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Subguy
07-17-2008, 04:59 PM
I am driving to las vegas this November and would like to take my metal detector. Can someone help me with places that I can detect gost towns on my way out? I am coming from Georgia on I-40 most of the way. Thanks

Natalie's Boots
07-17-2008, 08:53 PM
I'd keep off of GT's on Private land if you're going to be Metal Detecting would be my only advice. Linky (http://www.ghosttowns.com/visiting.html)

jbodine
07-18-2008, 11:00 AM
If It were me making the trip I would probably go to the home page of this site and click the places on the map where you may want to detect, then plot your course. I will also say that detecting in GTs can be very frustrating due to the huge amounts of discarded metal.


Good Luck.

Tsarevna
08-07-2008, 03:10 PM
You shouldn't metal detect on public land either! The artifacts from ghost towns on public land belong to the public. They belong in the ground where archeologists of the future can find them, or in a museum.

A door knob in a ghost town is "a door knob from X ghost town" however, an old door knob in your garage, is "a junky old doorknob."

Leave the artifacts there, so they can remain in-context.

If you want an old coin, an old key, an old doorknob, go buy one at an antique store.

bad bob
08-07-2008, 04:02 PM
I am driving to las vegas this November and would like to take my metal detector. Can someone help me with places that I can detect gost towns on my way out? I am coming from Georgia on I-40 most of the way. Thanks





I think we covered this once already recently. MD'ing in most ghost towns is strictly forbidden. They're usually protected historic sites.

Others are privately owned and written permission is recommended to be obtained prior.

Strongly suggest contact land overseer or agent in charge before MD'ing ANY area. The ones which are off limits have heavy fines attached to them, and they care not one bit if you knew beforehand.

Joel
08-09-2008, 12:10 AM
We have illegal immigrant garbage. Want some?

GaryB
08-09-2008, 08:37 PM
We have illegal immigrant garbage. Want some?


No thanks, got plenty at the Home Depot around the corner.

jody
08-11-2008, 12:31 PM
Im going to metal detect a ghost town if i can ever find it...

Calamity June
08-11-2008, 02:20 PM
You better read this jody.....


I think we covered this once already recently. MD'ing in most ghost towns is strictly forbidden. They're usually protected historic sites.

Others are privately owned and written permission is recommended to be obtained prior.

Strongly suggest contact land overseer or agent in charge before MD'ing ANY area. The ones which are off limits have heavy fines attached to them, and they care not one bit if you knew beforehand.


You shouldn't metal detect on public land either! The artifacts from ghost towns on public land belong to the public. They belong in the ground where archeologists of the future can find them, or in a museum.

A door knob in a ghost town is "a door knob from X ghost town" however, an old door knob in your garage, is "a junky old doorknob."

Leave the artifacts there, so they can remain in-context.

If you want an old coin, an old key, an old doorknob, go buy one at an antique store.

jody
08-13-2008, 11:02 AM
On second thought.."I'm NOT going too"..:o

LV Caretaker
08-13-2008, 02:30 PM
Being a newbie here, I wasn't sure how you "ghost towners" thought of this subject. I am happy to read you feel this way.

When the AP reporter came to our town and did an article about "Ghost Towning", I was very surprised, shocked really, to read what the author wrote about folks taking stuff from ghost towns. Made it look like it was okay to do that. The way I feel about it, it's like taking something from someone's home without permission. I wouldn't want any one to do it to me. :(

It's cool to go and take photos of a ghost town - which you folks here do wonderfully and with loads of talent. :D

We ask people to follow a simple rule. It starts with "Take" and ends in "Footprints". Have seen these words on this forum many times! :)

Thanks,

Kathy

Calamity June
08-13-2008, 03:59 PM
I just read an interesting article about Bodie, and the park rangers recounted tales of people taking items from there, even as small as a nail, and then returning them later, because they had "things" happen to them after they got home. They didn't elaborate on what exactly happened to these thieves, but it reminds me of people who bring rocks home, volcanic rocks, from Hawaii and end up returning them because they have bad luck.

and welcome LV, I am a noob too, but this is a great place for information and the folks are real nice too.

Joel
08-13-2008, 04:38 PM
It's not such an innocent hobby as some folks might think. The graveyard at Charleston is gone. "Collectors" who were selling it at a garage sale. Not such a harmless past-time. And such is only the tip of the ice-berg!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-01-23-parks_N.htm

http://www.nevadarockart.info/news.htm

Joel
08-13-2008, 06:03 PM
Then there's this guy: Dee Brecheisen. He kicked up collecting a few notches it seems.

