Looking for digging sites in TN/South Central Ky

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Hi all! I’m somewhat new to bottle digging, and was recently able to “save” some bottles from being destroyed by the razing of an abandoned house. That being said, now I have been bitten by the bottle bug. I’m in the middle TN area and was wondering if anyone knew of a good place to start, or knew of a good dump area. Looking forward to getting started
 

Len

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Greetings Sunflowerlover7,

The local library is a good place to start. Look at old maps of your area for communities or individual structures that no longer exist. Also, old roads/trails that are no longer being used. The possibilities are numerous and fun. Best to do such things with a buddy. Even if you're just walking in the woods, keep your eyes open. After you get permission, have a small bag and dig tool with you in case you get lucky. Be safe and good hunting!

PS- Kudos on saving the history represented by the old bottles of that building before it was bulldozed. I'm positive you have the makings of a great collector. --CT Len
 
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Thank you for responding! When trying to get permission to dig on someone’s property is there a best way to approach the subject? I know a lot of people don’t seem to keen on someone coming onto their property to dig.


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Len

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Hi there Sunflowerlover7,

I don't try to convince someone who is dead set against you digging on his/her place. ...Tell them you're starting/have an old bottle collection. You may get lucky and they'll have some in the cellar, attic, barn, etc. If so, be careful at all times. Don't be surprised when you find bottles buried in dirt floor basement as well.
Just be honest. Have a small smile always if you ask in person. (Sometimes the owner is never around, a letter with a sass envelope can be left in the mailbox. If so, include a basic grant of permission note to be on his property/dig and a exact copy to be returned to you. If you want include quicker contact info in case he or she has a question or two, as well. Always a good idea to bring a friend when going in person to a stranger's place. Have a basic plan: How deep do you dig? What do you do in case you find something? I absolve the property owner of any legal risks in case there is an accident. (I usually give the owner 1st dibbs on finds.) Tell him that you plan to restore the grass top layer turf and plant new seed if necessary.) Maybe you donate any duplicates with the local town's embossed name to the local historical society. Maybe he/she is looking for $10. or 25 cents per bottle. (I don't do that.) I strongly recommend you take a basic archaeology course first before you strike out on your own or learn from a local group that digs. (The State Archaeologist's Office always is looking for volunteers.) Remember that 1st aid kit and phone. For every bot you find intact there is going to be several that will be in pieces and potentially ruin your day. ...So you see there is a lot to know at first. The above is just a couple of basics. Let me tell you this. Stick with it as your free time allows, watch digger video programs made in the field, read, and take a walk in the woods. --The rewards are nothing short of incredible! :) :D ;) :cool:

Good luck and good hunting! Keep us posted.
CT Len
 
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That is a wealth of knowledge thank you!

Here are my finds from the house that was built in 1858.

I looked up the bottles and found some interesting articles about “Quack” medicine and shared them with you below.

Onto the next adventure!

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Len

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Wow!

I've been looking at bottles for a good bit but never came across a King's or Vitaline in my woods. (Sample/trial bottles worth a little more.) The Hoyt is kind of common in the northeast. Lowell, Mass. turned out incredible amounts of glass. The King's and Vitaline are the catches. Nice job looking up their ads and cleaning the bots up, too. Save the info. for future use, as well. --You're on your way Sunflowerlover7. Congrats!
--CT Len
 

jwpevahouse

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Hi all! I’m somewhat new to bottle digging, and was recently able to “save” some bottles from being destroyed by the razing of an abandoned house. That being said, now I have been bitten by the bottle bug. I’m in the middle TN area and was wondering if anyone knew of a good place to start, or knew of a good dump area. Looking forward to getting started
I grew up in rural middle Tennessee and never found old bottles. My brother and I collected Indian relics and fossils which wee plentiful but never saw old bottles. Nashville had some great early bottling companies. If you live close to Nashville downtown would be a good place to poke around construction sites and empty lots.
 

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Let us know if you two ever dig at the James Bros.' places!!
Hey jwpevahouse, a belated welcome and another nice addition to our community. Indian relics and fossils are just as important as anything else. I will tell you that your archaeologist eyes are already well focused and once you learn a little about where bottles tend to end up your new collection will be enriched and you'll have fun while doing it. Good luck and good hunting! --CT Len
 

jwpevahouse

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Let us know if you two ever dig at the James Bros.' places!!
Hey jwpevahouse, a belated welcome and another nice addition to our community. Indian relics and fossils are just as important as anything else. I will tell you that your archaeologist eyes are already well focused and once you learn a little about where bottles tend to end up your new collection will be enriched and you'll have fun while doing it. Good luck and good hunting! --CT Len
Growing up between the Buffalo and Tennessee Rivers Indian sites were plentiful. We had no concept of collecting old bottles. Don't remember seeing any until my brother moved to Memphis and got hooked on bottle digging. Last 25 years I've lived in NJ between NY and PA where Indian relics are scarce but old bottles are plentiful. Therefore, my collecting interests turned to antique glass. Just when I think locql dumps are exhausted a new productive dump shows up. Local flea markets can be productive too.
 
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Growing up between the Buffalo and Tennessee Rivers Indian sites were plentiful. We had no concept of collecting old bottles. Don't remember seeing any until my brother moved to Memphis and got hooked on bottle digging. Last 25 years I've lived in NJ between NY and PA where Indian relics are scarce but old bottles are plentiful. Therefore, my collecting interests turned to antique glass. Just when I think locql dumps are exhausted a new productive dump shows up. Local flea markets can be productive too.

I’m going to PA in a couple of weeks. Any bottle/dump sites or flea markets you recommend?


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