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A Ghost Town "hunt factor" is a serious consideration. Been doing it since late 1968.

May 21, 2019 12:04AM avatar
I spent a lot of time in the 'Special Collections' room at the Weber County Library in Ogden, Utah ... several times weekly ... and when they were preparing for the Grand Opening of the Golden Spike Historic Site, marking the 100 year anniversary of the "Wedding of the Rails" to drive the golden spike on May 10th, back in 1869, the old gals that ran that section of the library referred the local newspaper photographer to ask me questions and pose for a photo with a mock-up of the railroads involved. That was in April of 1969, and I already had quite a collection of notes about several of the towns / town sites stage stops in that region leading to the Golden Spike event and the history of what followed.

It was just a short time later, May 4th of '69, that my older brother Ed and I made our first visit to one of the town sites, which I dubbed 'Twin Flats' Utah. That was also the first time I did any metal detecting at a true ghost town, and finding 1 coin that was 'older' by most standards even then, I left 'Twin Flats' not being skunked. That turned out to be my all-time favorite and most productive ghost town, ever, where I have only been skunked one time. Just once! That was a day I only had a 4-hour time limit to depart from my travels, get to the town site, then be back to my travels on the old highway. Only 1 time!

Why did I do so well hunting that town? It was a combination of several things, to include:

1.. Being patient and persistent. VERY patient and persistent.

2.. Taking my time to search it 'Slowly and Methodically' and not be in such a darn hurry to just scurry all about the site hither-and-tither.

3.. Using some of the better detectors available to us, especially with a smaller-size search coil that is best suited for hunting in, around and under sagebrush and other vegetation, and dealing with a lot of debris and discarded ferrous-based junk. There wasn't anything really good (detector wise) ... early on.

My first search on May 4th was with a White's Ghost Towner BFO using a 6" red wooden search coil. From then until mid-July of 1983, I used other models I had progressed to, including conventional TR's, TR-Disc. and then VLF (All Metal Ground Balanced mode) models w/TR-Disc. mode. The early, brisk-sweep VLF-Disc. models just were not going to work all that well there due to the dense brush and a terrible amount of ferrous debris. Therefore, I would only make a trek out that way to 'Twin Flats' and other older-use sites perhaps once or twice every two to four months because the detector equipment wasn't well suited for the challenges.

We finally got our first really good slow-motion, quick-response VLF-Discriminating model in July of '83 when Tesoro introduced the Inca. I quickly swapped to the smaller 7" Concentric coil and all of my detecting increased, Both urban and rural sites, and my Relic Hunting activity at those older remote locations varied from about once a week to sometimes a two-to-three day and night campout about every month or two, with one-day visits, often, in between.

That one old town site produced hundreds of old coins for me, with enough to put in 2X2 cards and fill 4 binders and still have a lot more coins to clean and card. And of those hundreds of coins, I only found about 4 or 5 using an early BFO, no more than perhaps ±20 coins using a TR, TR-Disc. or VLF/TR-Disc. I did find some of those coins with a newer motion-based detector I took there for evaluation as well. But of them all, I used whatever favorite Tesoro model I preferred at the time, with a 7" or now 6" Concentric coil, to find about 95-98% of all the old coins, trade tokens and neat smaller artifacts at that location.

4.. Time. Ample time to do my best to thoroughly cover all the ground in a determined area on each visit I made.

Northern Utah had a sever earthquake in 1934 that left a lot of fishers that were difficult to navigate for the school teacher in 'Twin Flats' to make the drive home at the time. 1934 was 85 years ago, so any 12 year old in school at the time would be 97 years old sometime this year. Odds are there are not too many of those school kids still around who remember the school or where it was located. Or the Taylor's Mercantile and several other notable places .... but I know where they were.

That comes from doing research long ago and up to the present and taking notes. And while this particular town did NOT have a large local population, it had enough activity, over a long enough period of time that generated ample activity to bring about a lot of coin loss. That, combined with studying the towns existence, and size, and layout of structures and activity during its duration, rewarded me and some good friends who also hunted the locations fairly often that I know for certain, and to verify my research and 'best guesses' about the more productive areas, that research is an important key to success.

