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Never forget any dirt roads, old or new.

August 09, 2022 12:59PM avatar
It seems most of the good, huntable ghost towns are reached by way of a dirt road. Some of the roads use an old RR grade where rails were removed ±80 years ago for the war effort so they are a road today but an old RR grade back when. Then there are some newer roads that were made be people trying to find a 'different' route to an old townsite. They were not there long ago when a town existed, but they often cut into or through an old site where structures and others things used to be. That means those old roads ought to be searched, and I suggest taking your time to do some because both ferrous and non-ferrous targets might have been pushed own an extra inch or two and are out of site ... but they are still there to mask any keepers.

Of course many roads today followed an old original route so need some searching, and don't forget the 'side-slope' where they are a little wider than back then and have cut into some of the former 'level ground' which has relocated some targets and encouraged some erosion that also works away some of the soil and material into the road or slope from the native ground surface as the years have gone by.

And by all means look for any old roads, or any sign of where old roads used to be. Remember that they were used by early automobiles, but mainly for stage, wagon and buggy travel, along with horseback and we can not forget walkers. Those old roads were where folks walked in many towns that didn't have a boardwalk. People walked in them and when muddy many could trip and fall. In good weather kids would play in them. I can't tell you how many times in forty years of avid Relic Hunting I have made some of my best finds in old roads or along the fringes of ole roads where coins and such are from weathered-away level ground, or where they have been pushed off to the side by vehicle travel or even some grading of dirt roads.

Also, I have used old roads, or remnants of them, to hunt the adjacent ground to locate former activity. I came across what I determined to be where the Chinese laundry area was at my favored old town and that kept me busy for quite a few visits. I had to hunt enough to determine where the laundry area started on the east and west sides, and then patiently hunt where they had their tents set up, where they washed, and especially where they tossed out the dirty water ... and buttons and coins and what-not that came free.

My best day there was 9 coins that ended up under a sage bush that had grown there. Otherwise most of the time I spend there on a number of visits, hunting slowly and methodically with a small coil, I averaged 4 to 6 coins with only abut 10% of them being a Chinese Cash Coin. Interestingly, that laundry area had about 10% Nickels, but about an even split, 40% each, between One Cent coins and Silver coins. If the location wouldn't have had as much in the way of Iron Nails and other debris I could have covered it in less time and found more per visit, but the coins as well as both porcelain and metal buttons and such kept me busy. My all-time favorite townsite produced more coins than you might imagine, but never a single trade token from that area. In other towns were I narrowed down the laundry areas and it was in the era of trade token use, those were also keepers that surfaced often from hunting them.

Through the years I have also figured that most of the old laundry areas were used more by men without a family (wife) to handle the task. I say that because in the townsites where I hunted the Chinese laundry areas I very seldom found any marbles, likely to be in some boy's britches, but I did find them at the side and rear of potential washing areas around the home sites. Just had to keep my eyes open for surface finds or from disturbing the ground for target recovery.

One of my efforts for the WTHO's has been to locate any old maps of the towns, or personal history journals and the like, they describe where roads were, businesses were, and especially find if there were any laundry areas. Many of the old RR towns had them, but so far I have stuck out with the Nevada WTHO sites. There's time so I will keep trying.


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Subject Author Views Posted

Never forget any dirt roads, old or new.

Monte 394 August 09, 2022 12:59PM

Old roads

Utmike 156 August 10, 2022 11:12PM

Re: Never forget any dirt roads. Attachments

OregonGregg 260 August 10, 2022 12:20PM

Can't forget... Attachments

Utmike 159 August 10, 2022 11:28PM

Re: Can't forget...

OregonGregg 216 August 11, 2022 11:36AM

It can be dusty, dirty or muddy, season dependent. N/T

Monte 132 August 10, 2022 09:59PM

Your writeup has other applications

GB_Amateur 196 August 10, 2022 09:47AM

True, it can have many applications and locations ...

Monte 154 August 10, 2022 10:06PM

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