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  #1  
Old 02-14-2006, 07:30 PM
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SteveMN SteveMN is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

I recently visited my local county historical society to purchase an old plat and asked about old church and school sites. They asked me why I wanted the information and I told them I did metal detecting as a hobby. They went from being helpful to basically turning their back on me when I mentioned this. I believe there are very few people who detect in the area and am unsure why I got the cold shoulder. What experiences have others had with their own historical societies? Any ideas about how to improve my situation with them?
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:37 PM
l.cutler l.cutler is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

They may have had some bad apples, detecting in cemeteries, local historic sites etc. Why don't you become a member of the society, maybe donate some dug artifacts for display, volunteer to help on projects, etc.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:53 PM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

Before they asked why I wanted the information I did ask about becoming a member and volunteering some time. They needed someone to compile information on the old homesites in the county and I told them I would be willing to help. Now I feel uneasy about going back there because of the cold shoulder I got.
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  #4  
Old 02-14-2006, 09:15 PM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

Whatever you do, never tell them that you are a metal detectorist. Most people are oytapits and they don't really appreciate our wonderful hobby.
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2006, 09:53 PM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

Here is the answer I got to a polite question:

http://metaldetectingforum.com/viewt...555&highlight=

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Old 02-14-2006, 10:59 PM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

I plan to go see ours if I ever get a day off again, but I was strongly warned to never mention to them that I metal detect as it is generally very frowned upon by their type. I'm just going to tell them that I'm interested in the history of the area and see if I can get copys of any historical maps they might have of the area I want to hunt.

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Old 02-15-2006, 12:05 AM
bugguy bugguy is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

i agree with epi go back and make some new freinds at very least. you never know what the future holds . and you could be that one shiny apple in the basket that can make them forget about the bad ones . i my self asked for help from the librarian in my town who i told what i did and she found it interesting and showed me to the old old history room , the stuff that dosent leave. she also gave me the home number of the man who is the local historian here in town. havent called yet but hey spring is a comin

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Old 02-15-2006, 08:28 AM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

I have had the total opposite. I was up front about my MD'ing, and originally was purchasing booklets for research. I added a membership fee as well. I am now being requested to detect sites.

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  #9  
Old 02-15-2006, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

Originally Posted by SteveMN ...........They asked me why I wanted the information and I told them I did metal detecting as a hobby. They went from being helpful to basically turning their back on me when I mentioned this...........
I know people who've had similar experiences over here. You may find that they've had sites night hawked in the past ?

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Old 02-15-2006, 11:17 AM
OkieDigger OkieDigger is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

SteveMN, I would go back. You have as much right to learn the history of the area as they do. I've talked to a couple of the local historic society people here and they were nice, but very leary about metal detecting. I think these people you're dealing with are probably the same. Become a member and make them get to know you. I think after a little time they're going to warm up to you. Come this spring I'll be offering my metal detecting services to the locals here. I wish you luck, I could use some too!
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2006, 05:27 PM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

Thanks everyone for your replies. I plan on going back and will explain to them that I am mainly looking for old coins and jewelry. I figure I would add that if I found anything of historical signifigance I would donate it to the society. They are older individuals and probably don't really know much about the hobby. I figure a little more explaining may help their impression of what I'm trying to accomplish.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2006, 09:24 PM
digman digman is offline
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Default be careful

In R.I. especially Newport they are known as the hysterical society they feel all detectorists are out to snatch up coin and gold and lay waste to the property never approach them . better to do library research and find out if it is public property

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  #13  
Old 02-16-2006, 04:36 AM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

How about approaching the society, and offering to give them a talk on detecting. Take a selection of your finds, it may do the trick ?

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Old 02-16-2006, 06:56 AM
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

I think the Historical Society views detectorists as the church views agnostics. No matter how hard you try to explain yourself its not going to help, it just goes against their values. Lets face it our hobby is like being the one that throws the switch on the electric chair.

A fair analogy might be to compare our hobby to hunting and the historical society to PITA. Some people view what we do as nothing less than stealing for self-gain, and nothing will change their minds. The media doesn't help matters.

You'll never hear about a hunter that donates to the needy but a hunting accident makes headlines for weeks.

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  #15  
Old 02-16-2006, 11:53 AM
billb billb is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

I agree, tell them what you are looking for, and if you find other artifacts that you would be glad to donate them, and tell them just how it was found ,should be good for a display.

I belong to the Minnesota Historical Society and love such finds. I wish I could MD around the James J Hill house, Ramsey house, or the Glensheen Mansion, but doubt that will ever happen! :P
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2006, 03:00 PM
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SteveMN SteveMN is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

I think I may lay low for awhile and maybe approach them at a future time if I do find something of historical signifigance.

Hey Bill, How does the Minnesota Historical Society feel about our hobby? And by the way the Glensheen has definately crossed my mind a time or two.
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2006, 03:08 PM
billb billb is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

They mostly see them as scavengers, like most people. But that can be changed if a few nice items were donated to show that we care about our wonderfull history too and want to share it. If you do not go in and just dig up the area and try to replace all that you dig up fairly neatly, I am sure they would not object, but the hard part is getting them to go with to observe and see you are not destroying history, but uncovering it!

I read that there was a diamond ring that was tossed into lake superior along glensheens shoreline, but back then the mansion had alot more shoreline than it does now, and there are a TON of rocks there for when they used to park there yacht there. Not to mention I am sure some iron ore has washed up along the shore line too.
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  #18  
Old 02-18-2006, 09:21 AM
Mike in Ky Mike in Ky is offline
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Default Historical Society

I just received permission to hunt around our historical society. It was originally built in 1926 as the public library. They have helped me locate alot of the old 1 room schoolhouses. I did also become a member a while back. I was up front with them about me being a detectorist. They actually thought it was cool finding old stuff this way. I guess I was just lucky, having some very nice people at our historical society.

Mike
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  #19  
Old 02-18-2006, 09:49 PM
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Rhubarb Rhubarb is offline
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Default Historical Society. Good or Bad experiences?

1st off don't let them discourage you from what you like to do. The people here don't like MD's either. I alway's show up and don't let them discourage me. The look down there nose but I look them square back into there eye's. You do what's right for you but the Historical society put's there pant's on the same as you and I do. Good luck.

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