Saturday, March 28, 2015

Coin Silver

A few weeks ago a woman called me and wanted me to look at something that her and her husband had found while metal detecting at her old family farm. She told me that the last people to live on the site, which is now a field, was her great grand parents. She had three pieces of silverware, a spoon and a baby spoon along with what I call a butter knife, which is really a desert or tea knife. Someone told her husband they were plated and not worth much, so she wanted me to acid test it. I told her we did not have to test it because it was clearly marked. It was coin silver marked by A. Cooper Pure Coin. Archibald Cooper was a silversmith in Louisville KY in the 1840's and 50's. She did not know about coin silver and a lot of people have not ever heard of it. It is getting to be more and more rare as it is highly collectable. It can be very valuable depending on the maker and design.

Coin silver was made by colonial silversmiths and produced in the United States until sometime after the Civil War. It was made mostly with European coins like the Spanish reales. Sterling silver was expensive and thinner than coin silver. Silversmiths made a variety of flatware, platters, pitches and even mint julep cups.

The lady called me yesterday and was delighted her three pieces are valued at about $300.00 but added she would not take anything for them, being they are family keepsakes.

Look in those old junk boxes for those old burned looking spoons, you never know.

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting


 

n colonial America, silversmiths decided to forge their own silverware and goods to avoid patronizing British purveyors of sterling silver. They collected useless European coins, mainly Spanish reales and melted them down. Because coins were an alloy of metals, their silver content was lower than that of sterling, only 90 percent. America did not adopt the Sterling standard until 1870. Coin silver was made in the United States from the earliest colonial times until just after the Civil War. There were some coin silver manufacturers who continued to produce after the Civil War, but most silversmiths changed to the use of the much more popular sterling silver.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_5005906_what-coin-silver-flatware.html
n colonial America, silversmiths decided to forge their own silverware and goods to avoid patronizing British purveyors of sterling silver. They collected useless European coins, mainly Spanish reales and melted them down. Because coins were an alloy of metals, their silver content was lower than that of sterling, only 90 percent. America did not adopt the Sterling standard until 1870. Coin silver was made in the United States from the earliest colonial times until just after the Civil War. There were some coin silver manufacturers who continued to produce after the Civil War, but most silversmiths changed to the use of the much more popular sterling silver.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_5005906_what-coin-silver-flatware.html
n colonial America, silversmiths decided to forge their own silverware and goods to avoid patronizing British purveyors of sterling silver. They collected useless European coins, mainly Spanish reales and melted them down. Because coins were an alloy of metals, their silver content was lower than that of sterling, only 90 percent. America did not adopt the Sterling standard until 1870. Coin silver was made in the United States from the earliest colonial times until just after the Civil War. There were some coin silver manufacturers who continued to produce after the Civil War, but most silversmiths changed to the use of the much more popular sterling silver.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_5005906_what-coin-silver-flatware.html

Friday, March 27, 2015

FREE GOLD!

One man's trash is another persons treasure ... including your feces

One man's trash is another persons treasure. And so, it seems, are their feces. Human feces contains gold and other precious metals that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, experts say.

 A recent study by another group of experts in the field found that waste from one million Americans could contain as much as US$13 million (A$16.47 million) worth of metals.

Could be a real messy job.

Best Wishes and Good Hunting

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cache Hunting Old Barns

A friend told me that his grandfather's dying words were that his money was buried 30 steps from the southwest corner, behind the barn.
My mother worked in a nursing facility for many years taking care of the elderly. An old gentleman patient she cared for and described as one of the most intelligent people you could have a conversation with, told her before he passed that he buried his money beside the last fence post, on the county line, behind the barn. She said he had no family left and never had any visitors. She believed that he just did not have anyone else to tell. I will add that it was also because she was kind to him and took time to talk with him.
These men lost their farms and pretty well everything but the clothes on their back during the great depression of the late 1920's early 1930's. They never trusted a bank again not to say what they thought of paper money. From that time until the end their currency was gold and silver, their banks were behind the barn. These men were not the only one's to use barns as cache spots. Barns were and are landmarks. Outlaws used barns the same as the owner did when it came to establishing their own banking system, but probably using a little more distance. The outlaws were employing the barn owner to watch their loot without him knowing. Behind the barn does not have to mean front and back, it means away from traffic, out of sight. When hunting these old barn sites keep in mind that the cache will not be where livestock, horses, or people trod. Near old gates, fences, or the edge of the break of a hill are good spots to look. You never know what might be behind, beside or near the barn.

