Digging

Theme Time with Al-Fu: Best Cellar Hole Find

  • April 2, 2015

Hello, Everyone! This is Al. This week’s theme was “Best Cellar Hole Finds.” If you would like to contribute to next week’s theme, please submit your “Best Beach Finds”–photo and a blurb–by Thursday 4/9 to submission@relicrecoverist.com!

[Featured Submission]

106_2039This find may not seem like much, but it is very special to me. This is my most significant Cellar Hole find!

I was never really one for relic hunting until seven years ago. I lived in Rhode Island, in a small town with more history than I realized at the time… Our condo was situated on the 9th hole of a tiny golf course. You’d think I would be a golfer… Not a chance! I prefer swinging my metal detector!

At the end of the road was an old sand pit where the kids and I used to go exploring. Situated around the sand pit, was the remnants of an old farm. I’m talking old–like 1700’s old.

On a cool spring morning–back in 2008 or so–I woke up with the itch. (As a fellow metal detecting hobbyist, I’m sure you know the one.) I had no vehicle at the time so my choices were very limited. I was a coin shooter and never thought about relic hunting much at all… but that was about t0 change.

As I was eating my breakfast and trying to figure out how I would scratch this itch, I happened to remember seeing the old cellar holes and stone walls near the sand pit. I thought to myself, “why not see if there’s a coin or two around the old foundation holes?”

So, I grabbed my gear and began the five minute walk to the cellar hole. As I passed my neighbor’s house, he stuck his head out  the door and asked what I was up to. We chatted for a bit and he asked to tag along. “Sure.” I said. “But hurry up!” After being deterred from my mission by the conversation, I was getting impatient. I just wanted to hunt.

We arrived at the first small hole. The rocks were mostly all caved in and toppled over from the local kids and the ravages of time. I started swinging my Ace 250. Aside from iron and lots of trash, I failed to recover a single worthy item. My neighbor must’ve thought I was a fool… He made a quick excuse and decided to head back to his house. That was fine with me. I wasn’t there to scratch his itch, just mine.

I found one of the stone walls that–if memory served–led to a much better cellar hole with a wide doorway entrance. I assumed it must have been a barn. The walls were still very much intact and the floor seemed to be clean for the most part. I started my search inside the cellar hole first and only found a few nails and scraps of iron. As I stepped back out through the wide doorway, I thought to myself, “Do I want to go right or left?” It was one of those decisions that seem so inconsequential… but in this case, it was such a significant decision in my metal detecting journey.

I turned right because I knew of a smaller cellar hole just a few yards away. I assumed the foundation must once have belonged to the house. As I started swinging my detector, it began chirping to the sounds of iron again. I was getting discouraged. Maybe relics just weren’t my thing. “Just a few more swings and I’m out of here.” I thought to myself.

On my final step–just before I planned to leave having realized my itch wasn’t going to be satisfied digging iron–I got a solid hit. I almost didn’t even bother with digging it. By that time, I was convinced that there was nothing worth digging here anyway. Thank the Lord I decided to investigate this target, because it was the target that started me on a new path in this hobby and helped fuel the passion for relics that I carry to this day.

I checked the target with my detector back and forth in every direction. The signal never changed so I had to dig it up. I got out my trusty Gator digger and began to clear the leaves and sticks. I rechecked the area again with the detector to be sure. The signal was still there. I pushed the hand trowel into the soft soil and began to cut my plug.

When I opened the hole, I glimpsed a green piece of metal that appeared to be the back to some sort of pin. I reached in and removed it from its century’s old resting place and turned it over in my palm. It was encrusted with the black dirt of the surrounding woods. I gently brushed it clean and to my amazement, I saw that it was an old broach. At the time, there were tiny little red stones within the floral pattern that have since been lost.

I was pleased with my discovery. I scratched that horrible detectorists’s itch. My day wasn’t a total loss after all. I took home my find, washed the rest of the dirt away and placed it in the box with my other miscellaneous finds. The significance of it still not quite realized…

Next week’s Theme will be “Best Beach Finds” You can submit your finds at Submissions@relicrecoverist.Com

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