Saturday, October 19, 2013

10/19/13 Report - More on the Susanna Settlement and Finds, Gold Fever & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

14K and Gem Treasure Coast Find

First here is a gold ring beach find.  Looks like maybe a garnet.  You can always pick up some recent drops even when detecting conditions are not very good.

Back a few days ago I showed a photo of the remains an 1844 coquina fire place  I talked about the St. Lucie County settlement known as Susanna.  Kenneth H., a long time resident, has hunted the area a lot and provided some fascinating information.

I asked if I could post this information and he gave me permission.  Here is part of his email to me.

Saw your post regarding the above subject with he Coquina fireplace. I have hunted this area for over 40 years, finding relics and bottles and such. One homeowner found a few case gins on his property but would not allow me to search. So, I received permission to hunt the property next door finding bottles dating back to the 1890's, lying under trees on top of the ground--although not as old as his. When I took club members to one of the dozed farms in the early 80's (now developed), one of the members found a single shot cap and ball pistol that dated between 1860-1880. Also, I have found bottles dating back to the 1840's.

Ironically, in the mid-80's one property owner wanted me to dig into an Indian mound on his property just out of curiosity. I explained to him the importance of respecting possible burial sites; and to protect and preserve them--and convinced him to never do such. On another property, but back in the woods, I found the frame of a Model -A. I used to hike the tracks, with detector, shovel and backpack sifter from Ancona and to the north, finding interesting, undeveloped properties; and never seeing anyone except when I crossed the east-west roads such as Midway. Wildlife was hawks; squirrels; foxes and an occasional rattlesnake.

Kenneth really knows his local history and detecting.  Thanks much for allowing me to share that Kenneth.  

There are rattlesnakes around here so be careful when tromping around off the beaten track.

The above note from Kenneth reminded me of the percussion caps that I've found on one Treasure Coast beach in good numbers. I did a little research and found that percussion caps were common from about 1840 - 1860.  That fits well with the period of the settlement of Susanna, although it is obviously not in what would be part of the settlement of Susanna.  It gives an idea of a possible date for activity at that particular beach.

I posted a photo of a corroded percussion cap back in an 4/15/13 post.  I thought I posted some better photos than that.  Maybe I'll have to take some better photos.

Last night my wife and I watched Gold Fever, the second part of a two part mini-series on the California Gold Rush.   During the first episode about the Gold Rush that we saw last Friday evening, she kept saying isn't that interesting.  I was surprised by how interested she was in that show.  She often has no interest in the things that I watch.

The show was interesting.  It told the real story.  It told about people - people who made fortunes, people who crossed the country in wagons taking a big chance on changing their lives, people who failed, people who went home broke, and even one who shot himself in the head standing almost directly on top of a 150 pound gold nugget discovered by his discouraged buddy while digging a grave.

What if your history or geography teacher in school showed that video?  Would you have found it more interesting than the history you studied?  Would you have learned more?  Would you have been inspired?

Education could be so much better.  It is a shame.  And I'm not blaming teachers.  They have to do what they can with what they have.  But we do have an opportunity to radically change education for the better.  There are excellent materials these days that can be brought to the classroom.

There is little reason that it can't be done except for the bureaucracy, from the Department of Education, all the way down to the lonely teacher in his or her classroom.

The TV program told the story.  It told about real people.  It showed them in full color, each with their own story.  There was Sam Brannon who built an huge empire and then lost it all.  You could see how greed destroyed him even while he built his empire.  There was scarcely a field of study that you couldn't learn something about while watching the program.  Besides history and geography, you could learn something about psychology, chemistry, geology, business and even politics.

It relates to us today too.  We aren't doing anything nearly as challenging, but when people detect, there are different motives.  Some have Sam Brannon's greed.  Some are saying look at me.  Some are doing it for whatever money they can make.   Some want to discover, make connections, learn and touch history.  It is different for different people.

Steel Penny Sticking to a Magnet

You can use a magnet to help identify different metals.  As I said the other day, a steel penny will stick to a magnet and a copper penny won't.

A good magnet can also be helpful in picking up small iron in junky environments.

There are no weather systems to watch right now.  Hurricane season was a real flop, especially when you consider they were predicting a very active season.

We still have the 2 - 3 foot surf, that will be decreasing a little, but then next weekend they are still predicting a 4 - 6 surf.  If that turns out to be what happens, it could be enough to improve beach conditions.

There is a nice full moon, and we're still having high high tides and high low tides.

Happy hunting,