Tag Archives: relics

A moment in time

3 May

I stopped by Riverside park on my way to my karate class last night. I was swinging Maurice, my XP Deus metal detector, looking for the very deep stuff that other hunters have left in the ground. At one point I got a deep target that sounded good to me so I dug. This target was particularly deep and at the depth of 11 inches I finally got to feel the target with my fingers. I extracted a round object and for a moment I thought I had a large cent. Ha! keep dreaming!

Instead, I got a shot shell. OK, I don’t get excited about shot shells anymore but still, it was a cool find. I covered the hole, stood up and swung again and bam! another deep target. I dug another deep shot shell of the very same gauge and make as the last one. Repeat and again, pow! another deep target. I pulled yet another shot shell exactly like the other two. All three shot shells were under the same square foot of dirt and all three were UMC Co. gauge 10 Club. **According to Cartridge-Corner, this stamp dates from 1867 to 1911. The neighborhood was already established by the early 1900’s and there was a race track in that area of the park as early as the mid 1880’s so I stick with my drop date of the mid to late 1870’s**


How cool is that!? I was standing approximately in the very same spot where a person stood back in the late 1870′ or early 1880’s (by the mid to late 1880’s, the area was already a city park) and got off three shots with his (or hers) shotgun. The drop happened within feet of the little Arkansas river. I imagine this person was hunting ducks. I picture the flock of ducks taking flight after being surprised by this hunter and then bam! bam! bam! three fatal shots and dinner soon after.

I’ve seen a picture of Wichita at the time of its incorporation; 1870. There was barely a hint of a town there. By the early 1880’s however, the city had paved streets, brick buildings, banks, commerce, and two or three city parks.

Very cool. I dug up a moment in time. Two hunters, 140 years apart, connected by three shot shells. I like it.

Thank you for looking!

Another One To The Pile

13 Apr

I had some time to hunt early this morning so I headed to my deep silver park to grid the area where I found a Merc and a bunch of wheats. I spent two hours digging holes in a glorious Spring morning.

After two hours however, I had 12 wheats and a dateless buffalo to my name. I decided to move to a different spot in the park but before I left, I dug a really cool pin with words that said “Keek ’em flying”. I wonder if it is a WWII period pin.

Anyway, I went to the new spot and not two minutes into it, I got a text-book signal that screamed silver dime. I hardly ever get these kinds of signals so I dug a hole and somewhere within the first 7 inches of dirt out came a 1964 Roosevelt dime.

1964-dirty 1964


I was tired by then but that dime made my morning.  I finished my hunt by finding a 10K gold (plated) ring.

On my way to the car, I hit a spot where Maurice lit up like a railroad crossing sign. There must have been 20 to 30 signals. Penny signals, dime signals, quarter signals. All very shallow. I dug one up just to see and sure enough, it was a memorial cent. I was just too tired to dig anymore! I left the signals for tomorrow, if I get to hunt at all.



Thank you for looking!

The old bullet

13 Feb

Yesterday at lunch time, I met up with Friendly Metal Detecting Forum member, Stevouke for a quick hunt at the oldest park in Wichita. Stevo was sick with the flu but he gallantly charged on.

After 45 minutes or so and after having dug two wheat cents and an assortment of rusted iron bits, I got what I thought was a good dime signal. I dug the plug and somewhere between six and seven inches, I found this:


I don’t ordinarily get excited about bullets as I find so many of them in our parks (!). In fact, during this hunt I found another bullet, that one with the cartridge attached. However, the bulk and weight of this bullet, plus the rings at the bottom, were strikingly reminiscent of Civil War bullets dug by the guys down south.

Obviously this is not a CW artifact as it was found in a most definite non-civil war site, but it could be from the period. I know next to nothing about bullets but Stevo found a web site with excellent pictures of various bullets used during that terrible conflict. There was activity in these parts around that time. Traders and others were venturing across the plains before the Civil War even started. The Chisholm trail cuts right through Wichita and other trails ran nearby.

