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Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: ccclontz
Date: February 17, 2012 10:29PM
We have gotten permission to go over some land that once had a one room school around 1900. Also an old store from the same time period. The old store is still there but the old schoolhouse was taken down for the lumber approx 1935. It has been farmed for 80 years. It is clay soil & rocky. How deep might coins or relics be after 100 years? I doubt the children had much money unless it was pennies. I have the silver umax & unfortunately don't have any other coils yet. From what I have read it sounds like a larger than standard coil would go deeper but hopefully we will find some treasures. The store was owned by my husbands maternal great grandfather it would really mean alot to us to find some treasures. His mother attended the school for at least one year until a new school was built. This is our first hunt on old family property. Thanks for any tips Cathy in NC

Is it tilled up farm ground now???
Posted by: Bob/Nebr
Date: February 18, 2012 08:34AM
if so, use a shovel not a trowel type digger. It's quicker. Fill your holes. At first, I'd set your detector up in all metal and dig ALL
SIGNALS for awhile just to make sure you aren't passing up any goodies. Remember, the only perfect discriminator is a shovel.

I've hunted old one room schoolyards that are now farm fields and found everything from old coins and tokens to square nails and pieces of an old pot bellied stove that had blown up.

Hope you find lots of keepers. Have fun and report back to us on how you do. Sharing your hunt reports is half the fun, and fun should be your main goal in any hobby. HH. Bob.

Re: Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: oldcoon
Date: February 18, 2012 09:36AM
I agree that the children may have had not very much money. In fact you can just about bet on that. However looking at the bigger picture, a lot of times in days of yore, schoolhouses were more than school houses, they doubled as community centers and even polling places. In the 1800s it was common to hand out "four bits" to buy votes. You could come away surprised in the coin department.



Dispenser of sage wisdom.

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Re: Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: tabman
Date: February 18, 2012 12:55PM
Whittling was favorite pastime back then. Every time they pulled theirs knives out to do some whittling, coins that got hung up in the slots of their knife handles fell to the ground. As oldcoon said, the school buildings doubled as other community functions, so you can bet that there was some whittling going on at the schools.

tabman



Tesoro Tejon * Tesoro Outlaw * Fisher F75SE * Tesoro Compadre * Modded Cibola * Tesoro Golden u-Max * Bandido II µMax * Tesoro Silver uMax * Teknetics G2 * AT Pro * Tesoro Deleon * Garrett Pro Pointers * Lesche Trowels * Killer B Wasp Headphones * Predator Tool Little Eagle & Dixie Shovels

Location: Germantown Tennessee

Re: Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: comcat
Date: February 19, 2012 08:35AM
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ccclontz
We have gotten permission to go over some land that once had a one room school around 1900. Also an old store from the same time period. The old store is still there but the old schoolhouse was taken down for the lumber approx 1935. It has been farmed for 80 years. It is clay soil & rocky. How deep might coins or relics be after 100 years? I doubt the children had much money unless it was pennies. I have the silver umax & unfortunately don't have any other coils yet. From what I have read it sounds like a larger than standard coil would go deeper but hopefully we will find some treasures. The store was owned by my husbands maternal great grandfather it would really mean alot to us to find some treasures. His mother attended the school for at least one year until a new school was built. This is our first hunt on old family property. Thanks for any tips Cathy in NC
,,,,,,,hiya cathy,,,,as far as machines go,,you could probably go as deep as you need with your standard silver,,,,but if you want deeper,,or just in case ,,i would think about gettin a vachero,,,fitted with the 12x10 d.d. coil,,it is deeper ,,but is also very sensitive on small stuff,,probably the best of both worlds,,,it is slightly heavier though,,,so try one out if you can first,,,,,best of luck,,rgds :ukflag:

While I put in my time in urban locations, my main 'fun' is Relic Hunting rural sites.
Posted by: Monte
Date: February 19, 2012 08:57AM
Relic Hunting appeals to many of us a little differently. Some people hunt sites where they very seldom encounter a coin, but they are after military buckles, or bullets, or military and other insignia and associated metal items. I hunt older sites for any smaller and interesting 'relics,' but my primary goal is to find old US coins, trade tokens, jewelry and things like keys, locks, thimbles, knives, bullets and cartridge cases, etc., etc.

When working some sites, the ground mineral make-up really plays a role in how you hunt it, and what Discrimination levels you need to use for success.