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/233600.php

brian10x
08-13-2008, 07:17 PM
I just read an interesting article about Bodie, and the park rangers recounted tales of people taking items from there, even as small as a nail, and then returning them later, because they had "things" happen to them after they got home. They didn't elaborate on what exactly happened to these thieves, but it reminds me of people who bring rocks home, volcanic rocks, from Hawaii and end up returning them because they have bad luck.

and welcome LV, I am a noob too, but this is a great place for information and the folks are real nice too.

As a lot of you know, I was born and raised on Oahu, and I honestly feel this bad luck thing is all a bunch of hooey.

My parents went to the big island when my mother was pregnant with me, visited the volcanoes, and she took a small lava rock home.

Upon arriving home, of her Hawaiian friends told her to return the rock at once, or angry gods would make her baby turn out hideously ugly, slightly retarded, and morbidly obese.

Well 2 out of three don't make it true.

Calamity June
08-14-2008, 03:45 AM
As a lot of you know, I was born and raised on Oahu, and I honestly feel this bad luck thing is all a bunch of hooey.

My parents went to the big island when my mother was pregnant with me, visited the volcanoes, and she took a small lava rock home.

Upon arriving home, of her Hawaiian friends told her to return the rock at once, or angry gods would make her baby turn out hideously ugly, slightly retarded, and morbidly obese.

Well 2 out of three don't make it true.:p :rolleyes:

I do believe in "bad karma" and taking things that don't belong to you and should be left undisturbed is not a good idea.

LV Caretaker
08-14-2008, 06:11 AM
:rolleyes:

I do believe in "bad karma" and taking things that don't belong to you and should be left undisturbed is not a good idea.

Karma "good and bad" happens. I had an "bad karma" incident about 10 years ago. I vowed to not let that happen again. :o And it has worked. :)

Thanks for the "Welcome"! :D

GaryB
08-14-2008, 07:54 AM
Then there's this guy: Dee Brecheisen. He kicked up collecting a few notches it seems.

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/233600.php


I think I'd go after the guy who tipped them off. 30 years after the fact before he finally told someone? BS.

Taking artifacts is one thing, but looting or defacing graves and their markers is another. I'm not religious in any sense, but I hope that people that do that stuff have a very special place waiting for them when they pass.

Joel
08-14-2008, 04:32 PM
I concur. Thirty years is a tad long for silence. And for any ghoul that steals from the dead, I have only utter contempt for.

From what I have seen of human nature, everything starts off small. Maybe metal detecting for a few nails and or coins. Maybe next time, that sewer pipe since no one's using it. Maybe the time after that, a brick and then a whole wall.
Collections have to be built and improved. Very few of us are satisfied with what we have in life.
As for myself, I take only pictures and leave only bootprints. I would like the next guy to be able to see what I saw and maybe someone a few years or decades to see the same things.
I know, high hopes in these days.

Calamity June
08-14-2008, 04:48 PM
I concur. Thirty years is a tad long for silence. And for any ghoul that steals from the dead, I have only utter contempt for.

From what I have seen of human nature, everything starts off small. Maybe metal detecting for a few nails and or coins. Maybe next time, that sewer pipe since no one's using it. Maybe the time after that, a brick and then a whole wall.
Collections have to be built and improved. Very few of us are satisfied with what we have in life.
As for myself, I take only pictures and leave only bootprints. I would like the next guy to be able to see what I saw and maybe someone a few years or decades to see the same things.
I know, high hopes in these days.Oh yes Joe you are so correct. I can't get to Bodie this year, but the few places I am going to be able to go to, I can hardly wait to see what is left of the past.

GaryB
08-15-2008, 07:34 AM
I
I know, high hopes in these days.

It's always been an issue. The neighbors (older couple) where I grew up as a kid in Vegas were part of a local offroad club. One weekend they went to Delamar, NV and torn down an old wood building for another member to use as decoration in his house. After some choice words, they never spoke much after that to my knowledge.

It PO'd my dad as far as destruction of something historical for no reason more than personal use, and the fact we have family history tied to Delamar.

BTW this was the late 70's.

GaryB
08-15-2008, 07:37 AM
I can't get to Bodie this year, but the few places I am going to be able to go to, I can hardly wait to see what is left of the past.

http://thumb15.webshots.net/t/50/750/4/53/73/2588453730094197955uUwPim_th.jpg (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2588453730094197955uUwPim) <--- clicky the picture.

As it was in May.

Calamity June
08-15-2008, 02:43 PM
http://thumb15.webshots.net/t/50/750/4/53/73/2588453730094197955uUwPim_th.jpg (http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2588453730094197955uUwPim) <--- clicky the picture.

