View Full Version : Researching......

02-01-2010, 09:27 PM
I've been doing a little research (winter is PERFECT for that) and stumbled on an old farmhouse.... VERY old.
We've been curious for years when we drive by the homestead, but we KNOW there are lots of iron signals there. HAS to be. So, we never really give it a second thought.... I know in a heartbeat Krom would turn around if I told him, Go back... I'm gonna ask. But the words never left my lips.

The first inital contact happened a couple months ago, but it wasn't the time to talk detecting.
I know the family name of the farm up the road from this old farmhouse, so I knew it had to be connected (same last name).
The old farmhouse is original with enough upgrades to keep it standing and liveable. Seriously.
The place is definitely from the late 1700s, at least.
The guy living in it is the son of the farmer up the road.

I happened to cross paths with him today, said hi, asked how he was, and he said he was laid off from work.
I told him I thought he worked on his parents' farm.
He told me the farm went out of business years ago but there are a couple guys mowing the fields.
So... here's the ice breaker... I said, &quot:daydream:h. I'm sorry. I didn't know. I was wondering who owned or ran the fields because I'd like to do some metal detecting out there. My husband and I just do it for fun.
He broke me off and said he didn't think it would be a problem.
My grandfather, who lived in the house I live in now, used to find Indian Arrowheads after he tilled the fields. They'd be laying on top of the ground.
I told the guy I had been curious about it. Arrowheads are stone, but we'd be looking for metal. I'm sure there's a lot of trash out there and any trash we find we remove ~ we don't leave anything out there so you wouldn't have a mess.

The guy told me again he didn't think it'd be a problem, but I asked him to check with his parents and let me know. He said he'd have an answer for me on Thursday. He also offered the information of an early indian settlement being on the property.

We double checked on some old maps...... The old farmhouse (where the guy lives in his grandparents' old house) is on an 1812 map. I'm sure this place has been in the family since the beginning, so they'll be able to give us the full history of the place.

I'm tossing this info out here because it's a simple research project. I happened to know of the family and know who the guy was, and I waited for the right opportunity to inquire. I knew the property was old, I knew it was on a very old map, but I didn't know the extent of its history. I had no further need to learn more because I knew it was part of the earliest settlements in the area, so I knew I wanted to detect it. I know there's 1700s stuff on the land, and I'm sure there's tons of iron signals.

We look at old maps all the time. We keep places of interest in our minds and when the opportunity arises, we inquire. Or, if it's a place we want to detect NOW, we'll inquire but we're not excited about knocking on the doors of strangers.

As far as this place goes, I'm not sure I'll even get permission. And if I do, I don't think lots of people would be welcomed. I'd love to be able to plan a group hunt here, but I don't see that happening. Like I said... I'm tossing it out because it's an easy research project. And yours can be just as easy. Should I have stopped and asked permission years ago? Yes. Why didn't I? Because I'm shy. This way worked for me. If we are able to detect it, I'll share some finds this spring.

02-01-2010, 09:49 PM
Wow what a great opportunity for you two. Don't feel bad about doing it alone, it's very difficult to find property for everyone to hunt as a group. Some permission is just for you two. Any more than that and the answer would probably be NO!!!. So I hope you get to do it, and look forward to seeing what you get. As far as the square nails are concerned, just use a smaller coil and very little discrimination, just so nails sound ratty. First time in there, I would just dig the good signals. You never know if they may change their minds. So I wouldn't grid any areas, just go for the good numbers. I lose sleep over detecting property like that lol

02-01-2010, 10:14 PM
Thanks, coinnut... If we get in there we'll start somewhere out of the way but visible and give them fair notice. I know the guy will let us get near the old farmhouse, but it's the fields that worry me most because of the parents leasing it to the hayers.

I'd likely start on the back side of the old house, maybe move to the front yard area under the old tree and work out from there, depending on the signals. All I've got is the stock coil and the 6X9DD for the MXT, and I never use the stock coil.

We lose sleep over places like this too, but for some reason this place escaped us. Well, I know the reaason... I'm shy and Krom simply WON'T ask permission.

We've got an extra detector... a Bounty Hunter Pioneer 202 that my dad bought before he passed. He only used it a couple times. We'll offer to let the guy use it if he's around when we go. Heck... he might even like trying the front yard! ;)

02-02-2010, 02:59 PM
What a great opportunity... I am sure you will find some interesting items. Maybe even some large coppers. Good luck, RickO

02-02-2010, 06:44 PM
That sounds like a great place to hunt. Good luck, I look foward to updates.