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting



Monday, March 23, 2015

Metal Detector Junk Finds: How to Turn Trash Into Treasure.

No matter where we go, when we turn on our metal detector there is a pretty good chance that a dig or ten is going to be junk. Some days that's all we find, like I did today. It may be interesting junk, but still junk. Every person I know with a metal detector is a steward of the environment and we all know to recycle cans, paper, glass and plastic at home, but all that copper, lead, brass and FLIP TABS can add up to batteries, gas or even pay for a trip if saved over time. Or instead, it can be donated where it can benefit the less fortunate who need a little help to get back on their feet, or help feed the hungry, offset medical expenses or help the community. Treasure hunting clubs, non-profits, businesses or just a few friends can make a real difference with a designated spot, some recycle bins and the junk we let accumulate in buckets and boxes until we have to take it to the scrap dealer. It always seems to take me a long time to have enough brass, copper, lead, and aluminum to be worth going to the scrap yard, but get several people involved and it can add up quick. KELLYCO Metal Detectors just launched a worldwide campaign to collect flip tabs for The Ronald McDonald House where they are in Florida and I urge everyone to get involved. You might win a new detector and if you help out you are a winner. There are treasure hunters in every community, in every state, throughout our great country. Why don't we all get together and turn our trash into treasure for someone who could use it. I've always said that a nickle is just 5 cents, but you get 1,000,000 people to give a nickle you got $50,000.00 worth of nickles!

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

A junk day today





Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tree Art or Treasure Signs?

My friend KGC Charlie has enough of these pictures to fill a wagon. I told him I would post some because I just do not know. He is persistent and I promised, so if anyone sees these and thinks they might mean something please comment or e-mail me at banditsteps@gmail.com.















Charlie may need a vacation. There is way too many to post but if something pops out I've got these and many more from all angles. Hope Charlie is happy.

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

Friday, March 20, 2015

Want to Find New Sites? Try a Map Dowser

I hear a lot of people saying that they really need some new sites to hunt so they don't have to travel so far and other reasons. If you are open minded I suggest a good map dowser. Many people disregard this idea and call it mumbo jumbo, witchcraft and other things, but I tell you it has its purpose. I do believe that it takes someone practiced at the art to produce positive results. I have had maps dowsed and being honest it has never produced a chest full of pirate treasure for me, but maybe I didn't give him the right map. What it has done for me, and this is the approach I always use, is find abandoned cabin sites, old forgotten stagecoach stops, trading post that are not listed on any map and old churches and schools that I drove by every day not knowing anything ever was there. In one instance it opened up a whole community to me along a creek with a major system of trails and wagon roads that were there long before anything else around it and untouched by anything but the plow for 150 years. I still hunt in this area and it has been really good to me. If you are wanting to try a new approach, using an old method, to locate new sites then I suggest just that. Specify that you are looking for abandoned establishments that are gone and off of the present beaten path. When you send a map to a dowser follow his or her instructions and also mark the types of places that you are looking for that you have already found and label them if you know what they were (farm house, steamboat landing, store, one room school, etc.) This will save them some work and give them a good idea how to fill in the lost places you are searching for. It is not 100 percent but I get nervous if I do not find what has been marked thinking I am the one off. What I'm saying is if you don't walk right to it, look around. It has worked for me and it will for you. If you know of a legend or tale of a buried cache see if they can give you an area to hunt. You never know.

There are several dowsers out there, but my findings are that the good ones are hard to find. They do not advertise hardly at all, if any, yet they stay busy. I have permission to advertise a good one named Doc Thomas. He was reluctant but agreed to take on some extra work. He is good. You will have to e-mail him and if he does not answer tell him I recommended him and he promised he will respond. He has almost 28 years of experience and is an inexpensive way to find new sites to hunt. You will use more gas in one afternoon looking around than what he will charge you to dowse a map. Give him a try, you never know what he may lead you to.
Contact Doc at: dtdowsing@yahoo.com

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." 
Albert Eienstien 

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

Thursday, March 19, 2015

JAMES–YOUNGER GANG — If We Cain't Have It They Cain't Either!

