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Volume 10 Issue 4 - JUL-AUG 2014

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Published by Colin Savage, 2020-07-03 12:04:59

AMERICAN DIGGER MAGAZINE

Volume 10 Issue 4 - JUL-AUG 2014

The “Main Building” display. From top row L
to R: Kentucky three-piece staff buttons (back-
marks “PETTIBONE MFG. CO / CINCINNATI” and
“WATERBURY BUTTON CO.”), KMI two-piece
button (“HORSTMANN BROS & ALLIEN / N.Y.”),
KMI Cadet three-piece staff buttons (“EXTRA
GILT”), KMI two-piece button (no back), KMI but-
ton (“HORSTMANN & ALLIEN / N.Y.”), Kentucky
three-piece staff buttons (“M.C. LILLEY & CO. /
COLUMBUS, OH” and “WANAMAKER & BROWN
/ Phila”, KMI two-piece button (“HORSTMANN
& SONS”), Federal general service cuff but-
tons (“SCOVILLS & CO. / EXTRA”), KMI “Cadet”
three-piece staff button (no back), KMI two-piece
button (“HORSTMANN & SONS / PHI”),“M” from
a KMI belt plate, scale from dragoon style helmet
chinstrap, KMI “Cadet” cuff buttons (“EXTRA
QUALITY” AND “HORSTMAN BROS. & ALLIEN”),
part of an Eli Terry clock (Terry, 1772–1852, in-
troduced mass production to clockmaking, mak-
ing clocks affordable for the average American),
mid-1800s trouser and suspender buckles, con-
certina/accordion reeds, possible sword scab-
bard pieces, “C” bridle rosette (patent on the
back “March 14, ’8”), harmonica reed, harmonica casing, harmonica reed, gunpowder measuring
tool (marked in drams, assorted Civil War-era bullets (dropped and fired .58 caliber Minies plus
smaller pistol bullets), part of a kerosene lantern wick assembly, portion of bone-handled knife,
possible ramrod tip, and rim fire cartridges. On the “roof” of the display, two ornate rings border a
black display box which contains the remains of a US belt buckle.

In the early 1980s, when I first came to teach at the school, I Accepting the artifacts are (L-R) Sandra Bell
remember standing on the balcony of my classroom, located in the (Director of Stewart Home School, Peggy, and
historic main building, watching other detectorists scour the courtyard Barry Banker (president of Stewart Home School
and surrounding areas. Often, I would go down in between classes and son-in-law of Dr. John P. Stewart, a fourth
and speak to them, asking them about their finds. I had a great interest generation direct descendent of the Stewart family).
in metal detecting at the time, but no detector. So, the years went by
and I had to content myself with watching from the sidelines. July-August, 2014 American Digger® 49

Time passed and finally I got my own detector, a White’s XLT
that was handed down to me by my husband when he purchased a
White’s V3. However, by this time the school no longer permitted
detectorists to come in and search the property. Fortunately, the prop-
erty owned by Stewart Home School is vast – 850 acres, of which
only about 50 comprises the school campus. So, armed with knowl-
edge of the location of two homestead sites on the property, and, with
the permission of the Stewart family, I went to work. Using my lunch
breaks for most of my detecting, I spent, at the minimum, several
weeks at any specific site. Once there, I would use landmarks to help
me make an informal grid of the area, and take my time, trying to be
as slow and methodical as possible. The homestead sites, with the
houses long gone, had been used as farmland for decades, and so
most all of it had been plowed at one time or another. But I was fairly
certain these sites had never been detected, so I did not want to miss
searching a square inch of them.

It was not long before I began finding many interesting artifacts
from the mid-to-late 1800s, including a fair amount of paraphernalia


Other finds from the location. (Top row, left to right): powder flasks parts found in various places on
the property; toe taps, musket balls, and assorted artifacts found at two separate 1800s house sites on
Stewart Home School property; buttons (“Stronghold Patent,” WWI Great Seal, KMI staff, KMI, and as-
sorted civilian types) and a pipe bowl cover; assorted homesite items, including a spring weight scale,
twisted brass wire, pocket knife, candlestick loop, child’s ring with the letter “A” lightly inscribed, ro-
settes and conchos for saddles, and a corn husker; coins (Alabama State Tax Commission Luxury Tax
Token, 1929 quarter, Seated Liberty dime with date worn off, 1897 “V” nickel, 1842 dime made into a
button, and Bank of Upper Canada 1852 half cent token); and a broken 20th century cowboy belt buckle.

and coins from Canada. These were found After a couple of years, the question and thus learn of some of the rich history the

at a homestead site on the property east of arose of what to do with all the artifacts. land had given back.

the school campus. My husband and I had several conversations The Stewart Home School Founder’s

Soon, I began enlarging my detect- about this; neither of us wanted the artifacts Day event was coming up in just a few
ing area to include the periphery to just lie unappreciated in the basement for months’ time. With that in mind, Ralph
of the school property – the former years, to be possibly tossed out as scrap once went to work. An avid pen-turner and
we were no longer here to explain them. It woodworker, Ralph collected wood from

Kentucky Military Institute – which in- took very little discussion to agree that the the property — tobacco sticks used decades

cluded the old walking and riding paths to artifacts needed to go home where they ago on the farmland and old barn wood.

and from Farmdale (the nearest post office) belonged, to be displayed at the Stewart With these, he was able to create a display

and the capital city of Frankfort, which is Home School for future generations to see, for the most remarkable of the artifacts.

about six miles north of the cam- The display case itself was modeled

pus. Again, I would use the sur- after the front of the “Main Build-

rounding trees and fences to help ing” – a stately southern mansion

me make a grid, and I would work which is on the National Register of

one small section at a time, before Historic Places. Other pieces were

moving along the pathway. placed in regular display cases,

A wealth of buttons from the grouped with artifacts either found

KMI era, as well as coins and toys in the same geographic area, or arti-

from the early-to-mid-20th century, facts with other historic similarities.

were recovered. We also found It was a joy to be able to finally

evidence of some of the earliest present the fruits of my detecting

residents of the land: Native labor to the Stewart family. They

American artifacts dating to the Artifact displays as seen during the Stewart were astounded at the number of
Late Archaic Period (3,000 – 5,000 Home School Founder’s Day events. artifacts, and the work that went
years ago). into creating the displays and the

50 American Digger®® Vol. 10, Issue 4


Native American stone
tools were also recovered

on the school property,
most from the area shown

in the above panorama.

accompanying booklet, which had the “legend” of each piece, For more information about Stewart Home School, visit www.
along with a picture (where applicable) of each artifact as it would stewarthome.com. Please note that Stewart Home School is private
have looked in its day. The family was so impressed and appre-
ciative of the gift that they designated an entire wall of display property and should not be entered without permission.
cabinets for use to showcase these artifacts during the Founder’s
Day celebration. About The Author
Peggy Gould has lived in Kentucky her entire life.
Upcoming plans include the creation of a special display cabi- Currently, she is Head of Academics at The Stewart
net in the library of the main building so that future generations of Home School, and loves metal detecting for history.
visitors can see and enjoy a little bit of the history that was discov-
ered and returned to its rightful home by us.