02-02-2010, 07:35 PM
That sounds like a terrific place to hunt! It sounds like you will get permission, too. Great example of research which I am sure will pay off! Keep us posted thumbsup01

02-03-2010, 08:26 AM
I'll keep my fingers (well, two of them anyway) crossed that you get permission. You have the right idea...sometimes all you gotta do is ask.

Good Luck!!!! :yes:

02-03-2010, 09:41 AM
Donna i hope you both have some really great luck there and you take alot of pictures and take us with you on the hunts in a sense. ;)


02-04-2010, 07:06 PM
Got the word today... we can go anywhere on the farmland we want whenever we want They just asked that we call ahead so they know it's us out there. There has to be a couple hundred acreas out there. I told him probably later in March. I'll take some pics to share, Del, absolutely. Maybe even some video if I can figure out this new Full HD camcorder. I'm having trouble editing video down because my computer can't really handle it. Go figure....

I might take a ride out there this weekend and get some video of the layout and buildings. We'll see.

02-04-2010, 07:26 PM
Later in March?? :huh: How can you last that long lol It's a long time till then :yes: That's great news. I'm expecting at least a good time for you two. Who know's maybe they're due a pie or something from you guys for them being so nice ;)

02-04-2010, 09:02 PM
Later in March?? :huh: How can you last that long lol It's a long time till then :yes: That's great news. I'm expecting at least a good time for you two. Who know's maybe they're due a pie or something from you guys for them being so nice ;)


(Such a small reply, but it brings me to digress a little, so bear with me....)

Well, I don't expect we can dig in the ground until at least mid March, but we'll see...
Yeah... I was thinking today of trying to do something for Gavin and his wife since he's laid off right now,
but it's pretty tough on us right now as well. I'm sure we can do something, though.

I spent some time talking with Gavin today about the farm, etc...
He said, Ya know, it's funny... I used to have a metal detector ~ a real cheapo ~ my father got me once. I never used it but once. He lost a piece of equipment in the field and we went out there where he thought he lost it in one of the rows. We found it. And he looked at me and I had a smile on my face.....

It doesn't matter.... that inexpensive detector saved you guys about $300 in a piece of farm equipment at the time, I bet, and that's a lot of money when the farm is struggling, I told him. He chuckled and agreed.

I grew up on a farm and was able to relate to Gavin. He told me not too long ago his father found some old reciepts that showed what the farm was getting for milk back in 1973.... it was more then than it was when the farm went out of business a few years ago.

Terrible when you consider the cost of fuel to transport goes up, huh, Gav, I said. He looked at me and I understood his eyes. We talked about the early milkings, about how we grew up on raw milk and meat from the farm. We talked about hunting and he said he only hunts when he needs to put food on the table. I told him I know of the farm because when I was 16 I had to pick up the hounds at the farm... we had been out coon hunting the night before and the dogs took off. His parents called us the next day to tell us the hounds were at the farm. I went to get them. I told Gavin I felt bad but he shrugged his shoulders, put his head to one side and said, Eh. It's ok. Then he looked at me square in the eyes and said, They were chasing the coons outa the corn field for us, anyway. Then he smiled.

We talked about the fields and who lived where... we talked about the area where the arrowheads were found. I asked if that was a sand bar out there and he said yeah... I gathered the area is pretty sandy, but will talk with them some more.

There's 38 acres of woods out there, too, he said. We can hear the coyotes over the TV every night. A friend of his is trapping and got a very large one he had stuffed because of its size and beauty. I told Gavin I couldn't talk about that because I have a big heart for animals. I told him I understand the aspect of hunting/trapping, etc... but I can't do it. I grew up on the farms so I know what it's all about, but I just can't do it. He said he, too, has a big heart for animals.

We also talked about other farms and I mentioned one farmer who got into construction, and then trucking. The farm is still active because of the owner's ability to adapt. Gavin told me that farmer is now cutting off his wooded land and is selling the logs. Gavin told me what he and his brother are doing for work now, and landscaping is their avenue. I told him about our retainer wall at our house and that we'd be looking in about 4 or 5 years to have it completely redone. He asked that we consider his brother for the work and I told him Absolutely. We'll need to get a home equity loan to get it done, but not now. We can't swing it. Not with this economy. He knows exactly what I was saying because he looked me square in the eyes again and nodded. But the chance for work that far out is a light for them.

