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Privy finding

dygger60

Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2010
660
0
Altamont, New York
Quick question for the pro's out there. Closed a few months back on our place, which was built in 1859. The surveyed property lines have not changed in all these years, so any property that was on the original purchase is still the same today. What would be the best way to find where the privy and or dump was for the place? Getting spring, the ground is softening and can not wait to dig, lots is possible with this property. Would old tax records at maybe the town historians office or something be of use? There has to be some kind of early sketch by the land surveyor. David aka dygger60
 

Karikeller11

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2014
119
0
Greenville SC
Good question, we just bought some land Nd the original house is on the parcel next to us and was built in the 1880's. Aside from leaving holes scattered throughout, I can't figure out a better way to find the privy/trash dump site.
 

lexdigger

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2005
1,795
0
Lexington, Ky.
You need a Probe to find privies, especially Older holes. Some newer pits will be sunken in a bit and easily spotted by eye, but older 50's and earlier pits are often very stiff. You will want to start in the obvious places (back corners) and work your way from there. 90 percent of the time I find them on the back property line or along one side or the other. Try probing a little in the front yard first to get a feeling of what the natural ground feels like. Also try diagonal probing. Many times the walls can be discovered easier than the pit itself. Once you locate something that feels different, lay out some tarps and start digging! Hopefully someone hasn't gotten to them before you. Good luck!
 

barberman

Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2008
73
8
I like using the Sanborns, dowsing with copper rods and probing. Dowsing is way easier than probing. Probing is my final verification. A grave and privy both swing dowsing rods. Rick from Kansas
 

FloridaDigger

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2008
61
8
A metal detector and a probbing rod. Most privys are very close to the house unless there is a handy wooded lot close by. Most privys I have dug have been on the fence line or as close as 30? feet from house. I would try a metal detector first.
 

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