“It was a great day. It wasn’t about finds; it was about reconnecting, friendship, and the adventure of two childhood best friends.”


Location

Lehigh Valley, PA

A few weeks ago, I got a call from Tom, my childhood best friend. I haven’t seen him much since we were kids. He called me out of the blue because he found me on Instagram and couldn’t believe I was so passionate about metal detecting.

It was really great to hear from him, but it was even better that he wanted to talk detecting. He told me that he’d been thinking of buying his own machine for a while now, and we talked a little about the hobby in general. The next thing he told me was that he’d recently purchased an old stone farmhouse out in the middle of the country. I liked hearing THAT even better! I couldn’t help but ask when it was built. Tom said that the previous owner did research and found information going back to the 1890’s with suspicion it may be older.

I was extremely excited to get together with my buddy Tom again; not just to hunt his property, it was more about introducing him to the hobby that I love. Luckily we were both free the following Sunday.

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On Sunday morning, I loaded up my truck. I brought my MXT and threw in the Treasure Master for Tom. He sent me a picture of his house and it was gorgeous. When I saw the property in person I couldn’t believe it. It was my dream house. It was perfect. One of my first thoughts was that it was definitely older than the 1890’s. It had a beautiful wraparound porch, a picket fence, and it still has the original smokehouse building on the side. I pulled into the driveway and I was really excited to see my buddy. We used to be two peas in a pod. We were really close when we were kids.

He invited me inside and gave me a tour of his home. It was a perfect mix of modern updates with original features. I was in awe of the old wide plank hardwood floors, the detailed woodwork, the split doors, and the built-in cabinets that had doors an inch and a half thick. After seeing the interior, it was time to take a look around the property.

When I’m surveying a new site, I always look for obvious ground manipulation. Right away, I could tell that the back yard had been altered. In looking at the layout of the land, most of the property ran in an uphill slope. The section right behind the house had been cut out and leveled off to form the backyard. (So this was a section I wanted to avoid, since my goal is to find old coins and relics.)

The yard on the side of the house near the still standing smokehouse seemed to be original grounds. It had a more natural look to it, with small rolling hills and mature trees. The ground level was lower than the foundation, which tells me that the ground hasn’t been built up with added soil. The front yard also appeared to be unaltered. I noticed really old tree stumps. They looked like they were cut off a long time ago and rotted. They were ground level and some were exposed. The yard was the same level as the road and it looked as though the grounds hadn’t been filled in or altered.

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By now I was starting to get a picture in my head of what this place probably looked like potentially 200 years ago. It was time to do some digging. I set Tom up with the White’s Treasure Master. I gave him a quick demonstration and off he went.

I got geared up and headed to the smokehouse area. I know these old homes always have a ton of iron in the ground, and after the first ten swings or so I knew this was going to be a tough one. Even so, ne of my first good targets turned out to be a cuff-sized flat button.

 

1-crotal bellMy next good target was an old brass ring, possibly a wedding band. I listened through some more iron and got a deep scratchy tone. I managed to uncover one of my favorite things to find: a fully intact crotal bell.

By now I had made my way to the front yard. I was hoping to find an old coin or two. After a few moments, I started finding wheat cents left and right. And once you see the wheaties, usually it’s just a matter of time before you uncover some silver.

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A few targets later – there it was! A 1960 silver Washington quarter, just waiting for me to find it. Tom caught up with me and I showed him my finds. He decided to just sit back and watch me.

He said it was so neat to watch me find these old items on his property and tell him what I knew about the history.Moments later I had a bittersweet find: I uncovered half of a massive Conestoga bell. I say “bittersweet” because I would have loved to have seen the whole bell intact.

conestoga bell

My next good target was a 1935 Mercury dime in pretty nice condition. After a few more random targets, Tom decided to pick up the Treasure Master and give it another go. He ended up with a few relics and a handful of modern coins.

As we were wrapping up the hunt, Tom said, “I tried your hobby. Now you have to try mine.” With that, he broke out his toys – four wheelers and dirt bikes. I was excited but I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous too. I hadn’t ridden one of these since I was a teenager, probably with Tom. He said the 250 was easy to ride and told me to hop on. He started it up and off I went. Man, did it all come back to me! It was so much fun. It felt like I was going 70 mph at some points. I couldn’t work up the nerve to hit the jumps but flying around the track and hitting the berms was all I needed to feel like a kid again.

4wheeler

We drove to the top of the mountain and had a nice talk. We caught up a bit. As the sun was setting and it was getting colder, we decided to call it a day. It was really great to see and catch up with Tom. I never would’ve thought that metal detecting would’ve reunited us. I look forward to returning for more digging and riding and Tom’s company. I’m happy to see my old friend doing so well.

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It was a great day. It wasn’t about finds; it was about sharing the hobby. It was about reconnecting, friendship, and the adventure of two childhood best friends.

 

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