Totally unexpected find at J.Snyder's house

GeoAngelo

Full Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2023
Messages
206
Location
Long Island and Hudson Valley
Who's J. Snyder? Well, according to this 1858 map he owned the extinct farm myself and a couple of digging buddies detected yesterday.
Snyder.jpg


I obtained this permission back in August by cold calling the owner. He was kind enough to say yes and I've been waiting for the vegetation to drop since its all wooded in the present day. The whole site is about 100 acres and I can see about half of it used to be farm fields. The home foundation was fairly easy to find and there's plenty of workings to explore. So far I've identified two cellar holes, one bank barn and a second barn foundation. Here's a few pics.
Site 1.jpg

Site 2.jpg


Unfortunately we had to cut the hunt short due to a bow hunter coming along (he has the same property leased for hunting season). Since he's paying to be there and we're not, the right thing to do was bow out. We can always come back in December.

Just before he came along, I was swinging away near a natural spring deep in the property. As I was crossing a boggy area below the spring to get back to dry ground I got an ear splitting, shallow 45 signal. I was traversing the water at that spot totally by chance. I bent down and right in the flow of the spring I'm looking at the top of something spherical. Didn't even have to dig for the target. I bent down and picked up this:
Holyshit moment.jpg


I'm thinking "no, it can't be." I'm turning this in all directions looking for any telltale sign that this isn't a cannonball but what do I see? A clear casting line and a sprue remnant. What you're looking at, confirmed by two experts, is a Rev War era four pound solid shot cannonball. I have no idea how it got there. That said, this land was part of Livingston Manor at one point (160,000 acre grant given by King George I to Robert Livingston) so perhaps its related to that somehow. Here it is before I worked on it.
Semi clean.jpg


And here it is after some manual wire brushing with a brass bristle brush.
Current.jpg


I'm honestly not sure what to do with it next. It still has some organics on it from the bog - I can tell because there's an odor. How do I get this thing 100% clean and protected? I don't want to make any mistakes with it. Any help with conservation would be appreciated!

Thanks for looking :)
 
Electrolysis and a hot wax coating or this black paint stuff designed to protect iron relics, can't remember the name off hand. Great find!
 
Hope members can help you with cleaning opinions . I would think if you weighed it , that would help, maybe you have, if you did, let us know how heavy it is.?
too_
 
Who's J. Snyder? Well, according to this 1858 map he owned the extinct farm myself and a couple of digging buddies detected yesterday.
View attachment 586869

I obtained this permission back in August by cold calling the owner. He was kind enough to say yes and I've been waiting for the vegetation to drop since its all wooded in the present day. The whole site is about 100 acres and I can see about half of it used to be farm fields. The home foundation was fairly easy to find and there's plenty of workings to explore. So far I've identified two cellar holes, one bank barn and a second barn foundation. Here's a few pics.
View attachment 586870
View attachment 586871

Unfortunately we had to cut the hunt short due to a bow hunter coming along (he has the same property leased for hunting season). Since he's paying to be there and we're not, the right thing to do was bow out. We can always come back in December.

Just before he came along, I was swinging away near a natural spring deep in the property. As I was crossing a boggy area below the spring to get back to dry ground I got an ear splitting, shallow 45 signal. I was traversing the water at that spot totally by chance. I bent down and right in the flow of the spring I'm looking at the top of something spherical. Didn't even have to dig for the target. I bent down and picked up this:
View attachment 586872

I'm thinking "no, it can't be." I'm turning this in all directions looking for any telltale sign that this isn't a cannonball but what do I see? A clear casting line and a sprue remnant. What you're looking at, confirmed by two experts, is a Rev War era four pound solid shot cannonball. I have no idea how it got there. That said, this land was part of Livingston Manor at one point (160,000 acre grant given by King George I to Robert Livingston) so perhaps its related to that somehow. Here it is before I worked on it.
View attachment 586873

And here it is after some manual wire brushing with a brass bristle brush.
View attachment 586874

I'm honestly not sure what to do with it next. It still has some organics on it from the bog - I can tell because there's an odor. How do I get this thing 100% clean and protected? I don't want to make any mistakes with it. Any help with conservation would be appreciated!

Thanks for looking :)
 
Congratulations! That is so cool!! And you just helped me out! I just dug the same cannon ball a couple of weeks ago!... wasn't sure of the era, but same size and weight..... I am going to soak mine in vinegar and then use some rust inhibitor.
 
Just playing devils advocate here, have you confirmed it is not a vintage iron mill grinding ball?
 
Digger with almost 5 decades experience examined in-hand and confirmed 4 lb solid shot cannonball. Casting seam and sprue are consistent with that. Who am I to disagree? :)

The nearest mapped mill pond and associated mill is about 4 miles to the east. Mills in this area would have used waterwheels and grindstones.
 
Love the map pix and the cellar hole & rock wall pix. Just screams to "come detect me".

However, if you find any LC's or colonial coppers : We don't wanna see them :sissyfight:
 
GeoAngelo I am not saying I dont believe you. Really the only reason I brought it up was because I had recently watched a video where someone discovered a similar item and it turned out to be an old mill grind ball. They do look very similar. Ill find a photo and attach it. Not trying to take away from your find however! That is awesome!

Here is a link to them as well.

https://www.911metallurgist.com/equipment/cast-grinding-steel-balls/
 

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Well it is quite a find! Better get that baby put in a display box! Have you found any other relics from that time period there?
 
Didn't have a chance to find much else besides a horseshoe which I promptly hung in a tree for luck and a small brass saddle shield. We had to bow out of the area when the hunter I mentioned in the OP came along. I'll go back after rifle season is over, give the area a real good hunt and report back.
 
I don't know how I would be able to stay away thinking of all of the potential goodies that are there! You are a stronger man than me! lol
I really hope you dont think I was trying to take away from your find. It is an amazing piece of history and I hope you find G.W himself out there when you return! Best of luck!
 
No worries!

As far as being able to stay away, there's nothing in the ground worth taking an arrow in the back for lol. I can wait until hunting season is ove. There's another week of bow and then two weeks of rifle and then it's all mine again.

This place is 100 acres with probably half detectable old fields so a lot of swinging there. I'm hoping to find some things to help date the site better.
 
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