Research is something that a lot of folks don’t enjoy, but researching metal detecting locations is a little different. Your research will equal a great payoff. Just think of the history you can uncover if you put some time into researching an area. You may make the greatest metal detecting find of your life, but how do you go about researching?
Start Your Research At Your Local Library
The library can be the best place to start doing some research. You will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of great information that can be found at your local library. Most libraries have plenty of rich history that goes back hundreds of years.
Start by looking through local history books, and then move to old newspaper articles. Keep your eyes open for things like: areas where there may have been battles, public events and celebrations.
Old maps, atlases and Farmer’s Almanacs are also an excellent source of information. Old maps will tell you where things used to be. You may be able to locate old hotels, buildings, parks, stores, restaurants, schools, post offices or an entire city itself. Most cities have been moved at one time or another. If you can locate where a city started, you can bet you will find plenty of great treasure just waiting for you right below the surface.
Local Museums or Historical Societies
Local museums are also an excellent place to start your research. You will find that most local museums have a complete treasure trove of old books that are packed full of juicy metal detecting tidbits. Be ready to take notes when you go, and be ready to find some great spots to metal detect.
The same could be said of any local historical society. They will have a huge amount of information for you to look through. They may even have some older maps that could shed some light on some very promising areas for metal detecting.
You may or may not want to mention metal detecting when you are dealing with the historical society. Some people don’t like the idea of someone using a metal detector to uncover treasure.
Every city has an older crowd. It doesn’t matter how big or small the city is. There will always be a few old timers who know where things used to be, these people are always more than eager to share their knowledge with you. All you have to do is pull up a chair and listen.
I have the perfect example. I was metal detecting an area close to a popular beach when an older gentleman approached me. He looked at me and said, “You are in the wrong spot buddy. You need to move two blocks to the east. In the early 1900s there was a casino located right over there.” I never knew there was a casino anywhere in the area. I thanked the old timer, and quickly made my way towards the area he pointed out.
I found plenty old silver coins in the same area. I still go back to this spot from time to time and manage to pull out a few older coins. All I had to do was listen to what someone was eager to tell me.
Civil War Research
If your type of treasure consists of a bunch of civil war relics and artifacts, then you will need to locate some places that are rich in Civil War history. This is not that hard to do. There are plenty of states where huge battles were fought. Most of these battles are pretty well documented too, but there is one source that has everything that you could ever want to know about the Civil War.
That source is called: The War of the Rebellion. It is a massive compilation of the official records of both the Union and the Confederate armies. There is so much information packed into these books that you could spend a lifetime reading it all. It even has detailed maps that highlight areas of interest. You can search Google for “The War of the Rebellion”, or you can use this website: http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/records/. Either way, this is hands down the best information you will find on the Civil War.
Websites and Online Tools
Today it is much easier to research some great places to metal detect using nothing but a computer or a smartphone. The Internet has made anything possible, and it has opened an entire new way to research some potentially great areas to swing your coil.
I have spent countless hours researching new places on the Internet, and it has always paid off very well. One of the easiest ways to start looking for some great places is by using Google Maps or Google Earth. Both of these great tools can give you a bird’s eye view of the area around you. You will be amazed at what you can find doing this.
There are avid treasure hunters who have found sunken ships and sunken airplanes off the coast using these tools! People have also been able to find old home sites using these tools as well.
I have located several great places to metal detect just using this technology to look around my home. Once you start looking at the area around you using this awesome satellite technology, an entire new world opens up.
Here is another good example. Recently I was using Google Maps to try and locate some interesting areas to metal detect with my son. I went to maps.google.com and typed in my address. I then changed the view to satellite view.
This gave me an excellent view of the area around my house. I started moving the map around looking for anything that looked interesting. I noticed what looked like a small path off of a local road. I zoomed in. It was a foot path that I had never seen before. I zoomed back out to get a better look.
The foot path went for a few miles through some woods. I could barely see it through the tree tops. The path then went far out into a huge marshland where it seemed to stop.
This looked like the perfect place to try a new hunt. I told my son, and we eagerly drove down the road looking for the foot path. There it was. I parked my truck. We unloaded our gear and started down the foot path.
It didn’t take us very long to start finding modern targets. The further down the foot path we went, the older the targets became. It was obvious to me that we were in a very good spot when we started finding old silver coins, and all I did was use Google Maps to locate this area.
There are other great opportunities out there in cyberspace. You just have to get busy looking for them. Just think of it as part of the hunt. Here are some great places for you to start researching on the Internet.
This is the easiest way to get a bird’s eye view of your area.
This is like Google Maps, but 100 times better. With Google Earth, you can add, edit and do
all sorts of great things to a map.
This is one of my best kept secrets. There are very few people who use this great free resource. It is a free library that is loaded with old out of print books and maps. You won’t believe the amount of great information that is available at archive.org.
You could use these search terms:
- “civil war maps”
- “old maps”
- “antique maps”
You could also start searching using your city or state and the word maps. For instance: If you lived in Chicago, you can search for Chicago maps. The amount of information at this site is truly unbelievable, and it is all there waiting for you to claim it.
The United States Bureau of Land Management is also a great place to start doing some research. They have a huge database of information on old and new mining claims. I have spent countless hours looking through this information. I find it fascinating. At the time of this writing, you could access this information at the following website:
This is yet another great place to start doing some research. Not only can you find tons of great information on history, but you can also find plenty of great videos that can help you learn how to locate even more treasure!
These are by far my favorite. You can learn so much from an old ghost town, and you can find loads of great treasure too. I use this website all the time: http://www.ghosttowns.com/. It is loaded with great information on old ghost towns that not everyone knows about. You can locate ghost towns by state or province. In some cases, the information you locate here can lead you to plenty of other great sites as well.
Treasure Hunting Magazines
There are several great publications out there that are devoted to helping you find more treasure. You can purchase these magazines individually, or you can order a subscription. These magazines are packed full with great treasure hunting information. Here are some of the top ones worth looking at.
You can never do too much research. Take your time, and you will be well rewarded.