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The Digger :Your Metal Detecting Newsletter
March 21, 2020

The Search for The Miser’s Silver

I’ve talked and written extensively about how important it is to research a treasure before heading out to search for it. And yet, I still receive emails and comments from people on the subject.

I won’t go into specifics here regarding research, but instead, I will use one of my experiences as a guide. The following is a lesson on how researching a single sentence from a stranger led to a challenging and exciting treasure hunt.

Years ago a few detector friends and I received permission to metal detect a certain farm property. It was an expansive area with acres of farm fields used for planting corn. We searched the area a few weeks and were finding dropped musket balls from the Revolutionary War, some old coins and of course junk items like rusted iron and broken tractor parts.

We developed a friendship with the owner and spoke often about the history of the area. During one conversation the property owner said, “by the way. A few miles up the road and old miser died and it’s rumored that he buried silver coins on his property.”

Now being the gent that I am, I respected the farmer's information and his hospitality. So I did not, although I wanted to, inundate him with questions about the miser. But the questions I wanted to ask were pulsating through my brain.

Did the miser have any living relatives?

When did he die?

Is the home for sale?

Are there new owners?

What kind of work did the miser do?

Was he ever married?

Those questions are important in solving a puzzle that could lead to a buried or hidden treasure.

Asking the questions could have been seen by the farmer as me being intrusive and or overbearing. With my only intention being to find that treasure. Of course, I wanted to search for it. I wanted to find that cache. But only if I thought there was a chance of recovering it. But I did not want to appear gung-ho and chomping at the bit, even though I was. I ended up having many sleepless nights about this one.

I decided that it would be best if my friends and I researched the information on our own, rather than interrogate the farmer with question after question. We did have an address. That’s all I needed to begin my research. After checking the records department of the county where the home was located, we discovered the misers home was on the market and foreclosed. Upon further discovery, we learned that the bank that foreclosed the property is located in a town a few miles from the property. Everything about the research was easy up to this point, but now we had a problem. From experience, most banks will not allow you to search property in foreclosure. They are afraid of liability issues. Banks are also leery of anyone they don’t know having access to the property for fear of items being stolen. I understand their concerns. But, I wanted on that property.

After discovering the information we had about the foreclosure I began to dig deeper into the miser and his living habits. What I found in the way of knowledge about his lifestyle was a treasure in itself.

After talking to his neighbors, who were elderly, and had known him for years, I discovered that the “hermit” as he was called, was once a pharmacist. He never married, and he had no living relatives. The hermit lived what looked to be a paltry life, never owned a vehicle, and rode everywhere, even to work, on an old Schwinn bicycle. During the winter months, he walked to and from the pharmacy where he worked. It was a distance of five miles round trip.

After retiring he became a recluse. He only ventured out to purchase a few groceries or incidental items. He wore the same clothes daily. And never entertained or had visitors to his home. But one intriguing piece of information told to me and authenticated by others was this, the hermit was a collector of Morgan and Peace silver dollars. Of course, now the question in my mind was. He did not trust banks, he kept very little money in his bank accounts, then where did he keep the silver coins or any other money he had?

Now, with this told, I must stop here. I need to finish the rest of this month's issue of “The Digger” before I get too far behind and never get this issue to you.

So, with that, “The Search for The Miser’s Silver” will be continued next month.

A Piece from The Past

“In April 1972, federal agents dug up $978,100 cash from the backyard of a convicted heroin dealer and located another $100,000 hidden in a basement wall. The money was recovered at the Bronx (New York) home of Louis Cirillo and was reportedly the largest cash haul ever made by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Mrs. Cirillo watched while ten agents, armed with a search warrant, dug up a wooden box containing the $978,100, mostly in $50 and $100 bills. Cirillo was in jail at the time, awaiting sentence.”

Iowa Class Ring Found in Kansas

“Five inches below the surface, near the pathway of a home in Kansas, a nugget of metal caught Garrett Seuser's attention.

Seuser, 22, hovered over the spot with his metal detector, then unearthed the heavy lump of soil. Brushing away the dirt,

Seuser discovered it was a 1983 class ring from Dallas Center-Grimes High School in Iowa.” Demoinses Register Iowa Ring Found in Kansas

English Heritage Urges End to Illegal Metal Detecting at Historic Sites

“English Heritage has urged the public to help fight the rise of illegal metal detecting at its historic sites.

Ancient locations such as the site of the Battle of Hastings and Old Sarum in Wiltshire have been targeted by illegal detecting, the organisation said.

The conservation body said such action, known as "nighthawking", was "robbing us of our past". BBC News Englsh Heritage Urges End To Metal Detecting

Detecting Provides a Getaway in Itself

“ENID, Okla. — When Brian Terrell first got into metal detecting in 2003, he and his cousin were walking around an old homestead when he made a discovery that would make him an enthusiast for life.” Enid News Detecting Provides a Gateway

Man Finds Buried .38 Revolver at Park While Metal Detecting

NWf Daily News Man Finds Buried 38 Revolver

Metal Detectorist Unearths Incredibly Rare Roman Horse Brooch

“Lincolnshire County Council reported that a very rare Roman brooch dating back to the dawn of the Roman conquest has been found in a field near Sleaford by a metal detectorist.

A staffer with the County Council is quoted as saying: "the brooch is an exciting and rare discovery.” UK News Metal Detector Enthusiast Unearths Incredibly Rare

We Want Your Stories and Pictures

One of the excitements we get from metal detecting is seeing what kind of “stuff” others are finding. Not only do we enjoy seeing the items found, but many of us like to hear the stories about how those finds were located. So, let’s see your “stuff.”

Many have posted pictures and brief stories of their finds at my website. It’s easy to do. You basically create your own webpage with a picture or pictures, and a brief story of how you found the items. Once your page is posted, others will be able to view your page, and make comments. You will also have your own url link to the webpage you built. Use that link to post to Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest and share with others.

So show your “stuff.” We want to see the goodies! Stories About Your Finds

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Thank You

To those of you that have contacted me with kind words about "The Digger" - Thank You.

Frank

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