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M E T A L M A N 9
M E T A L M A N 9
Ph: 204-223-7809
METALMAN9
Ph: 204-223-7809
METALMAN9
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Index
September 1, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars
Sept. 1, 2021 Red River Mud Bars. The Red River is at its lowest levels since the dirty 30’s. In fact the river water intake pipe for the Letellier water reservoir is actually out of the water as is the intake pipe in Morris, Manitoba. Both of these communities draw river water into a reservoir for community use. Now water is being piped in from the Winkler aquifer. This record low water level is not apparent in the city of Winnipeg as the water levels are being kept at normal height by use of the locks at Lockport. This situation created a unique opportunity for metal detecting parts of the river bed that would normally be totally inaccessible. I remembered from my childhood, spending time near the river that there were some mud bars that at times were partly visible from shore. Much to my delight, I now found these same mud bars to be totally accessible and dry. And I don’t use the word “dry” lightly. Anyone who’s ever accessed the banks of the Red River and especially the shore knows just how impossibly muddy and sticky Red River jumbo can be. Now was an opportunity like no other. It was also a great photo op. I really didn’t expect much from a metal detecting point of view. I assumed that anything heavy like iron and metal would just sink in the wet mud beyond a detector’s reach. This was not the case. I was quite surprised by the site of the river itself. It quickly became apparent that as huge chunks of river bank slipped into the river due to constant water erosion, that these slabs of land, some still holding the remnants of tree stumps, would slide downward and then the leading edge would angle upward into the current. And quite a strong current there is, to the point of making lots of burbling noise through the remaining channels. These slabs of land being normally underwater are havens for clams. Clam beds. It is on the downward side of these bars that I found deep layers of clamshells and yes, metal too. The shore and bank themselves were also a good source of various metals finds. The highlights of the hunt for metal were an aluminum bracelet with the name “Maurice” scripted on it. This was found on the river bank itself. In the clam beds on the mud bars I found what appears to be a 3.5 cm copper coin or copper slug or possibly the centerpiece of a surveyor bourne. It weighs 23 grams. There definitely is an edge on the inside of the piece but I simply cannot make out any other distinguishing features due to heavy corrosion. I later contacted two coin dealer friends and crossed my fingers. Both came back thinking that the piece might be a 1797 English Penny sometimes called a Cartwheel Penny. There are nice pictures of these on eBay to compare with. Also of interest were two round bullets or shots from either a musket or black powder gun. I often talk about how every location has its own flavor or particularity. This location is no different. Being surrounded by agricultural land that has been in use for close to two centuries, I found various agricultural machine parts and barbed wire. And being a river, and rivers being home to fish, I also found lead fishing weights and rigging. Yes, those are indeed bolts hex nuts and a Champion spark plug that were being used to weigh down a fishing line and hook. All and all it was a successful day. I always enjoy finding glass and animal bones and unique rocks. I especially like the old ornate or inscribed glass pieces. The brown jug fragment was from an era when Javex came in large glass bottles. One another piece, the Anheuser Busch logo is unmistakable. I will certainly return to the river and take full advantage of these historic low water levels. I welcome any thoughts or ideas as to how best to restore this coin without further damaging it. Enjoy the pictures. Roger
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September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited
Sept. 12, 2021 Red River Mud Bars. Revisited. The Red River is at its lowest levels since the 1930's. This I covered in some detail with the Sept. 1st post. I was fortunate to have time to return to this location and to metal detect further and cover new ground. The water level was somewhat higher today due to recent rains so I could not access the clam beds that provided such rich finds last time. Instead, I focused on the actual river bank just below where the water level would be under normal circumstances. This is where I uncovered my first find of the day. It’s a cast iron wheel with curving spokes weighing in at 9.5 lbs. It was buried deep. I can only speculate as to its use and origins. I have seen similar wheels on old steam tractors of days gone by. Also found was what looks like a BB pellet and a musket or black powder shot that must have hit something really hard as part of it is quite flattened. One US Lincoln penny was recovered but the date is unreadable. I particularly enjoy the pieces of barbed wire fencing, especially the joined pieces. Someone’s hands worked and bent and twisted this very wire oh so many decades ago. Their presence is still there in the work. The Red River was the “Super Highway” of the early days for the settlers and was used for transportation of people, animals and goods long before the advent of the railway. Barges, paddle wheels and steam ships plied the river. I can only speculate as to the origin of the steel cable remnant but it is incredibly thick and may well have been part of ship’s mooring. Personally, I cannot see any agricultural use of such a thick cable. Any amount of length would have been near impossible to lift by hand. I also picked up a fair bit of glass, some old and some maybe not so old. Another nonmetallic find was very nice and interesting conglomerate rock. While digging on a weak signal by the river itself, I came across a thick layer of pure dark gray clay. No target was found ??? Yet when I stuck my Pinpointer deep into this soft gooey sticky stuff, the Pinpointer went off every time. Later, and a foot deeper, same thing. I suddenly felt like that guy on my Humor Page detecting his own steel toe boots. I have no answer yet to explain this ghost signal other than possibly the metallic content of the clay itself. A side story to this is that Tess and I will be bringing a block of this clay to a family member in North Bay, Ontario this fall when we visit. I've since learned that this is an ideal type of clay for a potter to work with. I’m looking forward to seeing what she makes and what this clay looks like once its worked and fired. Oh the joys of metal detecting. As a hobby, it's so much more. Roger