The search continues: I still spend my lunch hours, along with
some weekends, detecting the property, continuing my quest to save
history. Any and all future finds will be catalogued and presented to
the owners for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

July-August, 2014 American Digger®® 51


52 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


THE

MYSTERIOUS

“L” WAIST

BELT PLATE
By William Spedale

In the past three decades or so, a small handful of mysterious It triggered quite a sensation in the relic collecting community.
“L” waist belt plates have come to light, all found in Lou- It bore a strikingly close resemblance in size, shape, and design
isiana. The first one was discovered in 1980 when Glenn to the small, oval, brass pre-Civil War US and VMM (Volunteer

Moreau, an insurance adjuster in Jackson, Louisiana, entertained Maine Militia) plates. I have found several examples of both on

the idea of going on a relic hunting expedition on Thompson the Port Hudson battlefield. The “L” plate could possibly have

Creek, a nice, free-flowing stream which meanders through the been manufactured by the same company that made those plates,

hilly country of West Feliciana Parish. Its shallow, clean, slow because, except for the Roman block “L” letter embossed on the

moving current, passing through the heart of town, has been serv- front instead of the other letters, it was identical to them.

ing as a popular swimming hole for many generations. In 1991, another “L” plate, identical to Moreau’s, was found.

Glenn had done his homework well. He knew the story of The location was the Port Hudson battlefield, and the finder this

General Andrew Jackson and his ragtag army camping on the time was veteran relic hunter Larry Jordan. Larry has been hunt-

sandy beaches of Thompson Creek in Jackson. This had fol- ing this battlefield for eons and was familiar with its every nook

lowed his hodge-podge army’s spectacular victory over the Brit- and cranny, and probably on a first-name basis with every cotton-

ish on the Chalmette Battlefield on January 15, 1815, defeating mouth. He has also found more buckles and “bombs” (artillery

the army which had recently defeated Napoleon’s Grande Armée projectiles) than most other collectors. In addition to his prowess

at Waterloo. Thereafter, the town of Bear Corners changed its as a relic hunter, he is also a successful building contractor who

name to honor the na- specializes in creating

tion’s newest hero, homes in the Baton

Andrew Jackson. Rouge area.

The beach One secret

Glenn  chose of Larry’s phe-

to explore was nomenal success

located only a has been his strict

few  miles  from adherence to the Si-

his office in town. cilian code of “Omertà”

Glenn was no novice at relic (silence). He remembers the

hunting, having extensively old WWII expression: “A slip

braved the wild, trackless, of the lip can sink a ship.” I

snake-infested terrain of the managed to persuade Larry

forbidding Tunica Hills and to suspend his vow of silence

the environs of Port Hudson. just enough to give me some

While hunting the Thompson idea of where he found his

Creek beach, perhaps Glenn “L” plate. With Larry, it was

envisioned finding some like pulling teeth.

neat,  historic  souvenirs, “Billy, if I told you

spoils of war left behind by where I found it, I’d have to

the American victors, such kill you,” he replied at first.

as captured silver gorgets Many successful collectors

and other accoutrements. will divulge only just so
However, he did much better The three lucky hunters and their individually much information, fearful

than find some exotic relic of found “L” plates. This was the first time they that others might go to the
the War of 1812. Instead, he ever met to discuss their historical discoveries. site being discussed and find
found a previously unknown (From left to right) Larry Jordan, Glenn Moreau, something that has been
belt buckle, which appeared and Robert Debate. These are the only three “L” overlooked. It happens, even
to be a Civil War-period waist among the most well-meaning
belt plate, the likes of which plates ever reported found. All were recovered of relic hunters. I was amazed

no one had ever seen before. in the vicinity of Port Hudson, Louisiana. when Larry finally told me

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 53


Left: Ruins of the main building of old
Centenary College shortly after the Civil War.
Once a magnificent edifice of classic Grecian
architecture, it served as the central office of
the campus. Established in 1825, the college
spent the first 20 years subsidized by the state
until funding became scarce and attendance
dropped. The institution, then called the College
of Louisiana, was sold to the Methodist Church
in 1839, and members established a college in
Brandon, Mississippi and renamed it Centenary
College. However, it failed after only a few years.

______________

the location, because I had found a perfect Louisiana state seal risen to the status of a seasoned veteran, all within one hunt. But

pelican button at the same site. what led him to search that fateful sugarcane field? He had heard

I think it is likely that the original owners of these “L” buck- of someone finding a 12-pounder Napoleon ball with a Bormann

les were attached to the same militia or college cadet corps and fuse and some grapeshot there.

that the rebel who wore this buckle and the Louisiana button On the day Bob Debate found his “L” plate, his discovery

that I’ve mentioned were either came close to not becoming re-

the same person or members of ality because he seriously con-

the same Louisiana outfit. I also sidered tossing away the small

began to strongly suspect that the piece of beat-up brass he’d dug,

letter “L” stood for Louisiana and thinking it was just another use-

was associated with the College of less piece of trash. But he hung

Louisiana in Jackson. on to it, just in case. Bob has

Just about the time that the ex- always been a firm believer in
citement from Larry Jordan’s never throwing away anything,
find had worn down, another no matter how trivial.

There was something famil-

“L” plate surfaced. This one was iar about the shape of this last

found by Robert Debate, October particular piece of brass he had

2013, in a freshly plowed sugar- put into his junk pouch. Back

cane field bordering the Mississippi at home, Bob did a meticulous

River in the Saint James Parish of examination of the item, which

southern Louisiana. now looked to be an accoutre-

Bob, relatively new to relic ment plate with an “L” on it.

hunting at this time, had been doing While searching for its identity,

some detecting, with minimal suc- he flipped open a book, His-

cess, in the Port Hudson and Don- toric Treasures of the American

aldsonville, Louisiana areas along Civil War, written by yours truly,

Bayou Lafourche. He became more This ominous message was written in the Billy Spedale. There, on page
successful at detecting when he school ledger when Louisiana succeeded from 25, is a photo of Larry Jordan’s
purchased a Fisher detector and the Union: “Students have all gone to war. “L” plate, showing its front and
went on a serious hunt at Port Hud- College suspended and God help the right!” back, and a picture of the peli-
son with his customary companion, can button I found near the site
his lovely wife, Madeline. ______________ where Larry had dug his buckle.

Once he made that first serious Robert took meticulous mea-

Port Hudson hunt, his collection made a giant leap forward. He surements of his relic and compared it with Larry’s plate pictured

found a magnificent heavy cast-brass “CS” waist belt buckle, fol- in the book. It was precisely the same! Even the rust on the hooks

lowed by a rare Confederate Preston shell. The Preston, of British and patina of the surface was similar.

manufacture, had been imported through the Union blockade to Coincidentally, in this same cane field, he also found the

New Orleans, to Port Hudson. It was fired but, being a “dud,” was crumpled remains of a VMM buckle, which he has since had re-

missing its big bulbous brass knob, left-handed threaded fuse. He habilitated by talented relic restoration artist Robert McDaniel. I

capped off this hunt with a perfect Confederate bayonet. Not bad could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the finished product of

for a beginner. He had now lost his standing as a novice, and had one of the most desirable and sought-after of all Yankee buckles.

54 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


“I would guess these buckles date from the Above is page 350 of American Military Belt
1846-47 Mexican War. They were modeled Plates, by O’Donnell and Duncan, which shows
after the style of regulation US waist belt
plate issued to enlisted infantry between the plate recovered by Glenn Moreau.
1839 and 1844 when the brass arrow hook
replaced these fragile iron wires on the Photo used with permission of author
back. Plenty of the old style US plates
would still be worn when the fighting broke ______________
out along the border in 1846. I suspect the
‘L’ plates were produced by a New Orleans
shop for a Louisiana Regiment called up
for service with the U.S. Army. Later, the
surplus plates could have been turned over
to a military school and obviously some
were worn when the Louisiana volunteers

mustered for the Civil War in 1861.”

