New England Treasures
by Dick Hayes
Heres a story that will perhaps bring a smile to the faces of those visiting this site. Like all treasure hunters, I was always on the lookout for new places to search. Here in the Boston area we have tons of older buildings that I would love to get permission to search. One such place was the Congressional church here in the city of Woburn, MA. The church boasts the tallest wooden steeple in the east coast, and I had heard that the church had a dirt floor. My imagination went wild thinking of all the possibilities of what could be buried in that cellar. It was winter time when I started in earnest to seek access to the church with my metal detector. It turned out that a friend of a friends wife taught Sunday school there, so I approached her with the big question. She spoke to the pastor of the church, and we gained access. Well to make the long story a little shorter, a friend and myself went there one day to search.
The cellar had, as we had heard, a dirt floor. It was one large room with a granite stone foundation. I took out my detector and started to search the area. I was getting ‘good’ target indications everywhere, however digging was really tough going, due to the fact that the cellar floor was made of coal and coke ashes or clinkers. Looking around I found five oil burners that are used to heat the building down 6 ft deep in holes in the cellar floor. The ‘good’ targets we were getting was from the copper lines under the ashes that went outside to buried heating oil tanks in the yard. Good thing that we didn’t puncture any of the lines, or the oil would have leaked out. Up in the front of the building a small section of he wall had been removed years earlier to gain access to the base of the church steeple. I continued my search in this area also. In closing let me say the we didn’t find a single thing of value in the church floor, except for two silver coins (1940′s) probably dropped by the workers in the front area under the steeple.
Just so I don’t leave you with a negative story, let me tell you that I found two copper coins in a local ball field about ten years ago. Both coins were copper, about the size of a half dollar. One was a British half penny (Georges) the other was a Vermont minted penny. The Vermont penny was 1742, The half penny was 1780.
So remember, sometimes the best finds are not where one would expect. Good hunting!