Thursday, March 3, 2011

Find of a Lifetime

In September 2008, my husband and I hosted a Treasure Hunt for members of an online forum we belong to.  We had detecting enthusiasts from all over the country in attendance, and one couple even made the long trip from England.

Our property is located in a triangle between the famous Brandywine, Valley Forge, and Gettysburg Battlefields.  Around 1870, a branch of the Newark Railroad had been built, following the creek which ran the length of the property, but it was abandoned by the late 1930's.  We arranged for guests to stay at an old Inn which had been built in the late 1700's, just a mile down the road from the Hunt site.  Though ours is not a property of documented historical significance in itself, we certainly are surrounded by it.

The Hunt was held over a weekend...two seeded hunts on the Saturday and a token hunt on the Sunday.  The grand prize for the token hunt was a brand new Garrett detector, so as much as we all enjoyed the seeded hunts, we were all pretty eager for the final event. 

I started out well, easily finding tokens with my ACE 250.  Then suddenly I got a signal from an object that was about 8 inches down.  Knowing the tokens had been buried no more than 2 inches deep, I was tempted to ignore the tone and move on to something else.  But the persistent chime of a coin signal made me stop and dig.  I'd only had my detector for a couple of months and I still had a lot to learn about its use.  My hole seemed to be getting bigger but I seemed no closer to finding the object.  I was just about to give up when my digging tool flipped a small circular disc out of the hole and into the dirt beside me.  I picked it up and couldn't believe my eyes...a King George I copper half-penny from 1717-1718.

I'm afraid, in my excitement, that after this find I forgot all about looking for tokens.