Metal Detecting Missouri Ghost Town Part 1

Shost towns are spread all around the country and are exciting sites to metal detect. Finding them is half the battle.

Metal Detecting Missouri Ghost Town Part 2

Wn this video we made it back to the old Missouri Ghost Town. This time the fields had been cut opening up acres of new land to detect.

Metal Detecting Old Missouri Ghost Town

Ghost towns are spread all around the country and are exciting sites to metal detect.  Finding them is half the battle.  The other half is gaining access to the property.  Although not always, frequently hunting these sites on public property is prohibited.  Fortunately in our area, we have no Forest Service or BLM owned property. So, most of the old ghost towns are owned privately.  Recently a friend of ours, who is new to our metal detecting group and the hobby, located a site of interest.  Although at this time I cannot disclose the location or name of the Ghost town, suffice to say it was in a region of Missouri, near the Kansas Border that was heavily entrenched in guerilla warfare prior to the civil war.  

Conflicts between the Kansans and Missourians began before the war started and were actually partially responsible for the ignition of the war.  Many people consider the first shot of the Civil War to have been in the battle of Bull Run.  Folks familiar with the Border Wars and Bleeding Kansas know the truth.  Battles were raging here for almost a decade before the Battle of Bull Run began. Once the war started, very little action between the Union and Confederate soldiers was witnessed here.  By then, most of the fighting had gone South and East. This is why finding items of the “Civil War Era” in this region is so exciting.  They are actually pre-civil war.  Which, in my opinion makes them far more rare and valuable.

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Our lead line up by the end of the day.

The property this ghost town is located on is huge.  It actually spans a couple different property owners.  We obtained permission from the first owner from a connection Kevin had through his insurance agent (yeah, sometimes you have to get creative for a lead).  The owner was more than happy to have us come out to explore his property.  We got an early start, drove to the site and dove in.  The owner gave us a briefing of what he knew about the property.  He showed us where two wells were and told us to go at it.

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The first find of the day, a gilded ring.

It didn’t take long until Kevin popped up with the first find, a gold gilded wedding band.  He was hunting near the old well and found a couple other interesting relics.  I decided to hit near the road in front of the now nonexistent homestead.  My reasoning was that this was the road right through the middle of the old town.  It most likely saw a lot of traffic.  This homesite would have been in an ideal position to have seen some bushwacker  action (not ideal if you were the homeowner).  Very quickly I found an old spoon.  Ornate in design but only copper perhaps with some silver gild on it at one time.  Not 30 minutes later, I found my very first 3-ring Minié ball.  These are the 3-ring variety of musket bullet designed by Claude-Etienne Minié and were heavily used by both sides during the American Civil War.  It looked dropped not fired.  I was completely stoked.  It was my first…but not my last.

My 1st 3 Ring Ball

My 1st 3 Ring Ball a .50 Gallager

We quickly learned that this site was definitely one that saw some sort of conflict.  Not 10 yards from the first bullet I dug up another.  Then another.  Then Kevin dug one up.  Then Tyler, then Travis!  We had hit a virtual bonanza of Civil War era bullets.  Mostly Minié  balls but some round balls too.  Some dropped but most fired.  

A couple larger calibur 3 ring minie balls.

A couple larger calibur 3 ring minie balls.

My favorite find of the day was by far what appears to be a .36 Caliber St. Louis Pistol Ball.  Apparently these were relatively common as were most of the balls.  What makes these Civil War bullets so interesting is that they most likely pre-date the beginning of the war. 

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.36 Cal. St. Louis Pistol Ball

We have another hunt scheduled in this site in the future.  We did get some VERY good video of live digs of the things I mention in this blog.  However we are holding up the release of the video associated with it because it is too revealing as to the site’s location.  Unfortunately you will have to wait for that video!  Stay tuned, we are going to post many more finds from this site in the future.

A few household items we found.

A few household items we found.

Another Quick Ring Recovery – Garmin Campus

Our latest ring recovery was another quick success story.  One afternoon we received a call from a gentleman who worked at the Garmin world headquarters, which is just down the road from our shop.  You see, Garmin fosters a very active lifestyle for their employees.  They have a jogging trail, strength training, group bike rides, kickball, and they even have a community fresh vegie garden on the campus.  This gentleman had been playing football over their lunch break.  As he stretched out to receive a pass, his ring flew off his hand.  Fortunately for us, he knew approximately where he was when it happened.   He and a group of friends had looked for the ring with no avail.  He called us and within 10 minutes we were there, on site, looking for the ring.

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I had been having a fairly good run of ring recoveries lately so Scrap Iron handed me the AT Pro and said, “Go for it.”  He hit the outskirts of where the guy said he lost the ring.  I dove right in the middle and began to mentally grid the site then I began meticulously detecting back and forth in the area which was roughly 20 yards square.  Fortunately for us, the folks at Garmin are very clean people and there was very little trash to contend with.  After only about 2 laps back and forth, I got a good signal.  It is funny how finding a ring for someone works.  There is a reason gold get’s the nickname “bling”.  I mean, the stuff really does bling…especially in the sunlight. Typically you get a signal and simply look down and see the ring. Rarely do I ever have to dig the ground and the ring almost always shows up visually before I even bend down to pick it up.  I always wonder how they missed it with their naked eyes.  But, they don’t.  Although you can certainly find your ring using just your eyes, a metal detector helps because it can tell you where you need to focus those visual efforts.  This vastly speeds up recovery time.

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Once I got the signal for the ring I looked down and lo and behold there was the ring.   I chuckled, looked up at the man, smiled and said, “Here ya go sir.  We found it.”  He was ecstatic.  He took a picture of me with my detector and I asked that he pose for a shot with me.  He obliged.  We shook hands and parted ways.  The agreed rate was $40…not a bad rate for a total of about 20 minutes of work, drive time included.  We loaded up the truck and headed to our favorite lunch spot for a bite to eat courtesy of our most recent ring recovery effort.

Metal Detecting Old KC Road Round 2

Wn this hunt Scrap Iron goes solo. He finds his oldest coin to date and some good silver. He also finds some other really neat stuff.