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a story 'worse than iron' (enjoy)

July 31, 2022 01:08PM
It was the hot days of the summer in 2020 and I headed to the big lake to detect the waters where the big boats parked and played. I was hoping for a gold ring or two. The country roads that lead from my house to the big lake passed through two small hamlets. One of those hamlets had a small local diner, three churches, that diner and a bunch of houses, all of which had seen better days, and not much else. I stopped at the diner for a cup of coffee and at the counter were two guys passing time and also drinking coffee. I struck up a conversation with them and eventually that conversation turned to metal detecting. One of the guys asked if I had detected the park down the way, as he thought it would be a good spot to find some old coins and things. Now, I have many maps of the area and on none of those maps does it show anything that might even be considered a park. But he pointed me in the direction and said, "just turn down the road by the church and you'll see it." I thanked the guys, bid them farewell and swung back to find the park. There, just before the church, in an acre and a half of mowed, crudely kept lawn was a big swing set and a small sign that said something to the effect of, "welcome to our park". There were no signs of usage except for the ruff mowing. The 'park' was separated from the main road by a hundred-yard strip of junk filled overgrown woods. I made a metal note and headed to the big lake, as that was my plan for the day.
The lake hunt turned out to be a bust, as the waves made detecting all but impossible. I headed home thinking of this hidden park in a place where anyone just passing by would think, 'nothing of any importance ever really happened here'. Once home I began my interweb search on this small hamlet. Turns out that in the early 1800s this small hamlet was a very vibrant village on the verge of becoming a great metropolis. Yes, before the railroad changed the commerce of the times, everything bought and sold in this area came and went by the many waterways. The many rivers, small canals and little lakes about all lead to the mighty Susquehanna River and eventually to Baltimore. Anything from the civilized world that could be found here, in the wild frontier of the day, at that time, started its journey in Baltimore. Anything of any value from this part of the world left by means of barge or ark and headed its way to Baltimore. This, now hamlet of a once thriving village was located on the last small group of lakes that could port any great number of barges, all awaiting the right water conditions to head towards their destination, be it coming or going. This hamlet had a great store frontage with everything and anything in an attempt at luring the trade of the barge runners or village people.
The period between 1800 and 1850 this was the place to be, a jewel, out here in the recently heavily forested great expansion of America. Then came the railroad. In and around 1850 the railroad began laying rails to move the commerce more efficiently. This hamlet was 'cut-off' as there was no easy way, nor reason to connect it with any other railroad line. With this also went the population. Indeed, no longer a place to be or do any sort of business. The residents began moving north or south so to be closer to the major railroad ports and a means of employment. The canals dried and were filled in and the small dams along the rivers were left to nature and no longer maintained. So, this once vibrant place became lesser and lesser so in a few short years.
1860 and the village no longer held much attraction to anyone and even those who stayed had little to do in a way supporting life. In those ten short years this place went from the great place of its beginnings to a nothing, non-supporting area, to try and eke out an existence here was futile. Then in the late summer of 1860 a fire started in the row of store fronts. Each building being connected to the one next to it by a shared wall. In no time, the whole of the buildings of this town were ablaze and no matter of buckets of water could do anything but watch it burn. This fire burned hot for days, until a series of rainstorms and the sparce remaining population, with their shovels and buckets extinguished the smolders. It is said that hot spots would flair up weeks later, burning whatever fuel was left in the basements and foundations of the strip of storefronts. Every landmark excepting the churches was burned to the ground. Gone to the world, forever.
So here I come, armed with this knowledge and a T2 sporting the stock 11x7 coil and a Nels Sharpshooter attached to an extra lower rod in the back seat of my car, to rid this park of its unseen treasures. I turned on my detector and set it as I thought would be best and went to ground balance. There was no place where I could find clean ground, every pass with the coil held hundreds of reports. Not iron reports, mind you, but mid to high tone good sounding target reports. I switched coils to the smaller sharpshooter and manually adjusted the GB to a 75 (a close gb in most places around), but still the same constant bombardment of noise. Then came one report that seemed a bit bigger, a bit cleaner and a tone with a TID into the 70s. I dug it and there six inches down I found a half dollar sized piece of tin, roofing??! I rechecked the hole with my pin pointer and there was another piece, though a bit smaller, and another. My first hole and a handful of small pieces of melted tin roofing, sized from that half dollar size piece to small drips, nail head sized pieces. Indeed, the whole of the storefront was cover in a tin roof. The fire had burn hot enough that this roof melted and was spread by the updraft and settled on the ground which is now the park. This no longer affects anyone, except the guy with the metal detector. I adjusted the sensitivity to about half and the discrimination so to remove any report of iron and did a few grides of the park. Digging the bigger or different sounding pieces of tin. My trash bag was about half full of this melted tin, when I heard a distinctively different sound and the T2 reported a solid 79 on the TID scale. I dug down and found an Indianhead penny, a few swings later and another Indianhead went into my good finds jar, then another. Then my first ever two cent piece was dug. Then one of the first flat keys, patented in the 1860s. So, for that first hunt at this melted tin minefield I left with a few Indianhead pennies, a two center and a relic of some significance. I was also left hearing those tin reports a week or so later.
I have hunted there a few times since and have pulled a bunch of Indians, including two fatties, another two-center, a couple seated dimes and a nice crotal bell still with its dinger. All these finds are above the tin and every time I've gone back, since the first time, I've hunted with the 5-inch round coil. I know that many treasures lie below, but I have no idea on how to punch through that layer of melted tin six-to-seven-inches down from the surface. Yea, like hunting in the heavily iron infested sites, only here the iron reports are a constant mirage of mid tones and high tones, and the keeper targets have a very slightly different, yet similar sound.
Subject Author Views Posted

a story 'worse than iron' (enjoy)

ScoTTT2 451 July 31, 2022 01:08PM

Re: a story 'worse than iron' (enjoy) ... edited

ScoTTT2 228 August 02, 2022 05:33PM

Great entertainment while I had dinner.

Monte 299 August 02, 2022 06:24PM

Re: a story 'worse than iron' (enjoy)

Utmike 246 August 01, 2022 11:27AM

Enjoyed the story, especially your research. Tks! N/T

GB_Amateur 274 August 01, 2022 09:41AM

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