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Index
October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern
October 19, 2022 How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern. It only took a few minutes and a short walk and 4 ironstone pieces were found and as a bonus, 2 pieces had markings, possibly identifiable. This is how October 19, 2022 started on River Lot # 159. The river lot’s east end is bisected by a gravel road that the locals refer to as the Old 14, and by the banks of the Red River. The roadway creates an odd shaped triangular piece of land that tends to be difficult to farm due to its small size. Nonetheless, here I am doing a preliminary walk through to determine its potential having metal detecting in mind. The plan is to return in a few days with a fellow detectorist and see what we can find on this otherwise nondescript, triangle shaped portion of river lot. There is no record anywhere that I could find to suggest that anyone ever lived on this piece of property but any sign of human activity could make this a very interesting hunt. On a very slight rise, next to where the river bank starts its descent towards the river, I found one piece of white pottery. Now that was an Ah Ha moment. Then I spotted another, and then two more. The ground here is covered with wheat stubble which makes finding small artifacts rather difficult. I saw no glass, I saw neither nails, nor any metal parts but 4 pieces of ironware tells me that at some point in time someone was here with some sort of dishware. They were here long enough to see this dishware get broken and then discarded. Being able to positively identify the ironware gives us potential habitation dates. Oh the joy when history and metal detecting meet. I called on our good friends Sid and Pam Kroker to help with the identification of the ironware based on the printing and on the pattern. Here for your enjoyment was Sid’s reply… The pieces are pretty small but we can provide a bit of information. They are ironstone which is a utilitarian, heavy type of porcelain and probably come from a dinner plate. The one on the left is the "wheat" pattern. (If I recall correctly, we gave you a plate of that type.) There are over 40 different "wheat" manufacturers and more than one pattern from some of the pottery firms. From what is visible, we aren't able to identify the type of pattern or the maker. Most of the pottery firms that produced the "wheat" pattern were in England, a couple in Scotland, one in Canada, and one in France. The Canadian company - St. Johns Stone Chinaware Company of St. Johns, Quebec, was in business from 1873 to 1899. The earliest patent for a raised wheat pattern was registered in 1848 with some companies continuing production into (and perhaps beyond) the 1970s. I would guess that your treasures probably date from the turn of the century (1885 -1915), but that is just a guess.” “The partial mark on the second is just that - an annoying partial. Just enough of a design to hint at something which doesn't pan out when one checks the reference.” Hope this helps Sid The remainder of the day was spent detecting the area known as Two Little Points Farm (River Lot # 153). Here, habitation is well documented. This location has been a constant source of new and exciting finds and today was no different. I’ve learnt from other detectorists that a site or a location is never really cleaned out. There is always something just waiting to be found. Probably the best finds of the day were the heavy brass cow bell and the horse collar / sleigh bell, also very heavy. A small partial Crucifix speaks to the inhabitants’ history. A pocket knife, a purse clasp, an ornate piece of decorative iron, a large farm equipment gear and a small clock gear. Talk about extremes. For similar clock parts found on this site, see October 9, 2020, picture # 11 . Personally, I like the buckles and button. The button says “J H S Canada.” And lots of square nails. I just love finding square nails. They speak to me. They say: “This site is old… Keep looking.” On the geology side of things, I found a few interesting rock samples. One is the fossilized remnants of a shell. The cow’s tooth is not quite as old. And notice the last picture. It is a piece of Chert or more commonly called Flint that has been completely encased in sedimentary rock. How many millions of years did that process take? From where did the flint originate? What a story this rock could tell. Check out the next story on October 22, 2022 for a follow up hunt on River Lot 159. The little triangle that could. Sources: Sid and Pam Kroker The Wheat Pattern by Lynne Sussman http://parkscanadahistory.com/series/saah/wheatpattern.pdf
Index October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern October 19, 2022 - How About those Bells… and a Wheat Pattern
October 22, 2022 - Monty, Myself, and the triangle field of River lot # 159. The little triangle that could.
