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tigue710

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I'm glad to see I didnt chase you away. I'm sorry for that.

A metal detector can be very useful, but I still stick to the most useful tool you have at your disposal would be the other diggers you have meet. Light a fire and get them out to show you some spots. You can find them on your own but seeing a dump and digging in it will give so much more to work with.

The factory could be a very good place to find bottles. Often the owner of the factory owned the houses and the land around. They would pick a spot for the workers to dump their trash, often in a unusable piece of land close to the factory. A good thing to look for is pieces of coal on the ground, They often lead to a dump. Low areas, wet areas, swampy marshy somewhere they could not or would not build or farm...
 

Plumbata

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I was looking at some of the satellite images of your island, and a couple areas jumped out at me. In the town of Edgarton, there is a pond called "Sheriff's Pond" that looks to be surrounded by trees, and is very close and north of what looks to be downtown. Granted, the ocean is everywhere, but in times when they weren't trying to extend the docks a few people probably threw stuff away in there. Then there is the town Vineyard haven/Tisbury(?), where there is a cemetery called Oak Grove, just north of state road. Maybe check in the back/west end where there seem to be trees? In the same town, there appears to be a baseball diamond right next to downtown! It is south of Beach street and west of lagoon pond road, and that land looks largely reclaimed to me. Perhaps check south of the field close to that finger of water?

Ive never dug a brick factory, but if it was abandoned before 1920 then there might be some good refuse inside the perimeter of where the old walls were, and if you see 1860/70s glass and such just outside the walls then that may mean that some garbage made its way into the backfill after they made the foundation.

As tigue said earlier, your best bet is to look everywhere (especially the useless land he mentioned though)! This is not a science, as many have said. There is no good way of sensing what an area may hold unless you go investigate for yourself, as not many diggers there are going to want to give up their best secret dump spots. Nothing will prevent you from walking around and finding the small areas littered with the cinders and slag and unnatural dirt displaced by them in the past, though. [;)]

And yeah I shouldnt take small things so personally, especially on the friggin internet, lol. My apologies as well.
 

cowseatmaize

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I don't know where all the divers are to suggest it so have you thought of taking up scuba? Dive...Dive!!!
 

vll970

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I have to say, I am really afraid of diving but I have thought about it. Anyone here who lives close by willing to let me come along on a dig and watch? I would love to see it. Maybe that would help me find my own spot. And no one responded to my probe question. Any suggestions?
 

vll970

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Wow. Thank you. I can't believe you can get all this from satellite images. I will check out these areas for sure. They are all probably on Preservation Trust land but it's worth a try.
The brick factory was abandonded in 1930. There is a house in the background on the old picture I found in this book about the island. It says that the house was the workers quarters who were all French (no idea why). There is nothing there now. I am not sure how to find the general location of this house as it seems the landscape has changed significantly and I am not sure how to judge distance from a photo, but I am thinking it had to have had an outhouse. Any thoughts?
 

tigue710

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they probably did have an out house, and around workers quarters some good bottles can often be found. In our area (southern New England) they often had drop shoot out houses close to water. Instead of digging a hole in the ground they built the privy on a dock or out over the water and everything fell in...

Try to find out if there was a dock for the factory because either way bottles will turn up around there. Might be a couple feet down in the muck though...
 

cobaltbot

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That is a very nice place you live. My Dad is from New Bedford and I've been there a time or two. We'd take the Nantucket? Ferry island hopping. When I was a kid I used to dig in West Barnstable on vacations. There is a forum member "Just Dig It" from New Bedford maybe he'd be willing to take you digging. Most sandborn maps don't show the privys alot, but using the property lines they will give you an idea of where to search. Along the back property lines and the corners would be the place to start but there are no set rules. When you are out searching look for anything unusual sticking out of the ground, especially things like metal bands, old buckets, milk cans or granite wear pieces. Good luck, keep at it and you WILL eventually find bottles.
 

lexdigger

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As far as the probe goes I'd say definatly get one! That's really the only way to go when your searching for privies and cisterns. Sometimes there may be a depression in the ground, but usually you wouldn't even know it was there untill you dig it. You definatly want to start out in the Downtown area that the Sanborn maps you talked about show. Even if a house down there has a tiny backyard, try to get permission. The fact is that the smaller yards can actually be better for finding pits because they had less options as to where to put them. I always start in the back corners and work my way around the property lines from there. The only way to really find out what it's like in your area is to get out and do it. Get a probe, find a pit, and dig it up. Don't let people tell you it's all been dug or there isn't anything in privies there untill you've seen it with your own two eyes. The town I'm in was dug up Years ago and besides that there isn't Anything good here anyways... get my drift? LOL Get a probe and you will double or triple your chances at finding old dumps to. You can only tell so much from looking at the top of the ground, you really need to be able to feel inside the ground a good four to six feet to know for sure if you've got something good to dig. Just keep after it and you will find what you're looking for. Chris
 

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