So, I totally agree with the help we might get by doing research and looking at the duration of an old town site, and the population of an old town site. But there are other factors to consider. Let me do a follow-up post to this one to describe how I have considered the towns you mentioned that are most of, but not all of, the towns we'll be hunting on the 11th WTHO to Wells, Nevada on June 13th thru 16th.


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

Stinkwater Wells Trading Post
Metal Detector Evaluations and Product Reviews
monte@ahrps.org ... or ... monte@stinkwaterwells.com
Detectors: Vista 'X' / Vanquish 540 / CoRe, Relic & Simplex + / Bandido II µMAX & Silver Sabre µMAX / XLT / ORX
Pinpointers: Pulse-Dive .. Headphones: Killer B's 'Hornet' & 'Wasp' ... White's 'Pro Star'
Note: Detectors are listed alphabetically by Brand. Models are chosen based on search site conditions.
*** All working well today to make memories for tomorrow. ***

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2020 08:33AM by Monte.
Subject Author Views Posted

Ghost town hunt factor Attachments

glabelle 483 May 20, 2019 09:21AM

4-Months left to 'Be Prepared!'

Monte 115 February 03, 2020 10:36AM

Those planning on our 12th WTHO on June 3rd-6th/7th this year.

Monte 156 January 12, 2020 08:51AM

12th WTHO Retro Hunt ?

UtahRich 114 January 21, 2020 01:12PM

Re: 12th WTHO Retro Hunt ?

Sodbuster 111 January 21, 2020 04:21PM

Re: Those planning on our 12th WTHO on June 3rd-6th/7th this year.

glabelle 123 January 12, 2020 04:00PM

A Ghost Town "hunt factor" is a serious consideration. Been doing it since late 1968.

Monte 340 May 21, 2019 12:04AM

A Ghost Town "hunt factor"... Part 2. → What I factor in for those Nevada towns.

Monte 316 May 21, 2019 06:19AM

Re: A Ghost Town "hunt factor"... Part 2. - Giving back Attachments

glabelle 264 May 21, 2019 07:55AM

A terrific photo! Thank You!thumbs up

Monte 253 May 21, 2019 08:42AM

More maps Attachments

glabelle 355 May 21, 2019 03:38PM

MAPS! ... George, your computer tallents and generosity are appreciated!thumbs up

Monte 199 May 22, 2019 06:49AM

Re: More maps

NWCindy 211 May 22, 2019 04:08AM

Re: A Ghost Town "hunt factor" - refinement Attachments

glabelle 244 May 21, 2019 07:50AM

Re: A Ghost Town "hunt factor" - refinement

OregonGregg 247 May 21, 2019 08:01AM

Re: A Ghost Town "hunt factor" - refinement

glabelle 251 May 21, 2019 08:08AM

variable or constant?

UtahRich 170 December 07, 2019 08:19PM

Re: variable or constant?

OregonGregg 158 December 08, 2019 08:00AM

Re: variable or constant?

D&P-OR 162 December 08, 2019 06:47PM

Re: variable or constant?

OregonGregg 164 December 09, 2019 06:44AM

Re: variable or constant?

D&P-OR 147 December 09, 2019 10:14AM

Re: variable or constant?

OregonGregg 162 December 09, 2019 11:44AM

Re: Ghost town hunt factor

Kickindirt 249 May 20, 2019 06:47PM

Re: Ghost town hunt factor

silverhound2 258 May 20, 2019 09:08PM

Re: Ghost town hunt factor

Kickindirt 242 May 20, 2019 10:12PM

Ghost town hunt factor

UtahRich 271 May 20, 2019 01:02PM

My target

glabelle 280 May 20, 2019 01:33PM

What is my Window of Expectation?

UtahRich 239 May 20, 2019 10:34PM

Re: My target

NWCindy 244 May 20, 2019 03:02PM

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