As it was in May.Oh man those picture, that town, are just beyond cool.
I am just working my way through the silde show.
To see all the stuff still in the houses, the coat hanging on the nail right where somebody left it, all those personal items and furniture. It is really unbelievable.
I keep trying to imagine what it was like in it's hayday, one thing I read was that the main street was a mile long..holy crud!
The schoolroom, it looks like the kids just walked out and never returned, or were planning to return. I can't believe the amount of things left behind. And i find it ever more amazing that so much is still there, maybe, just maybe, there is hope for people yet.

Thanks so much for sharing.

bad bob
08-15-2008, 03:32 PM
There wouldn't be much left were it not for the small cadre of Park Rangers that live year-round on the site, CJ.
Too bad ALL historic sites are not afforded the same protections. :(

Calamity June
08-15-2008, 03:59 PM
There wouldn't be much left were it not for the small cadre of Park Rangers that live year-round on the site, CJ.
Too bad ALL historic sites are not afforded the same protections. :(Oh that explains that then. I really couldn't believe it, most people being what they are. I know I sound cynical, but there it is.

ghostphoto
01-30-2009, 04:16 PM
I am a college student majoring in history and archaeology and I think one of the saddest things that I have ever heard of or seen is the vandalism that goes on in many historical places that just haven't been "officially" protected yet. Just because there isn't a ranger standing around or a park police around the corner, people think they can do whatever they want with whatever there is. But if they only realized that what they destroy can never be recreated again, maybe things would be different. We can learn so much from yesterdays past, it always thrills me when I get to see a ghost town left in tact and not damaged too much by vandals or looters.

I must admit sometimes it is a temptation for me not to leave everything as I see it. Especially if I see signs that someone has been vandalizing the site recently. And if I see something that I know would be of value to a museum or a heritage center, it is hard for me to resist saving the item. But 99.9% if the time I do. :) It does inspire me though to hurry and finish my studies so that I can work to further study and protect these wonderful windows into our past!

Please folks, let's all work to help preserve our past so that future generations will be able to also enjoy these wonderful treasures that we have been able to enjoy! There is nothing like visiting a ghost town!!!

45-70Ranger
01-30-2009, 05:58 PM
I am a college student majoring in history and archaeology and I think one of the saddest things that I have ever heard of or seen is the vandalism that goes on in many historical places that just haven't been "officially" protected yet. Just because there isn't a ranger standing around or a park police around the corner, people think they can do whatever they want with whatever there is. But if they only realized that what they destroy can never be recreated again, maybe things would be different. We can learn so much from yesterdays past, it always thrills me when I get to see a ghost town left in tact and not damaged too much by vandals or looters.

I must admit sometimes it is a temptation for me not to leave everything as I see it. Especially if I see signs that someone has been vandalizing the site recently. And if I see something that I know would be of value to a museum or a heritage center, it is hard for me to resist saving the item. But 99.9% if the time I do. :) It does inspire me though to hurry and finish my studies so that I can work to further study and protect these wonderful windows into our past!

Please folks, let's all work to help preserve our past so that future generations will be able to also enjoy these wonderful treasures that we have been able to enjoy! There is nothing like visiting a ghost town!!!
Welcome. :D
I wished more like you.
I was at another ghost town website to day.
He photographed a recent (?) burned
stamp mill.But, as what vandals do,a
building was torched also.
My best to you.

Hobo2
02-05-2009, 08:40 AM
If It were me making the trip I would probably go to the home page of this site and click the places on the map where you may want to detect,

I just went to the home page but did not see a map, where is it? :confused:

LauraA
02-06-2009, 04:48 AM
I just went to the home page but did not see a map, where is it? :confused:

Here's the home page. Go to the top of the page and scroll down to the state you want. (enjoy the music) Ghost Towns and History of the American West (http://ghosttowns.com/)

shirohniichan
08-13-2009, 09:55 AM
I lived in a small town in Japan that was an important castle town and important regional military and political center from the late 1540s until the early 1590s.

The former castle site had been demolished around 1630 to prevent potential rebels from using it, so there are few signs left of what it used to look like. Even the few stone wall foundations were destroyed.

The curator at the local museum said one local historian had taken a number of items for his collection, even though the site was a nationally protected one. So others wouldn't follow his example, I got a compass and topo map of the site, bought plastic bags and rubber bands, and climbed the castle hill a few times a month looking for artifacts. When I found something I tagged it, marked its location on my map, and took it to the local museum.

In exchange for the artifacts (mostly 15th and 16th century porcelain shards and roof tile pieces), the curator gave me lessons in identifying Ming Dynasty and other kinds of porcelain. I later found out that some of my finds went on national exhibit and were published in a book about the warlord who owned the castle.

