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The 1,000 Coin School
This story has been 13 months in the making...that?s how long I?ve been hunting the surrounding grassy area of the oldest school building in our town.! And as the name of this article implies, I?ve managed to retrieve 1,000 coins so far.! Actually, the exact count at this moment is 1,023 coins.
I guess you could say that I?ve made it a project?a personal goal?to clean out the schoolyard to the best of my ability.! I?ve also kept detailed records of all my finds and I?d like everyone?s opinions, insights, feelings, etc. regarding the results so far:
Since late August 2005 til now I?ve made 37 visits to the school, and the average time spent detecting each visit would be around 3 hours....so, probably a little more than 100 hours total time invested.! I have found as many as 71 coins on an outing to as few as 6, but the numbers average out to 27 coins per visit.
The coin breakdown is as follows:
Lincoln Wheat ? 8
Lincoln Memorial ? 433
Jefferson Nickel ? 232
Roosevelt Dime ? 233
Washington Quarter ? 110
Sacagawea Dollar ? 1
Canadian Cent ? 4
Canadian Nickel ? 1
Canadian Quarter ? 1
No silver; zilch; nada!! This really surprises me.! 1,000+ coins, yet no silver and only 8 wheats!! This has led me to the conclusion that this area was detected sometime in the past.! I?m also guessing that somebody (or perhaps multiple somebodies) did a fairly thorough job of picking the place clean.! The fact that I was still able to find 1000+ coins in the last 13 months is strong evidence that a good many years have passed since it was detected in any kind of serious way.! I believe it would take a considerable amount of time for that many coins to be re-seeded.
I always keep my detector set at 1 setting above ?all metal? mode, and I dig every audible signal, repeatable or otherwise.! I believe that would explain the high nickel percentage; they often show up as ?foil? on my detector?s display.! And yes, I dig a great deal of foil, pull tabs, shredded cans, the eraser ends of pencils, and those single serving ketchup packets!! Now I?m the first to admit that the Whites Prizm III is not a high-end detector, but I still get my share of targets that are 8+ inches deep.! Out of 1,000 coins there should?ve been some silver, unless like I?ve already said, someone else before me invested some serious time (just as I?m doing now) and pretty much cleaned the place out.
The school (known as Hauenstein Hall) was built in 1916 and was used for teaching 9th through 12th grades only, until 1924 when a new high school was erected just 75 yards to the east.! Then Hauenstein Hall became the elementary school until the 1950s when a new elementary school was built next door (less than 25 yards to the north).! It is evident the area has been in use long enough for lots of silver to have been dropped.! With all 3 buildings situated so close to each other I spend the majority of my time detecting the grassy places that are in the center of all three buildings.
Today, Hauenstein Hall no longer has any classrooms in use for teaching....the building now serves as an Administration Building.! But here is a very interesting note: of the three buildings, Hauenstein Hall is the only one that ever had a cafeteria; the students in the other two buildings always had to go to Hauenstein Hall for lunch...and that?s still true to this day!! That little fact suggests that there has always been an enormous amount of foot traffic between the 3 school buildings, thus a lot of opportunities for kids to drop their lunch money!
I will post some photos of the school in a couple of days so you all can see where 75% of my detecting has been done.! At that time I will also post some graphs I?ve made showing the quantities by dates of each coin denomination.! The patterns on the graphs make for some very interesting speculation as to when the place may have been last detected real heavy.
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