At any rate, I now understand the excitement the relic hunters feel when they find stuff like this. Relics, I’ve said before, connect you to the past in a much more personal level than coins do.

length width

My boys were very excited to see the bullet and this led to a conversation about the Civil War. They were both solemnly silent as they felt the heavy weight of the bullet in their hands. I could see their imagination churning as they admired the massive projectile. And even though we are not gun owners or gun fans, the history that was brought to life by this bullet, made the bullet the coolest find of the year thus far.

Thank you for looking!

Wichita Intra-Mural

28 Jan

Today, I met lawdog1 from the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum at a local park for a lunch-hour hunt. In the interest of public relations, we decided not to use our shovels to dig in this park. Unfortunately, the dirt there was tricky and hard to dig in. Or maybe I am a spoiled wimp who cannot dig a hole anymore without his shovel.

At any rate, the park has lots and lots of iron and so I was in signal heaven but unable to dig a hole deeper than five inches. Eventually I hit a signal that was in the six inch range and I was able to extract it





I am surprised I didn’t break the pin off as I often do with this things. There is no year anywhere on the pin but it looks old. I need to research it a little more. The park opened in 1920 but I am sure it was used by people before then.

I wish I could carry my shovel at this park without fearing a mob uprising. I am sure there are some old cool coins mixed with all that deep rusty iron.

Thank you for looking!

wheat harvest

13 Jan

I braved the cold this morning and hit a park I don’t hunt often. This park yielded a large number of silver coins last year to many hunters including me. I know a guy who found a silver dollar there.

Anyway, no silver was to be had today but not for lack of trying. I dug eight wheats and a number of interesting bits of old metal. My hunts need to start producing multiple silver coins if I am to meet my goal of 100 silver coins for 2013.



Stop and smell the Rosies

12 Jan

I managed to hunt for an hour and a half this evening before the sun went down. I went down to Riverside park again since it is near my house.

The very first diggable signal I got I thought was a trigger for a gun but when I got home and cleaned it it looked like this:


It is a shoe! I still think this was a trigger to a gun but I cannot imagine why they would have shaped it like a shoe. If it isn’t a trigger for a gun then I have no clue as to what it may have been used for. The style of the shoe makes me think this relic is old.




The shoe is an antique lady’s pocket knife missing the blade. It was made by W. H. Morley and Sons. Thanks go to John M who identified the shoe.

Then I found some clad including a number of Jefferson nickels. Then I hit a 1939 wheat. I just love finding old coins at a “hunted out” park. I also
found a Peters shot shell of a gauge I don’t see very often –21.

Finally, I couldn’t take the cold anymore and decided to call it a day.  Still, I chose to scan the area where I found the wheat one last time and darn it if I didn’t get one of those iffy signals I’ve talked about in recent posts. I dug the target and at about 6 inches, I found another Rosie; this time a 1953


I just love finding silver at a hunted out park! Oh, and I love my XP Deus metal detector.

Thank you for looking!

Connecting to the past

26 Oct

Although an old coin can connect you to our collective past, relics can do it in a more personal way.

Today I stopped at an old apartment complex I lovingly call Dog Sh**t Town on my way home from work. I noticed that the city has began a beautification project around the complex and in the process, they removed an old sidewalk and a ton of brush from the area. Naturally, I took out Maurice (my XP Deus metal detector) for a quick look-see.

I only spent a few minutes there but I managed some old clad that obviously laid under the sidewalk since the late 70’s and I also found this really cool commemorative medallion from October, 1913.

The medallion is made of brass or copper, or maybe bronze and it read like a copper penny. It was about 8 inches deep.

Religious commemorative medallion

It happened in October 1913

The emblems on the medallion appear to be Catholic to me. The text around the perimeter says: “Annual Session Hutchinson Kan Oct 1913.


The emblems on the medallion are in fact, from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and not Catholic as I thought. The order officially came to the United States from England in 1819. The order still operates today. What gave the medallion away was the three links at the bottom of the emblems. The order is altruistic in nature.

