Indicators To Look For When Detecting Homesteads

Indicators To Look For When Detecting Homesteads

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The difference between a successful metal detectorist and those who are not can sometimes come down to which guy is the most knowledgeable when it comes to reading the landscape. Whether you are detecting at an 1800’s Victorian house or an abandoned homestead in the woods there are indicators that you can read which can help you increase your chances of finding better targets.


Knowing what indicators to look for can make the difference between having an okay hunt and having an epic hunt! One feature that you can look for are square curbs that are traditionally smaller than modern curbs. When you see square curbs with 90 degree angles, that’s an indication that the property may be older than it appears at first glance.

The grass row between those curbs and the houses are where the horse & buggies would have parked, and then later where cars also parked. Those curb strips are good areas to find dropped items. Likewise the area between the sidewalk and house is another great place to find dropped items.

In Victorian times, houses had decorative or ornate wrought iron types of fences. Houses and fences were built of a better quality than what we see today. Those fence types can be a good indicator that you are in an older area, even if the house itself doesn’t look very old. It’s possible that a newer house was built in place of one that was torn down.

Old farmsteads also had fences, both rock and wooden. Sometimes a farmer would hide his cache under a wooden fence post. When he needed some money, he “had a fence to mend” and no one was the wiser. You might want to dig those larger targets that a lot of guys ignore. A jar of coins in a mason jar is going to sound off like a larger target. If you pass those larger targets up, you might be walking past that cache of gold coins that you’ve always been searching for.

Learning to read the landscape can help you find areas to metal detect that others may not recognize.” quote=”Learning to read the landscape can help you find areas to metal detect that others may not recognize.

Look for depressions in the ground that are round. Many times when trees are cut down or fall down, there will be a depression left in the ground where the tree once stood. Likewise, look for Daffodils or other flowers that are in a circle. More than likely those flowers were planted around the base of a tree. Detect those spots because in the early days houses did not have air conditioning, so people would sit outside under a shade tree and have a drink or picnic. Last year I found a gold ring in a patch of daffodils. I figure that the lady of the house probably lost her ring while planting those flowers. Yucca plants are another plant that is routinely found growing on older homesteads.

Read More Indicators in the next page…

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. mike at 7:12 am

    You’re right i found a old home stead deep in the NC woods yesterday and a 1953 tag and a old hand gun first day thank you for the tips ; ]

  2. horsesterry at 11:02 am

    very informative. i have been using some of your methods while detecting in the woods, but i haven’t come up with anything yet. though, I have found someone else’s iron pile and rotting batteries left in the woods by a cellar hole! ugh….

    • Rob Williams at 1:02 pm

      Just keep pluggin away, your find of a lifetime is still out there! Most others shy away from areas with a lot of junk but if you’re persistent you’ll be rewarded eventually! Thanks for reading D365!

  3. Pingback: 1853 Braided Hair Large Cent Found Metal Detecting! | Antiques Detectors - Your Metal Detecting Store

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