Mike O’Donnell, coauthor of American Military Belt Plates

The ruins of the once-stately buildings of Centenary College vintage photos in trying to discern some semblance of the letter
are shown on the previous page. Constructed in 1825, the “L” on a buckle, cap, or flag or any part of a uniform, to no avail.
college was operated by the state for its first 20 years, until But I just know it’s there somewhere!

funding became scarce and attendance dropped off. I still believe there is some connection between these plates

The college closed for the duration of the Civil War. A scrib- and Centenary College, aka College of Louisiana or simply Loui-

bled notation in the school ledger has the ominous caveat “Stu- siana College. While I have exhausted all of my resources in my

dents have all gone to war. Col- quest of gaining some knowledge

lege suspended, and God help the of this mysterious “L” buckle,

right!” At the end of the war, the perhaps this article will engender

once-elegant buildings appeared the very special inspiration, from

as depicted in the photograph on American Digger®’s readers, that

page 54. is needed to continue this worth-

Immediately following the while endeavor.

Civil War, the Centenary Col-

lege began a series of changes

in locations, which ultimately

resulted in its being relocated

to Shreveport, where it survives

as the oldest college west of the About The Author
Mississippi River. William “Billy” Spedale,
a native of Baton Rouge,
As I’ve stated, I believe that Louisiana, has had a life-
the “L” buckles might be associ-
ated with the college, and could

have been worn by cadets from long interest in the Ameri-

that institution during the Civil can Civil War. In addition

War. But after a most extensive to being a serious histo-

and intensive hunt for any clue The latest “L” plate (shown here after rian and avid collector, his
connecting the college with the restoration) was found by Robert DeBate articles and books on the
appearances of three “L” buck- in 2013. Robert was awarded “Find of the Civil War have been read
les discovered in recent years, or Year” for the buckle by the Pelican Relic throughout the world. An
any kind of prominent accoutre- Air Force veteran, he is
ment with the capitalized letter on  numerous  museum
“L” emblazoned on the front, boards and is a past presi-
my efforts have come to naught. dent of the Baton Rouge
I have gleaned through a prodi-
gious amount of old books and Civil War Round Table.

newspapers, concentrating on and Recovery Association. Photos by Danny Brown

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 55


HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD
JOIN THE TASK FORCE
PROTECT THE HOBBY

DetectingRights.com

56 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


July-August, 2014 American Digger® 57


My Dad,
My Club, My
Favorite Find

By Hank Drews

My favorite find is a car part. If you’re thinking “big when the car part I found was brand new in 1910, my father
whoop,” let me explain. War relics are fine for dig- was an 11-year-old driving a horse and wagon in the Dakotas
gers who live where there was serious fighting. on Grandpa’s homestead. Cars then were a new invention for
However, here in lumberjack country on the Minnesota/Wis- faraway big cities.
consin border, my 150-year-old axe heads are the rusty equiva-
lent of your bayonets and belt buckles. They just happen to I loved Dad. Born deaf in 1898 and only educated to the
lack the glory of armed conflict. But automobile parts? Can third grade, he was the smartest man I’ll ever know. He mar-
they be called historic, nostalgic, or perhaps both? ried and helped raise five of us through very tough times: the
Depression and WWII. As a jack-of-all-trades, he taught me
For me, the best relics recall the past in a personal way. practical things: how to use an axe, how to fix and drive cars.
If you’ve ever found a coin with your birth year on it, didn’t And, because metal salvage was always part of his earnings,
it become special to you? I like to think of how a relic might he taught me how to identify aluminum, copper, brass, and
have related in some way to family or friends. For instance, lead. Metals hold their value. He saved silver, too. Like many
of his generation he didn’t trust paper money.
The author’s father as he appeared in 1976.
At the top of the page are axe heads and the Allow me to talk a little about how I got into the hobby
of metal detecting, and then I’ll come back to the subject of
automobile part mentioned in this article. the old automobiles.

58 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4 I joined our metal detecting club, Gopher State Treasure
Hunters, only three years ago, when I had just retired from the
Post Office. Actually, I was reluctantly led into the hobby by
an acquaintance from church, who has since become a good
friend. Chuck “Santa” Clausen is an avid Civil War buff. As a
relic hunter, he travels. He used to teach history in high school.
Now, he also gets paid to play Santa.

Chuck was just looking for a coin hunting buddy when
we first met. He brought me as a guest to a club meeting and,
in true Santa fashion, gave me a gift: a raffle ticket. Raffling
an old coin is a regular part of each meeting at the club. My
ticket actually won a silver half dollar, and I guess I became
“half-hooked” that easily. Our club gives full current value for
gold and silver, so that Barber half plus nine dollars paid my
dues for a year.

We went out coin shooting so Chuck could teach me prop-
er digging techniques. You know, cut a plug, pinpoint a penny,
and replace all divots so a lawn is not damaged. Mine was a
low-cost start-up because I used my son’s old Garrett AT3 de-
tector which I had given him as a graduation gift back in 1989.


It is easy to see why the author’s mentor, Chuck and who the Goths really were.
Clausen, plays Santa at Gopher State Treasure When my novel was published, I gave a book report to our
Hunters’ Christmas meetings. Below are some
club as a program, because it mentions an island where metal-
of the authors finds, including his favorite, an detecting is strictly forbidden by law. I believe the inhabitants
“Autocar” hub cap (on far right of photo). of my fictional island wish to protect their history. More an-
_____________ cient booty has been found on their island than in all the British
Isles put together. Anyhow, Chuck and I are now good friends.
It had been gathering dust for years, ever since he got married. Our wives have both become club members and friends also,
Soon I bought a pinpointer, and then a rock tumbler to and we all hunt together.

clean coins. I found a painter’s apron at a yard sale to place Our club gives silver dimes as prizes each month for cat-
my finds in, putting trash in the left pocket and coins to the egories such as best gold, best silver jewelry, most coins, and
right. When my wife asked Chuck what she should get me for so forth. With nearly 60 members, competition is keen. Our
a birthday present, he picked out a good stout digging trowel. “Bring and Brag” table gets crowded. Seeing other finds is
What more could a guy want? amazingly motivating.

Chuck and I honed our skills in city and county parks, One of us usually wins something at meetings. Last Octo-
schoolyards, and playgrounds, finding a variety of coins, toys, ber was my best month. I took first prize in the “most coins”
tokens, cans, and trash. We’d compete for most coins or best competition with 1001 coins, including my oldest, an 1890 In-
find. The loser would buy coffee. One reason we’ve become dian Head cent, some Wheaties, a 1944 Mercury dime, and
close is that he took time to read, edit, critique, and add ideas a 1961 Roosevelt dime. Altogether, it was over $70 in face
to a storybook which I was writing because it included his fa- value.
vorite topics: history and buried treasure. My book, A Novel
Gothic Novel, a work of historical fiction, is about storytelling Speaking of value, I know I’ve found way more of value
each year I’ve hunted than the cost of my equipment. True,
I hunt quite a bit, because I have the time. Almost all of it
is on land. In the grass is where it’s at; let the younger guys
go dive for rings in the water. Thus far, I’ve tallied more than
forty rings and other pieces of jewelry; twelve are silver items
and two are gold. Many items I’ve given as gifts to my family,
especially my four granddaughters. None of those rings had
any identifying marks which might have allowed me to return
them to former owners.

The real value of this sport for me is in the gentle exer-
cise. My knees used to scream in pain when I worked as a me-
chanic. Now, I’m up and down digging coins like a kid much
younger than my 69 years. I usually say a little prayer of thanks
for each find while on my knees. I dig just about everything
for its value, because that is how Dad taught me. He’d clean
wire and sort metal scraps for salvage cash. I feel I honor his
memory by doing the same.

Iron goes to city recycling. Aluminum gets bagged in a
corner of the garage until I have a car trunk full. It will buy
another tank full of gas at about two cents per can. If I bother
to dig a penny, why not cart off a can for twice as much?

