Here today, gone tomorrow.

I found a 1940’s hold home that became vacant due to new construction of a park area. Three weeks went by until I could find the perfect Saturday morning.for the hunt.  The night before I imagined or dreamed of the silver lurking beneath the surface.  I get up at dawn, have some coffee and then head out to search the site. Only to find they had leveled the home and moved in about 3 feet of dirt to landscape for the new park. Ugh! The day before I drove by and the house was still there and the soil untouched. So next time I spot a home that is the target of new construction, I will hunt it ASAP.

 

Getting Skunked

I have been metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. Started first with the Fisher Gold Bug and the Garrett Coin Hunter.  We always did pretty good with the Fisher gold bug up in the hills and gold bearing streams. Took a few years off  from metal detecting and then got back into the hobby and learned some more about metal detecting.  But it wasn’t until about 10 years ago when I started really learning this great hobby. Spent much more time hunting and researching for sites and learning from others.

So I consider myself an adequate metal detectorists. If the target is there, and even in a junky park I will find it. Why? Because I have put in the hours learning from hunting in very trashy parks. Once you learn in this environment other areas like home sites and beaches are not so hard.

I used to complain about the junky park near home. The areas around the concrete picnic tables were loaded with foil, pop tops, bobby pins and bottle caps at all depth. This was a rather old and very popular park on the weekend. So it is getting loaded down with even more trash every weekend and yes even with some dropped coins. A good friend who is more experienced than I am, told me to look at it another way. He said, “You have the best training area for metal detecting within 1/2 mile of your house. You are pulling targets out among all that junk. You should be able to hunt anywhere and be successful.

So that brings me up to the times when you get skunked and don’t find silver. If you can reliably pull clad out at 4-6 inches hidden under, near or even above junk targets, you can pull silver coins out from the same areas. But with one qualifier. The silver has to be there. Yes I do get skunked and find no silver. Some days I even get doubled skunked and don’t even find clad. Not getting double skunked is somewhat rare for me, but it happens when you are hunting an area that has no clad or silver. This is the time to move on to another hunt site. Even when you get skunked, you have spent the day outdoor away from your work, so what is so wrong with that?

Hidden keys to finding old home sites

One of the best  indicators of old home sites are big old oak trees with an open space.  In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s people located home sites based on large oak trees. This is because there were nature’s natural air conditioners and heaters. In the summer the oak had leaves and shaded the home and front porch keeping it cool. In the Winter the oak trees lost their leaves and allowed the winter sun through to heat the home.

I have developed a second sight where when driving around I just notice big oak trees on empty lots. Nine times out of ten when I use historicaerials.com to go back in time on the old topo maps, I find that there was indeed an home at this location.  You would be surprised that even in the suburban area of a major city like Atlanta you can find quite a few old home sites just by looking at the large trees on empty lots. This one in the picture was confirmed using historic aerials and also finding beds of daffodils and several peach trees which both items are planted and do not grow wild.