I had an airline ticket that I had to use up and visited my mother and sister in South Dakota in mid September. I brought my White's Spectrum XLT detector in hopes of finding some coins while there. We tried a few old farm sites but did not have much luck. I went to an old school site where I had gone to 5th and 6th grade. My mother had also gone to high school here and I believe it was built around 1900. My father had told me that a detector club (from the twin cities area) had brought a bus load of people that had hunted the ghost town over a weekend several years ago.
The school had been torn down in the 80's after I had left home. There was a large play area (several acres of land) to the east of where the building had once stood. Every time I have been back, I had tried to hunt this area but it had reverted back to prairie grass and was too high and dense to swing the detector. Well this time, someone had mowed most of the field and put it up for hay. There was only about two to three inches of grass stubble left! I decided to work from the center of the field from side to side and work toward where the school building had been. There were two old ball diamonds here that I had played on as a boy during school recesses. Other groups like the 4-H club played their games on the better of the two fields. They had only mowed up to a point across the first to third bases of both diamonds.
I was not finding a lot of coins but everything was old and very little junk! The closer I got to the ball diamonds, play equipment, and building had been, the finds improved and became more numerous. In about five hours, I had worked the first half the field. In this time I had found a silver Washington quarter (1946), a silver Roosevelt dime (1948), and 30 wheat pennies (oldest being a 1920).
My brother-in-law (who had also gone to school there several years) had recently purchased a farm several miles from the school. After seeing my finds from the afternoon, offered to bring his tractor with a bush hog and mow some of the overgrown area near the ball diamonds and get closer to where the school had been. On the second visit, the first coin I found in the newly mowed area was a Mercury dime. What a great start! I also had several multi-coin recoveries in this area. One pair was the two oldest finds, an 1898 and 1902 Indian head penny. Other multi-coin recoveries were two silver war nickels, two Mercury dimes, six wheat pennies and two silver Virgin Mary metals. The only way I can explain this is that other people without target ID detectors may have thought these targets were junk from the double beep signals. The grass here had also been very thick and no one may have ever hunted this area.
Several of my old neighbors and classmates had stopped by to see what I had found. One man had operated the local grain elevator near the school and also gone to school here. He said a local detectorist had hunted this area extensively and was amazed at what I had found. He said that the main ball field had been at the far end of the field (the area I had not hunted yet) while he had gone to school there (mid 1950s). I hope to hunt this area and also get closer to where the school had stood next time I visit. If the grass is too long, I hope that my brother-in law will come to the rescue again with his bush hog.
The grand total for the ten hours of hunting was as follows:
2 Silver Washington quarters
1 New dime (1967)
3 Silver Roosevelt dimes
5 Mercury dimes
2 Silver war nickels
1 Buffalo nickel
65 Wheat pennies
2 Indian head pennies
2 Silver religious metals
80 coins total.
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