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 59


However, money’s not my primary motive; hope is. The club’s fall Mini-Hunt at Minneapolis’ Powder-
Cans and clad coins buy gas, but where else can one enjoy horn Park was where I found my favorite find. That
the thrill of discovery these days? The hope for new discov- park is in an old part of town halfway between
eries motivates me. My relics and coins become fodder for downtown and three of our popular lakes. In two hours
conversation. It’s easy to make new friends when you show of hunting on a chilly October Saturday, some 30 club
them an old coin. Most of our club’s spring and fall hunts members dug lots of metal trash, and at least 500 coins (a
are salted with old coins, so I’ve built a nice collection of few Barber-designed silver coins, Buffalo nickels, some
coins from the 1800s. really old pennies) and even a few rounds of live ammuni-
tion. Lore has it that some kids in the 1950s tossed a stolen
Okay, now I’ve told you some things about me and my collection of old coins into the pond there to avoid being
club. Let me get back to the issue of the old car part. caught with the goods. That explains why our club’s water
hunters did so well.

Personally, I was amazed by the variety and volume of
finds, but I was also frustrated that day. I found my share
of coins, but our rules for the hunt said we could only use
a standard trowel for digging. No shovels. My problem
was that I’d hit a target near the basketball court which
sounded great in my headset! It rang like a bell, not the
clank of aluminum, but it was too deep to dig. I scooped
and carved away dirt down to about ten inches and found
a large solid, round something. My magnet-on-a-string
showed that it wasn’t iron or steel. It looked like brass in
the light of my White’s Bullseye pinpointer, but I could not
get under it because the hilt on my digging tool prevented a
better angle. Anyway, time was running out for me to find
as much as I could within the designated period. I had to
move on. Whatever was still in the soil might, I thought,

60 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


have won “Best Find,” but I had to leave it in the ground company, and you know what happened then that fateful
until after lunch. Then, with the hunt officially over, I took year. After the stock market crash, the company switched
a good short shovel from my car and went back to dig up over to building only trucks. In 1953, White Motor
my prize. Company bought controlling interest. Then, in 1980,
Volvo purchased the name. So in a sense, they are still
Even then, I couldn’t know exactly what I had. It was a in business. Altogether, the company has an interesting
heavy handful, a fist-sized half pound of solid brass. Even- history. And I found a piece of it, which is really fun to
tually I could tell it was a grease hub from an old car by share with new acquaintances.
the greasy dirt still packed within the threads of its center.
Words molded into its bulge read “AUTOCAR/ Ardmore, Looking back, I realize Dad probably saw a few Auto-
Pa.” However, I’d have to do some internet research to cars in his day, but he preferred Chevys. What he’d prob-
learn that there actually was once an American make of ably have wanted most would have been a good metal de-
automobile called “Autocar.” I learned, in fact, that it was tector and good ears. Count your blessings, and thanks for
the world’s first shaft-driven automobile. listening to my story.

The Autocar Company started as the Pittsburgh Motor About the Author
Car Co. in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Louis S. Clarke was Hank Drews, St. Croix coordinator for Minnesota
the engineer who started it in 1897. His very first Auto- Mensa, is retired from the U.S. Post Office and
car drove from Ardmore to New York’s 1901 auto show at enjoys metal detecting, writing, and illustrating.
Madison Square Garden in just six hours. He also authored A Novel Gothic Novel in 2011,

My hub was from a 1910 model which sold for $1,750 available at both Amazon and Kindle.
when new. That model, a 26-horsepower Tourabout, had
four 4.5 inch cylinders and 34-inch wheels. If I had that car
today, I’d take Chuck for a ride and tell him about my dad.
I considered digging deeper to find the rest of that buried
car, but my Garrett detector only registered rust.

Autocar produced many fine cars in several different
models from its inception until 1929. That year, Louis
Clarke and his brother both sold their interest in the

Sgt. Riker’s Civil War Shop
Ran Hundley 804-798-6848
website: sgtriker.com
email: [email protected]

The diggers’ shop, supplying vital supplies and knowledgeable expertise
on metal detectors and metal detecting. Store is chocked full of artifacts,
reference books and various display alternatives for your collectibles.
Sgt. Riker’s, a stop well worth making in Ashland, Virginia, just off of
Interstate 95 at Exit 92.

Note our abbreviated hours (effective July 1, 2014)

Thursday and Friday 9:00 – 6:00
Saturday 9:00 – 4:00
(Or by appointment)

• Tesoro •Fisher • Whites • Minelab •Teknetics •Garrett •XP Deus
305 S. Washington Highway, Suite 1, Ashland, VA 23005

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 61


Garrett ATX Product Reviews Like most pulse induction detec-
tors, the weight is substantial, but by
Featured Metal Detector these and other problems inherent to PI utilizing the included shoulder strap,
Product! machines with their new ATX. the 6.9-pound detector becomes much
See ad on MSRP $2,495 (USA) easier to handle. As I am already accus-
I was immediately impressed by the tomed to the substantial weight of PI de-
back cover! Manufactured by portability and toughness of the detector. tectors, I was more concerned about how
It collapses into a small carrying bag that well the weight was distributed, which
Garrett Metal Detectors is perfect for trips and, on a flight, should is favorable on the ATX. It is not an un-
fit easily as carry-on. This should make comfortable unit, only heavy.
1881 W. State St. anyone rejoice who has had a detector
damaged through rough handling by In typical relic hunting, the full cov-
Garland, TX 75042 baggage crews. erage skid plate tended to collect dirt and
debris because of its design. However,
Telephone: 972-494-6151 The toughness is also readily ap- no sticks or vines became stuck in the
parent. The detector has a military look openings, as happens with other open
http://www.garrett.com/ because it is designed to meet military search coils. According to Steve:
specs. According to Steve Moore, Gar-
Available from selected dealers. rett’s marketing communications man- “The closed coil cover is more for
ager, “The ATX is built on the same people who do fine gold hunting. It
Publisher’s note: Traditionally, we have not chassis as our military version Recon slides across rough, rocky terrain well.
published metal detector reviews in American Pro. But nothing about the electron- They also use it to find tiny gold pieces
Digger® magazine. The reasons include our be- ics inside it or its DD search coil is the that their pinpointers don’t pick up well
lief that it is impossible to fully learn a machine same as the Recon (it’s not just a repack- [by] dumping the dirt on the bottom of
in the short period necessary to publish a review age job). The ATX includes much more the coil cover and pushing it around with
within a suitable timeframe. However, due to nu- electronic technology for finding relics their fingers until they find the tiny nug-
merous reader requests for detector reviews, we and small gold. But the shafts and con- get that makes noise. That said, there is
have opted to give our first impressions of mod- trol housing, etc., were built to military a new open-face cover that is coming in
els offered for review by manufacturers. This is grade standards.” the near future.”
not intended to be an in-depth technical review,
but rather an overall opinion based on an out- Also, Garrett has incorporated two Two other experienced detectorists
of-the box field test of only a few days. features that all detectors should have: It used our test model to give their impres-
is waterproof (to 10 feet) and has an ex- sions. In one case, it was used in the rel-
The new age of pulse induction ternal speaker. An ATX user will never atively stable forests of north Georgia,
(PI) metal detectors, as many have to worry about it shorting out in the and in the other in very hot soil during
detectorists have discovered, has rain, nor will broken headphones cut the bad weather (including rain and snow).
opened up sites that were previously hunt short. First, the Georgia user:
almost unhuntable due to high ground
mineralization. Even in good ground, The midrange price is also a plus, “I found the ATX to be on the heavy
there are benefits, as the pulse units tend making it more affordable to those of side but well balanced. There is a learn-
to go deeper regardless of the soil. average means. Also, while no pulse unit ing curve but anyone that has had much
has yet come up with a perfect iron re- ‘trigger time’ on detectors will adapt
The bad news is that pulse induction ject feature, the ATX does have a button quickly. Once you get used to the vary-
detectors are heavy, offer little iron dis- that, when depressed, emits a “grunt” ing sounds, the ATX will not disappoint.
crimination, and are expensive (roughly sound on iron. Although not foolproof, it I found it to be a ‘brass magnet.’
$1,700-$5,000). In addition, most are is certainly better than having to dig ev-
not waterproof, meaning care must be ery target in areas infested with a lot of “I recommend using the sling that is
taken to avoid ruining your substantial iron “junk.” The pinpoint feature is also provided, as arm fatigue was an issue af-
investment in a sudden downpour. Enter a welcome relief in the PI world. ter several hours without it. With this de-
Garrett, who has tried to tackle most of tector I highly, and I stress highly, advise
taking time to read the instruction man-
62 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4 ual. Target pinpointing was challenging
for me but made much easier with the aid
of a Garrett Pro-Pointer. All in all, Garrett
has produced a great machine in the ATX.
It will be a welcome addition for anyone
looking for a tough waterproof PI unit.”

