Sunday, January 29, 2012

1/29/12 Report - More On Researching Old Sites.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Old Postcard View of Daytona Beach From the Pier.

I was saying yesterday how old postcards can be good research resources. The above postcard, for example, shows where things were located and where people congregated decades ago on Daytona Beach. Near the middle of the view you can see the clock towers and bandshell, which you can use as a landmark to get an idea about how things have changed around there.

You can also see how wide the beach was and where people were swimming. By comparing the width of the beach back then to the width of the beach today, you can assess the beach conditions for finding old items from that time.

In a recent post I discussed how longer term changes to a beach affects conditions for finding older items.

In the above photo, you can also see that there was a lot of sand out in the water in front of the beach. Some of those dips might have been good hunting spots back then. Of course not many people had detectors back then and much of what was lost could still be there today - probably under a lot of sand and some water.

Besides providing good research resources, some old postcards can have some value of their own. There are a lot of postcard collectors. Common postcards like this from the fifties and sixties would not have much value to a collector.

Here is a method that James F. uses to find sites to hunt.

...I found several years ago, that Florida Agricultural concerns had contracted, since the 1920's or 30's, up until the mid-or late 60's, to have aerial photographs taken all over Florida. These are available digitally, for free, from this site: The way I use them, is I pull an old aerial image from the collection, and try to find one with a decent sized landmark on it, say a lake, major highway, towns, bridges or airports. Then I pull open a google maps image, usually I use the satellite images, and screen-print, and copy it, into any decent graphics program, like corel photo or Photoshop (which is what I use) and then put both images on two different layers of the program, make em' both slightly transparent, then line up any major landmarks still here today.

I use lakes a lot, since most of the major ones have been around for many hundreds of years. Using this method, I found many WW2 barracks and buildings on several old airports (Orlando-Sanford originally) that no longer exist, but let you locate their positions, if not by visual means, then by GPS coordinates. Google maps let you move the cursor to ANY place on their maps and will let you get a readout of the GPS coordinates, so once you find a position of a building on the old aerial map, lined it up with google images, you can easily go back to google online and find the coordinates.

Thanks James!

Yesterday I mentioned Lawnwood Park and wondered where it was. Once again the knowledge of this blog's readers was manifested. Concerning the old amusement park, Ken W. wrote the following, It is located in the present day City zoo and botanical gardens in Sanford on the shore of Lake Monroe. The old Woodland Park was located on the western part of the current property. There is a historical marker there.

Thanks Ken!

Here is the address of the zoo: 3755 Nw Us-17-92, Sanford, FL 32771

On the same subject, Tony D. sent an email and said, Woodland park is on private land and was cleaned out years ago. The concession area (ran by Victor Schmelze's) daughter) was located and over 1200 old coins were found in an area the size of 3 parking spaces).

And Thanks Tony!

Those are the types of places I am talking about, and I can guarantee you of two things. First, there are places like that still out there. And second, well maybe I better keep that one to myself for now. I'll address that topic some other time.

As I've been saying for a few days, the seas are expected to increase up to five feet on Monday. The wind seems to be coming in from the northeast already this afternoon. It looks like there could be some small improvement in beach conditions tomorrow - probably not enough for me to change my beach conditions rating though.

Happy hunting,