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Unexpected "wheatfield" (updated)

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I've gotten in 4 sessions (totaling 10.5 hours) in this park since my initial post above.  Here's a photo of the coin (plus one jewelry) finds:new-park_finds.thumb.JPG.67c9560d54d6cde96bc6a664c302a568.JPG

All but the leftmost column are modern coins.  There is one Canadian nickel dated 1982 to the right of the silver lyre.  I've only recovered about a dozen Canadian coins (two are fortunately early 20th Century -- silver dime and large cent) in the 1200+ hours since I've been keeping records.  Note that now Jefferson nickels are showing up.  Previously I had pointed out I had found only a couple.

The trend of a high Wheat/Memorial(Cu) ratio has dropped drastically.  The LH column contains the 3 Wheaties I found in these recent four sessions.  But, two other coins in that column show the age of this site even better than the Wheat ratio.  The top coin is a 1937-D (four legged 😞) high grade Buffalo nickel with a very solid full date.  And, yes, that Roosie is silver -- 1947-D.  The lyre is marked 'sterling'.  I don't know if this item has some special meaning -- looks like it was either from a charm bracelet or possibly a neckace.

Here are non-ferrous finds that aren't the typical trash (but those shortly):


The broken clear glass embossed piece is quite thick (~1/4 inch).  Typically glass that thick was not throw-away but meant to be reused.  Two gaskets/washers, one copper and the other aluminum.  The small brass/bronze bell (which previously contained a iron (alloy) clapper now rusted away) is interesting and I don't know what it was used for.  Christmas decoration?  The white chunk is lead, which I seldom find that color (from oxidation?).  The disk is also lead.  The electrical part is a two prong 120 VAC adapter for screwing into a light socket.  Everything there looks like mid-20th C., IMO, but could be older (such as the wine bottle glass) or newer (key, electronic lug, cable/conduit clamp).  Finally the typical trash -- this was from one 3 hour hunt:


The only thing that stands out as old is the square nail next to the screw/bolt in lower right.  That could easily be first half of 20th C.  Even though modern round cross-section nails were availble back in the 19th C., square nails were still used even as late as the 1930's Great Depression when nothing usable was discarded.

So, what are my current thoughts on the history of this site?  I'm narrowing it down to two hypotheses -- either the park was active as a park some years before the brass plaque's official date (1974) or the industrial site's workers spent some of the free time (e.g. lunch hours) sitting on the slope behind the building that aerial photos show was there at least back in the mid-50's.  I've only scratched the surface (literally and figuratively) of this site.  I expect I'll be there many more times before the year is up.  Early 20th C. USGS topos show another building which I'm hoping is in a (huntable) cleared area.  Stay tuned.

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  • GB_Amateur changed the title to Unexpected "wheatfield" (updated)

Aaaaaaand you got a Roosevelt too. 🤬

Seriously, great hunt. 👍 Looks like your aerial reconnaissance paid off, there was something there before.

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4 minutes ago, F350Platinum said:

Looks like a house was on that site before it became a park. Do Historic aerials show anything?

The earliest photo of this area on the HA website is mid-50's.  The land was an industrial storage site prior to it being turned over to the city for a park.  Besides the building (site office?) shown on the mid-50's aerial photo there is another shown on near turn-of-the-century vintage USGS topo maps which I think is also now part of the park.  So I think this entire 10 acres was industrial as far back as early 1900's and possibly earlier.  Thus I don't think there was ever a residence here.  (Across the street, yes.)  I mentioned that later this year I'm going to investigate where that other building was located.  And I have lots of other spots to check out but it's really where people hung out that leads to coin finds and it seems that's going to be a needle-in-a-haystack search once I complete detecting my current spot around the known building (shown in the aerials) location.

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Historic aerials has been a big help for me, I've found 2 house sites that no one living or still here knew about. One person even argued with me! 😀

The photos for this area only go back to about 1967, but that has been good enough. I also use the old USGS maps for the "dots" that indicate house presence, I'd like to learn how to overlay them on GPS apps so I can find them accurately. Guess you caught my post before I realized you did use aerials. 😳

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Another great resource for research are old Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. They were made for most medium size towns. 