I'm sorry I digressed so much, but as you can see from the dialogue, I found a way to connect. Obviously this is more personal than it would be with a stranger, but you can open such a dialogue with a complete stranger by doing the same thing. Commonalities are easy. Being true to it draws a correlation. Can I do this with strangers? Sure. But I'll never be fake about it. And I'll never do it for my own benefit. Sure... I get the benfit of detecting this property, but that's not WHY I find the commonality and draw in the correlation. I do it because I learn from people, and I can find genuine people in that manner. Granted, you always find less genuine people, but it's my goal in life these days to find simply good people.

If you've read all this, I'm impressed! lol .. but I expect this post will be left in limbo.

02-04-2010, 09:13 PM
Sounds to me like you are similar people and sound like you have been friends for 30 years :yes: It's sad to see the famers take such a huge hit. Sometimes it's hard to start with a new product, when you have been doing thing the same thing for a couple of generations. I wish they could find a new product, (soy, greens for gasohol, hooking up with a Walmart for produce) something to save the farm from division and development. But I think you two get along very well and I agree that finding that piece of farm equipment was worth the detector's cost. It's not the first time I have heard of farmers looking for something. I found a property pipe in the mddle of these huge fields for a farmer. He brought me out in the middle of nowhere and said it's right about here I thought he was nuts lol Sure enough we found it very close to where he said it was. Farmers are good, real people. I hope his situation improves.

02-04-2010, 09:31 PM
coinnut, they are adapting in their own way. They are leasing the land to people who hay the fields. Granted it may not be much (I really don't know).... They are also dividing the farm land.... the grandparents are living in the large farm house, the parents are living in the old, original farm house, Gavin and his wife are moving into a mobile home put onto another piece of the farmland and Gavin's brother will be building his own house on yet another piece of the farm land. They are adapting, the elders retired with no mortgages and the youngsters getting their foundations settled with minimal bills. I suspect Gavin and his brother's children will be the first in the family to attend college. That's the way of life around here.

This is a turning point for the land there.... and this is the time to detect it. And I swear on my life if we find anything valuable belonging to that family, it will be returned to them. It's the way of life around here.

I've never been friends with this family.... only known of their farm and picked up the dogs that one time. And that was 24 years ago.... Yeah, I'm showing my age.... (I turn 40 on Sunday).

I think the family will be fine. They know how to survive, and they know how to live off the land. The inside of that old original farmhouse even shows it. I expect we'll be sharing our extra detector with Gavin when we visit.

02-04-2010, 09:43 PM
Turning 40? Your just one of them whipper snapper youngins lol I wish I was 40 again. :yes: I'm getting real close to 50 and more stuff hurts lol I gotta keep in shape so Del don't get the best of me on our hunts :yes: I know that you guys would give back anything you felt would help them if you found it. :) And bringing along an extra detector may just start some fun for them. I'm glad they are adapting and I'm sure they will make it...that's what level headed people do. They don't complain much, they just go on and adapt. Do what needs to be done and move on. I can't wait until you guys detect there, cause I have this good feeling it is going to be fun for all of you :)

02-04-2010, 10:22 PM
I think our first visit is gonna be filled with tons of trash finds. I'm counting on it. I'm planning on some specific areas for the first visit, showing the family what we find, asking if they want any of it, spending a lot of time talking and simply getting to know this family more. Their neighbor also has an old farm... adjoining properties. I dated one of the sons way back when. :shocked04:stretcher: 8)

Should be an interesting venture. There's no way we can detect all this property alone.

John M
02-05-2010, 04:31 PM
Sounds like a wonderful opportunity.Most definitely the first time I would dig only the good signals just in case it is the only time there.If you do return then dig whatever.
This also could be the start of more land opening up.You treat the owner well and he may spread the word for you guys.Best of luck.

Ill Digger
02-05-2010, 06:28 PM
Good luck Snowy & Krom!
That sounds like a great place with lots of history .
Good Luck thumbsup01
Congrats on finally getting permission to hunt a dream spot :grin:

03-27-2010, 05:42 PM
Here's another book for you. I got Joe in there one day while I was working, but today we went together. I got out of work early. I'm only sharing this to help others understand thought processes when first dealing with landowners and observing the layout of the land. so, here's the story....

Went to this new spot today. I got out of work at noon. I had called the son earlier in the morning and he didn't answer his cell, so after work we took a ride over. The dogs greeted us, the elder lady with her hair standing up on her back. She's so harmless and she likes me. Too funny. Anyway, it had been a while since I had been there so I let her come say hi and sniff my ankles. soon enough the block headed dogs came rushing out the front door of the old place. Barks and hair standing up on their back, I asked them where their ball was. Instant personality change.

