collapse


* User Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Who's Online


Dot Guests: 235 | Dot Users
Dot Hidden: 0

* Board Stats

  • stats Total Members: 12990
  • stats Total Posts: 130581
  • stats Total Topics: 18275
  • stats Total Categories: 5
  • stats Total Boards: 48
  • stats Most Online: 814

* Advertisers

Gear Pan
The lil Gold Spinner
BC GOLD
The lil Gold Spinner
The Pocket Sluice

Author Topic: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees  (Read 104518 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sunshine

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
  • Province/State: Ontario, but also prospect in BC
  • Country: ca
  • Kudos: 39
Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« on: December 04, 2012, 11:14:00 AM »
This works in Ontario (probably other places too) - look for both apple and lilac trees.
 
In the past, people mostly planted apple trees in the yard around their farmhouse and lilac in the yard near the outhouse.  Find them in the same spot and likely you will find evidence of an old foundation or structure nearby.  Look for brick pieces, field stone, field stone with some cement on it,  a depression in the ground, etc.  This will be an old home site, with potential for old toys, keys, coins, tools, sleigh bells and maybe jewelry.  The jewelry in these places has escaped me.  The other things are quite common.  If the area is sandy, watch out for poison ivy. 

One of my favorite spots to find such sites is on township land.  The forests in southern Ontario are have lots of these kind of sites hidden away in the township forests.  The trees are especially easy to find in the spring when in bloom.
See my YouTube channel for fun amateur video:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnz8kX6AZOeZbRt0F9XqVJA

Offline Former Guest

  • New user
  • Posts: 0
  • Kudos: 24
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 03:55:58 PM »
In Ab here look for old roads grown over with bush, you can see the old trails and if you follow that abandoned road you usually come to the home site which will or may be gone but walking around its easy to tell it was a homested of some kind. Lots here house is gone but some out building may be still present today. Lots of things still to be found laying around the ground moved by wind and rain and time. Out houses are another great sign or look around for signs of one one sign is a trail leading to a place that gone now but ends quickley. Hole may be covered in over time but the trail may still be there. An old fence may be laying around also many signs can point to this possible answer. 20 Years ago i meat a guy at the river, we talked and was his hobby decting old places from the homestead days. He was looking for an old tin of money. In those days what little cash they had was sometimes hid in the ground somewhere around. Hint he said look for spot where the old door was they usually hid somewhere they could look out the window and watch it. We had a great chat and both went on to our own things but was a nice break and learning from him was fun. Never know who you will run into at the river cheers Ray

Offline sunshine

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
  • Province/State: Ontario, but also prospect in BC
  • Country: ca
  • Kudos: 39
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 06:58:51 AM »
I have tried to find "the stash" that might be hidden around an old home many times and have come up empty.  I did find once an old tobacco tin behind a foundation rock, but it was empty.  In many cases, the old homesteads that I found in my area still had the stone chimney, while the rest of the house was just a caved in hole in the ground or a pile of rocks, some of which were squared.  As I understand the history of the township lands, people moved onto them right after they were logged and tried farming.  The problem was once the trees were gone, the shallow top soil washed away and the people went hungry and broke.  The land was taken back by the township for unpaid taxes.  In the 1930's there were make work projects to replant the forests and stop futher soil erosion.  As such, there is probably not all that much of value to find as these people did not have much to begin with.  However, there is always a few tools (old axe heads and such) and the chance of an old coin or something, plus how knows?  That is the magic of detecting - you don't know 'till you dig.

I am going out this afternoon to detect at an old home site.  It is above freezing here and raining.  It will probably be my last "kick at the can" before winter sets in.  I will take some pictures and post later, if it is interesting.

The best lost treasure story that I have heard about in my area was from a local farmer with 200 acres.  He said that a family of horse thieves used to have a house on his property.  They apparently had stolen a box of gold coin that was never recovered and he believed was still on his place.  There was evidence of an old house in a fence line in his back field.  I tried detecting that field and got quite a bit of more recent coin, old bullet casings and one piece of jewellery.  I later learned that the field was a pick your own strawberry field in the 1960's.  He used his tractor to dig out the top soil in a few spots that he thought the foundation might be and I also detected these holes without success.  So, if the gold exists, it is still there waiting to be found.  He has since sold the farm and I met but am not friends of the new owners.
See my YouTube channel for fun amateur video:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnz8kX6AZOeZbRt0F9XqVJA

Offline Former Guest

  • New user
  • Posts: 0
  • Kudos: 24
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 07:24:52 AM »
Yes please keep us posted with any results you find. Growing up i used to go with my brother and check them out. My brother was hunting for antiques at that time was just fun for me i was 7 or 8 so was busy with whatever i found to play with. Fond memories of this from childhood days. Think in those days shooting gophers was tops for me. Think they tryed to find these tins also but was to young and i was into fun then leaving them to find stuff as i hunted gophers around with our 22 repeator rifle. Fun time great memories this thread gives for me. Wish i was older then also beer was involved so usually drunk sleeping in the car before long passed out. Brother would carry me into house and put me to bed, think mom never knew about this. At lest seemed to get away with it. As kids we were very tight lipped around our mom ask Lori even today still the same Cheers Ray

Offline AndyF

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Kudos: 0
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 10:09:59 AM »
This works in Ontario (probably other places too) - look for both apple and lilac trees.
 
