Thursday, July 15, 2010

Metal Detecting In Southern Colorado


This past weekend was the monthly outing for the Pikes Peak Adventure League and my first outing with this group. I’m really glad I joined the group because I had a great time and I am now looking forward to other outings with the group.

This outing consisted of two days of metal detecting at two genuine ghost towns that were located on private property in the area of Walsenburg, CO. Both towns were coal mine camps. The first was active from about 1909 to 1929 and the second was active from about 1939 to 1949. Today only some foundations and and walls remain at either site to show where people lived, raised families and died.

There were about twenty club members that combed both old towns for treasures and relics. Unfortunately no treasures were discovered but a lot of interesting relics were recovered. The relics included miner’s tags, tax tokens, a chauffer’s license, railroad spikes, buttons, a few wheat pennies, a child’s toy cap gun and various other things.metal4

I came away with two interesting finds. The first was the top to a savings bank. The lid is about 3”x5” and has a shield at the top that says “Florence State Bank, Florence Colo. At the bottom is another stamped shield with the words “We Unlock This Bank And Credit You With Contents”.

I checked several sources and determined that the bank no longer exists. I even called the Colorado Bank Commissioner’s office and asked them about the bank. Their online records only go back to the 1950’s and they couldn’t locate any information about the bank.

Since this was found at the site that was active from 1909 until 1929, I’m assuming the bank failed during the Depression.

It’s obvious that the savings bank never made it back to the Florence State Bank so what happened? Was the miner or someone in his family desperate for some cash and broke into it?

The second interesting item I found was a piece of metal about 9 inches long….see the picture below. At the bottom is a raised piece of metal embossed with US.metal3 The top part of the metal has been bent over but if it were bent back straight it might look like a pointer or perhaps a dial on a scale of some sort. At first I thought it might be a piece of horse tack from the cavalry but it’s too heavy  for that. This piece will give me hours of entertainment trying to figure out just what it is!

So it was a great weekend. I had a blast and didn’t see any rattlesnakes. I did wear snake gaiters most of the weekend and carried a .38 revolver loaded with snake shot but fortunately didn’t need either.

This weekend is another Circle The Wagons trip with our friends. This time it’s to Pawnee Campground high in the mountains about 80 miles from home. The campground is at 10,400 feet elevation and sits next to a beautiful alpine lake. This will be a welcome change from the 90+ degree weather we’ve had here in town this week.

Check back in a couple of days for a report on this trip and to hear about my upcoming Passport In Time projects…I now have three scheduled for August and am waiting to hear about three more I’ve applied for.

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

Gregg Payne said...

Still looking for a Travel Queen?


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