The father came out with the dogs. I greeted him and asked for his son by name. He wasn't around.
&quot:daydream:h. We were just gonna see if it was ok to poke around the fields with the metal detectors, and we brought our extra one because he said he wanted to try it some time. We thought he might like to join us if he was around and not doing much.

No. He's not here. won't be home for a while.

Aw, that's too bad. I was playing ball with the dogs, talking with them as well. They LOVE it. It was a perfect ice breaker.
They'll do that all day long. Your arm will get long tired before they do. You'll have friends for life. He tells the dogs to quit.
They're fine. I don't mind. I love dogs. I'm sorry to have bothered you, I thought maybe (his son) was around.
No, it's ok. I'm unemployed anyway. I got nothin better to do. You can go out there if you want, you don't have to stop here. I'll let everyone know that's your vehicle and if they see it, it's ok.

I'm thinking, SAWEET!!!
Have you met my husband, Joe? I motion to Joe to come out of the truck.
I don't think so. I introduce them.
Farm's been here a long time, huh.
Yup. My grandfather (now we're into 4 generations, here) bought all the farms out along this side. The big farm was built in 1831.
OMG... now I'm drooling.
There were farms along this side of the road. There are cellar holes out there just beyond the tree line.
Would it be ok to poke around out there?
Sure, go ahead. You guys find anything yet?
No. I haven't been here yet. Joe was once, but found old spikes and stuff. But if we find anything we'll let you know. Would you like to join us?
No, I'll pass this time.
Well, we appreciate you letting us poke around out there. Again, we didn't mean to bother you.
It's ok. I'm unemployed right now.
I asked what he had been doing. Turns out, he works with my grandmother's husband and they know each other.
He said they joke around a lot when they're working. He'll be going back to work soon, but the jobs are fewer. Some big contracts, just fewer jobs.

We talked about farming for a bit.
The price farms get for milk is still the same, huh?
Yup. Back in (forgot the year) all my cows got (can't remember the name of it) disease. Had to send them all to the slaughter house. Went to the bank to start back up and they said ok, but the farming economy was headed seriously downhill. It's all we had ever done. I figured it was probably time to find something else for work.
We stood and chatted for a bit, playing with the dogs. Joe and I said goodbye to him and headed down to a field furthest away from the houses.

We walked through one field, then a second, around a bend and into another, and up a hill. At the top of that hill all you could see was field and stone walls. There were only open fields on the opposite side of the road. We poked around aimlessly, listening for signals, looking for signs of cellar holes and checking some solid signals. I came back down the hill and into the middle field. I followed the field about 50 feet from the stone wall, heading for a couple areas where it looked as though cellar holes could be. I happened upon a bunch of bones and was kinda creeped out. Then I saw a cow 's skull. I think there was a cellar hole there because there was some old metal kicking around, but I didn't poke around there too much. I felt bad. so I wandered on to the next cluster of trees separated from the treeline by what looked like an old circular driveway that had now become part of the field. I think there was a cellar hole there as well, but I didn't hang there long either. I was checking for signals.

I crossed a brook, followed it down toward the main road and the brook T'd so I crossed it again, working my way closer to the road. got about 50 feet from the road and turned right, heading back the other way. I was now in the first field, but WAY down the road. I went straight toward the houses about a half mile away. Tab signals here and there. I'd skip a bunch then dig one that gave a solid number and didn't diferentiate.... after a quarter mile I started hitting on a few house remnants. I think I found where one old house once stood, but I'm not positive. Moved a little closer to the houses and crossed the road. Headed in the same direction I noticed the sun. It was getting late.

I went back and got Joe and we headed home. Next time we go there I'll start in the same field I left and work my way to the area across the street from the houses.

I didn't get much of anything today, but getting out there, talking to the father, learning more, scoping the land and being visible for 3 hours was well worth it. Family members were going back and forth on the road the entire time, delivering firewood to someone, so they know our truck and they know us. Poking around out there anywhere won't be a problem from now on.

03-27-2010, 06:09 PM
Oh... I should mention... occassionally I'd flip the MXT to Prospect mode to check the soil mineralization. Most of the time it was 68 or 71. On good whispery signals that would disappear I'd crank the gain as far as the dial could go and work my way down from there. I didn't dig any of these because I determined they were probably iron. I was looking for an area with a higher concentration of items. There's just way too much area to cover, so browsing around looking for that area makes better sense.

