Cellar Hole and the Daffodil's!
By Jim Vokes
My friend Chuck and I hiked into a woods this day, down an old lane to find a cellar hole. Light rain falling into a misty atmosphere set the tone for an interesting day.
Using an 1860’s map, we found the overgrown buggy trail into the woods. The walking was tough because of the brush and fallen trees littered on the faintly defined trail.
About 200 yards into the woods, my buddy Chuck spotted a family cemetery plot that was indicated on my map. There were two "normal" old headstones in good shape, dated 1841 & 1863, leaning against trees and three or four slate stones standing guard over the children (I believe). After a quick search there, finding nothing, we moved on.
After going quite a ways, Chuck noticed a low foundation along the lane. The foundation was about 20' by 30' and 3 stones high. After a bit, we thought it might be a barn site as there was no cellar hole or little obvious iron.
After a few minutes detecting, I started to wander around looking for the elusive cellar hole. After a few minutes, I suddenly spied, down the hill a bit, something unusual. I was staring at quite a few yellow daffodils in bloom in the rough shape of a square? No myrtle, lily of the valley or lilacs were present, which I usually find by a cellar hole. No Cellar hole either.
I hollered to my buddy and we both went down to look around. There was a low rock foundation but no CELLAR HOLE? I believe it is the first home site that I have ever found that did not have a cellar hole, in our area at least.
We believe that it may have been a log cabin but there was no presence of wood etc. at the house or barn site. We did find some chimney brick buried at the house foundation. Of course this is normal as we are talking about over 100 to 150 years old. We did find the well hole that looked more like a spring than a well.
Now we couldn't start detecting fast enough! Chuck was the first to yell. Grinning from ear to ear, he held up a beautiful 1863 Indian Head Penny. That sure made me get serious in a hurry. Not because of competition but because the potential of that site was now confirmed!
Soon enough, I received a nice tone of my own and gently digging into the earth, I quickly had this beautiful 1847 Large Cent in my hand.
My second thought was how the coin was lost and by whom.
My FIRST thought had been… “OH BABY!
After about another half hour, the bugs that had been swarming unmercifully won the battle and we left to come back and hunt another day.
Beside the surprise of all those daffodils in bloom, we were amazed to find only a little iron and no glass or pottery. We believe that given some time we will unearth some of these from under the leaves in the surrounding area as we will be back again soon.
This site is over a 2 hour ride from my home and is one of a fifty or more cellar holes in the area. Many have hunted sites in the area because the lack of coins has been obvious. However, there is also no doubt that this particular site had never been detected on before us.
This homestead must have been built and abandoned a long, long time ago. Chuck and I stood by the foundation and then paused at the cemetery in the softly falling rain to give reverence to the family. In low tones we wondered about the family that lived there so far off the beaten path and how they fared in life.
This was not the most prolific hunt that I have ever been on but it definitely was one of the most memorable. We will return!
I wish you all a hunt like this one my friends.