Friday, August 13, 2010

The Union Cavalry Is Under My Dining Room

When we first moved out here, one of the first things Byron did was commandeer my brother Fred's metal detector, in great anticipation of finding a plethora of Civil War relics. But though we live near a major Civil War crossroads, the place has been picked over. Apparently even Byron's great-grandfather found buckets of bullets and such and sold them all for $5 to some lucky guy; in addition, the land has been metal detected pretty thoroughly since his time. So poor Byron - and I really do feel sorry for my U.S. history buff - has found nail, after nail, after nail.

Until the happy day we discovered that we needed to pull up all the hardwood floors in the front of the house. Well, maybe we weren't exactly happy, but at last here was a place untouched by other relic hunters. So when the floors were pulled up and stacked to be reinstalled later, Byron really went to work. Here are some of the crawl space treasures he found.

This (unfired) Union Sharps carbine bullet elicited a bona fide Rebel Yell from Byron when he found it under the dining room. Apparently these were often used in guns carried by Union cavalry soldiers. Byron also found part of a Union Schenkl shell out in one of the fields.
When I first slithered my way through the crawl space to check on the structural status of the area under the dining room - and this was before we pulled up the floors, mind you - I found that there was an old tree stump under there. When the floors were removed, Byron found a Civil War era horse shoe and mule shoe by the stump. I can just imagine that this may have been a tree where some soldiers took a break to tend to their animals, hence the title of this blog.

In the photo below, the ring on the left was also found under the dining room, and it appears to have been part of a scabbard. The button in the middle was found under the hall and was perhaps part of a women's dress, though we're not sure what era it's from. And the one on the right is a mystery. A relics guy downtown thinks it may be a colonial trading bead. Possible, since the previous owner found a Revolutionary War era button on the property.

Moving again into the hallway, Byron found a 1923 wheat penny as well as an old hinge. I've never considered myself an antiques person, but I'd love to find a bunch of old hinges and locks in good condition and put them on all the interior doors.

In the parlor crawl space, Byron found this amazing pendant. As of now, we don't know what era it would have come from. When he was pulling up the floors, he also found an old needle his great-grandmother probably dropped into a crack between the boards.

And finally, here's my little contribution. I found these during my claustrophobic, pre-deconstruction army crawl. Apparently, someone liked Old Milwaukee. And that little bottle is a Fitch's hair tonic bottle. I also found some corn cobs, but I didn't take pictures of those after Byron told me what people used to use them for. I'll just say that toilet paper wasn't always a commodity. I was thinking, however, that Byron's great-grandmother brought her husband some nice corn on the cob after a hard day of working on building their home. My theory is much more pleasant, don't you think?

Anyway, if you're into relics and such, I'd welcome any insight into what we found.


  1. My sister in law just found a set of knobs in PA with a similar backing as that pendant you all found. Beautiful!

  2. You have some very cool people under your dining room! If you happen to see General Sheridan, tell him I said hi. And that Custer's a jerk ;-)