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How to find old Picnic Groves?

Cutaplug

New member
Can anyone give me some tips on how to find old picnic groves? Do you look for roads that say "grove" on old maps or just talk to the senior citizens in the area?
 

LabradorBob

Active member
Talking to senior citizens would be good,also old books on the towns and newspapers at the library!
 

Trix

New member
I had good results with newspaper archives in my area. If there is a search function you can enter picnic, or picnic grove and read the article. I found that a lot of times the name of the grove or area was given but only with general direction and distance. Like Reunion Picnic to be held in Thompson's Grove 4 miles east. Any other specifics will have to come from someone who remembers where that was exactly.
 

Trix

New member
Yes. The archives were available from my public library. Their database also included access to the Sanborn maps and some other sites that gave some background information for some of the older towns in Texas. All I needed was a library card.
 

Cutaplug

New member
I just moved and the library in the new town is lacking in the research department. I asked where the local history section was and he brought me three books LOL. Will have to try the University library or talk to some history professors...
 

LabradorBob

Active member
Look for a historical society in your county also!
 

Songdog

New member
If talking to anyone involved with any kind of historical society I would refrain from telling them that you are doing research to MD an area.
This tends to really turn off the history buffs as they think you are there to "rob" relics from the ground.
JMO
 

INVASCdigger

New member
Through the years, I've researched the oldest newspapers at the library that are either digitally stored or on microfilm and go to the July 4 papers. Dates before the 1920s are usually the best. Early newspapers between 1890 and 1920 will give you more names and possible locations of picnic groves. Next, I find a plat book for that county and township that's as near the year that the old newspaper was written and try to find the name of the land owner (for instance...Smith's grove...look for the name "Smith" shown on the property outlines) where the picnic was held. Then you have to compare the old roads shown in the plat book with a current map in hopes of getting oriented so that you know where to look for a stand of woods that hopefully still remains on the property formerly owned by farmer Smith. Google Earth is great for this, or do it the old-fashioned way by driving to the area. Plat book dates can vary, but where I live, they were printed in 1876, 1888, 1903, 1915 and newer years. The early plats are where the "good stuff" will be found, such as early horse race tracks, fairgrounds, parks, etc., etc.
 

ironsight

New member
Songdog said:
If talking to anyone involved with any kind of historical society I would refrain from telling them that you are doing research to MD an area.
This tends to really turn off the history buffs as they think you are there to "rob" relics from the ground.
JMO
Thats basically true at least in my experience, not with locating old picnic groves but old towns.
I joined my County's Historical Society with the idea of finding the exact site and any information of a long gone town shown on pre 1900 maps. I made the mistake of letting the lead organizer know that i was into metal detecting. I got stern looks and one word dis-interested answers from my questions.

I searched the Internet for this old town and all i could find out is that it had a stagecoach depot and a post office. Thats it!
I got a general sqr. mile idea of where it mighta been and even have the both of the land owner's permission to search that entire area now a couple of gigantic cornfields.
Problem is the old maps that show the town have no roads, creeks or other landmarks around it just a dot with the town's name in the middle of nowhere. It disappeared off maps around 1900 or so.
I suspect it was located at an old long gone trail i found on one mid-1800s map which lead to a larger city many miles away. I further narrowed possible sites by researching topo maps as the area back then was swampy between rolling hills. The town had to logically be located on high ground.

INVASCdigger thanks for the idea of researching old County plat records, thats gonna be my next try. I just hope the County kept the records from back then.
 

LabradorBob

Active member
Can anyone give me some tips on how to find old picnic groves? Do you look for roads that say "grove" on old maps or just talk to the senior citizens in the area?
I have seen older plat maps that actually show old groves,but they are far and few in between
 

LabradorBob

Active member
I'm thinking he found a good one or two after this post, lol
good deal,i found a late 1800's newspaper online for a town near me.
they advertised having a fourth of july celebration at some guys property in the grove.
i have not yet found a map showing a parcel with the owners name.
 

Big Treble

Active member
good deal,i found a late 1800's newspaper online for a town near me.
they advertised having a fourth of july celebration at some guys property in the grove.
i have not yet found a map showing a parcel with the owners name.
Research definitely pays off.

As far as the OP, he now has a video series and a website that he markets and sells info on research and finding old picnic groves. He and his dad, (if I remember correctly) found a couple and pounded some old silver, in high volume, from these sites.

I've kind of always wanted to subscribe to this video training, but been reluctant. I also don't see him on the forums like he use to be.
 

LabradorBob

Active member
Research definitely pays off.

As far as the OP, he now has a video series and a website that he markets and sells info on research and finding old picnic groves. He and his dad, (if I remember correctly) found a couple and pounded some old silver, in high volume, from these sites.

I've kind of always wanted to subscribe to this video training, but been reluctant. I also don't see him on the forums like he use to be.
yes we still text each other, he has very good info.
 
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