While I was tempted to keep a piece or two for myself, my conscience as a historian made me turn everything over. A shard of Ming Dynasty porcelain means little by itself, but it can mean a lot when properly cataloged and identified. I found that local lore about the castle's use were probably wrong, as I found pieces of rice bowls in an area traditionally thought of as the area where the stables were.

While I'd love to metal detect in old town sites to find buttons and coins before they corrode into oblivion, I'd only do so if I recorded where I found the pieces and turned them over to the local museum near the site. I hate to see history sold away as trinkets.

Tsarevna
08-13-2009, 01:27 PM
I actually got hate mail over this thread.
:rolleyes:

I got a whole earful of accusations and ranting from a guy who apparently thought I hated metal detecting people.

I find this extra-funny, because I do metal detect...(just at the appropriate places, such as my own property or the beach.) :p

One of his quotes are "STOP HATING! STOP THINKING THAT WE ARE ALL THIEVES!!!!"

Ok pal! Your vicious rant has convinced me to repent and see the error of the way of thinking that I never actually thought! /sarcasm off :D

Darin
08-13-2009, 03:27 PM
I actually got hate mail over this thread.
:rolleyes:

I got a whole earful of accusations and ranting from a guy who apparently thought I hated metal detecting people.

I find this extra-funny, because I do metal detect...(just at the appropriate places, such as my own property or the beach.) :p

One of his quotes are "STOP HATING! STOP THINKING THAT WE ARE ALL THIEVES!!!!"

Ok pal! Your vicious rant has convinced me to repent and see the error of the way of thinking that I never actually thought! /sarcasm off :D
Dang Tsar...guess it's time to dust off the "Whites" and hit the beach!!! :D

Tsarevna
08-14-2009, 06:53 AM
Speaking of white, I think I'd blind everybody if I got in a bathing suit. :p

Ya know, what I like to do at the beach is shovel up sand into a sifter. There's plenty of non-metallic treasures to find there, such as naturally smoothed and tumbled glass, agates and shark teeth. :)

Joel
08-18-2009, 07:23 PM
Tsarevna, hang in there. I think I have even lower regard for collectors than you do.

Rawhide, Nv
08-19-2009, 09:44 AM
If youíre ever in the backcourty East of Fallon NV, swing by and see what treasure hunters have done to Rawhide NV. :eek:

History teaches us people have used unprotected items weather natural or man-made to there own benefit. I find no benefit from an old arrowheads or other relics once at home. I love finding these things in the setting they where found.

Iím starting to not liking people taking pictures, especially if they are going to post them on Goggle Earth. The day is coming when people will have no need to explore, a picture of everywhere and everything will be on the net.

Of course I not a big fan of much, Iím even trying to stamp-out foot-prints. Ha Ha:D

campp
08-19-2009, 10:14 AM
I’m starting to not liking people taking pictures, especially if they are going to post them on Goggle Earth.

Well, don't condemn photographers. Just the ones that post with no restraint. I have photographed MANY MANY MANY things that I will NEVER post on the net, because I want to protect them. These things include cemetaries, indian ruins, railroad relics, and the famous supernova petroglyph. To paraphrase Edward Abbey, "Go hike there yourself, and if you can't make it, TOO BAD."

Vulture
08-19-2009, 02:13 PM
Edward Abbey, "Go hike there yourself, and if you can't make it, TOO BAD."

Abbey, the founder of eco-terrorism...

<

Norman Johnson
08-19-2009, 05:01 PM
I was out at Reilly in the Panamint Valley one time, and I thought I'd clean up the place---something I do a lot when I'm camping. There was a patch of broken glass under some bushes. I started there. When I had found every last shard I could, down to the smallest bits, I tossed it in my trash bag.

I was sitting in my chair looking at the view and the top of my beer bottle, when a thought came into my head. The top of that broken beer bottle I just picked up and threw away didn't look like this bottle I'm holding in my hand.

I dug all the broken glass back out of the trash. **** it! I had picked up history not trash. Well, trashy history. Here is the evidence. I set all the historical artifact broken beer bottle at the foot of the Reilly sign. It didn't have a place for the bottle cap. That's how I knew it wasn't recent.

NJ

http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz335/NEricJ/Reilly/IMG_8075.jpg?t=1250729855

http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz335/NEricJ/Reilly/IMG_8076.jpg?t=1250729968

http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz335/NEricJ/Reilly/IMG_8077.jpg?t=1250730007

Sunrise
09-02-2009, 06:55 PM
Well, don't condemn photographers. Just the ones that post with no restraint. I have photographed MANY MANY MANY things that I will NEVER post on the net, because I want to protect them. These things include cemetaries, indian ruins, railroad relics, and the famous supernova petroglyph. To paraphrase Edward Abbey, "Go hike there yourself, and if you can't make it, TOO BAD."

