I went hunting a cellar hole site with an old detecting buddy a while back. It’s a site that we’ve hit hard in the past, and it wasn’t our site of choice, it was our site of necessity. We wanted to detect, yet were short on time. Driving an hour or more just wasn’t going to happen, we needed a site that was close by for instant detecting gratification.
When we arrived at the site, we gave it a good once over. My only find was a flat button…yawn, and my buddy found a spoon… boring. Time flew, and we had to leave, so we gave up and headed back towards the car. Yes, it was the proverbial “when I was heading back to the car, I got this signal…” trek, so we remained hopeful.
On the way I noticed an area that looked promising, so we decided to swing around for a few minutes. I saw a nearby slope that was a bit unnatural looking, became curious and swung in that direction. As I got closer to the slope, I saw a bunch of broken glass peeking out of the leaves, so I moved the leaves aside for a better look. There was a bunch of old broken bottles and pottery. How cool–a garbage dump.
I called out for my buddy, and began to dig around a bit. Before he even got to me, at about an inch down, I pulled out what looked like an old large belt buckle. ‘Geez how ugly’, I thought, as I examined it.
I turned it over and discovered it was not a belt buckle at all, it was actually a pin. It became immediately clear to me why this pin ended up in the garbage dump–it was about the ugliest piece of jewelry I have ever seen–but we can’t choose our finds, so I stuck it in my pouch, hoping it might look better when its cleaned up.
We dug around a bit more, and I found an Indian Head penny, which was kinda cool since I wasn’t using my machine, or pinpointer to search. My buddy got an old lock in really good condition, and we dug out some neat looking old bottles.
Time being an issue, we had to make haste out of there, but we noted its location, to bring the sifter back with us on our next visit.
Later that evening, as I was cleaning my new found “ugly pin”, my mind wandered, and I imagined a young girl, years ago, receiving the pin from her mother as a gift. Wanting to seem gracious, not rude, she faked her enthusiasm over it.
The next morning, while dressing for school, she put on the pin to please her mother, with the intent of removing it before she arrived.
To her misfortune, she forgot to remove the pin, and the other school children promptly taunted her until she took it off. Later, on her walk home from school (five miles, uphill, through the snow), she secretly broke the pin, and when she returned home, put on her best sad face and showed it to her mother.
Her mother examined the pin, determined it could not be fixed, and to the young girls great delight and relief, she watched as her mother tossed it in the backyard garbage dump.
… And all these years later, I found it–lucky me.
I have a great imagination, I know, but how else to explain such an item? Oh, and as a side note, it’s even uglier cleaned up.
Comments on “The Ugly Pin”
HOW DID YOU CLEAN THAT UP SO WELL?
I HAVE TO LAUGH. MY IMAGINATION OF THE STORY BEHIND THE FIND IS SIMILAR TO YOURS.
KEEP HUNTING!! HOLLY
Well, I wasn’t too worried about ruining it, so I took a dry toothbrush to it, to get the dirt off, then some washing and a little brushing. I have a metal polish called “Wenol” that I got many years ago. I don’t even know if they make it anymore, rubbed that in and polished with some make-up swabs. Rinsed and shined up with a dry cloth, and “Ta da”, the ugliness of it just shined through.
Funny thing, a few weeks back I found what I think could be its sister pin. Haven’t cleaned that one yet…not sure if I want to.
Hey Diva, I finally made my first find at an old colonial foundation (theres not even a “hole” or a “cellar”). I found two flat buttons with no back marks. Its my oldest find yet. I teared up cuz I felt my dad w/ me (passed 20 yrs ago) because he had an old bounty hunter (not running but still have it) that sparked my interest yrs ago when i inherited it. I could barely sleep i was so excited. Cant wait to go back.
Point of this is I thought of you too because I had just read your post about the ugly pin and how you went to the unusual mound where you found it. So, i went beyond the obvious stone foundation and found an unusal mound of stones. No hit on the first pass thru. I scraped off a layer of leaves looking for glass..nothing. But it was haunting me that this mound was there. So on my 2nd pass i went slower and got a faint signal (was 6 inches deep ) that I dug upon and there it was. So thanks to your post I learned to look beyond the obvious.
Wow Holly–that is great!!! Sometimes it really pays off to investigate those strange looking areas. You’ve got to think–why is this odd looking mound or area in the middle of the woods? I would search around there some more. It could be an old farm building, and there may be an old foundation of a house or barn nearby. Or perhaps and old garbage dump full of Ugly Pins 🙂 Folks liked to throw their garbage down by streams or rivers, and sometimes they covered garbage pits with rocks. Look for briar bushes–they planted them to keep the deer away, or to keep kids away from dangerous things like garbage pits. You also might like this article: https://detectingdiva.com/those-elusive-cellar-holes/ Good Luck, and let me know how you make out!
i like it.
Ah, to each his own, I suppose it’s not as ugly as the oxen shoes I am infamous in finding.
I THINK IT IS COOL LOVE FINDING THOSE THINGS , GOT THREE SASH BUCKLES THE OTHER DAY, TRY WEARING IT TO WORK SEE PEOPLES REACTION.
Oh yes, I can just imagine the other ladies at work complementing my early 1900’s fashion sense, as they look at each other with pity for me in their eyes….:-)
Congrats on the sash buckles!
Great story, Allyson – but I do quite like the pin! Around the turn of the 19th century?
Thanks Charles–I’m not sure what era its from, but I was thinking turn of the century, same as you. I guess the pin is starting to grow on me now.
I’m quite fond of the pin, Allyson 🙂 Really unique piece. Love this post, and, yes…
Thank HEAVENS for back-up spots!!! Lol. They’ve saved me from the frustration of nothing-ness, more than once 😉
Thanks Joe–did I mention the pin is for sale? 🙂
And back up sites are a necessity. You never know when the obsession will kick in, or how much time you’ll have when it does. Happy Hunting!
It looks like a.nice pin to me , they can’t all be 18 k with huge diamonds in them ! Of course I don’t wear pins so it would just go in my misc finds box…….
Ha ha-well everyone has different taste. It ended up in my miscellaneous finds “ugly jewelry” box. Which is actually an old jewelry box I use to display such things. I hope one day I will find a nice pin worthy of being worn again. Preferably the kind that sparkles and has 18k on it. Happy Hunting!
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