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look what I dug up in my yard!

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Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby pqtex » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:44 am

I find stuff in the yard every time I put a shovel, hoe, or rake to it. It's kind of weird because I would expect to find a concentrated trash heap, but it seems to be scattered everywhere! I have collected and saved all the broken bits of pottery, china and glass, thinking someday I will make a mosiac out of it. There has only been one intact bottle. The location of the privy is not within my current property boundaries, the same as the old hand-dug brick lined well. I know for a fact that the old well was filled with bottles and jars and such, but it isn't on my land. My husband bought me a metal detector for my birthday and the only problem is that there is so much stuff! Unfortunately, none of it has been "good" stuff, but lots of rusted iron and nails. The really cool thing is that an elderly cousin drew up a detailed map for me and provided locations and descriptions of all the old outbuildings...syrup making shed, machine shop, two barns, smoke house, wash house, fence, chicken coops, garden boundaries, etc.
Image
My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
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Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby bofusmosby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:10 am

I too use a metal detector, but for the reasons that you describe, a sifting screen would be your best bet. Remember, there are many valuables that are not made of metal. However, you might be able to use your metal detector to locate some trash pits. Look for deeply buried metal objects (below the surface trash layer) and when you find metal depper than say a foot or two, dig further to see if you fine any broken pieces of glass, pottery or china. This is where I would dig. BTW, when was your house built? Also, is there any possibility that you could obtain permission to dig the original privy from the property owner?
Jim

Well, there goes the neighborhood!
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Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby pqtex » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:03 pm

The privy is the only structure not drawn on my map and I don't know the exact location of it. All I know about it is that it is somewhere on the neighbor's 5 acres. I could probably locate the filled in well. It's on the drawing my cousin made, plus I've been given directions to it by several relatives. As for gaining permission...possibly...but I have no time for it right now. I've had that idea in mind for a while, but it's on the back burner.

We've uncovered some surprising things in the yard...including an old brick walkway which led from the back porch steps to where the old cistern was located (no longer there). It was all grassed over and I had no idea it was there.

Now that we have the metal detector, we will use it carefully around any area prior to planting more trees in our orchard. I'm using it prior to turning new flower beds, too. I do have a wood frame with a screened bottom that I use for the pieces of "treasure" we find. I just wish we'd turn up gold or another cash crop that would give us funds to work on the house! I don't think any of my relatives buried cash or coins, but I can always hope! We have almost 4 acres, and that's a lot of ground to cover! Especially when every shovel turns up something! Tree roots are also a problem because we have a century old pecan grove plus many other large trees, in addition to our fledgling home orchard.

My house was built in 1913 by my great-grandparents. It's the original family homestead and I'm the fourth generation to own it. My grandmother inherited it, then my father, now I own it. It remained empty for about 20 years after my grandfather passed away in the mid 1980's, but my father lived next door and kept it maintained.

Any old house needs maintenance and repairs, but structurally, it is a fine old house. It needs a lot cosmetically, but it is a happy house with good strong bones. It has the original clapboard (might be cypress) under the asbestos siding. I'm just leaving the siding on to protect it until we can restore the clapboard. It has original windows, high ceilings and heart pine floors. Original beadboard in the kitchen. Large rooms and nice big porches. The front porch columns are gone, but I found some salvaged solid cypress columns for a song that are from the right period and style and have been restoring them. Got sidetracked on that due to other chores related to living the homestead life, but hopefully by summer they will be back on the front porch.
Image
My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
pqtex
 
Posts: 1318
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby Sashguy » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:30 pm

Kinda makes a person want to dig up the entire yard. When I put in my french drain, 10 feet of the lower end was below the construction grade of my home. Many bottles, 20 or so thread loom guides, a capped over well and a horse shoe. If there are any equestrians out there, perhaps you can date this.
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Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby pqtex » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:51 pm

Sashguy wrote:Kinda makes a person want to dig up the entire yard.


That's why my yard looked like Ninja Gophers had arrived within the first week of having the metal detector! :shock:
Image
My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
pqtex
 
Posts: 1318
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby Sashguy » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:59 pm

Sashguy
 
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Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby pqtex » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:08 pm

Sashguy wrote:Kinda like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krVXRCcr2M4


That's so funny! I have a photo that looks just like that from when my husband dug up and replaced about 180 feet of sewer line in the yard!
Image
My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
pqtex
 
Posts: 1318
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: look what I dug up in my yard!

Postby bofusmosby » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:38 pm

I've dug a little in my own yard, but like so many others here, there is always so much work that needs to be done to my house, just never seem to have the time for it. My wife found a 1905 "V" nickel laying on top of the ground in the driveway the other day. I'm sure there is more to find, when I finally get the time......
Jim

Well, there goes the neighborhood!
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