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Thread: A question for our field hunting members

  1. #1
    Elite Member Digger Don's Avatar
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    A question for our field hunting members

    Four weeks ago, Noah and I stumbled onto an 1833 cabin site in a corn field.
    In two short hunts and 2 all day hunts we have pulled out an 1829 half cent, an 1875 shield nickel, a 1906 Indian and 79 buttons.

    My question is this, why would one cabin site produce so many buttons. i'm sure this can't be the norm, or is it? Mostly flat buttons, but we did dig 6 militia buttons from the 1820s.
    WHY so many from one cabin? any ideas?
    Thanks, Don
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  2. #2
    Were the buttons evenly distributed from one end of the field to the other or were they clustered near the old house site?
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Bucknut's Avatar
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    I think a fun part of our hobby is trying to figure out a site. Your site is interesting for sure with SO many buttons. Getting your hands on an old map showing that spot might help. Maybe an old widow lived there who survived by being a seamstress? Maybe a family lived there with 8 kids who were always losing their buttons...even after they grew up and when they came home with their military uniforms on? Maybe whoever lived there did not have much or any money and instead used buttons to trade for things?

    At one of my War of 1812 sites up north I found out that before the US took over in 1812 that it used to be a fur trading post. This explains perhaps why we have found about 25 military buttons and 25 civilian type buttons.

    Your spot is special and unique for sure...not very often you stumble across a site with that kind of history.
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  4. #4
    Elite Member milco's Avatar
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    When you look up this spot on the Federal survey, is it on a road or trail? Does the survey show the cabin? Perhaps it was near a well traveled trail and was a stop over point.
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  5. #5
    Buttons were distributed everywhere, not exactly evenly but were everywhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by Full Metal Digger View Post
    Were the buttons evenly distributed from one end of the field to the other or were they clustered near the old house site?

  6. #6
    Back in those days after 8 kids your neighbors would be asking "so when are you going to have another?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucknut View Post
    I think a fun part of our hobby is trying to figure out a site. Your site is interesting for sure with SO many buttons. Getting your hands on an old map showing that spot might help. Maybe an old widow lived there who survived by being a seamstress? Maybe a family lived there with 8 kids who were always losing their buttons...even after they grew up and when they came home with their military uniforms on? Maybe whoever lived there did not have much or any money and instead used buttons to trade for things?

    At one of my War of 1812 sites up north I found out that before the US took over in 1812 that it used to be a fur trading post. This explains perhaps why we have found about 25 military buttons and 25 civilian type buttons.

    Your spot is special and unique for sure...not very often you stumble across a site with that kind of history.

  7. #7
    Good question Don. I have a couple of sites that have button to coin ratios similar to that. One site had a ton of buttons in a 10 foot by 100 foot area. I can picture a clothes line or two.
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  8. #8
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    If this was a farm field , debris from a cabin can get spread out over an acre or more from plowing over the years and if it was a virgin site then there could be dozens and dozens of buttons depending on the length of time from built to destroyed , collapsed or burned down. if its a still used field keep going back after every plow usage.

    Dan
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  9. #9
    Elite Member Digger Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by del View Post
    If this was a farm field , debris from a cabin can get spread out over an acre or more from plowing over the years and if it was a virgin site then there could be dozens and dozens of buttons depending on the length of time from built to destroyed , collapsed or burned down. if its a still used field keep going back after every plow usage.

    Dan
    The field is still being worked today. and the good news we have permission to come back when ever we want. We have dug over 100 buttons and now they have become very hard to find. Once we thinned out the buttons we started hitting the coins. can't wait until spring when he works the field again.
    I now truly understand how it must feel to hit those virgin New England fields!!
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  10. #10
    I would guess your buttons came off a hand full of shirts left behind when the cabin was abandoned.

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