I have heard of people visiting their local historical society and coming away with some great leads. A matter of fact just in the last few weeks Bob Washabaugh and I were talking about a time he stopped in at one and got a few places to metal detect that day.
Sadly enough I have never done it myself in all these years of metal detecting. I don’t really know why other than I am certainly an introvert although I come out of my shell fairly well when it comes to metal detecting whether it’s meeting new people, doing our podcast or talking in front of the local historical society like I did the other night.
Since moving here to Texas I’ve had very little luck finding the types of sites I really like. For me, I love hunting where things once were but are long gone, preferably in a field. In Ohio I could simply overlay maps from the 1850-1870 range and easily find sites. Here in Texas I haven’t even been able to find a map from the first half of the 20th century for my area! That’s when I got the idea to turn to my local historical society.
I contacted a very nice gentleman a few weeks ago who runs one of the local museums and he forwarded my email to the rest of the board and they put me on the schedule to talk to them about metal detecting. I went Monday night to their monthly meeting (that’s why there was no podcast this week) and got to tell them what I do and ask them if they had any places they thought would be worth checking out for them. I will admit the responses were surprising to me. I was hoping for a warm welcome and an interest and I have to say it went better than what I could have even imagined. I had a few of the members come up to me after and I had some very interesting conversations about the local history and possible places to metal detect. One of the gentlemen who runs the outdoor museum called me yesterday and I will be doing a talk next month and we will let people follow me around while I metal detect the 8 acres the property sits on and hopefully get them involved in digging up spots I mark. The best part, that 8 acres is where a town once stood dating back to the 1850’s! The board is also going to let me metal detect a house they own and I believe a lot more will come out of this. Of course all finds will be handed over to the historical commission. The chance to hunt some great places and hopefully find enough stuff to display for future generations to look at is very exciting for me.
One thing I want to leave you with is this. I was really disappointed in the age of the group. Not that I was disappointed in them, they were great people but it was rather alarming to see there were no younger people there and I found that to be very sad. Who is going to keep the history alive when they are gone? If you’re local historical society is as great as mine I highly recommend joining and even volunteering if you can. We all enjoy this great hobby and most of us love history even if you didn’t when you first started and it’s time we help keep that history alive and going.