In March of 1869 the James–Younger gang made a journey across Missouri to recover some of the plunder left behind during Frank James and Cole Younger's association with William Clarke Quantrill and Archie Clement. They made their way to Island Number Five, also know as Wolf Island, in the Mississippi River just south of Belmont Missouri and Columbus Kentucky. Wolf Island was a hideout for outlaws, river pirates and other unsavory bandits as far back as Jean LaFitte. After holding up for some time the outlaws did not want to travel back across Missouri as they had stirred up some attention. They crossed over into Kentucky and headed north along the river. At one of the steamboat landings they received word that a small posse from Missouri had acquired some deputies from Blandville Kentucky and were waiting for them at Fort Jefferson. Having friends in the area, the bandits had a man go to Fort Jefferson and tell the law men that he had seen the James–Younger gang headed towards Elliott's Mill to cross Mayfield Creek. This crossing was near Blandville and the only other place to cross, especially with the gold and silver that had them loaded down. With the plan in place the outlaws waited until they believed the posse was well on their way to Elliott's Mill and crossed the railroad bridge at Fort Jefferson. The law man in charge was a pretty seasoned old soldier and left a few men on the bluff above to alert the posse just in case. When the gang appeared the deputies fired their rifles to alert the posse and spook the outlaws. Not knowing it was only a few deputies, the gang took off riding hard toward Holloway Landing across from Mound City Illinois, with the deputies in pursuit and the posse not far behind. Holloway was their only choice and the Ohio River was a little high and very swift toward the Illinois side. To cross with any extra weight would be suicide. As they raced through East Cairo they began to unload their loot throwing it in the river and yelling at any bystanders, "If we cain't have it, they cain't either! All the way to Holloway they tossed anything of weight and crossed. They took defense at the mouth of the Cache River on the other side of the Ohio and fired across at the deputies waiting on the posse. The deputies retreated and the pursuit was over.

I knew some older hunters who had quite a few silver dollars they said came from there and during low water I have seen two nice silver dollars found by a friend, one 1856 and one 1859. I found an 1844 seated liberty dime and a gold ring and a few .45 cal balls. My friend found a whole pile of .45's near one of the silver dollars like they had been in a pouch. You never know, next time the water is low might be the best time.

From a journal of Wm H (Bill) Wilson b.1842–d.1924 Quantrill Raider and believed to be a KGC sentinel.



May all your trails be smooth and your treasure site many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting


Jesse and Frank James, 1872


John Younger killed March 17, 1874 by Pinkerton agent Louis J Lull
Bob, Jim, and Cole Younger with sister Henrietta
                                                

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Terror of 1863 General John Hunt Morgan's Raid

As summer was at it's peak in 1863, the Confederacy had lost their hold on most of their prized real estate. General Grant owned the Mississippi River all the way to Vicksburg Mississippi. The Union had pushed the Confederates deep into the south and the only place they seemed to have any upper hand was in Virginia with victories at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. General John Hunt Morgan had his fill of orders holding his men in the mud and rain of Eastern Tennessee. On July 1, 1863 as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War began at Gettysburg, Morgan's Gray Raiders crossed the Kentucky and Tennessee border and began a bloody reign of terror and plunder for 26 days in three states.

If you are planning a treasure hunt vacation this is a great area to research and put on your list. You can follow this trail of plunder and any place you pick there is a pretty good chance of finding one of the many caches hidden along the way. There were 2460 Gray Raiders when they entered Kentucky and only 346 when they surrendered in a field near West Point, Ohio 14 miles from the Pennsylvania line. Basil Duke, a colonel under Morgan said after the war that everything the raiders took, stole or plundered was scattered or buried along the way. A little research and you will find that the amount of loot was astounding. You never know, next time may be the best time.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

John Hunt Morgan


Route of Morgan's Gray Raiders

 