Now I need to find out what session this is. Like I said, this medallion, dated to a specific month on a specific year 99 years ago, is a more personal connection to the past.

I love it and I love my XP Deus!

Thank you for looking.

Egypt in the Midwest

8 Aug

I finally got to metal detect again with my XP Deus metal detector. At lunch time today, I stopped at an empty lot near downtown Wichita. I have driven by this lot for a long time and finally decided to stop and see what I could find. Right away I found a 1946 wheat cent. Promising!

Then I found some clad and on my way to the car I got a copper cent signal using the Deus Fast program. I use the Deus Fast because I mostly hunt very trashy places. Anyway, I didn’t find another wheat but I found a cool copper belt. I’ll have to go back to see if the rest of it is somewhere in the lot.

various metal objects

Egypt in a belt

I think this belt was bought somewhere around Cairo back in the 40’s or 50’s. I can just see the vendor selling trinkets to the tourists. There are no markings anywhere on the belt so either this was made in some little shop in Egypt or the part with the markings is still somewhere in the empty lot.

small copper plate with Egyptian pyramids and Sphinx

Surely made for the tourists!

Thank you for looking!


Sicher’s Hotel watch fob

23 Jul

I went metal detecting at lunch with my XP Deus metal detector again.

I returned to the site where I found the trade tokens and found some interesting brass and copper trash and also a watch fob.

old metal watch fob

Sicher’s Hotel

I was using the Deus Fast program. The fob read as a zinc Lincoln cent and it was about six inches deep.

I looked up Sicher’s Hotel and found out that the hotel was built in 1872 in Sedalia, Missouri by two brothers. In 1880, they sold the hotel to a George T. Brown.  Obviously, by the time this fob was given as a compliment, the owners had changed again. By 1937 the hotel was known as the Sicher, Elks, Antlers, and Royal. I don’t know when the hotel closed but I think these days the building serves as the headquarters to a company and it is not a hotel anymore.

The fact that the fob has Sicher’s Hotel and not the multiple name mentioned above, makes me suspect the fob goes back to before 1937. The site where I found the fob dates as far back as  1880 although I doubt the fob would be in as good a condition if it were that old. Given the other things I’ve found at this site, the fob could be from the 1920’s.

metal watch fob reverse

Return to other side…?

Thank you for looking!

The Deus rocks and that’s no bull

15 Jul

I got to go metal detecting this afternoon with the XP Deus metal detector.

I hit several places with no luck until I decided to revisit a place I had not been able to detect due to Electromagnetic Interferece (EMI) from a large power plant nearby. The Deus was only a little chatty but the noise in no way interfered with the signals.

I was using the Deus Fast program due to the large amounts of old house debris at the site. I detected under a tree and right away I got a nice signal with a VDI in the mid 80’s. About three inches down I got this really cool pendant:

Bull Durham tobacco logo pendant

Bull Durham

If you look really carefully, you can see the words Bull Durham on the pendant. The bull looked old timey so I looked it up on the Web. The bull is the logo of the Bull Durham Tobacco company. The logo was common around the 1920’s.

Bull Durham tobacco ad

The bull logo is a dead match for the pendant

The back of the pendant says 14K gold plated but most of the gold is gone from the pendant.

I continued hunting around the same tree and I got another signal in the mid 80’s. This time only about two inches down I found my very first Trade Token ever!

Trade token obverse

Good for 5 cents in trade

Trade token reverse


I think this is really cool but there is no identifying information on the token other than the number 16259 on the reverse. Hmmmmm…

I found pictures of similar tokens with the same ornamental elements from the early 1900’s mostly from Wichita tobacco stores and bowling alley’s.

Last, before I left, I got another signal around that tree and it was a nice quarter signal. With visions of Barber quarters dancing in my head, I happily dug a six inch deep hole and I found this brooch at the bottom:

Ornate brooch

I was tired and it was time to go home but you can bet I am returning to grid the area. This area is the site of a very old neighborhood that was razed in the mid 1970’s and it is now part of a park.

Thank you for looking!