modern suburban shopping center. I'm sure that hundreds of detectorists have driven by and never thought to look there. Both are walking distance from my front door.

If you want a modern day tip, go out your front door to the sidewalk or the street side foot path and detect there in one direction for a few miles and then turn around and do it again on the way back. If you don't find at least $20.00, you should buy a new detector or learn yours better.

Karl Von Meuller, one of our long ago giants in treasure hunting once said that finding treasure in one spot (a cache) is extremely rare but finding it bit by bit is easy. In those two areas near the mall, I have recovered more treasure than most people find in years of hunting. And the finds keep on coming. They're my honey holds and my little secret that anybody else can find just like I did. When they do, I'll share my coffee with them.

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« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 08:25:08 am by GoldDigger1950 »
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It's all about that moment when metal that hasn't seen the light of day for generations frees itself from the soil and presents itself to me.
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 12:08:27 pm »
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And where do you find the best spot is to locate these old maps GD? I have been using

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www.historicaerials.com
with good success. If your cagey you can even line up the terrain over a current google earth map and get gps readings that can get you within a hundred feet or so. I was really surprised by the number of buildings that show up on the 1947 map (oldest for my area) that are long gone.

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Offline GoldDigger1950
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 12:42:47 pm »
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That's a great resource, Caleb. I find railroad insurance maps useful, the US Coast and Geodesic Survey archives and the local historical societies to be the best and most accurate resource. I have this little battery powered scanner that looks like a long chocolate bar that allows me to scan things without a computer. It saves the images to an internal memory card and I can download them back in the office. Also, an HD camera comes in handy.

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« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 08:21:45 am by GoldDigger1950 »
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It's all about that moment when metal that hasn't seen the light of day for generations frees itself from the soil and presents itself to me.
Let's Talk Treasure!

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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2012, 06:27:06 pm »
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Gold Digger I appreciate everything! Thanks everyone else as well for their great input, Keep em coming! This site has been more helpful than i could have imagined!


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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 03:22:58 pm »
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You'd be surprised how much info you can find by comparing old maps to new maps.   I make it a habit to grab up old maps whenever I find them---especially if they are for a time period/region I don't already have in my collection.  Even road maps (which aren't known for their detail) can lead you to ghost towns, lost roads, etc.

BA

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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 09:51:55 am »
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 BitburgAggie& golddigger and others are on to somthing some of my most productive places have come from old maps     gas station/country store sites & former  rail road depots even stables and auction sites  though some dont have much area to search they have produced well for me . also old resorts  hotels motels and gathering places parade grounds old ball fields and even old churches had tent revivals . circuses  fairs  just talking to older folks can be just as productive in an area like around were i live theres not much to find in archives, and maps give just general locations somtimes folks who were there can tell you more precise details like were you had to pay or were folks parked  were the old school house was  or traffic patterns  clothes line locations and so on  and guys/gals look up old meteor stories those are a little different type target than some of us research but if you find one it could mean a big payoff and hey they are out there and too valuable to pass over  i have been looking for old dock sites on the river there used to be several close by were they loaded flatboats to haul materials down the small rivers here eventually  to end up in new orleans old   mustering sites were civil war recruits gathered  and even ferry crossings  and swimmin holes i was on a hunt and a friend found a indian head penny at a swimmin hole  some times the best spots are just a random place no one has thought to check  but dont be afraid to go to places they have because  that dont mean theres nothing there research is so important and it feels great when you have done some and it pays off its a great accomplishment and hats off to those  who do and make finds it makes them so much sweeter  some of the new EGIS maps are a good tool to if for nothing else other than finding out the name of who may currently own a piece of property and its boundaries   involved in your research and that is also one of the most important leads because you want to secure permission to search and to be searching were you do  you have to take alot of info in and to me its all interesting  and put alot of effort out somtimes it pays off somtimes it dont  but you always find somthing  even if its worthless it can still be cool  or maybe unidentifiable  so i keep everything somtimes in your research you may come across what it was later on  or see it somewhere and say aha thats what that was  and all that time i thought it was somthin else lol!   another impotant thing is just take the time to go everyones so busy in life now its hard but  you cant find much  stuff if you arent swingin your machine   this is a good topic  and good info all around these guys in here  have helped me alot and never discouraged me so this site is a big help also and they deserve a pat on the back for helping newbies and pro's alike  i always consider myself i newbie because i am always learning new things and people like them have helped me  so much. thanks and good luck to everyone may your digs be shallow and your finds be many    josey

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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 09:05:41 am »
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Thanks BA and Josey I appreciate the good luck.

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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 11:46:35 pm »
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There are many 'tools' now at our beck and call.
I will try to make this as short as possible.
1) I use newspaper stories. Several years ago a local paper had an article about an old farm (1884) that was going to be demolished.
I was the first one there, but as time passed others noticed. --- You can also check out old newspapers at some libraries and those at Universities
and the Libraries in cities that are the County Seat's.
We pulled alot of old stuff outta there (many coins) and up until the end of last year I went there occasionlly. Sadly it is now the location of a fast food joint.
2) I use Google maps.
In 2004 I was checking out what looked like a overgrown road not too far from a new park to the west which also contained a road along a river.
Anyway my wifes girl-friend was visiting and said she used to live in one of the houses at the edge of the new park...
She said, 'you know there used to be a park to the east on the other side of the river.
I found out that the park was there from the late 1800's until around 1965. Before Pull-Tabs Smiley

A couple of examples of research or things you can luck into Smiley

Good luck

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« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 11:48:26 pm by Rick-SeMI »
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 12:47:12 pm »
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Rick-SeMI,

       Thanks for providing a classic example of how to pull the information together and integrate stray bits that come your way.  Glad it paid off for you.

BA

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