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Offline GoldDigger1950Topic starter
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« on: January 05, 2013, 01:30:50 pm »
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If you've been treasure hunting for more than a few days, the thought certainly has crossed your mind that there might be treasure nearby on a larger scale than the nickels and dimes you find in the local park. If not on a larger scale, then on a more interesting scale where there are fewer trash targets at the very least. That means an older area. That also means a now abandoned or less used area. The ideal spot, for me, is one that was used heavily before 1955 when the cans were still steel and you needed a pointy can opener to drink a beer. Your ideal spot for casual hunting will match your own parameters.

I am fortunate to live in a place with constant occupation since the late 1500s. I can walk to cemeteries with headstones carrying dated in the early 1600s. I absolutely never dig in cemeteries but I do research the areas surrounding them. Yes, indeed. Often they indicate an old churge or large family estate that has gone to ruin. If I'm lucky, the adjacent land will be public land now. This is easy to check in the town offices of your local area. Parcels of land are always monitored for ownership so that proper tax levies can be made. Abandoned land will often fall into the hands of the township or the state in which you live. Unless it has been turned into a state or national park, most likely it is legal for you to go there without worrying too much about trespass.

Areas of heavy woods and brush at one time were open fields or other work areas. With 500 years of land use, things of metal have most certainly been dropped. Sometimes, if you're lucky, a cache of metal items may be on that land. I'll leave you to your imagination on what the metal might be and in what form it is.

Where else to look? Well, like today, some businesses only lasted as long as the original owners of the business lasted. If the heirs didn't want to run a cider mill, for example, it would be closed and used as a storage building until it simply fell down or burned down. The areas around early businesses is prime target area for the workers who took their lunch breaks outside or tossed around horseshoes for an hour or so in the afternoon before heading home. To find the early businesses in your area, try the local historical society. Even street names can give you a research subject. How did Sawmill Road get named? How about Horsebarn Hill Road? The very names of suggestive of a research project with an almost guaranteed good result.

Comparing old maps to new maps is an old tool for experienced treasure hunters. Now with Google Maps helping out, you can easily pinpoint some early areas of occupation. Old newspapers always needed stories to fill in the blanks between the sensational news of the day. Those tiny little snippets will sometimes point straight to an area of interest for you.

During all of this preliminary research, I often get what I refer to as a "tingle" about something I have found. It's like Spideran's spider sense. I see something that draws my eye and then my focus and finally my thoughts. In Julian, California, I saw an article about Levi Strauss and his company that started making blue jeans in the 1800s. I was in the Mining Museum reading through a 2 foot stack of old newspapers and spied a picture that took my interest. It was a miner, leaning against a boulder with a white streak of quartz in it. I knew that rock. I checked on the land ownership and discovered it was owned by a Mr and Mrs (forget about it). It was directly alongside of a roadside that had a tiny bit of parking and a very slight trail down to a stream bed. I had hiked there in days gone by and arranged to meet the owners there.

We found the boulder quite easily and I'd had time to get film developed of the picture from the paper. The museum didn't allow photocopies to keep the papers from fading or mishandling so the picture was essential. To shorten this up, the owners agreed to let me prospect there and we three filed a gold claim a month later. Twenty years on, and it still produces some good gold and the prices today sweeten the pot. The couple was never going to prospect the land. That wasn't their thing at all. But my son and I did a fine job of proving the worth of the land and we contracted the small scale mining out.

At an old swimming hole in south Albany, Georgia on the Flint River, there was a tree with so many carvings by lovebirds declaring their intentions that I worried for the poor tree. I used to fish there, too, but now the gators are back and I wouldn't even think about going there. But back in the day, the carvings made me think the place would have been full of small treasures and I was right. I suspect it was a night time lover's area and a swimming hole by day. I found buckets of coins and jewelry there during my 3 years in town.

So the moral to all this is keep your eyes open and your brain even more open. Everyone can find those absolutely pristine, never hunted spots all over America and the world. Even though Australia has only been occupied by metal users for 150 years, I managed to find some spectacular areas for treasure hunting.

Good luck, everyone. One day soon, I'll write an essay about more techniques I use for research.

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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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Offline Connecticut Sam
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 04:57:20 pm »
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A good location to search for single coins is the lands between the streets and the sidewalks, which is own by cities and towns.  Good luck.

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Offline redladyrelics
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 06:15:42 pm »
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 Smiley Love these suggestions, It has me thinking of some of these kind of areas here. thanks!

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Offline GoldDigger1950Topic starter
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 06:21:24 pm »
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Quote:Posted by redladyrelics
Smiley Love these suggestions, It has me thinking of some of these kind of areas here. thanks!

Those may appear to be suggestions but they are solid methodology for finding sites worth hunting. If you have some free business cards printed from Vistaprint, you can have your calling card say you are a historical researcher, like I do. That opens so many doors to private property that I can hardly believe the difference it makes. Knock on the door with a detector in hand and your liable to be shot. Hand them a business card that says you are a Historical Researcher and they practically beg you to look over their property for them and even sometimes follow you with fresh, cold lemonade.

Normally, when I approach a landowner, I already have sheaves of research paperwork with me and this alone fascinates them. In no time at all, you're best friends.

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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: January 06, 2013, 06:24:55 pm »
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thanks, sounds like a good plan to me.!

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Offline lugknut32
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 01:25:29 am »
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GD, although I am new to TH, there was a lot of thought put into it before I made the plunge. I do believe I will adopt you business card technique...I'm allergic to copper jacketed lead! Thanks for the methodology!

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Offline sabretooth
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 07:09:36 pm »
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GD1950, I have been thinking about business cards but I didn't want to risk immediately turning people off with a picture of a metal detector and something cute about looking for buried objects with a shovel. Your idea of having cards that say you are a "Historical Researcher" is so excellent. Thank you for that. I mentioned this to my wife and she suggested I become a member of the two county historical societies. While not acting as a representative or stating myself as such, I could still put a line stating membership at the bottom of the card. It would not be a lie and would lend some seriousness, I think.
Your observation skills are very good. Picturing places where people used to be can be difficult because they aren't there now. Places can change a lot. Fields can become filled with trees over many decades. I like how you think.

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Offline GoldDigger1950Topic starter
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 07:25:18 pm »
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Quote:Posted by sabretooth
GD1950, I have been thinking about business cards but I didn't want to risk immediately turning people off with a picture of a metal detector and something cute about looking for buried objects with a shovel.

See, that's where we differ. I have a very plain calling card with no detectors and no shovels on it. It has my name and the words Historical Researcher under it. My cell phone number and e-mail at left and right near the bottom. Simple and non threatening.

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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 #8 on: March 15, 2013, 07:41:06 pm »
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I agree with GD you can get to complicated with detectors and shovels to much info.

I have used the same card for 30 or more years, it open the door then its up to me.

Historical Research and Recovery

Name                            Email
Phone 

Plan white card stock

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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 11:07:07 am »
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One of the best sources of historical information that I have found in one place are the reprints of the 19th century Gazeteers.  Here in Vt they are available for all the counties, and date to the 1870's.  Maps of each town are included showing the boundaries of all the private lots, house locations, parks, mills churches, businesses, and road and railways.  Most of these places don't exist now, and it's very helpful in locating the old, original sites.  They also show the old Inns, stage stops and ferry landings along the lake.

I'm not sure how many other states have these, but they are definitely useful.  If you should come across one of the original copies, they are valuable tocollectors.




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