October 22, 2022 Monty, Myself, and the triangle field of River lot # 159. The little triangle that could. The preliminary background to this story can be found in the previous outing of October 19, 2022. The two stories are interlinked along with the next story which is the afternoon segment. If anything that metal detecting and watching others metal detect on YouTube has taught me, is that patience and persistence play a huge part. I’ve also learnt that the most mundane looking places can yield great finds. True is the adage that you cannot read a book by its cover. Places that I thought looked promising often were not. And places that don’t look like much or that show minimal signs of human activity can surprise you. The east end of River Lot # 159 is a good example of this. I first met Monty this year when we teamed up at Winnipeg Beach. It’s there that we also met Randy. (See: September 7, 2022 Monty, Randy, Winnipeg Beach, and Me .) Randy showed me a picture of a very very old British coin that he found in an open field in the Red River Valley. The coin predated any settler by about 500 years plus. It presumably was a keepsake from the old country, lost on the prairie by an early settler. The point has been made over and over by this and by similar other finds that all you need is for one person to have walked on the land that I’m detecting on and they lose something… It’s not always about old building foundations or ancient garbage dump sites or visible proof of habitation, although these things help greatly in finding relics and artifacts, but that unexpected finds can come from the most benign looking field. Yes, it helps that the area detected is near a reliable water source or near population centers or close to known travel routes and luck also plays a part but what joy it is to find these little treasures. And just what are the odds eh! Monty has a real liking for the edges and borders of fields. Personally, I prefer an open and plowed field. Detecting and then digging through tall grass and weeds is much more difficult but they are the areas where farmers and passer-by often discard unwanted items. And for the same reasons, they are areas that are often never detected thus one has a better chance of finding things. Monty headed for the weeds and worked the open field. In total, we collected 30 pounds of iron along with a dozen or so pieces of glass and pottery shards and a small assortment of non- ferrous metal items. One such item looks a lot like the top portion of a horse collar bell. We found the usual array of square nails and even a copper wire. Clearly this little triangle of land has seen a lot more human activity and possible habitation than what meets the eye. The location is what I would refer to as virgin territory: Previously undetected. Monty and I both found items most everywhere we swung the detector coil. Monty was even able to match together two pieces of rounded iron which he found well apart from each other, the function of which I have no idea. The bigger pieces I photographed in our garage. The remainder, I brought in and cleaned them up as they are all unique in shape and have a variety of possible functions. One piece is clearly a piece of a cast iron stove top. You can see where two of the round cook lids fit. One piece has the letters N A M A stamped in. (Panama)? There’s part of a door latch and a turn handle possibly for a flue on a stove pipe? We certainly found some proof of human habitation. A spoon bowl, a button, and lots more pottery and glass shards. I now have a winter project. This river lot will require more research. Someone must have lived here at some point in time. Now we find out who and when. The little triangle that could, sure did. Roger
October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could October 22, 2022 - The little triangle that could Index Index Index
October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm
October 22, 2022 More finds at Two Little Points Farm. The afternoon portion of the day was spent metal detecting on River Lot # 151 or better known as Two Little Points Farm. I have posted many pictures and stories about finds from this location and will probably continue to do so for years to come as artifacts abound. I’ve often heard it said that one can never truly exhaust a site when it comes to metal detecting, especially one as rich in history as this location. Surprises are a constant with metal detecting. Today was certainly no exception for both Monty and me. Monty’s “Top Pocket Find” came first. The first picture features an expanse of prairie grasses. Hidden from sight but not to Monty’s detector was this knife. Crocodile Dundee’s infamous line immediately came to mind. “That's not a knife. That's a knife!” My surprise moment came, or I should say after 20 minutes of digging, a half inch thick anchor rod of sorts and a few feet further, part of a water piping system. The pipe I was eventually able to pull out but more metal plumbing remained further down in the ground. The anchor rod… well that didn’t move, not even a wiggle. I advised the farm owner so that field equipment doesn’t get caught up and damaged. Other finds were the general endless assortment of square nails and iron machinery parts. Even with the wheat stubble obscuring the ground, I still managed to find ancient glass, including a beautiful dark green iridescent piece, pottery pieces of which three with markings, plus a thin flat piece of slate that I believe may have been part of a child’s chalkboard. The Canadian Schenley cap is interesting but much more so the ornate aluminum cap with a hinge. At first I was thinking of a salt or pepper shaker top but then I saw the sturdy hinge. ??? Mason jars and their lids always give me a rush. We’ve all heard stories of people burying their coin stashes. Well not so today. The white pin looking thing has Roman numeral markings: IV and a slot that could possibly accommodate a fastener. It seems to be made of very dense plastic or resin. Is it a piece of a toy or part of an eclectic panel??? Always more questions than answers. When it comes to pottery, I went to Sid and Pam with my questions. Here are his answers. Hi Roger: Greetings to a man out standing in the field. The larger piece is what is called "Flow Blue", as the colour used for the design tended melt slightly and to blur when the item was fired. It was very prevalent from mid-1800s to WWI. The mark on the base of the second sherd is from one of the four potteries operated by a Meakin - Alfred, Charles, Henry, and J. & G. All used variations of the Royal crest during the 1880s and 1890s. From what is present on the sherd, I think it is J. & G. Meakin who operated at Hanley (as did two of the others) from 1851 to 1958. The third sherd appears to come from a cup. I have never seen that design before but without a base sherd showing a manufacturer, I can only give you a wide guess from 1900 to 1940.