Here is the report from the other
tester, who used it in extremely “hot”
Virginia soil, in a spectrum of conditions


that included rain and snow: Coiltek 11” Round usually create pandemonium. However,
“I first used the ATX after a mal- after the initial tuning, the Coiltek anti-
Featured Anti-Interference interference search coil allowed a steady
function in my own PI detector (a dif- Product! Search Coil threshold with no falsing. As for my two
ferent brand). After only a three-minute See ad on MSRP $264 friends with GPXs, one did complain
tutorial on its use, I was on my own with page 60! that I was interfering with him, although
the ATX. I soon discovered that the ma- I suspect it might have been the other two
chine was not a magic wand and I need- Manufactured by Coiltek detectors “talking” between themselves.
ed some time to learn what the machine
was telling me. 5 Mengel Court I later tested the coil in an urban
environment which I knew had various
“It took me a full two days to really Salisbury South types of interference present, including
get the hang of what the detector was burglar alarms and two-way radios.
telling me. On the third day, I was be- South Australia 5106 Again, after the initial tuning, I had no
coming much more comfortable with its problems with interference.
operation. As a bonus, it rained steadily Phone: +618 8283-0222
that day, yet (because it is waterproof) I The real litmus test, though, was
was able to forgo the hassle of shroud- Visit coiltekmanufacturing.com.au my using it directly below high tension
ing the control box with plastic bags. power lines. As any GPX user knows,
By end of the day, I ended up with four for selected dealers. hunting around an active power line re-
bullets, a knapsack hook, some camp quires using the “Cancel” mode. While
lead, four poncho grommets, a percus- Among the many benefits of the this knocks out most of the interference,
sion cap, two brass rivets, two trouser new breed of pulse induction it also significantly decreases the depth
buttons, two buckshot, a portion of a co- detectors is that they offer ultra performance. Thus, most Minelab GPX
lonial shoe buckle, and a general service sensitivity regardless of ground condi- users avoid such situations.
eagle button. My deepest target was an tions. The bad side of them is that they
unidentified iron piece that was 14-16 are ultra sensitive, meaning that outside Not me. I set the detector in “DD”
inches deep. interference can be a problem. mode, auto tuned, and started detecting
directly beneath the power lines. The
“The pinpoint function of this ma- An example is the Minelab GPX amount of discernible targets were amaz-
chine is spot on and equal to a VLF ma- series. While offering extreme depth, ing, all ringing in clear with almost no
chine. One of the things I noticed is that the units can be a challenge to operate false signals to speak of. There is a slight
if, after pinpointing with the ATX, the in urban situations and around other PI loss of depth while using the AI coil in
signal seemed to wander from the origi- detectors because of electrical interfer- DD mode, but not as severe as the GPX
nal point, the target was typically iron ence. For the utmost in interference, high “Cancel” mode. In fact, while hunting
even if the signal was a good high tone. tension power lines can make it nearly with the Coiltek AI in the deep woods, I
impossible to use the GPX, unless one discovered that, void of any outside inter-
“I also noticed that even with the reverts to “Cancel” mode which, in turn, ference, I could use the “Mono” setting
discrimination set to four and the sensi- limits the depth. on the GPX and get more depth than I
tivity set to 13, I was still getting small ever had before. Unfortunately, this lim-
bits of nail that were giving nice high Enter the anti-interference search its the AI coil’s ability to reject iron and
tones. But the machine seemed to hang coil made by Coiltek. This Australian outside interference, but is an added bo-
onto the tones longer than it would for company has created an industry around nus in “clean” areas.
a positive target. After making this ob- making a good metal detector (Minelab)
servation, I was soon calling the good even better by providing high perfor- Another nice feature of this coil is
targets from the nail bits, but I still was mance search coils tailored to various that the protective skid plate is already
digging most targets just to confirm my needs, and the anti-interference model is securely sealed in place. Stock Minelab
findings. no exception. coil users must apply electrical tape to
prevent dirt and moisture from entering
“This machine is heavier than any I field tested the coil in a number of the tiny gap created by the coil cover.
detectors I’ve used in the past, but I situations on a GPX 4800 detector. The
was able to swing the machine all day first test was detecting with two other I am now using this coil whenever
without a problem. Much of the weight GPX users at close range, which would conditions merit it. While I can only
is because the ATX chassis is made to imagine what some of Coiltek’s other
military specifications. I cannot imagine search coils are capable off, I am quite
what it would take to break this machine. pleased with this model’s performance.
I was quite happy with the performance
of the ATX.”

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 63


...Current Events... Current Events... Current Events...

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Wilson Fox Rd., New Stanton, Pennsylvania. Info: Ed Davis (317) 908-8165 Booneville, Mississippi. Info: Virgil Robinson (662) 728-2798, email: [email protected]
or email [email protected] dixie-net.com or visit www.virrob.home.dixie-net.com/2014-club-hunt-ad.html.

July 25-27, 2014: 18th Annual Open Hunt & Wisconsin St. Championship, October 18, 2014: Corinth Indian Artifact Show, Crossroads Arena, 2800
Deer Trail Park Campground, 13846 County Road Z, Nekoosa, Wisconsin. Harper Rd., Corinth, Mississippi. Info: Bill Breidinger at (601) 635-3222 or
Info: (715) 572-1845, email [email protected], or visit midstatemdc.com. (601) 486-6162 or email [email protected]

August 1-3, 2014: National Antique Bottle Show, Lexington Convention October 18, 2014: Calumet Region Militaria Show, Lake County Fairgrounds,
889 S. Court St., Crown Point, Indiana. Info: Merv Wood, (219) 663-7105.
Center, 430 West Vine St., Lexington, Kentucky. Info: (859) 233-4567.