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ccclontz
We have gotten permission to go over some land that once had a one room school around 1900. Also an old store from the same time period. The old store is still there but the old schoolhouse was taken down for the lumber approx 1935.
One-room schools didn't usually service a lot of students. Matter of fact, many older schools had perhaps ± a dozen kids attend. Also, many older schools didn't operate like those today because families were needed for early and late seasons of planting and harvesting crops. I have researched some older locals where school was in operation from 3 months to 6 months a year.

As others have stated, old school buildings often served as community meeting sites, church services, local dance locations, and other activities that drew more adult attendance. Research of your site's use could prove interesting and helpful, such as learning how often school was operate and the average number of students who attended. What other activities were held there, and how often. If the old school served a rather broad area, and many did, then some students might have used a pony or horse or even a buggy to get to and from school. If so, were did they stable or tie up their animals?

If larger area gathering where there, where did people put their horses, buggies, wagons or early automobiles when they attended a function there? Did the school have an outside play area? Was there an outside well or pump site for water?



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ccclontz
It has been farmed for 80 years. It is clay soil & rocky.
This is what I was referring to as challenging ground conditions. In some soils, the iron mineral content can be rather high. Also, if it is a clay-type soil, and farmed/plowed, you can encounter a lot of dirt clods in some places as well as the 'rocky' conditions you mentioned. When I get to sites that are plowed, I usually search them in a 'true' All Metal mode. That would be either a Threshold-based All Metal ode where I could adjust the Ground balance for the mineralization present, or hunt is a 'zero' rejection/all metal accept Discriminate mode. Not all makes and models offer such a motion Discrimination capability to do that.


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ccclontz
How deep might coins or relics be after 100 years?
Virtually impossible to determine because you don't know how deep all of the plowing was in that particular site. You don't know how much settling the soil did, or in some cases how much loose soil has blown away in stormy weather.

Also unknown, but fun to find out, is how many smaller metal targets, such as coins, tokens, thimbles, buttons, etc., have been turned under from plowing AND how many of them have also been resurfaced from plowing. Cultivation can cause small metal targets to be located anywhere from on-the-surface to as deep as the site was plowed, and then moved around many times, too, in future plowing.

There are seven old ghost towns I hunt, in addition to my long-time favorite town site, that had been a town since about 1868. Some only lasted about 5-10 years due to changes in the railroad operation or because a butter location for a town site sprang up within a short distance, meaning they basically just upped-and-moved the town businesses and homes. Some of them were still around until the 19-'teens or 20's. and the last ones basically croaked during the 1940's.

Most of them saw some digging activity in the 1956-'58 era, give or take a little, when bottle hunters were swarming older sites to dig out privies (where was one at your school?) or cellar holes, and then left basically a circle of dirt around the excavated holes. Coins on or near the surface before could now be 'deep', but beneath soil and such that was piled around the holes. Coins and other small lost objects were not always seen by bottle hunters back then searching for glass and could be located anywhere withing the mounds of excavated dirt.

Cattle, to include both cows, steers and huge flocks of sheep, have been herded across some of those places and adjacent wasteland since the latter 1800's and their plodding in loose soil or mud could stomp coins and other smaller targets down a bit. Most of the areas I am referring to didn't have any 'plowing' as such, with a little exception at two sites. I have hunted these places for decades, starting with the first one on May 4th, 1969. Brush growth also makes target location difficult at many of them, as well as the dense amount of trash from the periods where they had businesses, dwellings, schools and other activities.

How deep would I find coins in a town started in 1868 when I arrived in 1969, 101 years later? They were anywhere from on-the-surface or just barely covered with dust or light soil of ½" inch or so, to some typical coin depths of 1" to 3". Occasionally, on the open flat areas of these old towns, coins, tokens, bullets, cartridges, buckles, thimbles, and the annoying bottle caps, nails, rusty tin and all sorts of stuff were all down to a depth of 3"-4" and very seldom, unless I could see signs of previous digging, etc., could I ever locate a coin-type target as deep as 4"-5".

