A dear friend from The West paid the farm the honor of a repeat visit last month. He was able to stay for more than a week and we pursued many activities on and about the farm.
One day was especially nice weather and we were enjoying a stroll when I mentioned using a metal detector to find artifacts from previous residents of the farm, probably in the the last half of the 19th century. There appears to be a large area of scattered trash below the house, extending at least as far down hill as the small garden (where the debris was first spotted when doing the initial tilling five years and some months ago).
He was excited about hunting with the metal detector so as Mr. Fuzzy operated the device, Martin wielded the excavating tool (i.e., a shovel) with aplomb. In not much more than an hour, we had found cast iron, glass, ceramic and charcoal. The most interesting find thus far at Stratheden is the oval shaped ring at center; it is a silver plated harness guide, an object likely owned by a wealthy person. How it became junk on the farm is a mystery. The shot shell head can be dated fairly closely by the manufacturer's lifespan - it must be before 1911. Mr. Fuzzy has found more cast iron bits previously and has to wonder how so many cast iron pots and pans came to an untimely end.
A local iron smelter was operated from 1852 until about the Civil War. I have to wonder if these were created there rather than imported into the county. The local iron had an unusual level of copper and thus these bits could be analyzed to see if there is a match.
Who knows what will be found next? Adventure awaits at every corner of the farm.