October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm October 22, 2022 - More finds at Two Little Points Farm Index Index
October 29, 2022 - The Recipe
October 29, 2022 The Recipe. Find a flat, wide open field. Overlay it with an aerial photograph dated circa 1940’s. Add a pinch of sunshine and mix in with dry soil conditions. Fire up your curiosity to a fevered pitch and you’ve got the perfect combination of ingredients for one heck of a metal detecting adventure. And so the day began. This undisclosed location in Southern Manitoba is smack dabbed in the center of a land section. A section is an area that measures one mile by one mile square. It contains 4 quarter sections, (Obviously). It contains 640 acres. This is how most of the Canadian Prairies were divided except when close to a river where a whole section didn’t fit and those areas became River Lots. Back in the day; farm houses and barns were sometimes built at the inside corner of a section. This means that one could have as many as 3 close neighbors although it was not often that case. Many built in the very center of the quarter section as to have equal distance to any part of the homestead. A close neighbor meant an occasional helping hand when needed, safety, companionship and sometimes it meant shear survival. Remember this is in the mid-1800. No telephone, no electricity, certainly no social media. It was you, your wife, a great many kids of all ages, (my maternal grandmother had 14), a few horses, cows, chickens and pigs and a whole lot of empty space between you and a neighbor especially if no one else shared the inside section corners. On this particular section, the exact location of the 4 inside corners is marked by a cedar post. It’s used as a guide or reference point as to where your field ends and that of the neighbor starts. In this case: Yes there are neighbors although no one lives on location anymore. Over time, farmers eventually moved their homes and families and barns and animals to the outside areas of a section to be next to the mile roads. As time progressed, municipalities eventually graveled some of these mile roads and heightened them with the soil from the adjacent drainage ditches that were dug to drain the low spots and the spring runoff etc. This was deemed progress and modernization. In more recent times, farmers using big tractors and laser guided scrapers further opened up the fields by carving out small drainage canals within the fields. This brought any excess water out towards the mile road ditches and allowed for better and quicker seeding and harvesting of crops. You can see some of the standing water in the aerial photograph. It was while trenching such a field canal, one that bisects part of the quarter, that my brother noticed something very odd. The scrapper had revealed the remnants of large tree trunks and roots in what was a low lying area. Odd indeed! He thought of Oak. I’m thinking of Willow. What tree would grow successfully in a low maybe even marshy setting? He did keep some wood samples. I’d love to take these out and have them analyzed carbon dated. Let’s call it a winter project. Curiosity soon ensued. Were these large trees sheltering a long forgotten farm yard? There is no known record of anyone living on this quarter section. There was a family home and barns on the inside corner of the North East quarter up until the late 1950’s or early 60’s but they never owned the North West quarter. What would a day of metal detecting conjure up? Perhaps signs of habitation? The recipe was in place and at play. Here are the finds from this outing, all 6 hours of it. I found some pottery shards and some glass but not much. There were very few personal artifacts. A buckle and a clothing snap. Everywhere were lots of nails, both round and square and 3 railway spikes. I found lots of wire too. Lots of wire makes sense as most farm fields were fenced to keep the cattle in. I also found lots of farm machinery parts and pieces. My brother came up with an interesting theory. He calls it distribution by manure spreader. Lots of farm yard waste, along with the animal manure got dumped into the manure spreader, then off to the fields it went for “Distribution”. Any wooden planks and pieces got bashed apart and flung out the back of the spreader along with the manure. The wood eventually rotted away and just the many nails remained. The same may have happened with any household garbage thus the wide distribution of ceramic, pottery and glass pieces, or so the theory goes. In this field, I could not locate any one area that had a higher concentration of anything specific. More of the nails and fencing wire were found on the east side of the drainage canal and on the west side, more farm equipment pieces were found. Not enough to draw any firm conclusion as to the history of this area of this quarter section. Perhaps the cattle fencing encircled this naturally low area to provide drinking water for the animals and the west side was used more as crop land? Also of interest are the many strips of heavily rusted tin sheeting that I found deep in the ground at the bottom of the low areas. This was a naturally occurring canal of sorts perhaps a marsh and then the tree stumps were discovered when the canal was further evened out. It’s odd that metal strips would show up at such a depth. From the top of the small rise to the bottom of the canal is at best 4 feet. Remember, this is a flat piece of uninhabited prairie. Sometimes there are more questions than answers but this is part of the fun with metal detecting. Our recipe is done. Roger
Index Index October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe October 29, 2022 - The Recipe Index