Monday, March 16, 2015

KGC Charlie and the Gunsmith Plantation

Last night I had to get in touch with KGC Charlie, a fellow treasure hunter and a friend for a few years, to let him know that I possibly had a location of the Gunsmith Plantation we have been researching. It has taken quite a while because all the deeds in this area were destroyed by a courthouse fire in 1880. Charlie, how should I put it, is obsessed with the Knights of the Gold Circle. That's why I call him KGC Charlie. What I know of the subject I have got from Charlie and I have read a couple of books. As far as figuring out any signs or codes, I am not the person. I have no experience with this but Charlie always brings me some pictures. He must think that I can help but so far, I am not much help and I can't help but say some of his ideas are way beyond anything I have ever dealt with. I will say this, he has convinced me of some things and he is one determined man with quite an imagination. It has paid off for him so I listen and keep an open mind. Back to the plantation. I was close and after a few hours I do believe we found it. After we get things squared with the owner we are going to return and hunt. I will post pictures when we do and talk more about what I know of the location.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

One of Charlies pictures. He says it is a sign. You can see the crosscut saw under the tree.






Blaze on tree.
Treasure sign or bad luck with saw?
 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Tribute

Today I would like to pay a special tribute to treasure hunters. These are people from every walk of life and every place I've ever been. With every basket there is a bad apple, but most every treasure hunter you run across will go out of there way to make a difference or help someone who needs help. Treasure clubs all over the country are stepping up to help their communities and whether it be raising money for the needy or cleaning up a park they are making a difference. Treasure hunters stop to help strangers broke down on the side of the road, if they are in the gas up and go they are first to give directions to the lost travelers. If they get to a farm they are going hunt and the landowner has a broke down hay roller, they will help him till it's bailing again. They give what change is in their pocket to any cause at the red light and always do it with a smile. They also help each other but mostly by sharing their knowledge to help you figure out what you are trying to do, not just give you the answer. That makes them great teachers of their craft because they guide you to the solution and you can't help but learn something. Everyone sees the great finds on t.v. or in magazines but what people do not see is when they come home tired, dirty, and hungry with 26 cents, a hand full flip tabs and a couple of bottle caps. When their significant other asks what they found, they answer with a smile, no matter how bad a day it was, the greatest treasure of all, I found you. These people never give up, they have hearts of lions and you can bet they always come home with knowledge and that makes them rich. They have seen the most beautiful places on earth and survived the harshest, with no complaints. They have been whipped more times than a prize fighter by blazing heat, cold wind, snakes, scorpions, insects and all the other danger out there. They have a built in compass and an uncanny ability to adapt and overcome. The only thing they are afraid of is their spouse. Their operating budget is enough gas to get there and back and have survived many days on a pack of crackers and a canteen of water. When a kid ask them if they will take them metal detecting they make sure to plan a Saturday and only a death in the family or their own will stop them from keeping their word. I can not be prouder of anything than having these people as my friends and associates. I wish for all of you many double eagles and thank you.

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Think I'll be a Treasure Hunter

Do you have what it takes to be a treasure hunter? Every beginner should ask themselves this question and answer it. Every treasure hunter will tell you that they love what they do. Not many treasure hunters make a living at it. I will say there are a lot more opportunities today with the internet and multimedia platforms than there was when I started. When I started there was no internet or any videos on the subject. The individuals who have gained the rank of professional have been at it many years and most of that time they were engaged in extensive research. They have earned every bit of the title. If you have the idea you are going to buy a metal detector, run to the beach or out in the hills, turn over a rock and be rich you are probably going to be very disappointed. Metal detecting or I mean to say the inexperience a beginner has detecting is frustrating. Everyone is inexperienced when they start. To become good at detecting you have to have the three P's, patience, persistence, and practice. No one is born a professional anything. Patience is a must for treasure hunters. If you are not a patient person, find a different hobby. Patient hunters will tell you they can follow the impatient hunter and find coins but would rather hunt beside another patient hunter. The reason is you can always learn watching the patient hunter. I would much rather see a beginner gain the patience it takes to be successful with a metal detector than go behind him and make the good finds. If I didn't I would not be doing this. Watch the videos and learn from the professionals. Persistence is, just do not give up because of your inexperience. Practice and patience will soon pay off and then it gets fun. Go to a dealer and get a metal detector after you try it and like the feel of it. I could preach about this all day because most of the time expensive is not the answer for a beginner. Most of these end up in the closet or on e-bay and the beginner got whipped by a machine. Simple is the trick when you start. Learn by practicing and gain a rapport with the detector. After you do and start making finds by gaining experience with that machine you also will gain confidence that you can master another machine. Work your way up. Metal detecting is a great sport. It gets you outdoors, exercise, and the opportunity to meet the most interesting and greatest people you could ever imagine. If you get this far you are well on your way, but always remember, you never stop learning and all the knowledge you gain and the friends you make is one great treasure. And, you never know when the next time may be the best time.

