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"Good Saturday" probin'

Finally got out for my first dig of the year ( had to drive south in to Mass. to find thawed land). Last weekend I had sent out 23 "letters of introduction" to properties that I had scouted out in an old village section of a town down there. My buddy and I went out to those addresses this morning, and only got to 3 houses so far, and got 1 "no" and 2 "yeses". So we spent the day probing for privies on those two properties. One of those properties yielded nothing, but the other one we did pretty good at. Here is the back of that house.

 

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Probed all the corners and along the back property line with lots of "fill" wasting some of my time, thinking it might be a privy, but it would just be ashy coal, with bits of 1920s trash, where they had filled in the lot to level it off. At one spot, where you see the white bucket in the photo above, the probe sunk down pretty good, and I wound up digging out what I think was a small 3 foot deep privy which had only a fill layer, and then a bottom of wet sand, and nothing below it. That took a couple of hours to dig, and patch back up.



 

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So I turned back to the back property line again, and if you look close in the center of the photo you can see a pile of dead brush and branches. I hadn't directly through that wood pile the first time around. So I stood on the branch pile and probed down through it, and I could feel buried trash for sure. I had found pockets of screw tops buried around that branch pile, so I figured it may be more of the same.

 

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I was just using a short probe and a potato rake, and pulling up bottles out of the hole pretty easy. The house was built in 1835, so it has pontil potential. The bad news is the owner had to leave, so we had to leave after just 10 minutes in the hole, the good news is they said we can come back. I'm estimating it is a clean out hole, just a foot or so deep, maybe 10' x 10'. This one was my best of the day, John Sullivan Apothecary Boston, in milk glass. Not rare, but I've never dug one, and I collect colored druggists! Wish me luck when I finish this one up, maybe next weekend, I'm sure there's a good amount more to dig, and I'd love to get some pontiled stuff out of it.
Happy Easter ! Bram

 

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