Every piece had a story to tell and every piece made me wonder how it was lost, who lost it, what were they were like



I’m just finishing up my sixteenth year metal detecting and can’t believe all the adventures it has taken me on, all the interesting people I have met, and all the amazing things that I have found while in this hobby.


I was always interested in history and when my father offered me his classic late 1960’s model Whites Gold Master to take out and explore with, I couldn’t say no. After the first two years I had amassed quite a few wheat pennies, a hand full of Indian head cents, a couple silver dimes, and a uncountable amount of “whatzits” and strange pieces of metal that all belonged to something at one time. I was hooked! Like I said, I was always interested in history, but now I was holding history. I was finding history! And every piece had a story to tell and every piece made me wonder how it was lost, who lost it, what were they were like, and could they even imagine that some day in the future a young man would come along and find their lost item? It intrigued and amazed me.


Everybody likes finding old things and it seems that in metal detecting, its kind of a progression. You start out in the parks and yards, then get into research and different venues of detecting. All the while in search of something older. I enjoyed the State history and wondered how far back into the past could I venture with my metal detector? Wisconsin really isn’t that old. It became the 30th State of the United States in 1848 and was settled shortly prior to that, but just like all places it had a not so well known history that predated its Statehood. With a little research and some time to explore, I was on my way.


Fast forward to present day times and I have finally refined my researching and exploring techniques. I have found several hundred copper and silver coins dating from the mid 1700’s to the mid 1800’s right here in my very own State. Including two bust half dollars, three Morgan dollars, and several mid to late 1700’s Spanish half and two Reales. I have found many Civil War buttons and have seen a few plates dug, including a Eagle Breast plate I dug out of a ghost town and a Tennesee style “CS” buckle dug in my very own County. I have found copper artifacts from the “Copper Culture” time period dating back several thousand years, to a time when Wisconsin was a vast unexplored wilderness. In, fact there are very few things that I have not found and most trips out result in me finding something old.


There is just so much out there to find. I encourage everyone to research, explore, and hunt hard.

You can follow John on Instagram – @johnny_relic

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