A wise man once said, "If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life".

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

Friday, March 13, 2015

Civil War Relic Hunt-What a Treasure

It has been a rainy March day. Some friends I have hunted with for some time stopped by, then another. We had a quorum and a couple pots of coffee. I heard several good hunting stories and it is always good to catch up with friends. One gentleman told a story I find to be a treasure. Some years ago he and his son, who at that time was a teenager, and a hunting partner had planned a weekend hunt at a Civil War camp site that they had discovered through their research. It was not far to the site in the next county and that nice, spring Saturday they left early. After stopping for breakfast they made their way to the destination. He had been wanting to hunt this site for a long time and it would be his sons first relic hunt, and one with much potential. He had spoken with the landowner, an elderly widow, and she granted permission. When they arrived he first thought they were in the wrong place. He said, "Such a beautiful old home place in such disarray." He and his friend had both seen the place years before in its glory and could not believe what they were looking at. The yard had not been mowed nor had the leaves from the fall before been tended. There were limbs from the big oak trees and the place needed attention. The fenced off farm that a local farmer had leased for livestock looked much better than the yard. The rolling hills farm had 8000 of Grant's troops camped there early in the war and the place they were looking at was one of two homes that graced the 150 acres in the 1860's. It was said that the soldiers burned over a mile of picket fence for lack of firewood and remained there over a month. When the lady came to the door and introductions were made his friend asked if she had a lawn mower. She did, and went on to say her daughter would be there later and they were going to work on the yard and apologized for its condition. He said if you don't mind, we would like to help out and get started. As they went to the mower shed he told his son, looks like we are going to earn our hunting rites today. They got gas and oil for the mower and weed-eater and got started picking up. When the daughter arrived she could not believe what was happening. He said they told her to go on and help her mom out that they had the yard. It took the better part of their Saturday but he said that yard looked better than his when they were done. He also told his son that if he wanted he probably had found himself a summer job. The ladies came out with drinks and snacks and while they visited on the porch she showed them pictures of the place and told of the people who lived on both the farms and where things was. Things treasure hunters love to know. As they ended the day up the lady said she could not pay them anything at the time and while he explained that neighbors help other neighbors and she did not owe them anything, the daughter came out with an old shoe box. She said, but I do want you boys to have this. The box was almost full of bullets, musket balls, tokens and buckles. He said they were in shock. She and her daughter smiled and said when daddy would plow the garden and the tobacco patch he would pick up this stuff. They even said he would walk the rows after it rained and he always would wash it off and put it in this old shoe box. She said, daddy would say someday somebody will come along and like to have this stuff, and went on to say, today is the day, we know daddy would want you boys to have it. He said we did not know what to say and at that moment my son said I will be back next week to mow the yard and you don't worry about paying, you already have.

His hunting partner said that was the hardest he had ever worked treasure hunting and his son joked that it was probably more Civil War relics than they both had ever found. When they got home and unloaded he said he told his friend to come in and they would go through the box and they could log and decide what to do or how to split the bounty, but he told him he would rather his son have it. That is your first cache son and you earned it. He said his son continued to mow the yard for the lady and even go out of his way once or twice a week to check on her until she passed away. He went on to say that they all had hunted there several times and made some great finds and that everything in the old shoe box was in displays telling the story, but his son still had the old shoe box with pictures of the lady, her daughter and all us hunting there with some of the things they have found there. Someday somebody will come along and like to see that stuff!