How would posting photos of your finds be detrimental? If they give away the location, I can understand that, but do you think, for example, the glyphs posted on this site are harmful to the cultural integrity of the southwest?

Show us what ya gots? I am very intrigued...TOO BAD for me I guess.

Sunrise
09-02-2009, 06:59 PM
Abbey, the founder of eco-terrorism...

<...and author of "The Brave Cowboy" which was made into a superb film: "Lonely are the Brave."

Norman Johnson
09-02-2009, 07:19 PM
I just finished reading a great book by John McPhee---Encounters With The Archdruid. It is the brief story of David Brower. For anyone on the fence about saving the West, this book will really confuse you. (I know where I stand.)

Now I am trying to finish reading The Story Of Inyo by W.A.Chalphant before I head up to the Inyo Mountains next weekend. Chalphant wrote his book in the early part of the 1900's publishing the version I am reading in 1933. His father came west in 1949 with one of the parties that started out with those who first tried to cross Death Valley.
So, yes, he knows the history of Inyo.

NJ

Pros_Kosal
02-16-2010, 09:26 AM
No ones posted on this thread in like 3 years but i just came across it and need to clarify some things. Number one, vandalism of ghost towns is a horrid destruction of our history, and anyone who respects history would never engage in it. Second, the laws the archaeology community and the BLM use to prevent people from metal detecting and bottle digging in ghost towns, such as the Antiquities Act of 1906, were set up to prevent vandalism of ancient sites, such as indian burial grounds, and pot digging in areas like Choco Canyon, although collecting arrowheads is actually legal, as Lady Bird Johnson had an arrowhead collection, and had arrowhead hunting omitted from those laws, so if the BLM gives you a shake down for that, know your rights. But what were really talking about here is metal detecting and bottle digging on public lands,the loose rule is that anything over 100 years old is protected, as long as its 99 years old, youre in the clear, if you find a 1911 wheat penny at a ghost town, you can tell the BLM to kiss it. I've been metal detecting since i was 8 years old, and metal detected in numerous ghost towns, the moral of the story, what were looking for is UNDER THE GROUND, no one is ever going to see it, and unless people like me go out and find it ( because we love history, not because were raping and pillaging) its just going to sit there and rot. If yall want me to leave the beer tabs i find from years of kids out at those places partying ( thats who does the vandalism by the way) i'm more than happy to leave them on top the ground for your viewing pleasure if thats what you desire, although i normally put them in my pocket and dispose of them, i'll stop that tho if it realy tears you guys up that much.

mmaayan36
08-07-2010, 01:08 PM
I've worked for years as an Archaeoligical photographer is Israel and the Sinai. Things in the ground are actually simply "lost thing". Most areas will never be excavated especially with the lack of funds available. Also most states, such as Florida simply require that "finds" be reported to the state so that historical records can be complete. Most metal detectorists are ethical and will assist and aid local and state historical societies and museums by reporting and in many cases donating their finds. The work of such people is invaluable as they find many things that would never be discovered. England actually works with private individuals to ensure they are rewarded for their work and to ensure that important finds are gotten into appropriate museums. I myself discovered a very unusual crock in the Sinai dessert which was reassembled and placed in the Rockefeller museum in Jerusalem.

Tsarevna
08-11-2010, 10:52 PM
Not meaning to be rude, but this ain't Israel and this ain't England.

We don't have an ancient history (not one of metal use.) Our government doesn't want to work with metal detectorists because our weak laws protecting antiquities would probably mean they ended up in someone's garage or at ebay auction instead of in an museum. In some states it is legal to sell tombstones and grave markers!
If we had strong laws like some countries do, I'd be more for this. But we dont. :(

You left out one extremely important point about the way it works in England: over there they reward people that find treasure only if they leave it where they found it. They dont' reward people that dig stuff up and store it in their garage for years. They slap handcuffs on those types. They can bring a sample, like a few coins to an expert to see if it is worth investigation, but they have to leave the stuff where they found it! The dude who found the silver coin cache in the pot recently left it there.

It was in the ground, in context, and this helped archeologists. That is why he's getting praise. If you go metal detect a ghost town, and take all the stuff out of the layers of soil, it no longer has a date. A coin might have a date on it, but to figure out if it was likely deposited around the time it was minted you'd have to know the soil layer.