In the past, people mostly planted apple trees in the yard around their farmhouse and lilac in the yard near the outhouse.  Find them in the same spot and likely you will find evidence of an old foundation or structure nearby.  Look for brick pieces, field stone, field stone with some cement on it,  a depression in the ground, etc.  This will be an old home site, with potential for old toys, keys, coins, tools, sleigh bells and maybe jewelry.  The jewelry in these places has escaped me.  The other things are quite common.  If the area is sandy, watch out for poison ivy. 

One of my favorite spots to find such sites is on township land.  The forests in southern Ontario are have lots of these kind of sites hidden away in the township forests.  The trees are especially easy to find in the spring when in bloom.

Good stories all around. Sorta gets the prospecting and exploring blood circulating ready for the spring.

I have a fence lot line 180 year old apple tree. It's a knarly thing but gives out large yellow apples but of course they are grub eaten. With work it could be made to produce edible fruit. About 2ft out from the trunk there's a depression. One day I'll dig it out to see what's there. There used to be a same circa school house on my property about 150ft from the tree but the foundation is covered over. Either the depression is hiding something, or it was the latrine for the school.

Which brings me to mention that there is a book out about antiques where a guy would look for old outhouse locations around San Fran that date to the alaska trade with the russians and the gold rush. The thing is the people would throw their ceramic and bottles and stuff in the latrine, and of course it hit soft bottom, (old time version of our transparent pop wrap!. <-laugh->). It eventually got covered and was well protected from perimeter soil and rocks from fill in. Of course the articles are now surrounded by wonderful black soil and no e-coli bacteria exists. He's uncovered nice service plates and dishes but the majority rare bottles from the US and around the world.

My FIL told me there was an old gold mine on his property in Glengarry, Ont. It's a legit and recorded mine. It was covered over by the company but he never got around to exploring the tailings. The property is owned by someone now and I don't know if they know about it.

Another book still in print is "Ghost towns of Ontario" Try to google this and I'm sure it's still around. Lot of exploring in Muskoka and as far east as Glengarry. Gives maps too.

Offline 1080

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Kudos: 0
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 03:32:24 AM »
Over here any mature non native trees are a very good sign
of a former dwelling in the field.

Offline SnipesNL

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
  • Kudos: 0
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 01:41:36 PM »
I loved when I saw this thread because thats how we always found old foundations and settlements. I look for several things here locally. Lillacs and apples are the main ones. But cherrys and what we call golden alders are another. I recently found a whole settlement just by the stage of growth the forest was in. I was hiking and across a hill I saw a huge patch of deciduous trees. Knowing, at least here locally, that the forest goes decidious trees first but they are eventually choked out by spruce and fir trees  I realized that area must have been cut clear at one time. Sure enough on a subsequent trip I found foundations, walls etc. completely overgrown. When I did my research I found a picture from at least 80 years ago and the entire area was inhabited and clear cut!

Offline YYCADM

  • New user
  • Posts: 1
  • Kudos: 0
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 06:40:36 PM »
Although this is an old thread, I thought I'd revive it with some spots I've had luck with. I live in Alberta & have family connections in Southern Sask.
A VERY common feature around farms & homesteads all over the Prairies are "Shelter Belts". The terrain is generally quite flat, and very little grows in terms of trees; Johnson grass, a couple varieties of sagebrush, some other small shrubs & grasses are all over the area; trees, not so much.

Farmers/homesteaders would try to maximize their protection from winter winds by building shelter belts; they generally run east/west with two or three rows of trees, parallel to one another and separated by 25-50 feet. Usually two different types of trees, frequently an evergreen in one row, a deciduous in the other (cottonwood, Poplar, etc)

They can be as short as 50 ft, and as long as 300, but usually 100-150ft long. They will often also have a short, north/south extension at one end; most often, that's where the house was located. If you're looking for a barn site referencing from the house, it will almost never be to the north of the house; prevailing winds on the Prairies are northerly, and they tried to keep the barnyard smell downwind. Same for the outhouse...usually straight south from the house.

Of course these are generalizations, but ones formed from spending 6 decades on the prairies and coming from farm families. You'll see deviations, but look for a year and you'll be very surprised at how many homesites fit this layout. It cuts down a lot on searching around; the prairie winds are harsh, and very few houses had stone foundations. All wood construction meant that once a building was blown over, it will be completely covered by blowing dirt within 20 years or so.

Offline sunshine

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
  • Province/State: Ontario, but also prospect in BC
  • Country: ca
  • Kudos: 39
Re: Finding old home sites buy looking at the trees
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 09:29:47 AM »
The shelter belts are also in Ontario where homes were built on open fields.  Apple trees are sometimes just indicators of a fence line.  Nut trees like walnut, butternut and chestnut were often planted near homes.  Lilacs were often planted near an outhouse.  Hardwoods like maple, oak and walnut planted in a parallel line at least 30' apart are usually a driveway.  A pile of stones can be an old home or the edge of a field where they tossed the rocks brought to the surface by the frost.  If many of the stones have been cut (at least on one side), that is a good indicator of a house or barn, whereas round stones were probably just tossed there.  Old outhouse pits can sometimes be found with an iron bar, because the ground is soft(er).  I never thought about upwind vs downwind, but that is a good observation that I will keep in mind.  It is amazing what can be found in outhouse pits.  Things fall out of pockets.  When they are done with the hole, they sometimes backfilled with trash (why waste a good hole).  Outhouses were also a place to hide things of value.  In the spring, I have found some home sites by looking for the yellow daffodils.  During the summer, lilies.  They will continue to grow wild long after the structures have mostly disappeared.
See my YouTube channel for fun amateur video:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnz8kX6AZOeZbRt0F9XqVJA