Just goes to show, sometimes treasure finds you.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting    

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Daffodils and Treasure Sites

Looking for new sites to hunt can be as easy as finding daffodils in March. If you find daffodils while exploring remote bandit trails you have found a good site to metal detect. The first flowers of spring are always associated with the fact that there was once human activity in the area. They remain as markers of days gone by, after all the main houses, smoke houses, chicken coops, gardens and people have faded from the landscape. Sometimes it is astounding how large an area they occupy. It is pretty safe to say that they were started in a flower garden. Flower gardens are great places for small caches of egg and butter money and even in some cases large deposits, for fear of being robbed. One such story took place during the Civil War in Western Kentucky. All the men were off either in the war or tending the stock and horses, hiding them away from the farm so not to lose them to the army or raiders, leaving only the lady of the house and a servant. News came that soldiers were going house to house taking everything they could carry of value and destroying the rest so the ladies dressed up as men and took a tea kettle of gold coins and buried it along with jewelry and other valuables. Later while the servant lady was gone the lady of the house, not trusting the servant, moved the cache. Being in a hurry she did not properly mark the new location and never could find where she hid the money. To this day, as far as anyone knows, it has never been found. Could be there are daffodils popping up over her tea kettle right now.

When you locate one of these sites try to start your search in the middle of the patch of flowers as they have spread in every direction from their original bed. Look around and even check back in the weeks to come because other flowers and bushes will bloom. Also look for old orchard sites or berry patches and grape vines. These are know to be favorite cache places.

Who knows, next time you may find a tea kettle full of gold coins.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting

Daffodils that have spread over time

Probably part of an original flower bed

Soon only daffodils will remain

100+ year old flower bed


METAL MARKETS

Gold- 1152.30 +0.20
Platinum- 11200.50 +5.60
Silver- 15.61 +0.12
Copper- 2.68 +0.0010

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Steamboat Landings

Old steamboat landings are very productive metal detecting sites. I have found some of my best coins around steamboat landings.These places were gathering spots for a wide range of activities generation after generation. It is amazing how many places these beautiful old boats had to land to take on fire wood which settlers would cut and stack along the river at good landing spots. Pretty soon these spots became known by the captains and selling wood to the boats provided a lucrative income for people carving out farms along the river. Merchants opened businesses and warehouses at these locations and a lot of these places turned into cities. Many more than imaginable died out due to things like course changes in the river, floods, growing communities and cities. Good research can provide the location of sites where these boats landed regularly and due to the remote locations, some of them have never been hunted. Libraries along the rivers in small towns are a great source as are state historical societies. The Mississippi River Commission maps are a good source of old landings. Civil War map kits also provide good sources of river maps with old landing locations. Vast numbers of steamboats, keel boats, and flatboats have traveled the rivers of our great nation for over 200 years. Steamboat disasters were common. Boiler explosions, fire, snags, sandbars and weather were some of the hazards that has left our rivers the final resting place of many a steamboat. River pirates were also part of the dangers of traveling the waterways leading to many more treasure stories. During low water these old wrecks give up gold and silver coins and all kinds of relics. Two books in the library that are excellent resources on the steamboats of yesterday are Way's Packet Directory, 1848-1994 and Lloyd's Steamboat Directory, and Disasters on the Western Waters.

Always get permission and make sure to check state laws before detecting.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites be many
Best wishes and Good Hunting



Steamboat Landings



Treasure Hunter's Code of Ethics

I WILL respect private property and do no treasure hunting without the owners permission.
I WILL fill all excavations.
I WILL appreciate and protect our heritage of natural resources, wildlife, and private property.
I WILL use thoughtfulness, consideration, and courtesy at all times.
I WILL build fires in designated or safe places only.
I WILL leave gates as found.
I WILL remove and properly dispose of any trash that I find.
I WILL NOT litter.
I WILL NOT destroy property, buildings, or what is left of ghost towns and designated structures.
I WILL NOT tamper with signs, structural facilities, or equipment.

 

METAL MARKETS

Gold: $1,150.00 -0.70
Silver: $15.47 +0.12
Platinum: $1,119.20 +3.80
Copper: $2.62 -0.0007

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

MISSING GOLD-THE NEXT TREASURE

TREASURE NEWS

A bottle of wine recovered four years ago from the ill fated Civil War blockade runner, Mary Celestia, that sank off the coast of Bermuda in 1864, was uncorked in South Carolina Friday. It was tasted by experts. I'll leave that to them.