Lets say it's the year 2095. It's the Pacific North West. Take for example, a 1976 coin, found in a ghost town that was abandoned in 1979. Was it found above or below the ash layer of the Mt. St Helens eruption? If you found it above the ash layer, you'd know the eruption happened in 1980, and therefore the coin is not an "artifact" of the ghost town but was dropped by a visitor in the 80's or later. However, if an un-trained metal detectorist finds it and hands it to an archeologist, it has been stripped of it's context. The archeologists asks if he knows if it was pre 1980 or not and the metal detectorist can only shrug. Let's say the coin is foreign currency. Was it possibly owned by the teacher of the town, and shown to students as part of an education about the wider world? Well, if the metal dectorist knew he was looking in the foundations of the school, we could make an educated guess. So the archeologist asks "where did you find this?" and he says oh I dunno. (Cause he doesn't know where the old buildings used to be and didn't flag or geo-tag where he found it.)


It's not just a matter of ethics, it's a matter of practicality.
You just can't tell a looter from an ethical metal detectorist by looking at them. The anti-metal detecting code is there to keep places open to visitors. To keep gates and fences from going up. Governments and individuals usually don't fence a place until they feel threatened by people on the property digging or vandalizing.

speedy
08-12-2010, 07:18 AM
Excellent points..............Speedy

Norman Johnson
08-12-2010, 08:09 AM
I've said this before:

My brother is an anthropologist. I have been with him on Santa Rosa Island when he and some other anthropologists discovered a pygmy mammoth molar. They photographed it, got a gps location and wrote it up in their notes. HOWEVER, they left it where they found it for the archeologist to come and collect, catalog, and curate. DON"T COLLECT. Photograph, enjoy, and leave it for the expert who is studying that particular site.

6210

6211

NJ

GaryB
08-17-2010, 01:35 AM
If every metal detector user had the best intention for the artifact found, then by all means I'd say have at it. But I'd bet that roughly half of the users (likely far more) of a metal detector have their own intentions at the fore front, so I say it's better to leave it rot away than to dig up, make a profit selling it off to a collector for likely only them to admire. Consider it the one bad apple rule. That and too many are ignorant of how the unit works and they do more damage to the site taking stabs. I have honestly seen a metal detector in use where the guy didn't realize the ground was laden with iron ore and he was freaking out about how much "stuff" he was hitting on.

That and I'm tired of walking into old buildings that had their floorboards ripped up by treasure hunters looking for some old miners stash. Call me old school, too conservative, what ever. When it's your back yard getting trashed, you tend to get pissy. Especially when you see some idiot using a metal detector right next to an Antiquities warning on a carsonite.

RedDogSaloon
01-29-2011, 11:28 AM
What pains me as a collector - as well as being a history nut - is going to a bottle show and seeing shards, bits, and scraps of historic items or pieces lying in a box that says Your choice: $3 each (or similar). The bits would be better left at the site for whatever value they can impart to the history. They ain't doing nothing sitting in a box with a dollar tag. Eventually these items end up in someones window sill or desk drawer without any history whatsoever attached. Just a bit sitting there. I've even found, at the end of a show, dug items in a trash barrel. Obviously someone who was packing up to go home & didn't cash out their dug random items, things like corroded or broken belt buckles, 1800's cartridges & 4-hole shirt & trouser buttons, tobacco tins, and so on. I think to myself idiot! ...why didn't you at least leave it at the site? The unthinking pack rat mentality.

Norman Johnson
01-30-2011, 04:32 PM
I was camping in Grass Valley south of Pilot Knob, California, this past weekend and spent much time cleaning the site of shooter glass, brass, and unspent cartridges. After staring at almost all of the ground around my campsite, I spotted a small obsidian scraper. The nearest obsidian is fifty miles north. I showed the flake to my buddy and photographed it. Then I put it back where I found it.

Here are the photo's which are worth far more to me than the artifact itself.

NJ

6762

6763

6764

east_coast_john
03-17-2011, 08:40 PM
Not that I would ever have an opinion, but I disagree with the statement that eludes to privately owned artifacts being any less valuable or significant than those found in museums. I'd much rather see an antique displayed privately than allowed to rot. As far as the law goes, there are special use permits that allow for this kind of thing. On the other hand I have to agree about the private land thing. For most of these places, the state is the custodian. Find out who governs a particular town and apply through that agency for a special use permit. You just might be pleasantly surprised!

Norman Johnson
03-17-2011, 11:36 PM
Artifacts themselves might have some value related to their desirability as a art piece or a piece of historical interest. What people don't understand is that once the piece is removed from the site or even just moved around in the site, it loses a great deal of the scientific information that it can reveal to a trained professional or historical scholar.

Even tiny fragments of pottery, bone chips, or tool fragments at a archeological "dig" contain a lot of information. They tell the anthropologist when the site was used by whom and how the site was used. The strata where the artifact was found is like a calendar with dates that can be determined by the level at which the discovery is made. All of this information is carefully gathered when a site is excavated.

