Monday, May 27, 2019

Cash bonanza at the school playground

Last year I obtained permission to metal detect on my small town's school property - but NOT the playing fields.  I did explore one small playground, but did not find much.  Today (Memorial Day) was one of the rare warm sunny days we have had this year so I went back to explore the much larger playground on the other side of the building.  I spent about 2 hours just in the playground. 

What a difference!  I found $6.14 in coins, including 16 quarters and a dollar coin!  I have never found that many coins in one place before, and I'm sure there's more to be found.  The whole area is covered in wood chips to a depth of over 8" in most places, and many of the coins were down deep.
Below the surface the chips got wetter, and the deeper I dug the more moldy the chips.  Many coins were near the surface and fresh, but others were so far down that I had to use my trowel to break up the compressed chips.

There were a couple of interesting finds like this token for "Gatti's GREAT FOOD - GREAT FUN" with "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - LIBERTY" on the back.  

And this "Oliver Vending Game Token" that says: "NO CASH VALUE" on the back:

And a pretty pendant that I'm sure some child missed for a day or so:

I cleaned all the coins up in my rock tumbler with white vinegar and a teaspoon of salt.  Pennies and tokens in one batch for 2 hours and the dimes/nickels/quarters for 4 hours.  Some were really stained from the wood chips, but not badly corroded as they would have been in dirt.  They all came out quite clean.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Digging a Maine fresh water beach

Memorial day is in a few days and I decided to sweep the beach at Damariscotta Lake State Park here in Maine.  The weather has been so lousy that I have not been out detecting much, But today was lovely so I thought I would swing over the sand and see what I could find.  The rangers were cleaning up the parking lot and I guess they were going to rake off all the storm debris from the beach.

I didn't find much, a few coins and fishing lures, but it was so nice to be out in the sun!  My favorite find was this polished stone that was laying right on the beach.  It feels nice in the hand and seem like it would be a good "worry stone" for your pocket.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Civil war veteran lapel pin

My first swing on the flea market site this year turned up a beautiful bronze Civil War veteran lapel pin.  The text says: "GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC - 1866 VETERAN 1866".  The back is fixed:
Since I'm not a collector by nature, I put it on eBay and it sold for $20!

I keep getting the feeling that the flea market site was a mustering ground for civil war soldiers as it is right next to the train tracks.  Perhaps they were boarding the train to head south to the war from here in midcoast Maine?

Other finds include a rusty old Firebird lighter:

Later that afternoon I also visited a friends field that abuts a small graveyard and found some rusty bits of farm equipment, a file and a few modern coins (not shown).

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Heavy metal in the hay field across from my home

It has been wet, cold and overcast for weeks here in Maine, but finally I saw a little sun late this afternoon and decided to wander off into the 50 acre hay field across from my home.  I started by going around the edge, following the tree line and that's where I turned up the big horse shoe.  And I found some other assorted bit of farm equipment as I wandered across the field.  It was really muddy!

Here's the view from the far side of the field looking back at my home.

And a couple of closer views of the horseshoe right after I hosed it off.

 I don't know anything about horseshoes, but this seems really old.  The field has probably been in active use for well over 200 years.  I welcome any comments about this style of horse shoe.

 Thanks to a knowledgeable Facebook friend, it appears to be from a draft horse with 3 screw type calks remaining on it.