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Tips and Small Talk Lead to New Civil War Era Site

I headed out on Sunday to catch the minister of a small country church to ask permission to hunt (it was granted.)  I met several people from the church, all of them, including the minister were nicer than nice.  Before I knew it, he was telling me of an old African-American church location near his house that did not appear on any early Maps – (postscript: it was there, I just missed it.)

The church was positioned on a slope, with a flat section lower on the property.  It was my assumption that any picnics or outdoor activities would happen on the flat bit so I started hunting there.  Within a few swings I pulled an 1878 Indian, and before I knew it I had four of them, along with the 1865 Two-Cent piece you see here.   If it had been an 1864, it could have been worth $300+… but this is a common date.  The thrill was not diminished!  No silver on this trip.  But I was invited back anytime.Metal Detecting - 1865 Two Cent Piece

I hadn’t prepared myself with aerial photography, but gridded the field (mowed a week ago, so not bad) and found tons of tin roofing pieces.  Apparently the church had been badly damaged by winds from a major storm in the past.

I have permission for the rest of the property which has several large flat fields near a stream.  I will be searching for any evidence of a camp along those next weekend.

The finds were great, but the best treasure of the day was meeting / conversing with new people with an interest in the hobby.

1879 ET Fraim Padlock - Metal Detecting

The area looks like it was just empty fields in the past, so I may come up empty on this.   But this is an area along a major (for 1880s) roadway and the flat spot has a nice stream down the middle.  It could be a camp area for civil war soldiers so I’m going to be looking for button signals and lead.  I’ll be looking for diaries that refer to the area and assembling site notes.

I’ve learned that the position of a couple of structures are slightly different than the owners thought (based on aerial photos.)

 

I also picked up this nice 1879 ET Fraim Brass Padlock.  I thought I had a civil war lock, but turns out this was a few years afterward.  This lock appears in catalogs of the era … 12 for $2.00.  Looks like value around $25 without the key.  I have this and the coins recorded in HD and will put them on the next livecam video I put out.  Learn more about locks and keys from this era here.

I also found the existence of two schools in the area, and I will soon be working on permission for the closest one.  The other is mentioned in county history and appears on the 1879 map, but hardly anywhere after that.  More research required!