On March 1st in Wilson County North Carolina an armored truck was robbed on Interstate 95 by three outlaws who made away with $4.8 million in gold bars (275lbs). The truck is owned by TransValue, Inc. of Miami, FL. They are offering a $50,000 reward for any information. Sounds like an inside job.

Spelunkers in Northern Israel found coins and jewelry believed to be hidden 2300 years ago from the time of Alexander the Great.

The North Carolina gold heist gives way to the fact that bandits today are not much different than the train robbers, stagecoach robbers, and bank robbers of yesterday. This is exactly how lost treasure is born. North Carolina has beautiful country and the mountains there are one of the most beautiful places you can ever visit. What better place to hide 275 pounds of gold. As with the outlaws of old there is a good probability that something bad is in store for them. If nothing else long prison sentences and again the odds of ever making it back to the gold, slim. Time will tell the rest of this story which could play out like one of the old dime novels.

METAL DETECTING TIPS

It is March and the snow is melting. This is time to get out that backpack and make sure you have all the essentials. Be prepared. Things like extra metal detector batteries, first-aid and fire starters are must haves. Think about items you would need in case your metal detecting trip turns into an emergency camping trip. It can and does happen.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best wishes and Good Hunting

Monday, March 9, 2015

Which Metal Detector?

A question I get from novice and experienced treasure hunters all the time is, which metal detector should I buy? That is like asking me which girl or boy you should marry. A metal detector is like a car or truck. There are many brands, styles and price ranges with a wide range of capabilities that the answer is not for me to decide for you. I do not want you to purchase a machine and be mad at me because it is not right for you. The best advice I can give you is to locate a local dealer who handles several top brands. They will match your price range and explain the features. Now, do not buy the one on sale or be lured into a purchase by a good salesman. Ask to try it out. You do not buy a car without driving it and you do not buy a metal detector without trying it out. These local dealers have demonstrators and usually have a test site where you can test drive different detectors. If you call ahead and set up a time they are glad to help you make the right choice for the type of hunting you do and the metal detector that you are comfortable with. If you have any problem finding a dealer near you I will be glad to help you find one, just e-mail me.

Detecting Tip:  SLOW DOWN. The most common thing I see is people take off like the are trying to beat the clock. They jump here and there actually covering very little ground and not making many finds. The hunter who has patience and seems to be not moving at all, slowly covering every inch he can will have a pouch with some really nice finds at the day. Developing a slow pattern also gives your metal detector time to process data you are working a high trash area. Remember the Hare and the Tortoise. Be a tortoise and be a winner. The hare will not pay for his batteries and you might pay for your metal detector by working slow.

Who knows, next time may be the time of your life.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Good Luck and Good Hunting   

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Tribute

A salute to all veterans and to those who contribute their time, money and kindness helping all those and their families that have served our country. We owe everything we hold dear to these men and women that have sacrificed and gave selflessly everything even their lives so I might treasure hunt and sit here free writing this. There is no way we can thank them enough but let us all please try. Never take for granted what they do and have done for us, and if all you have to give is a thank you, then take every opportunity you get to do that.

I would like to give recognition today to two men that have logged countless hours at their own expense placing numerous headstones on the graves of Confederate soldiers that had no marker, in Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois. The work that Greg Miller and Leon Todd have done, at no expense to the families or cemetery is to be commended. I have posted a picture of one of the stones. These markers are provided through the Veterans Administration. Thanks to Mr. Miller and Mr. Todd.

If  you know of any veteran that does not have a headstone, one can be obtained from the Veterans Administration. I have provided the link to the instructions and application in the Link section.