That was in 1969, but what about since then? In 1986 and 1987 I found several Indian Head cents on the top in plain view, as well as an 1853 Seated Liberty 10¢. In February, the 14th and 15th, of 1992 there were four old coins I recovered, including an 185? Seated Liberty 25¢ at 1½", a later 1800's 'V' 5¢ in plain sight, an 1864 2¢ piece at less than 1", and one of the deepest coins I have found at my favorite old town site, an 1836 Capped Bust half-dime, at ±6". It was that deep because it was close to the vehicle and I had to go down under about a 4" build-up of material from where the road grader had pushed off material to grade the dirt road. In actuality, it might have been 1" to 2" deep from the level ground a foot or so away.

And in this century, about 2005 to 2008 I have unearthed some more 1¢, 3¢, half-10¢, 5¢, 10¢, and 25¢ coins dating from 1858 thru 1906 at my #1 town and four others from surface-to-3". Good trade tokens in that same range as well, and some military buttons, and other nice artifacts. I never approach a site questioning how deep the targets might be, but more often hoping I can find good stuff while wondering how trashy a site might be, or how challenging the site environment is.



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ccclontz
I doubt the children had much money unless it was pennies.
I can guarantee you, after talking with many, many kids who attend school today, that a bunch of kids who went to school, in the latter 1800's thru about 1940 (or after) carried as many or more coins, pocket knives, or other interesting metal objects with them. Remember, too, other activities likely took place there as well.


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ccclontz
I have the silver umax & unfortunately don't have any other coils yet.
The Silver µMAX (pronounced micro-MAX) can do satisfactory work with the stock 8" coil in many such applications. I would usually keep the Discrimination level set at minimum because the ED-120 range of acceptance should respond to most targets above the iron nail level, as long as ground conditions are not too severe.

I started with about an 8" diameter search coil on the first metal locator I built over 4½ decades ago, and thru the years I have used models that came equipped with 10", 10½", 11" and 12" search coils. I didn't/don't care for most of those detectors or coil sizes for hunting smaller objects and in typical sites. Since 1968 I have used, and prefer, coils that are about 6½"-7" in diameter and sometimes smaller. I sometime mount and use a 4" or 4½" (they call it 5") on a couple of detector models I use for working in trashier conditions, but most hunting is done with a 6½" coil or 8" coil on my White's detectors that came standard with a 950 coil. I keep a 950 mounted on a spare lower rod and I use that bigger-size coil about 3 to 8 days .... a year!

When I switched over to selling and using Tesoro's in 1983, I immediately went from using the 8" and 8½" coils to mainly keeping the 7" concentric coil on them for better balance, better handling in and around brush and building rubble, and dealing with trashy conditions. Today I still prefer to put a 7" concentric or 5ź" concentric coil on a preferred Tesoro, and that's because they work well, deal with adjacent masking trash better, and also because most coins and smaller targets are found within their detectable range.



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ccclontz
From what I have read it sounds like a larger than standard coil would go deeper but hopefully we will find some treasures.
I strongly discourage the option of going to a larger-size coil unless the site is sparse in masking targets and known to have some deeper desired objects, but even then you can encounter problems. Stay with your stock 8" or in the future, look for a good smaller-size 5¾" or 7" concentric.

In the meantime, I am sure you will find stuff with your Silver µMAX w/8" coil.



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ccclontz
The store was owned by my husbands maternal great grandfather it would really mean alot to us to find some treasures. His mother attended the school for at least one year until a new school was built. This is our first hunt on old family property.
Good luck on your search. Keep the search coil parallel with the ground and about 1 off the surface. Sweep it side-to-side without lifting the coil at the ends of the sweep. Do not sweep too quickly, especially if it is trashy. And remember to report back to all of us readers about your success afield!

Good Luck :detecting:

Monte!




"Your EYES ... the only 100% accurate form of Discrimination!"


Stinkwater Wells

Just a name that brings back fond memories of old alkali desert favorite sites in Utah, Nevada, and Eastern Oregon. There is no pastime I enjoy more than hunting old sites as best I can, doing research, and helping others learn more about this great hobby.:
My 'Tag-Along' buddies: White's MXT All-Pro w/9", MX5 w/6½", and modified IDX Pro w/6½".

