A very cool token – The mystery of the Iron Pit; revealed!

4 Jun

After work today, I stopped by the Iron Pit for a few minutes of detecting. After digging a number of pull tabs and a very unexpected 1951D wheat cent, I got a very steady foil signal with a target id of 45. I got excited for a minute thinking this may be a gold item but what I dug from the six inch hole was another Wichita transportation token.

I was happy to find the token anyway and put it in my pocket. Soon after, I turned the AT Pro off and went home. After supper, I went to take a picture of the wheat and the bus token and it was only then that I realized how cool the token really was.

I was staring right at a Wichita rail system token! Early on Wichita’s history, the city had a rail car service that took the citizenry to and fro. I had read about this service while researching various spots in the city but this is the first time I found a token from those days.

Wichita Railroad & Light Co. token

Before there were buses…

With this find, the mystery of the Iron Pit may have been solved. Since finding my honey hole last Summer, I’ve wondered why there is so much iron at the site. There are also lots of slag, coal, square nails, and rusted iron foil. I had suspected that some kind of structure may have stood at the site but it never occurred to me that one of the railways from the Wichita Railroad service may have run through the Iron Pit!

According to my research, the Wichita Street Railway Co. was formed before 1890. That year, the company adopted the name Wichita Street Railway Co. From 1900 to 1933 the company went by the name of the Wichita Railroad and Light Co. and it is from this period that my token comes from. Cool!
In 1933, the street cars were discontinued and the Wichita Transportation Co. was born and it operated until 1966.

If there was a railway running through the Iron Pit, that would explain all the metal junk there. Now I am going to work really hard at finding a Wichita Railway Co. token!

Super cool!

Thank you for looking!


One Response to “A very cool token – The mystery of the Iron Pit; revealed!”

  1. stevessunkentreasures June 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Very cool! Interesting that only the words changed between street car tokens and bus tokens.

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