Tip: Some old headstones become so weathered that they become hard to read. I have seen the pencil and tracing paper or chalk used with some success, but you can take a can of shaving cream, spray the names and dates you can't read, gently wipe the excess away and you can read the filled in characters great with no harsh affects to the stone or environment. This is also a good trick for all the KGC hunters to use on trees and rock signs that have faded away with time.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting


Headstone placed on a rural family farm in Western Kentucky by 
Greg Miller and Leon Todd



Friday, March 6, 2015

Research Leads to an Important Sad Find

Every treasure hunter will tell you that research, research and more research is probably the most important aspect of making their greatest finds and discoveries. Not always does it lead to pleasant discoveries. A couple of years ago I was researching some sites that were settled in the 1830's and grew into a small community by 1860. Many of the young men in this area, as they did everywhere in this young country, left to serve in the war. The ones who returned started families, sold out and moved. What was once a community with many families and businesses emerged into one large family farm. My research of these settlers, who were merchants, loggers, millers, carpenters and farmers, hit a snag when I could not find a single cemetery record for any name I came across. It was suggested that maybe they were unmarked graves and not recorded. After thinking about that minute, no way is that possible for that number of families and that amount of time. I went back and searched around with no luck at all. I went back and forth using every resource available, no cemetery. The mystery grew into a genealogical search to find someone who could shed some light and finally one man I spoke with told me something that I would never have dreamed. It sent a wave of chills and even anger through me. He told me the owner of this farm had dozed the cemetery that I was hunting for and covered the stones and iron fences with dirt to cover his deed. I was at a loss for words, I just could not wrap my mind around any logical reason for such an act. My first question was, how do you know this, before I realized this man had no reason to lie to me. He politely told me that others knew also, but the way he knew was, as a young man he had wondered on this property while bird hunting and seen the cemetery. He would not tell me who told him, but he said in the late 1980's or early 1990's a friend of his who had been on this hunting trip ask him if he knew that the old man who owned that property dozed the cemetery they had found. Like me he could not believe it and made the trip back to see and that's how he knew. He went on to say that if I looked I would find some pieces of stones that escaped being covered and that he could not go but if I had a map he would show me the location. I got out a topo and after he pointed out the spot he told me about a piece of stone that had rolled down the hill and he had leaned it against a tree. I thanked him and went directly the next morning to the spot. Although I had found an important site and my research had finally led me to the answer, it is probably the worst desecration I ever saw. What a sad find, in such a beautiful spot.

The landowner is a very nice elderly lady who gave me the permission to hunt the property and told me of some of the sites and people who had live there. She is the niece of the man who did this, he has long since passed away, and I am convinced she never knew this happened.

Pin in tree on NW corner of desecrated cemetery




Stone that rolled down the hill

Tombstone base I found near the SE corner

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CABIN FEVER

Here it is March and 49 of the 50 states have snow and ice. The gear is all ready and the winter research has led to the anticipation of checking new site leads, but it is sleeting right now and the weather forecast is for 10 to 12 inches of snow by morning. I hope where you are it is sunny and warm, but if it is snowy like it is here, I'm sure cabin fever is high on what I call the freak-o-meter.
One cure that has always helped me is to get out in the snow and go learn something. Start up the old 4-wheel drive or ATV, take a camera and hunt for bandit trails. Depending what part of the country you are hunting, the snow seems to reveal trails from the past that are concealed even to trained eyes any other time. Bandits, outlaws, highwaymen, pirates or whatever we like to call them went to great lengths to keep them hidden. Ride around the old country back roads, or around the edge of fields (Always get permission) where the old wagon roads have long been abandoned. These old horse trails will crisscross or run parallel near these old roads, most of the time just out of site. Not all old horse trails are bandit trails, but a surprising number of them are. Back at home in the warm, try mapping these trails along the old wagon roads. Look for creek and river crossings, cross roads with a lot of distance between populated areas. Stagecoach stops, taverns, railroad creek crossings and wagon trails that crossed the railroad were all frequented by highwaymen looking for easy marks. Not only did they rob innocent travelers by using their hidden trails as a means to follow and sneak up, they also hid their loot along these trails sometimes never to return to get it. A trek in the snow may lead to something new to research and get us out of the cabin for awhile.

Congratulations to all the treasure hunters who made the 2015 Annual "Best Finds" issue of  Western and Eastern Treasures. Spring can't get here soon enough, and you never know, the next time you make a find it may the find of your life!

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.

Best wishes and Good Hunting.


Old Bandit Trail