Question about digging a privy

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hemihampton

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One of the last small test holes I did which did not look to Promising I ended pulling out this 1860's Civil War Flask & others. LEON.
P1090489.JPG
 

Walker1200

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Wow, yeah that does look like it was certainly worth it! Shes a beauty! These poles happen to be in the middle of this property, and also slightly on a decline. I dont know if that changes things. It won't hurt to do a test dig though. At least then I'll be able to sleep at night. =)
 

hemihampton

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Are the poles on the property line, it looks like it, sides maybe? I usually start at a back corner & work my way across the back of the property line to the next corner. If I find nothing there I then work my way up the sides of the Property line from back corners, if nothing there you can try a straight line out from back Door. If nothing there then it could be anywhere & you gotta probe the whole back yard. LEON.
 

Walker1200

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I think the property line is a bit further back. Behind the poles is their fenced in horse paddock. There is a bit of a stone wall just beyond the horse paddock, so I assumed that was the property line. I could be wrong though. Things change over the years and we can only piece together the bits of information we know about the past. Either way I'm going to investigate that area. =)
 

Tony Kendzior

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Privy's on Farm house's I've found be be harder to find then the City due to the much more wide open space & acres. BUT, Once you do find it go straight in from the top down. But, on many instances I've done this & dug out the privy, Then, many times you can probe the side walls & probe into another privy right next to it, SO, In that case you would be going in from the side. I've done this may times. LEON.
Some 50 years ago I was digging behind an abandoned house near downtown Charleston. Dug in the corner where I assumed the privy was and found lots of good stuff. When it was empty, I started by removing some of the bricks to the side thinking the next house over might have had a privy there. Almost raw sand but in that sand was this Charles Clark bottle. I've always assumed it was left there by whomever was laying the bricks when the privy was built. Tony
73a-Charles-Clark.jpg
73b-Charles-Clark.jpg
 

Walker1200

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Wow, she's amazing! Yeah I bet you're right. Good thing you checked the sand. I assume its always good to check the sides of the hole while you're in it.

-Kerry
 

willong

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Are the poles on the property line, it looks like it, sides maybe? I usually start at a back corner & work my way across the back of the property line to the next corner. If I find nothing there I then work my way up the sides of the Property line from back corners, if nothing there you can try a straight line out from back Door. If nothing there then it could be anywhere & you gotta probe the whole back yard. LEON.

Leon, it warms my heart to see how much good advice you are freely offering this new digger. Thank you.
 

Jimmy Langford

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Respectfully, you may want to hold off on something that old until you are more experienced. Also, I would not dig beside a utility pole unless proper precautions were taken. Toxic preservatives such as arsenic, creosote, and pentachlorophenol, still remain in most power poles made before 2003. Pentachlorophenol
can cause cancer.
 
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treeguyfred

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Hello @Walker1200 great topic question and terrific advice from one of our more currently active digging members Leon!
Just a bit of caution and a question... are there service and or pole to pole wires on these utility poles? if so, please be exceptionally careful to not drastically undermine the pole bases which could cause tipping or out right felling.
Good luck and look forward to hearing any news from this hunt!
~Fred
 

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