It is not that a person shouldn't pick things up and remove them from a site, a person should not even move things around in a site. The museum artifact you see on display in the glass case is really just for public interest. The scientist has already taken notes, measurements, photo's, radioactive carbon dates, and that sort of thing about that artifact. That information all sits in a file folder somewhere back in the museum. For every artifact you see on display, there are thousands more partial artifacts, chips, and fragments stored away in the curators storage area somewhere that relate to that one artifact in the case.

So, no, a private collector, is not the same as a museum curator. Most of the real scientific information and value was lost when the "pot hunter" picked up that cool-looking arrowhead and took it home to put on a shelf in his study. If a person values science, history and the knowledge of the past, DO NOT, disturb and remove any artifact or historical item from where you find it. Take a photo and contact your local museum curator. Someday, maybe you can take your kid to the museum and the artifact you discovered will be in a glass case and there will be a small plaque with all sorts of cool information that was learned about what you discovered---because you left it right where you found it.

NJ

NHBandit
03-19-2011, 08:00 AM
Not meaning to be rude, but this ain't Israel and this ain't England.

We don't have an ancient history (not one of metal use.) Our government doesn't want to work with metal detectorists because our weak laws protecting antiquities would probably mean they ended up in someone's garage or at ebay auction instead of in an museum. OK I have to jump in here.. I realize that ALOT of ghost towners look at metal detector hobbiests as grave robbers but the reality of how most museums operate needs to be addressed. They display the bling. The amazing, important, and valuable relics that attract the public to their museum. The seated Liberty half dollar someone found while metal detecting will most likely sit in a box in the basement of the museum collecting dust until they need to raise funds to buy something else for the "upstairs" display and at that time alot of the stuff in the basement will be sold to the PUBLIC to "make room for new artifacts" Sad maybe, but that's reality. I belong to this fine site as well as a couple "treasure hunting" sites and I always respect the historical aspect of both hobbies. Guys with metal detectors have found long forgotten colonial sites while poking around in the middle of cornfields, etc. These sites would have been lost forever if not for that guy. I don't detect historical sites, battlefields, or cemetaries and I'm tired of guys like me who pursue our hobby within the rules being labelled as thieves & grave robbers.

Mikejts
03-19-2011, 08:13 AM
Interseting thread, THANKs to all that are helping to save the historic ghost towns and other history.

I am a ghost town hunter, a metal detector person, and a volunteer survey person with BLM and Forest service. So I have experience much of what is discussed here. I get the metal detecting question all the time. Where can I go? Is it legal etc. Personally I never detect in a ghost town unless as part of an authorized research project. I confine my detecting to other areas. Preferably Alaska gold fields on private property.

I know people that pick up stuff and I tell them to put it back, take a photo instead, I have buried (after, taking a Photo, itemizing, gps etc) things I would have loved to put in my back pack. These have always been on survey projects.

The temptation is always great. The choice is always dependent on the individual and their views and ethics. Too bad all people do not respect what others sacrificed to create the world we live in and enjoy. From prehistoric man to the recent pioneers that opened the country for us.

Today there is a disposable mentality that sees no value in anything that does not give instant gratification or hold no immediate monetary gain.

I was recently at a location where an individual had ripped up floors looking for coins or artifacts that may have fallen through the cracks in the floor. The dumps had all been ransacked and cans broken bottles etc scattered around as well as holes dug everywhere. Done correctly, what was taken could have told a real story.

So THANKS to all that take pictures, leave no trash, dig no holes, disturb no property and still enjoy what they see.

Norman Johnson
03-20-2011, 02:54 PM
Mike has it right. There is nothing wrong with a hobby like metal detecting, however---please be aware of the limitations. Just like there is nothing wrong with shooting as a hobby-- but with shooting, the limitations have been established many times over. If you like metal detecting ghost town sites or historical sites, take some classes, talk to some museum curators (they are very open to discuss things with the public), volunteer for some anthropology digs, because what you are doing and interested in is only normal and natural. You want to discover history out there in the wild. There are ways to do that which add immensely to scientific and historical understanding and you should endeavor to be one of those. And there are activities that are quite destructive to an advancement of knowledge. One of the foremost dinosaur experts in southern California is an amateur with no formal training or university or museum affiliation.

NJ

Tyroler
07-01-2012, 09:18 AM
Interseting thread, THANKs to all that are helping to save the historic ghost towns and other history.