Index September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited September 12, 2021 - Red River Mud Bars - Revisited
September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950’s Shed
Sept. 18, 2021 Under a 1950’s Shed. These next images and finds are all from the family farm in the Red River Valley close to Letellier, Manitoba. Our family has been farming here for generations. Granddad had a grain shed consisting of 6 separate holding bins built on site in the early 1950’s. It was very modern in its day. I remember as a younger boy having to empty these bins with a shovel by pushing the grain to a single opening in the floor so that it could be augured into a waiting truck. Work work work it was. Fast forward some 70 years later and the grain shed gets sold and moved. Down the road she goes. The shed was always well maintained and sat on concrete beams of sorts so the bottom never touched the ground. It’s in between these concrete beams that I was asked to metal detect by one of my brothers. I am grateful for the invite and the opportunity and made a day of it with my wife Tess and granddaughter Miranda. Yup… road trip to Letellier!!! Like with any site that one metal detects on, there are always surprises and the unexpected. The areas underneath the shed, closest to the outside walls, were used as a sort of storage space for wooden planks, iron rods and the like. It was easy to access and kept materials dry and out of the rain and snow. Consequently, these first few feet in were very trashy from a metal detecting point of view with nails, nuts and bolts, cans etc. Further in the site was more pristine with just a few targets. It came as a bit of a surprise that this space between the concrete had actually been back filled with yellow clay. Yellow clay is very common in the area and can be found under the first few feet of topsoil. The clay may have come from the depths of one of the 3 retention ponds that are dug in and around the farm yard. These ponds would hold drinking water for the various livestock that came and went on the farm over the years. As expected, nothing major was found except by lucky Miranda who, with a little help from Michel and his “coin stock”, “discovered” a 1983 US dollar coin. Well it made her day, let’s leave it at that. There might have been another building on this same site prior to this shed being built as 2 square nails were found at depth along with several pieces of lead sheeting that was typically used to patch roofs. Some of the surprises found were a long strip of iron with a faded floral pattern. Probably part of a sign and the metal was repurposed. A second sign whose letters only came to light after a thorough cleaning said “Brantford Anthony”. Brantford Anthony was a maker of truck bodies and hoists way back when. The glass insulator was a nice surface find as were the copper door knobs. The red piece of plastic on a nail is what’s left of a fence post insulator for electric fencing. All and all it was a great day for everyone. It’s amazing what can be found in such a small storage area after 70 years of use. Roger
Index September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed September 18, 2021 - Under a 1950's Shed
September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park
Sept. 23, 2021 Moose Lake Provincial Park. Once a year it seems, I travel a long distance to metal detect on a site far from home. Moose Lake Provincial Park is located approximately 160 km. South East of Winnipeg off Highway 308. It is close to Sprague Manitoba and very close to the North West Angle and Buffalo Point off Lake of the Woods. (See last year’s trip to Grand Beach on Sept 29. 2020 ). By the way, be forewarned, Highway 308 is a graveled road. The trip there took a little over 2 hours and 2 hours plus for the return journey, a 384 km. round trip. I chose to detect the beach at Moose Lake as it is a place that I went to numerous times as a child with my parents and where we camped with family and friends. I have many memories of Moose Lake but needless to say, I didn’t recognize the place. That’s what 50 years plus will do to you. But I found the beach Ok and got down to business at around 9:30 AM. I had the entire beach to myself for the entire day. Great! They should rename this beach to bobby pin or bottle cap beach for the sheer number of these that I found. Bottle caps are tricky as they are round and metallic and have similar weight to some coins. Consequently they register on the detector in the same number range as coins do. I did manage to find two Loonies, two dimes and two pennies. A grand total of $2.22, plus a returnable beer can. One does not metal detect for profit…. but it is a good hobby. I believe that this beach must have been detected before but that must have been many years ago. The reason for this thought is that for a smaller beach, I did find lots of collectable items but nothing old, the earliest coin dated 1987 then 1989; both Loonies. I found lots of lead fishing line weights and rusted out hooks and 4 different firearm shell casings. At two different locations on the beach, I found tiny hexagon (6 sided) stainless steel pieces that I can only assume were worn as an earring or piercing but my wife says that they are most likely a fabric snap or ornament. The jury is out on these but just think of the odds of matching them up again. Also, notice the fancy cut glass ornaments on one of the bobby pins. Cool Eh! A real special find was the rock that looks like wood grain. It has a thin straight cut all the way around, not a natural feature and must have been worn as jewelry, possibly on a nylon string. We will bring this item to our jeweler and have him reset the stone so that it can be worn again. This find was a combination of pure luck and a sharp eye. What are the odds of finding one specific rock, less than an inch across, on a gravely beach. That my friend is the joy of metal detecting. Roger
Index September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park September 23, 2021 - Moose Lake Provincial Park