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Nice silver pendant. Square nails could be from dirt hauled in from other areas.

Few years back I found am 1877 seated dime on one the baseball diamonds in the hard packed sand maybe couple inches down. Sand was probably trucked in from a beach or quarry. I have also found square nails in with modern areas.

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   A baseball diamond produced my oldest wheat penny here in S. Florida! A 1911 in fairly good shape! All the orange sand/clay is trucked in from somewhere North, or out of state, I presume! As we have zero orange sand/clay here!👍👍

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1 hour ago, kac said:

Few years back I found am 1877 seated dime on one the baseball diamonds in the hard packed sand maybe couple inches down. Sand was probably trucked in from a beach or quarry.

38 minutes ago, Joe D. said:

A baseball diamond produced my oldest wheat penny here in S. Florida! A 1911 in fairly good shape! All the orange sand/clay is trucked in from somewhere North, or out of state, I presume! As we have zero orange sand/clay here!

Interestingly there is a baseball field in this very park, and the Historic Aerial photos hint that it also may have been there (in a more primitive state) well before the 'official' 1974 park opening.  I've yet to search it as I've been staying in the shade.  This autumn and especially winter will provide plenty of cloudy, cool days to search there.  Of course I'll let you both and everyone else here (who is interested in reading) know what I do or don't find there.

One of F350P's post got me thinking the following:  could this have been a recreation area for the employees and families of the company that owned it previously?  It's certainly not out-of-the-question and if I do find oldies on the baseball field then that will add evidence to this hypothesis.

Regarding kac's point, I also have found evidence (on a school grounds) that old fill dirt was hauled in which contained coins older than would be expected from just looking at the school's date of construction.


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3 hours ago, GB_Amateur said:

Interestingly there is a baseball field in this very park, and the Historic Aerial photos hint that it also may have been there (in a more primitive state) well before the 'official' 1974 park opening.

I’ve hunted hundreds of older baseball field (outfields and infields) in parks and schoolyards over the years.  Sometimes, only the outfield produces old coins; sometimes only the infield (under the Decomposed Granite layer) will produce.  Each baseball diamond is different in how it was built, with respect to the DG infield. Sometimes, 6” of original dirt is removed before laying the DG down.  If that is the case, it’s possible to detect the “oldies” in under the DG.   Ground balance over the DG before detecting.  Depending on the level of moisture, digging thru DG could be a formidable task, but there’s nothing like getting thru the DG, and seeing dark, original dirt and the sight of silver peeking thru the dark dirt!!  

If, the original dirt was dug out deeper, the oldies will probably have been removed with the dirt before laying the DG.  Of course there’s more variables than what I described.  Older baseball diamonds could have been resurfaced/rebuilt many decades after they were built, so each one you come across in an older spot needs to be detected (infields and outfields).


Also, any picnic areas in an old park with DG laid on the ground should always be inspected to figure out how deep the original dirt strata layer is.

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    While we are briefly on the sports field subject! Just a little "lesson" taught to me years ago, that I want to pass on to any "newer" people!

    Some Field Staff do not like/allow digging on "their" fields; sometimes for good reasons!! Dirt, grass, or otherwise! I get it!! So be especially aware of any holes dug!! And ideally, ask one of them first, if present!

    For Baseball Diamonds, and practice areas, under the top "orange" layer of soil, is generally a regular soil layer, if you dig deeper than a "few" inches! The soil "colors" should be separated, and placed back in reverse, so as not to leave brown blotches on an otherwise "prestine" orange dirt area!! And any grass fields should be probed, slit cut, or three-sided, instead of fully plugged! Than possibly wet with some water,, if dry, so they don't die, or discolor! And well compacted back, so no depressions are left to cause a twisted player ankle, or fall!! 

   Actively used "public" sports fields are not an ideal place to avoid attention, even when totally vacant, so they can sometimes be tricky! (in my area anyway)!  And any "highly manicured" field is sure to attract unwanted attention, and guaranteed problems! FYI 👍👍


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