Ever find anything historically interesting on your land?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HiouchiDump, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    California and Washington
    My property in northern California was the site of a mine in the 1800s. The pits are still there along with the remains of some of the mine workings. I thought that was it, but while I was clearing some brush this weekend in an area I've rarely gone through, I found the collapsed remains of an adobe brick shack, complete with some old metal artifacts like pick heads and some stuff I can't identify. Kind of cool. I know - stuff that is maybe 150 years old isn't all that historical in most of the world, but it's pretty old for this part of the west.
  2. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 7, 2005
    Oh, yes! theres a old creek below our house, (mostly dry, anymore) but i've found lots of arrowheads. but once, i found this large stone, about 2'across, had a deep well in the center, with deep grooves worn all around the inside, like a grinding bowl. i was going to take it to be evaluated for age--but i carelessly put it down--where the mower got to it. been years ago-and i still feel bad.

  3. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Did find a scraper here on the Kentucky farm, but the ranch in Montana was where I got used to finding things.

    The home place was at the forks of Rosebud Creek and that valley was where General Crook took his cavalry up to go across the Wolf Mountains to where he was supposed to meet up with General Custer's command on the Big Horn. The ranch was probably not more than 30 or 40 miles crosscountry from where the Custer Battlefield is.

    The Cheyenne harassed Crook all the way up through that portion of the valley and there were a lot of things my grandparents, parents and I found over the years.

    It was Indian country to start with, we had a lot of arrowheads and scrapers we found all through the area riding after cattle, and there was a buffalo jump just a mile below our place, at the neighbor's, that the historical society did a dig at some years after I was married and gone.

    We also found bits of harness, old mule shoes and in some places, where an actual battle (Crook and the Cheyennes) had been, dozens of shell casings from rifles and pistols.

    One of the neighbors from my grandfather's "era" found an old cavalry saddle in what was his alfalfa field then ... and when my grandparents moved to the home place, there was a tree with a name and date carved in it along the creek, presumed to be one of the soldiers.

    There was a book written about that area "With Crook on the Rosebud" I think was the title ...
  4. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    After we bought the north part of our farm I got to looking at all the holes dug all over the hills and what I thought were the biggest terrices I had ever seen (we had to pick a shallow spot to cross with the tractor. Then one winter with no leaves on the trees there it was the holes were musket emplacments the terreces are slit trenches it is a confederate defense for defending the road at the state line.
    The never fought here but it is still interesting. We have marked over a hundred places that are still easily seen. Some of the rifle pits are still large enough to hold a small pick up truck.
  5. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 10, 2005
    NW Georgia
    We use to plow up tons of arrow heads in our fields, some of them from non-native flint rocks. Our home place was situated on former Cherokee land, and we believe it must have been a meeting/trading place. My Dad found mini balls and cannon balls in his youth, reminders left from Sherman's march to the sea.
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Washington State
    Y'all have some pretty fun stuff. I love digging up cool stuff, but alas there is nothing to dig up here on my property...
  7. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2003
    if you are familiar with the book "christy" by catherine marshall, i used to have a house right down the road from the real mission. my place had the store that was mentioned in the book. TONS of history. when they made it into a movie they filmed it in townsend about 50 miles away. tourists would show up on the porch asking for directions.
  8. Cara

    Cara Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    I don't know, kesoaps, we are in western Oregon and have found lots of arrow heads in the field after plowing and one fairly grisly weapon. The arrow heads were found when Grandma and Grandpa first bought the place in the early 50's, but the other "tool" was found by my Mom in the 70's. What it looked like was a funny little round headed ax, made of very smooth carved stone. It was broke off above the "head" and below, but it was well made and had taken lots of work to get all of the chisel marks off. Mom looked it up in an artifact book and what they called it in there was a "slave killer". It originally had a bigger rounded head above the one she found and a short handle. It must have been very heavy when it was whole, and probably did it's job well....it was for quick kills. ICK! So we do have some history in the far west!
  9. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Our place in NH had an old farm dump at the back, down by the smaller creek. My daughters dug out a bunch of old broken glass and such, then they found, partly buried under a boulder that had slid down the creek bank, a dozen or so worn-out scythe blades. You could see the damage from being used to mow a stony hayfield. The house on the place was built just before the Civil war, but I think the property had been settled in the late seventeen hundreds, so don't know how old those scythe blades were.