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________________MEMDTAODELRUVEDGETO&THFETNAOCONESDSRPTeNa1oHDOIpl0-NneODR0tE,FeEUSNWTOSAm,FGEAXCLRaGiRBb5pAEOnMCLEL4epREtL0EEaDAreTL-LMS3T’rEA2IES7tUFIUOR02COnA(L-S,FI8STa6NCOCS271COIETEO0KD08IVRLS91VlRGS)kMOO4FEIBE3VsL:RRFAU4,LELWACNA2R6ENYMo1ALh--G–DM9dLRiCESO,Tc8gASOHKVaIR3e,OTIgOIOI,LC3ANERoW2:LAMPDGoTlf1aSPrSSrCSI2nEhHL,PN:DHadSRIREBIsCE,A’[email protected]hLeWIDCnBo,-LmO.aToOSBl.NRceOWOaCoTAnmKX(AiD8tAvESaCE1,iSRTlA-P8,DWAR)nIENIS3aNaPD6,RrTL2CM&SAA-,aY3OlMS3iRf6Eoi8l!ri.ntaiary. Info: Expo Park, 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, Tenn. LInfAo:U(7N70)N63A0-7h2t9063. Email
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PHONE 540-372-6709 OR E-MAIL: [email protected] WOHS CI_L__E_R__R_A_January 3-4, 2015: Low Country!LCAivNil.DIWG5R0Ia4S2RrG2NOSAIhRIEoNPwHISG,LTROOI!VOmYC,GaL1rRN2US,OEBhGSrEKDinHOCeILTRTSEe!’DEmEELNpRGlFOAeE, EHT
GR11U0B_2S_,K5__CH_ICR_R_E_ADWEMRLFIVICLAUNNA [email protected]!.E,oRIRMrSSEOYSvPoMA,IiSMsRuLTiDPnEtNDNSIPwtAIRADPw5P,-S$lE,wEeSDaKX.AmsOORaBOiTnkBW-etL,DkOLSEeEDTn.SACA-tHYsL.UhSEIBo,RnSw:Ef,SSoSsMDA.:nNEC(eTI7K,tIS7.ERL0SMAL)eWAAe6RFL3aOFI0dVRS-hIo7TOtCn2CTF9ACpOF6EaIS.LgTEELReLOAm6BC4GAa.T,UiSlRD00O-N1YTON.CLMANENH.&TPOTFE5GEeDEYavUORAtLeDuOTnADrtTMe!R.MdEUM.TA
DEVOTESDeaDpytseEImnXnbCearnLd2U8S,Su2Ii0tVe1s4E,:4L74Y442tThBOArencTnkuHsavlEilOleChiRoIdVA.,InRLtiiqcWuhefAieBlRdo,ttEOleRhSioAh.oIwnfaon:dJoShanleF, ifer,
.DR SGNIRPS LOOC 12 ,EGDOL S’ELGAE
(330) 722-7017, or email [email protected]
________List your hunt or show here for free! RequesTtsCmAuTsNt bOeCs5uN0b4Om2I2iTttAeAdCIaNItLIlPGeaPRsAtIeVRigO,hGDtRNwUEeeVBksSRKaOhCeNaIORd IEoTfDAtiEMmReRFtOo:FNI ROF
WOHS11C0_I2L_,_5E_HR_C_R_RA_AWM [email protected]agangsdenrNi.esceOonNd!moSeEOtdRRorSIoerOSEYsrA“pSMA,PrESoIeLRTnvMRfDPueNsEnENisSDbIetIRAPlsDAei”RPn,-5fScaEo,$AE/SproDpK[email protected]iMSDAntCAi-iHYnwfRgLogUoSgIrEEshAmeB.,RrsSAHHa®a:Et,,hSmCSiSPoTrMDeAfWnOrNE:,CiOLOcBcTIaaIK,HoISATnnxERSLcMD1MeALY–l2-iWlAEgANa6Lgt,RFARiLeAoEOrFMOInc®VVwsRSL9p,IToO0rCEoIro7CrTStSvF6hAcSCi-OU,dhU2FEGea7IMSsLLn3TAEt-gLRh0CE3LeO4iA0sEsB5.X1CLsGA0EeT,1EUrNSv.RD0OiWc0DO-eHN1eTEPONYC.ANLTMEHN&TO.PTEOGVDE5UYRLEODAOATDDTMER.MMU.

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________ 30 ANN!EROAM,SRTDENNIRARP,SA,ESWKXOOBLOBWIVDOEDITCAAHLESE,HRSE,TSSDAONCITK,SELYMLLAARFEOFVRSITOSCTUACFFTEeLIaLHvTtCeLRunEOArXteC!GdOE,USNRDDEO-NET!OCTTNEOH&TEtVEGhDUELODADNTELMY!

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64 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


A Novel Gothic Novel

by Hank Drews
________

A Novel Gothic Novel strips
a dark mystique from
Gothica. Order it now.

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or $10 on Amazon.com.

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 65


News-N-Views and prospecting hobbies.
Reports And If this had just been the goofy stereotypical guy on
Commentaries On Issues
the beach in a straw hat, knee socks and shorts, digging
That Affect The Hobby a pit for pirate treasure, then it would be laughable. I was
not laughing at this one. There are a lot of other ways
by Mark Schuessler they could have done this. Why not just show a goofy
thief stealing the chain off the sleeping guy?
Farmers Insurance Commercial
Here is the most aggravating part of this affair: After
By now you have probably all seen the infamous viewing the commercial and hearing numerous complaints
Farmers Insurance commercial. If not, then it is readily from the detecting world, I immediately began calling the
available for viewing on the internet. The commercial corporate office. A number of calls over several weeks
shows the almost stereotypical detectorist on a beach. resulted in ZERO responses. I was given a runaround, not
The controversy develops when this detectorist is shown connected to the offices requested, and received no return
passing his detector over a sleeping person wearing a calls to my messages. The messages I left were done in a
gold chain on his neck. The next thing you see is that professional manner and requested a dialogue to discuss
same detectorist grabbing the chain and running. I the issue. In addition to myself calling as the FMDAC
believe this scene was created for a laugh, and I did find president, the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights was
it a little amusing. doing the same with equal results.

Let’s look at the audience for this commercial, which My next action was to send letters. One went to the
is everyone in America. It will be seen by millions of CEO and one went to the marketing officer. Want to
people who know little or nothing about the metal take a wild guess what the results were? If you said ZIP,
detecting hobby. All they know about our pastime is ZERO, NADA, then go buy yourself a nice cigar. They
what they have seen on television, including programs had neither the courtesy nor the integrity to even send a
that have not displayed us in the best light. Add to generic letter or have a flunky call back.
that the constant barrage from the elitist side of the
archaeological community, and what is the non-detecting It is obvious that they do not care about metal
public to think? detectorists. As a result, I have decided that I will never
become a customer of Farmers Insurance, nor will
Once again, the detectorists get the short end of the I recommend it to anyone. Recently, a rumor on the
stick and, in the insurance commercial, are shown to internet was that the commercial had been suspended or
be common thieves. The public has been indoctrinated. changed. Yet, two days after hearing that, I watched it
A picture has been put in their mind to beware of that playing again on my living room TV.
evil metal detector guy, as he will probably try to steal
something from you. What will happen when someone In my opinion, Farmers Insurance has shown neither
sees you on a beach or in a park? What picture will be integrity nor credibility in regards to the offensive
in their head? Heaven forbid if they misplace a piece of commercials and our complaints. If they later show
jewelry when you happen to be in the area. I personally that they are willing to listen to our concerns, then this
know of an incident where a house was robbed of silver statement will be retracted. If you would like to voice
and gold. An acquaintance said to me that there was your concerns, you can do so by calling 1-800-327-
someone with a metal detector in the area prior to the 6335, or email them through this link: https://www.
robbery, so they might have done it because they would farmers.com/contact-us/send-message/. Even better,
know about silver and gold. Think about the busy bodies call their corporate offices at (323) 932-3200. To send a
who call police on detectorists for no real reason, and add letter, their address is: Farmers Insurance, 4750 Wilshire
to that suspicions that the detectorists are thieves.

This is not the first time advertisers have taken a
shot like this. You may have seen one of their other com-
mercials that shows a goofy-looking old prospector on a
ladder outside a bedroom window, the implication being
that he is going to steal the homeowner’s gold jewelry.
That rubbed me the wrong way. Are these just for a cheap
laugh? Yes, and it is at the expense of the metal detecting

66 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010. The Chief Executive beaches and designated campsites.
Officer is Jeffrey Dailey and the Chief Marketing So it goes from limited detecting to virtually no
Officer is Michael Linton. If you call the corporate
office, ask to speak to the marketing office or the CEO detecting. This was discovered when someone was
office. They will ask why you are calling. If you tell recently prevented from hunting in an area where it
them what you are actually calling for, you will probably has been previously allowed, and the new rule is not
get a runaround, so you may wish to be inventive. Call yet even in effect. That man, Roger Barbrick, started
several times. Maybe if they get enough flack, they will an online petition for the Massachusetts Department of
think twice about doing something like this in the future Conservation and Recreation to reconsider the ban. Just
to our hobby. as this issue was going to print, we received word that
Mr. Barbrick had talked to an official in the DCR. The
Compared to other attacks on our hobby, this is a official stated that he did not believe it was their intention
small issue. But it is all part of the bigger picture. to ban metal detecting and noted that they have received
a lot of feedback on the issue. He also noted he would be
Massachusetts Parks Detecting Ban discussing the matter with the commissioner.