My 'On-Call' detectors: Compass Coin Hustler & 99B TR's, Teknetics Euro-Tek Pro, Tesoro Bandido II µMAX and others I want to tinker with.

monte@stinkwaterwells.com
(503) 481-8147


Re: Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: fowlercharles
Date: February 20, 2012 12:10AM
Hi Cathy, Great advice from all the guys, and for sure never fail to read anything Monte puts to us because he knows detecting, and is always there for us! I will try to make my input brief, as possible. Check online land records for the land ownership back as far as possible. That includes original Surveys available for some states that go back as far as 1828-32. Some of those surveys show Indian villages, early trails/roads and sometimes even.homesteads. Might have been someone there pre dating your family.. A couple of "cautions" from my own personal experiences. Old wells(dug) can be ""anywhere"", so be especially watchful of any children you may have with you.. I have encountered a couple of particular hazardous wells that were well hidden by overgrown field grass and underbrush. Both were small,(big enough for a person) and very deep.This next caution may sound weird but I suggest you not take your vehicle into the same pasture with cattle. If so try and keep them away from your vehicle if possible. If not possible to park elsewhere, put all the windows up and hope for the best. Cows especially will lick and chew anything on a vehicle they can get a grip on.Window weather stripping,wipers, mirrors etc.They will even leave teeth marks in the paint when trying to get a grip If they find a window down you have even more trouble.. I said it was weird but it is something not likely considered by folks excited about detecting some old dirt.. HH, Charlie,

Ha...as an old farm boy.... Charlie's tips made me smile...
Posted by: Bob/Nebr
Date: February 20, 2012 05:53AM
He is spot on about the cows. Not to mention them rubbing up against your vehicle too.

Remember to post about your hunt. That's how us snow bound guys get our winter fix!!! HH. Bob.

Re: Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: RicS
Date: February 20, 2012 05:34PM
Cathy,
I wish I had had such advice when starting out 35 years ago! The cow thing was a little new, although I now recall memories of a unsettling evening in a field. ...they do like rubbing vehicles. Who knew.
An additional observation that applies most commonly to the concentric coils (as opposed to the double D I saw recommended), is the overlap. Monte mentions his 'favorite' places, and how he continually makes finds on returning trips. No doubt, he tries other areas around the site he may not have been yet, but, you can be sure he goes over areas he's been over before, possibly often. Sometimes, just changing direction will produce signals we either didn't hear, or were ignored as trash initially.
I've seen on more than one occasion, someone 'race' across an area to see where the 'stuff' is, sweeping a pattern more like a 'Z' until finding something. . ..then settle down a little, getting a little more careful and deliberate. One can only imagine what may have been missed during the hasty 100 yard dash. Truth is, there could be just as much where you start out, as there is where you finish. The only way to be sure, is slow, deliberate sweeps, with an overlap somewhere around 1/2 the coil width. This overlap is even more important when in disc mode. So. ..take your time, advance about 1/2 a coil width with each sweep, and maximize your opportunity. My brother in law stepped out of his car, walked 3 steps to the gravel edge, turned on his Silver, started sweeping going toward the grassy, got a hit, stopped, and popped a 20 Franc gold coin 6" deep in the gravel edge. He'd been hunting that park for years. ...in the grass!!! You just never know!!
Lastly, Monte gives great coil advice. I have them from 4" to 11" diameters as well, and for all kinds of models. After all this time, I find that smaller. . .for me as well. ..has been more accurate, much easier to swing, and has no significant loss in depth over it's larger counterparts. 90% of my valuable finds, have been 6" or less and with these coils. Yes, I've found things deeper, but. .. . .also with the 8" or smaller coils. I prefer the 7" and 5 3/4" concentrics which are great for weaving around trash, have terrific disc capability, with both having excellent depth in the areas around Virginia I hunt.
Have a ball, and please keep us all posted on the successes of your hunt. . ..
Best and HH,
-Ric

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Re: Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: upnorth
Date: February 20, 2012 08:26PM
Take water. If the heat or dust doesn't dry you out, the wind may. After coming in a few times choking, croaking and dryer than a pop corn fart, you will not forget the water again...............Same thing for extra batteries. Drive out there, get into it and 10 minutes later the batteries quit............ You learn to take back ups. Good luck dear.



Chris, western Canada, A.T.Pro, Tesoro Tejon

Re: Need tips for hunt for relics from farmland
Posted by: Shenandoah Digger
Date: February 22, 2012 10:00PM
Like Monte said, and contrary to what many posts I've read have said, most coins and artifacts are not that deep. If they sank at the rate many believe, 3000 year old coins in Europe would be undetectable, and yet they are found on a regular basis. I'm not saying that coins on occasion don't reach an undetectable depth, but it is a rarity.

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