I did some research this week on an empty lot in a historic area of my hometown. I found that a very large house was on the lot all the way back to 1903 (ane earlier), based upon the Sanborn maps. It took a couple of phone calls, but I tracked down the owners and got permission to hunt.

I immediately noticed how junky the ground was. Lots of noise. I did manage to pull a 1918 Wheat Penny, so I began to get a bit excited. I was only about 30 minutes into the hunt when I heard a voice behind me …

It was an older gentleman, inquiring if I had found anything. I confessed that I had not found a lot. He then informed me that when the old house that was on the property burned that they “bulldozed the place to high heaven!”

We struck up a conversation, and he proceeded to tell me about his own home next door. Turns out it was built around 1850. The claim to fame for his house was that Captain Henry Wirz, Confederate commander of Andersonville Prison (the only Confederate officer hung after the war) actually spent his honeymoon night in that house after marrying a local girl.

He, apparently, has historical evidence. Cool story …

Then the magic words came out of his mouth, “There’s never been a bulldozer touch my place. You’re welcome to detect there all you want.”

Well, I learned my lesson a long time ago … when you get permission on a house, drop what you’re doing and go for it … because they sometimes take permission away before you even get to hunt (has happened to me twice). I figured I can hunt the empty lot anytime.

So, I jumped on it. I covered the front yard. No silver yet (I’m heart-broken), but I did find a 1954 Wheatie and … best of all … an 1897 Indian Head Penny in great condition! Only my 6th coin ever from the 19th century.

I’m working a night shift at the hospital tonight, so no access to coins and cameras. But I’ll be sure to post a picture tomorrow.

So, the moral of the story is … whenever and wherever you hunt, always go out of your way to talk to, make relationships with, and get permission from the curious neighbors. Pays off for me every time!


Here are my pics … the total haul

That’s two pieces of oxidized lead in the middle. The one on the left is completely flat. Freaked me out a bit when I dug it … thought it was a hammered coin for a second (a very short second).

Anybody know what the pull / pacifier looking item is??

And check out this beautiful Indian!

I know that (supposedly) the Indians are the same composition and size, but IH’s just FEEL different. The feel more substantial. And the tone is completely different … all the way on the low end of the penny range.

This is definitely the best looking one I’ve ever dug.

Thanks for looking! Hitting the spot again this afternoon.

Garrett GTP 1350 / Oldest Coin – 1801 Draped Bust Large Cent / Silver Coins – 48 / Coin Count – 1,972 / Clad Total – $141.75