Tips On Finding Ghost Towns And Other Old Landmarks

Today I’m going to show just how easy finding old landmarks and structures to metal detect in your area is.

The key here is Your Area! You should be pretty familiar with the area that you live, making work of locating these areas much easier. Although the process is fairly easy, there is usually a lot of foot work to be done.

It all starts with a lead, where can you find leads? Well just about anywhere. You can get
them from talking to people or by reading through old documents, but whatever the lead, it usually requires some sort of follow up, an investigation if you will.

I’m going to use an real life example, so this may seem more like a story than a guide, but I am sure if you take some of the simple steps I did, you to will be locating prime metal detecting sites in no time at all.

The area that I live in is pretty built up, so finding a gem of and area to detect is not the easiest thing to do, unless you are going from door to door and gaining permission to metal detect yard areas. Which is fine there always something good to find in the back yard of an old dwelling, but I find it can feel uncomfortable at times, which is why I like to find secluded areas, where everyone is not gawking, commenting or asking questions. Kind of takes the fun out of it, I like to relax when I’m out.

But anyway, on with the story / guide! I was metal detecting a park in town that I really had no clue about. I really didn’t know how old it was or what was there before the park if anything. There is a tree line that boarders one side of the park that I just happened to wonder past. In doing this I noticed some large foundation stone and also a small patch of daffodils, all of the stone was piled up and it was pretty obvious that someone had dumped fill here at one time, or some earth along with some sort of structure had been pushed around to clear the area for the park. Great lead, finding something like this is always a plus. Even if it was just fill, I’ve found plenty of goodies in fill piles before. Though my main interest was finding a bit more about this area and what had been there.

I began with talking to some local about the area and found out two things that had pushed me to do even more research. One, there is a street above the park that is named Grove St. and it wasn’t named Grove street for the hell of it. Turns out there was a picnic grove along the street way back when. Two, back in the mid 1800′s there had been a school where the park now is. This would be enough for just about anyone to grab their detector and head straight for the park, and although I did do this I decided to dig even further, finding quite a few gems in a rather small area, that was located very, very close to my place.

After reading everything I could possibly find on this area, I came to realize that the chances of finding the grove was nil. I did discover some old maps though that helped.

Here is a slice of that map, in yellow you can see the school documented on the map and also Grove st. The blue indicates areas that are now houses, roads and other structure.

Okay that’s great I found the school documented on an old map, yippee right? Well it gets even better. Like I said stopping there would have been to easy. So now I’m finding myself surveying the whole area! small wooded lots in the area and what not. I’ll get back to the what not in a minuet, because the what not turns out to be the best of ALL!

finding landmarks 1

Okay so lets take a look here I physically went out(without my metal detector) and poked around and found wooded lots as indicated in green, you will see in the one wooded lot stood another structure which has produced some great finds and the red dots are where I have found what seem to be dumps, I haven’t done much more than surface scraping, but made some great old bottle finds none the less!

old lanmarks metal detecting ghost towns

Okay now this little bit of digging and foot work has payed off pretty well so far, but I am still missing the big picture here, something that is right in front of my face and takes some time to click!

Take a look and this should of clicked right away because like I mentioned this is basically my back yard! The “What Not”!!!!!

Take a look at the area in blue!

metal detecting old location ghost towns

The area in blue right now is nothing, but a huge system for redirecting water in case the river backs up the streams in the area! Big open patch of nothingness, but from the looks of the 1800′s map it looks like I have just scored what looks be an old coal mining community.

I could probably go on and on but, I would end up boring you if I have not already. Though I think you can can see what direction I am going with all of this.

  1. One – be persistent,
  2. Two – research,
  3. Three – get out there and do some foot work,
  4. Four – settle for a first glance, if you suspect the area is hot dig, then dig deeper, then when your done you may want to step back and take another look!

I’m going to head out tomorrow and try to get some pictures for you all to wrap things up. I had not planned on writing this tonight.

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