    On the Oregon Coast where my family settled in the 1870's, on or around family property were found a number of Indian artifacts, including an ancient skull, arrowheads, and a mortar and pestle. The biggest mystery to us, though, were some ancient chestnut trees. My grandmother was born in 1913, and she said those trees were really old when she was a little girl. The first white settlers in the area (at least that anyone knows about) came in the 1870's. So who planted those trees?

  10. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 11, 2004
    We used to live north of Flagstaff on a piece of remote property on the "other" side of the San Francisco Peaks, right at the base pretty much. We would find potsherds from the Anasazi who would come in the summer to worship. They still had the original paint designs on them. According to a curator at the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Anasazi dumped their trash on our property (the nerve).
  11. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

    Nov 15, 2004
    Upstate NY
    We have 2 big stone piles on our land. They have generated much interest and they are all over our county. There has been many newspaper articles on these piles and people coming to study them to try to figure out what they are or what they mean. These piles are stacked very neatly and have been for over a hundred years.

    Our area has a large amount of stone fences, but sad to say, many people are selling them, so they are being taken down.

  12. Pigeon Lady

    Pigeon Lady Well-Known Member Supporter

    Apr 3, 2004
    That old mine sounds fantastic! Gosh I'd be in my ellement there. You should get a metal detector and see what else is burried. What were they mining?

    I'm always out with the detector. Haven't found a great lot other than horse shoes, silver dimes and spoons. Bits of horse harness and old rusty bottle tops! There was a water mill down in the front field that was built in 1853. This weekend I'm going to spend some time down there with the detector and probe. I'd like to find the old privy. I read that there was very little metal in a grist mill because of the high risk of sparks. All that dust the place would go up in a second. So most things were made of wood.

    I really thought I would find more old coins but I think the people were so poor they had nothing in their pockets to lose!

    Check out




    The oldest thing I've found here was a quartz arrowhead and other pieces of arrowheads laying in the fields and creek.

  13. NorthernLight

    NorthernLight Active Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    New England
    I found an old dump burried on my property with all kinds of stuff. The deeper I went the older it was. I found everything from 50's milk jugs to an old plow gear stamped 1862.
  14. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    Zone 9b
    There is an old logging trail running through my land. I'm not sure if they were after the cypress trees or the pine trees (we have a lot of old turpentine history and stills in the area). There may be artifacts, too, but I'm not going to fight the rattlesnacks and moccasins for them. Perhaps now that we are having a record-breaking drought, I'll can hike about one of these weekends and see what's what. Normally, the old trail is a now a deep creek, running between deeper sections of the swamp.
  15. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2002
    Back in 1979 found a Ferganson Rifle training bayonet. Donated it to Military State Park.

  16. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

    Mar 12, 2004
    Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
    Our place is near the Stillaquamish River on a terrace. Most of the terraces along the river had Indian encampments at one time or another, so arrowheads are common. Unfortunately, our terrace was bulldozed smooth in the 1920's or 30's, so not much to find here. Across the road is an abandoned zinc mine from the 1920's, there are three more in the same hill. I'd actually like to see about having them gated off, they are beginning to collapse.
    When I was a kid we moved into a house near Conway where a previous tenant had left a 6 (SIX!!!!) over/under dbl/brl shotgun. This was in the early 1960's. My dad sold it to a gun shop for $150, big bucks back then.
    Not far from here, on Camano Island, one can find mammoth molars on the beaches.
  17. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 23, 2004
  18. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

    Mar 16, 2003
    Lots of Indian artifacts...arrowheads and such. Clay and glass marbles. Tons of broken glass and pottery. That's all in the plowed up dirt. With a metal detector you can find quite a few coins and sometimes old rings.
  19. MomOf4

    MomOf4 Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2006

    On part of the land we sold off, there was a cemetary with only 2 "real" headstones - the rest were rocks with initials carved out or holes carved through them (last buried was 1852, 2 years before my family bought the property).

    We donated that portion to the county before the sale of the land to ensure it would remain intact. The builders sent a guy out to sonar the ground, and they found feet sticking out under where the fence had been put up to keep the livestock out. They found about 32 graves.

    My father tells me that when he was a boy (back in the 30's), a groundhog brought up a handkerchief. My grandfather put it on the end of a stick, and shoved it back in the hole!
  20. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Feb 24, 2003
    I have two Logging Roads running throgh my place.Use to be a Sawmill,down the hill.

    Use to have a place that had a huge Slave Barn.Went to take my wife to see it.It had burnt couple days before.

    I owned one place that use to be the Grade and High School and Community Center.Lots of interesting stuff there.

    big rockpile