03-27-2010, 08:38 PM
That area has a lot to offer. I would find them cellar holes and work them hard. The fields can be hit or miss. I usually just skim them and go for the most congested areas. Good luck with them and smart moves on the permission lol

03-27-2010, 09:16 PM
Yeah, that's why we were skimming the fields in that section today. We looked at the area on some very old maps but were looking for the original house. We weren't paying attention to what else was on the map because we were focussed on the old original house, which is the one we were at today, not the old farm built in 1831... the old house predates that.

It was important to gain the trust of the landowner, though, so he understood we have ethics and morals. Yes, we're there to find things... no doubt about that. We don't hide that fact at all. But we ARE people and so are THEY ... And God knows if we happen upon a mason jar with gold and silver coins (never in our lifetime is that gonna happen) we're gonna tell the owners. Joe even spewed diarrhea of the mouth today and told the father, If we find a bunch of gold coins we'll give ya one! .... and while he was kidding, the father replied, All I want is enough to get to the store. I need to go to the store and get some supplies, so if you find enough for that, I'm good. There is soooo much more to the conversations that I've left out because the post is boring enough as it is. but the dialogue is important. No one should fake who they are with the landowners. If you're out for gold and they ask, tell them.... make a finder's fee agreement or something. Don't hide who you are or what you're after. People respect that.

Joe and I ARE who we are, and we ARE who we portray in our posts. We're people and we know the hardships of life around here. I was a farmer's daughter, grew up on a farm and started working on a farm when I was 14. I can associate with that, which is why I do most of the talking. Joe's a city boy, rough and tumble, but he also knows the hardships of life around here and can associate with that. Granted, he follows my lead a lot. He didn't like the dog's hair standing up on her back when we drove up, and he warned me she wasn't friendly, but I told him she liked me.

Anyway, we're gonna look up some more maps and deduce where buildings were when... my guess is that when the fourth descendant generation (the great-grandfather of the guy I know, and the grandfather of the guy we talked to today) bought out all the other farms, he eliminated them back then, which would have been the late 1700s.... finding those old cellar holes might be difficult today because it appears they used those holes as dump sites through the years. I'm sure the father, who we talked to today, can tell us all of that.

The most important aspect at this point is getting the family used to seeing us around. After all, there are 3 generations still living there and the newest generation is on its way if it doesn't exist already. The next step is meeting/greeting the eldest of the family... the ones living in the newest farm house, built in 1831. I'd LOVE to hear their stories and spend some time on their lawn. Patience. and if we DO get that far and find some old piece of jewelry, you KNOW we'll have pics but will turn it over to the family. Why not keep it? Because it's not us. And we'd never sell it. It would have more meaning to use than any cash value, but imagine what it would mean to that family if it meant that much to us....

03-27-2010, 09:51 PM
Hey Donna, Sorry about the choice of words on my last post. Didn't mean to make it sound like you were trying to pull one over on them. I know that is not you and Joe. Slick was not the what I actually meant. I should have said smart. Sometimes when you are asking for permission and there is a null in the conversation, you need to keep talking. That is what you did and it's not that the farmer wasn't going to give you permission, he just didn't say it yet. So it was the smart thing to do and also the right thing to get to know him. I have no doubt that you two would give them anything sentimental or valuable. From what you said, they need it. I changed the wording around in my last post to say what I meant to say :confused:

03-27-2010, 10:13 PM
I didn't take it like that.... I didn't think you were saying we were trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes....
but it brought to light how some people might think that or even think we were trying to do that.
So, I felt the need to clarify.

Correlating... or relating... to the landowner is important if you want access. Find the commonality and work from there.
That's what this string is really all about. Just be the person before you are the detectorist. You'll learn more in the process as well.

03-30-2010, 09:56 PM
Both Krom and I have tomorrow off from work.
It's supposed to be crappy weather for the most part~ raining in the morning, cloudy all day with chances of showers for the afternoon.
But if it clears enough for us to chance it we'll be going here. I'm not wasting any time. I'm beelining it for the area across the street
from the farm built in 1831. I'd welcome a visit from the eldest family member and prolly chat with him in the rain if he'd be willing.
He can tell us sooooo much.

I'm ready.... weather ~ please let us go out and play!

Uncle Kracker - Smile [Lyrics] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP_apsbNev8#)