My wife and I were heading to Southern Utah for a teaching conference. It was June 4th and school had just let out for the summer the day before. Both of us are Middle School Science teachers so this was our first vacation for the summer.
When we arrived in the small town to confirm our motel arrangements, I asked the front desk clerk if she knew of any old houses, schools or churches that I could metal detect (Yes, I take it everywhere I go.).
She indicated that there was a vacant lot where they had recently torn down an old house. She began helping me find out who the current owner was. It took most of the afternoon to finally make contact with the current owner. The property had been sold numerous times in the past year. Along the way I did acquire a lot of information about the old house that had been on the property. It had been built in the early 1920's, was a small 2 bedroom house facing to the west with a large tree in the front yard. This tree is still on the property.
All this information helped me set up a plan start around the tree first. Following some diligent negotiating I was given permission. The property owner wished me good luck and told me that I was going to find only horseshoes. I asked if he would like to see what I found and he told me no and that I could keep what I found. I jokingly replied, "Even if I find a diamond ring?" While laughing he said, "Sure even a diamond ring". At this point it was getting dark so my plan was to begin the next morning.
June 5th following breakfast my wife and I drove to the vacant property. My wife decided to wait in the car in a shady spot while I detected the site. Sticking with my game plan I went straight to the tree to begin. Working around the tree I got the first signal of the day on my Lone Star Bounty Hunter. It's a good signal so I dug it up, only to be a scrap of aluminum. There were no other signals around the tree. I expanded my distance farther out around the tree. It was already getting warm that day so I decided to focus on the shaded area. When suddenly I got my second signal. This signal was the same as the first one however it was even larger. Thinking that it may be another chunk of aluminum, I questioned "should I dig it or not?" I told myself be positive and dig it. I thrust the pick into the ground and up popped, to my surprise, three beautiful Peace Dollars. I was in shock. I dropped my pick and detector and ran over to the car. My wife was talking on the phone to her mother. I yelled, "Get the camera. You've got to see this!" I was nervous and shaking. When we returned to the spot I kept saying, "Look at that! 3 Ladies!" She took some pictures while they were on the ground and while I was holding them. It was amazing! I asked her to put them in her pocket.
Then I did what we all should do, double-check the hole. To my amazement there was another signal. Could it be that there are more? Not wanting to cause any damage if there were more coins I used my hand to scrape away some dirt and there they were. All these silver dollars! Some were next to each other. Others cross-crossed. There did not seem to any evidence of them having been in any type of container.
As I continued to dig deeper and wider there were even more to a depth of twelve inches by fourteen inches. My belt pouch had become full. I asked my wife if we had a bag or something to put all these silver dollars in. She said all I have is a pair of socks. Well OK that will work. As I continued to pull out more and more silver dollars, other coins started appearing, quarters, dimes, pennies, nickels. It was amazing. My wife would take several pictures, then open a sock, then I would put a hand full of coins in. She would take them back to the car and put them into the other sock. She would then return for more. We did this about five times before all of the coins had been removed from the hole.
We had no idea how many total coins there were until we got back home to count them out. In total there were 163 coins. Of these 72 were silver dollars. Fifteen of them were Morgans the oldest being an 1880 and the newest was a 1921s. This included an 1890 cc. Fifty-seven were Peace Dollars ranging in age from 1922s to 1928s. Two Standing Liberty quarters (1926 s & 1927) and twelve Washington quarters (1934 - 1945 d) were part of the cache. There were also 41 Mercury dimes (1918 -1945 d), two Roosevelt dimes (1946), seven war nickels (1943 s 1945 s), ten Jefferson nickels (1938 - 1941), one 1905 V nickel, two Buffalo nickels ( 1927 s & 1937 d), and fourteen Wheat pennies (1917 1946 d). This experience was so amazing. I was shaking so hard that it was difficult to drive or even concentrate on anything. Every time I tell this story or look at the pictures I get what my wife called the "Silver Shakes".
I consider myself very fortunate to have this amazing experience. I kept telling myself, and my detecting partner Cliff, that someday we would find a coin cache. Positive thinking prevailed. I hope everyone someday will have the same experience. I look forward to the day it happens again.