As I write this, a new item has popped up on the radar. Here is the Massachusetts Department of Conserva-
It seems that the state of Massachusetts is on a path to tion and Recreation Commissioner’s contact info. Let him
ban metal detecting from state lands. Up to now it has know your feelings on this issue. If you are not a resident
been allowed on a site-by-site basis, but now it looks like of that state, still voice your concerns, as tourist and visi-
that is about to change. Here is the new wording of the tor dollars are important to those in power.
proposed change:
If you do not hear that this new rule has been reversed,
(23) Special Use Permit Required. Unless authorized then contact the commissioner. Be polite and informative.
by a special use permit issued in accordance with 302 CMR If it is reversed? Then send him a thank you note!
12.17(2), no person may: h. Use or offer for use metal
detectors, except with permission from DCR personnel, for Jack Murray, Commissioner
the purposes of locating lost personal property. Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway St., Suite 900
It appears that this is not just a directed attack at metal Boston, MA 02114-2104
detecting, but is a rewrite of the entire Parks and Recreation Phone: (617) 626-1250
rules. Metal detecting is just one of several affected areas. Fax: (617) 626-1351
There was an open comment period and some public E-Mail: [email protected]
meetings, but the fact that the metal detecting rules were being
changed was not known at the time. They should publish A Detectorist in the House?
not just the rewritten rules but a synopsis of the changes so
anyone could quickly see what is affected. Changing just This issue’s column will close on a positive note.
one word in a sentence can change the meaning of an entire As we constantly fight these laws and bans, wouldn’t it
paragraph, so a small change in wording on an issue could be nice to have one of our own in an elected position,
easily go unnoticed. Here is how it previously read: to fight from within? If all goes well, we may have a
serious detectorist in the Alabama House in 2015. The
304 CMR 12.11 (3) No person shall use or offer for founder of the Alabama Archeometalology Historical
use metal detectors on Department property except at the Society, Heath Jones, will be going up against the
discretion of the Area Supervisor on designated swimming incumbent in November. You cannot vote for either
unless you are in the Alabama 39th district, but you
Federation of Metal Detector can help spread the word that a metal detectorist has
and Archaeological Clubs Inc. thrown his hat into the ring, and help however you
see fit. You can find out more about his campaign or
Promoting and protecting the metal contact him through the Facebook page https://www.
detecting hobby since 1984 facebook.com/electheath.

Join us - The hobby you save will be your own! Opinions and research expressed in this column are those of
Visit us at FMDAC.org and on Facebook. the author and not necessarily those of American Digger®.

Mark Schuessler – National President July-August, 2014 American Digger® 67
[email protected] or call (585) 591-0010


Reader’s Contest:

Try as he might, our publisher has never found
a gold coin. In honor of this non-accomplish-
ment, we again invite our readers to find the gold
coin hidden in this issue. Not just any gold coin,
though. It will be in the form of the picture shown here (black
and white or color), although likely a different size. Butch isn’t as
picky, and once he finds any gold coin, the contest will change.
Given his past record in trying to find a Georgia button, the con-
test might run for many decades. If you find the coin in this issue,
contact us via email or snail mail before midnight, July 20, 2014.
Please include your full name and address. The winner will be
drawn from the correct entries emailed to [email protected]
com, or snail mailed to Box 126, Acworth, GA, 30101. The winner
will get a Minelab PRO-SWING 45 ergonomic detecting harness,
courtesy of www.minelab.com/usa/.

Last issue’s winner was Tom Purzycki, of Watertown, NY, who
found the hidden coin on page 10. Tom will receive a Detector

Assist harness system, courtesy of www.trimmerassist.net.

68 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


ThTehTerTardaindginPgoPsotst

Illustration courtesy of Library of Congress

For Sale Clubs

Shop for Civil War relics 24/7 at www.greybirdrelics.com. Northern Virginia Relic Hunters Association, 7:30 PM, 1st Tuesday
Bottles, military, civilian, & more! Satisfaction guaranteed! [E] of each month at the NRA bldg, Fairfax, VA. www.nvrha.com. [E]

Buy, sell, trade, or promote your club or business. Coastal Empire History Hunters Association. Meets in Savannah,
See your ad here for pennies a day! Call 770-362-8671. [E] GA. For more information, contact Rick Phillips, 912-663-2382. [E]

Clubs Palmetto Relic Hunters Club meets 7 PM, the 2nd Tuesday of each
month at the Cayce Museum, 1800 12th St, Cayce, SC, 29033.

Contact Rudy Reeves at 803-665-6457, [email protected] [S-O 14]

Tidewater Coin & Relic Club, 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 PM, Mary Pretlow North Georgia Relic Hunters Association meets the 1st and 3rd
Library, 111 W. Oceanview Ave, Norfolk, VA. Contact Ina Finn, 757- Wednesday of each month, 7:30 PM, at F.O.P. Lodge, 2350 Austell
679-0487, email [email protected] or visit www.tc-rc.com. [M-A16]
Rd., Marietta, GA, 30008. www.ngrha.com. [N-D 14]
E.A.R.T.H. Metal Detecting Club meets last Monday of every month,
Dunham Library, 76 Main St., Whitesboro, NY. Email [email protected] Pelican Relic & Recovery Assoc., Baton Rouge, LA Meets 3rd Tues.
of each month at 7 PM, Kung Fu Buffet, 1823 S. Sherwood Forrest
mandiacorp.com or visit www.earthclubcny.com. [S-O 15]
Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA. Info, [email protected] [M-A 15]
Middle Tennessee Metal Detecting Club meets in Nashville
the 1st Friday of every month. See our website for information Silver City Treasure Seekers, Taunton, MA, 1stFri. ea. month except
July/August, 6:30, Bristol Plymouth Reg HS cafeteria, 940 Co. St.
about the club and meetings, www.mtmdc.com. [J-A 15] (Rt. 140), Taunton, MA. www.silvercitytreasureseekers.net. [M-J 14]

West KY Treasure Preservation Society meets the 1st Thursday, 7 Eureka! Treasure Hunters Club meets the 2nd Friday of each month at
pm at Jim’s Metal Detectors, Marilyn’s Medical Freedom Bldg., 4860 7:30 PM at the Clement Community Center in Lakewood, Colorado.
Old Mayfield Rd., Paducah, KY. Contact Jim, 270-519-0697. [J-A 15] See our website at EurekaTHC.com for more information. [M-J 16]

Hanover Metal Detectors Club meets the 1st Wednesday each Tri-State Relic Recovery Club meets 7 PM, 2nd Thursday of
month at the Ashland Volunteer Rescue Squad Building, Ashland, each month, Lawrence Center, 71 Edison Circle, Menlo, GA.
Phone 706-862-6221 or email [email protected] [J-A 15]
VA. Contact D. Yates at 804-241-9541. [M-J 15]
Dixie Relic Recovery Club, 1st Monday/ every month, 7 PM, Old
Tri-State Coin & Relic Hunter’s Club serves MS, AL, and TN. Iuka MS Stone Church, Ringgold, GA. Visit www.dixierelicclub.com. [E]
Public Library. Meetings rotate monthly 2nd Sat.(9 AM) & 2nd Thurs.
(7 PM). Virgil Robinson 662-728-2798, [email protected] [J-A 15] Northern Kentucky Treasure Hunters, meets last Monday of each
month, 7 PM at Boone County High School Library. For info, contact
Georgia Research and Recovery Club meets the 2nd Thursday of
each month at 7 PM, Delkwood Grill, 2769 Delk Road Southeast, [email protected], or visit www.nkthc.com. [N-D 14]
Marietta, GA, 30067. For more info visit www.garrc.com. [M-J 15]

Mid Florida Historical Research & Recovery Association, Ocala,
Fl. Meets 3rd Thursday each month (Oct.-May) 6 PM at United
Way, 1401 NE 2nd St. Email [email protected] for info. [N-D 14]

Central VA Civil War Collectors Assoc. 4th Tuesday of each month
(except December) 7:15 PM, Glen Allen American Legion Hall,
2522 Indale Rd, Richmond. Visit www.cvcwca.com for info. [M-J 16]

417 Relic Hunters meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 PM,
Springfield Missouri Library, 4653 S. Campbell, Mo. For info, visit

www.417relichunters.com. [M-A 16]

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 69


What’s The Point?