I am a ghost town hunter, a metal detector person, and a volunteer survey person with BLM and Forest service. So I have experience much of what is discussed here. I get the metal detecting question all the time. Where can I go? Is it legal etc. Personally I never detect in a ghost town unless as part of an authorized research project. I confine my detecting to other areas. Preferably Alaska gold fields on private property.

I know people that pick up stuff and I tell them to put it back, take a photo instead, I have buried (after, taking a Photo, itemizing, gps etc) things I would have loved to put in my back pack. These have always been on survey projects.

The temptation is always great. The choice is always dependent on the individual and their views and ethics. Too bad all people do not respect what others sacrificed to create the world we live in and enjoy. From prehistoric man to the recent pioneers that opened the country for us.

Today there is a disposable mentality that sees no value in anything that does not give instant gratification or hold no immediate monetary gain.

I was recently at a location where an individual had ripped up floors looking for coins or artifacts that may have fallen through the cracks in the floor. The dumps had all been ransacked and cans broken bottles etc scattered around as well as holes dug everywhere. Done correctly, what was taken could have told a real story.

So THANKS to all that take pictures, leave no trash, dig no holes, disturb no property and still enjoy what they see.
I always had a satelite Navigator with me and forwarded later to local Park Officials Photo with coordinates where to find it.I couldnt take it anywhy not with me Home to Austria,and Historian often happy with such Info

bob3 was bob2
11-19-2012, 07:40 AM
Good advice James, and just be careful because many times they will confiscate your equipment if you aren't supposed to be metal detecting there.

mainmanwalkin
11-28-2012, 01:54 PM
I'm probably 98% ghost towner, 2% metal detector. One time I went to the abandoned Popash school hoping to find some older coins that may have been lost in the grass. However when I got there the site was fenced off with a noticed large fine for trespassing. Not too long after that the school was demolished and paved over. To me, this is a case where the history those potential coins or other items had was lost. Probably still sitting there under the asphault (it is now a semi-truck parking area). Not saying that I would have found things worthy of the Smithsonian there, but at least someone (me) could have uncovered things linked to the history of the old school.

mainmanwalkin
11-29-2012, 10:31 AM
7774 Popash School, Mainmanwalkin, and barbed wire fence

Tsarevna
12-01-2012, 09:30 PM
Don't be sad about the asphalt. Nothing under the soil has been lost.

Archaeologists often *do* pave over historic sites to keep amateur diggers or looters out. To seal them until funds or new technology can help them explore an area.

A good example is at Fort Vancouver, where asphalt squares lie on top of original fur-trade building sites inside the palisade area. University professors and their students dig, document, clean the artifacts, reconstruct broken things, test them, put them in their museum, fill the earth, then re-create the building. Then they move on to the next asphalt rectangle next door. It takes time, but happens eventually.

It's my opinion that historical sites are not the place amateurs should be digging; not because they have bad intentions, they just don't have the skills to understand the significance of what they find, or the training to document it properly.

There are places where it's legal, like the beach, or city parks, where it doesn't matter. That is where I think people should go enjoy their hobby.

frankp
12-08-2012, 09:45 AM
If anyone is interested in eastern ghost towns please visit

http://www.metal-detecting-ghost-towns-of-the-east.com

Thanks
Frank

mainmanwalkin
12-08-2012, 08:17 PM
good point Tsarevna --my way of documenting old coins would be to say "cool, look what I just found!"

bob3 was bob2
12-08-2012, 09:24 PM
good point Tsarevna --my way of documenting old coins would be to say "cool, look what I just found!"

I think that is the best way of documenting old coins! :)

BrianAM
01-13-2013, 10:32 PM
anh Adam :)) đừng đ&#249;a với ch&#237;nh bản th&#226;n m&#236;nh như thế.

GefahrMike253
09-26-2013, 06:54 AM
You shouldn't metal detect on public land either! The artifacts from ghost towns on public land belong to the public. They belong in the ground where archeologists of the future can find them, or in a museum.

A door knob in a ghost town is "a door knob from X ghost town" however, an old door knob in your garage, is "a junky old doorknob."

Leave the artifacts there, so they can remain in-context.

If you want an old coin, an old key, an old doorknob, go buy one at an antique store.

I agree, take nothing, leave it as it was. The only thing I take is pictures, pictures are cooler anyway than something that will sit in a drawer.

GefahrMike253

TreasureKurt
09-29-2013, 01:05 PM
I'm a bit torn on the subject, I'm very into ghost towns and a co-founder of the Utah Ghost Town Project. On the flip side I'm a newbie metal detector and a member of the Utah Treasure Hunting Club, a group that metal detects all over the state.

Often private collections do end up in museums, and 'official' collections are lost or worse yet sites are reclaimed without any site surveying or searching done.... conundrums.