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The Digger :Your Metal Detecting Newsletter
May 31, 2020

I Hope You Are Well

The coronavirus has affected many families. I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and secure. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, so get out there and detect.

The Search for The Miser’s Silver - Part 2

In the April edition of "The Digger," I began to tell the story about our search for the hidden silver dollars that were supposedly cached by a miser/pharmacist somewhere on his property. To save space in this newsletter, if you are new to "The Digger," you can read that story here. The Search For The Misers Silver - part 1 However, before I get back into that story, I must apologize for not getting the April edition of "The Digger" written and sent to you. I have no excuses, but I do have a reason for the delay.

I have been working night and day on finishing my latest book, "Death be to Traitors." And honestly, by the time I am finished writing in that book and writing pages on my website, I am tired of writing and do not have the desire to begin writing a new month's edition of "The Digger." Hopefully, my book will be completed soon, and I will have the time to keep up to date with "The Digger." With that stated, here is the second part of "The Search for The Miser's Silver."

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

From my research, I knew where the home was located, and that the home was on the market and foreclosed. Upon further discovery, we learned that the bank that foreclosed the property was 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. Just how was I to pull this search off, I thought. I continued to approach the bank and its board members with my intention to allow them to let us search the property by me agreeing to sign a waiver of liability. And then I got lucky.

A month later, I received a letter from the bank attorney asking that I sign a waiver of liability to protect the bank from any injuries we may incur while searching the property. I had my attorney review the waiver, my two friends and I signed it. My lawyer mailed it to the bank attorney, and within a week, we were searching for the miser's silver dollars. The only stipulations gave by the bank, and their attorney was that we could not enter the home our the dilapidated barn and that we needed to be off the property within a certain amount of days. That meant we had three days to search it.

The property consisted of three acres. It included the home and the barn. I began metal detecting around the house while focusing on old trees that could have been a marker for the cache.

My two friends searched around the barn, also looking for signs of a marker that would be a tip-off to any treasure. By the third and last day of our search, we found Indian Head pennies, two-cent coins, a few one-cent coins, and silver coins consisting of Seated, Barber, and Mercury dimes. But the silver dollar coin cache had not been recovered.

In the middle of the afternoon, we stopped for lunch. As we gathered around the tailgate of one of the pickup trucks, while eating our homemade sandwiches, we discussed the possibility that our treasure hunt for the miser/pharmacist silver dollars was just a myth. Like so many treasure tales, the stories are often fabricated or changed each time the story is told. That is why I have always stressed the importance of researching any treasure you decide to look for.

As we discussed giving up the search and leaving the home and property, I had a feeling we were making a mistake if we did leave. My research was accurate and filled with more valid facts than hearsay. So my sixth sense told me to keep looking for those silver dollars.

We decided to give our search one more hour. If we found nothing, then we would leave the area. After all, the three days searching did allow us to find many great coins and a few pieces of Victorian age jewelry.

My two friends decided to head off into the wooded area behind the dilapidated barn just off the section that was kept as the lawn. I decided to metal detect the area right behind the barn. My thinking was if the miser was going to add to his cache or remove any coins, he would do so where no one could see him. I had searched a portion of this area on the first day, but I did so in a haphazard fashion in all-metal mode wanting to pick up any large targets. There was a large area of the property to search, and I wanted to be sure we searched as much of it as we could. Besides, as I said earlier, my instincts were telling me to search this area again.

After thoroughly detecting the area behind the barn and only digging rusted iron parts, I sat down to rest on the ground and leaned back against an old maple tree. I realized it was about the time we needed to leave the property.

I sat there looking around the area one last time and that was when I noticed a lone flat rock resting on the ground just behind another large maple tree twenty feet away from where I was sitting. The stone looked out of place. There were no other rocks of any kind anywhere visible on the property. Each of us had metal detected around that tree and near the rock but never paid any attention to it. I decided to take a closer look.

The flat stone was approximately one foot by one foot in diameter. I kneeled to take a closer look. That was when I realized the stone looked as if it was placed there. That's when I decided to move the rock to the side. After doing so, I went back to where I was sitting and grabbed my detector. As soon as I swung the coil over the ground where the rock was lying, my detector sounded off. My heart raced as I set the detector on the ground and began to dig a large plug around the area. Within a few minutes, I saw the top of what looked to be a metal container. I dug around the metal box and lifted it from the hole. Before opening it, I knew what I had found.

With my heart still racing with excitement, I called my two friends to come over to where I was. They had just finished their search and were beginning to walk toward me anyway. I showed them the metal box, which was a large military ammunition container. I left the metal ammo box in the hole and removed the top.

I was shocked at what I saw. My two friends yelled words that would not be appropriate to write in "The Digger." Then, for a few seconds, we sat and stared inside the box. It was empty.

I have been on many treasure hunting searches, and becoming upset because what I was looking for was not found. But I have never had an emotion of the kind I had after seeing that empty ammo box. I would have preferred that I never found that box at all than to have found it empty. And then the questions came.

Did the miser know he was dying, and he removed the silver dollars before he died? Did someone else search for the treasure and find it? He had no living relatives. Did he tell someone where the treasure was in case he died? And finally, did the miser hide any treasures inside his home or the barn?

To this day, I travel back in memory to that search. I think about the effort I put into the research. I remember how we painstakingly searched the area with our metal detectors. Yes, I still get upset that we never found the coins. But the one saving grace I have taken away from that time is this.

Metal detecting is the best hobby there is. And it can take you to adventures of a lifetime. I had to remind myself that the adventure is the excitement, and the reward is the search.

You are not always going to find what you're looking for. So allow the journey to be the excitement. Cherish every second you're out there, and do not fret about whether or not you'll find what you're looking for.

A Piece from The Past

“In May, 1972, Caleb Gross decided to go arrowhead hunting. He had previously made several nice finds in an old tobacco patch near his Crab Orchard, Kentucky home – but on this day Gross struck gold. While kicking at the loose dirt with the toe of his boot he unearthed a coin. It was a $10 gold piece. Several more identical coins were found before word leaked out and over 200 people showed up to dig for the gold. Gross later stated that approximately 50 of the $10 gold coins were found, all dating from 1850 to 1864. All were located within 20 feet of the unplowed tobacco patch.”

Man Metal Detecting Texas Beach Finds Couple’s Lost Ring

“A Texas man walking a beach with his metal detector came to the rescue of a distraught couple whose engagement ring was lost in the water.” Man Metal Detecting Texas Beach Finds Couple’s Lost Ring

Missing Ring Buried For Four Decades Found

“COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A family heirloom lost for nearly four decades was dug up this weekend in Cookeville.” Missing Ring Buried For Four Decades Found

Metal Detector Hobbyist Returns Lost Rosary 70 Years Later

“May 28 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man who found a buried rosary while metal detecting a few miles from his home reunited the item with its owner -- 70 years after it was lost.” Metal Detector Hobbyist Returns Lost Rosary 70 Years Later

Garretts New Ace Apex Metal Detector

I will be ready to sell the new Garrett Ace Apex metal detector sometime in July. Garrett is not allowing sales before that time.

Contact me for information regarding this new and exciting detector. Garrets New Ace Apex Metal Detector

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

Back Issues

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