An issue-by-issue guide to
the ancient stone artifacts

of North America.

By Jim Roberson

The Thebes County, Indiana. This ancient blade was much larger when
it was originally created, but was heavily re-sharpened on
Thebes blades are some of the earliest notched flint multiple occasions. It was crafted from Holland chert, a
artifacts found in North America. From the early Ar- somewhat rare material which occurs in Dubois County, In-
chaic period of between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago, diana. Holland chert, a high-quality material, shares many
these deeply side-notched tools most likely served as knives of the same characteristics in common with Flint Ridge flint
and scrapers as opposed to projectile points. Their bases are found further east in central Ohio. These two materials are
large, relatively thick, and were usually ground smooth for often confused with one another by collectors.
hafting purposes. The blade edges often exhibit steep bevel-
ing on one side of each face. This feature occurred after they “Former President Jimmy Carter used to be an avid
were resharpened in ancient times. Occasionally, examples arrowhead hunter. He discusses his childhood relic
are discovered with serrations (much like a modern steak hunting memories in his book, An Hour Before
knife) along the blade’s edge. Daylight: Memoirs of a Rural Boyhood. It would
be a fascinating experience to accompany President
Those who created and used Thebes blades in their ev- Carter for a morning hunt on a plowed Georgia field.”
eryday lives were incredibly thrifty. Many examples of this
type are discovered completely exhausted from numerous J.R.
re-sharpening or breakage. They must have been highly
prized by their original owners. All photos provided by this column’s author. Opinions and research expressed in
this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of American Digger®.
Thebes blades are fairly common and broadly distrib-
uted throughout the midwest U.S. Because of their eye-
catching appeal, Thebes blades have long been a collector’s
favorite. High-grade, undamaged blades are rarely inexpen-
sive. Even well-worn examples often command a higher
asking price than many other point types.

The Thebes pictured above was discovered in Shelby

70 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


No matter where you go...
There we are!

American Digger® is now
available for digital download
anywhere in the world. The latest
issue is always at your fingertips!

www.americandigger.com

Can’t get enough of
American Digger® magazine?
Then tune in to

American Digger®’s

relic
roundup

Live call-in shows every
Monday at 9 PM EST

Free Archived Shows 24/7

Join hosts Butch Holcombe and Jeff Lubbert each
week for special guests, contests, and the best in
tips, tricks, and issues concerning metal detecting,

relic hunting, and treasure seeking.

Talk is cheap...
but a talk show about
digging and collecting?

...that’s priceless!

relicroundup.blogspot.com

July-August, 2014 American Digger® 71


The Hole Truth...

The Publisher speaks... but will he ever shut up?

They live amongst us. And with some dedicated dig- It is also sneaky.
gers (myself included), they may even live on us. I’m In fact, I suspect
not talking about microbes or funguses or even alien that the only bugs I
life forms. I am talking about bugs, and not in a nice way. didn’t see was the herd
Although it may be much more politically correct and less of chiggers that flanked
offensive to call them insects, today I’m calling a bug a bug. my arm and then took
residence there. No
I know this will trigger some negative feedback from doubt there were more
bug huggers. In addition to hearing from those who, on be- on my body than the
half of bugs everywhere, are offended at my lack of sen- aforementioned 87
sitivity, I expect to get some letters from the more schol- chiggers who left bites,
arly among us declaring that “bug” is too vague a term; that but I suspect the weaker ones left, having been crowded out
our small, multi-legged neighbors should instead be broken by the bigger and hungrier chiggers who needed more graz-
down into species and organic genre. Others will speak of ing room on my bare arm.
the benefits that certain bugs bring to the world by cleansing I’m sure by now that many readers are asking them-
the earth of undesirable waste (not to be confused, I suppose, selves why I had not sprayed myself with one of the many
with desirable waste), or by eating other bugs. Sorry, but it products designed to make the avid outdoorsman repel pret-
takes more than interspecies cannibalism and questionable ty much anything that lives. It is because, while the weather
cleansing practices to impress me. was warm, I figured it was still too cool for nature, which
just the week before had been wherever nature goes when
However, my judgment is perhaps clouded at the moment. it’s cold. I figured wrong.
I am currently suffering from 87 distinct chigger bites, two On the previous weekend, we had dug Confederate relics
swollen welts of undetermined origin, and I’m still checking under an abnormally frigid April sky. There was nary a bug
for ticks a week after my close encounter with nature. How to be seen and, on that day, I rested unmolested in this same
did this happen? I went relic hunting on a warm spring day. clearing. But that was then, and this was now. Although we
still rescued a few Civil War artifacts on the most recent trip,
OK, I admit that I did tempt the Trombiculidae and my now-pockmarked right arm looks like I played defense at
Ixodidae (I hope the scholars and bug lovers are happy), a skeet-shooting competition, and my left arm has a couple
whose main benefit is to serve, it seems, as a natural of strange welts that weren’t there previously — probably
alternative to the classic medical miracle of bloodletting. an allergenic reaction to parson spider venom. And although
It was a warm day, the sun was shining, I was tired, and I I’ve yet to find a tick on me from that trip, the odds are good
needed a break. There was a recently bush-hogged section that the ticks are merely evolving in the creative process, and
in the field I was metal detecting, creating a virtual mattress have now found bodily hiding places previously unknown or
filled with the wonders of nature, much of it living, hopping, unspoken of by civilized man.
and squirming. Bi-monthly publishing is sort of like time travel in re-
verse. Several months may have elapsed by the time an ar-
I lay down to rest upon the chopped wheat straw and ticle or column ends up in print. When this column is pub-
red dirt and, within a short time, experienced things that only lished, it will be in the heat of the summer, and those of us in
the most studious or lazy would ever see. A recently hatched the know will be wearing strong bug spray and grudgingly
praying mantis not over ½ inch in length, maneuvered along coexisting with nature’s little buddies, a.k.a. insects. At best,
a blade of grass just inches in front of my face. A new sprout it will be a bit harder for them to ambush us, because we will
of re-emerging greenery became a leafhopper, startling me expect them to be out in force. At worst, we will just have to
when it suddenly decided to sail off to plants unknown. Sev- put on more bug spray. But until then?
eral tiny white mealy bugs were setting up a homestead on They are bugs, plain and simple.
another leafy plant. A parson spider showed up; although I Happy Huntin’, Y’all!
later learned their bites are not lethal, their venom can cause
allergic reactions in some people. A dragonfly darted with
aerodynamic precision through the small clearing, while at
the same time a lengthy convoy of common ants, moving as
one, took a detour around my relaxed and outstretched body.
Nature is amazing.

72 American Digger® Vol. 10, Issue 4


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