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Recent finds from the flask dump

hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
5,844
113
It does make the back story a little more interesting on how the bottle got up here. Was it brought up by a man traveling by train or steamship? I guess will never know. Not sure how far beer was distributed before prohibition, maybe a couple cases were hauled up this way. Either way this was the only one on the dig site no shards or broken pieces.


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Since Detroit is not far from Toledo or Northern Ohio I occasionally find Norther Ohio Beers. But your a lot farther north. Lots of Beer was distributed by Train back then but along the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River I think they used Cargo Ships to Transport often. LEON.
 

willong

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
180
28
Port Angeles, WA
Found one in the digging bag, stuffed it in the side pocket and forgot it was there for 3 weeks. Turned out being the only blown medical bottle I found that day. Lots of bubbles, purple tint to the glass and a crooked neck. Happy to find this one :)






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Are you just prowling the woods randomly? It is rare, at least out here in Washington, to find logging camps pictured on old maps. In WA, the camps often consisted of purpose-built or modified rail cars. Being transportable, those types were moved to new locations once the harvesting progressed much beyond a given camp location. Also, though I am not certain, I suspect that the camp sites were not recorded on county plat maps because the temporary structures were not on "real property" tax rolls.

In the entire 1910 Snohomish County plat book, I only found one cluster of little black squares (denoting structures) that was labeled "camp." However, railroads, even dead-ended logging spurs, seem to have been invariably recorded. Assuming that you can locate similar map resources for your region, I would suggest checking out any mapped locations that illustrate one or several short spurs (sidings) coming off the mainline and running parallel to it, especially if they abruptly terminate. A point on a mainline where several logging spurs diverge is also a prospect for a camp location, though not as likely as one with sidings, either bypass or dead end.

If you live in hilly country, take special interest in vintage mapped RR line locations with the dead end sidings that are located on the side of a steep hill or mountain--it is certainly a prospect for a camp location. If your historical map is not of the topographical type to tell you so at home, you will likely find a flat spot or natural bench on the sidehill when you investigate in the field. Bingo! A former RR logging camp. The hunt to narrow down the dumpsite begins!
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,449
113
New Jersey
Thought I should share my homemade mini probe Incase anyone was curious as to what it looks like.
I was in a hurry so I didn’t have time to oil the handle before getting it all covered in dirt.



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I have the same but more of a t handle. Like my large one, but it fits sideways in a hole. This way i can tell which is the best direction to escavate or trench. Call me lazy but it works.
ROBBYBOBBY
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,449
113
New Jersey
Are you just prowling the woods randomly? It is rare, at least out here in Washington, to find logging camps pictured on old maps. In WA, the camps often consisted of purpose-built or modified rail cars. Being transportable, those types were moved to new locations once the harvesting progressed much beyond a given camp location. Also, though I am not certain, I suspect that the camp sites were not recorded on county plat maps because the temporary structures were not on "real property" tax rolls.

In the entire 1910 Snohomish County plat book, I only found one cluster of little black squares (denoting structures) that was labeled "camp." However, railroads, even dead-ended logging spurs, seem to have been invariably recorded. Assuming that you can locate similar map resources for your region, I would suggest checking out any mapped locations that illustrate one or several short spurs (sidings) coming off the mainline and running parallel to it, especially if they abruptly terminate. A point on a mainline where several logging spurs diverge is also a prospect for a camp location, though not as likely as one with sidings, either bypass or dead end.

If you live in hilly country, take special interest in vintage mapped RR line locations with the dead end sidings that are located on the side of a steep hill or mountain--it is certainly a prospect for a camp location. If your historical map is not of the topographical type to tell you so at home, you will likely find a flat spot or natural bench on the sidehill when you investigate in the field. Bingo! A former RR logging camp. The hunt to narrow down the dumpsite begins!
They may have needed to have a real foundation to be taxed. They were just camps though, so who knows?
ROBBYBOBBY64
 

woods_walker

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2018
129
29
Are you just prowling the woods randomly? It is rare, at least out here in Washington, to find logging camps pictured on old maps. In WA, the camps often consisted of purpose-built or modified rail cars. Being transportable, those types were moved to new locations once the harvesting progressed much beyond a given camp location. Also, though I am not certain, I suspect that the camp sites were not recorded on county plat maps because the temporary structures were not on "real property" tax rolls.

In the entire 1910 Snohomish County plat book, I only found one cluster of little black squares (denoting structures) that was labeled "camp." However, railroads, even dead-ended logging spurs, seem to have been invariably recorded. Assuming that you can locate similar map resources for your region, I would suggest checking out any mapped locations that illustrate one or several short spurs (sidings) coming off the mainline and running parallel to it, especially if they abruptly terminate. A point on a mainline where several logging spurs diverge is also a prospect for a camp location, though not as likely as one with sidings, either bypass or dead end.

If you live in hilly country, take special interest in vintage mapped RR line locations with the dead end sidings that are located on the side of a steep hill or mountain--it is certainly a prospect for a camp location. If your historical map is not of the topographical type to tell you so at home, you will likely find a flat spot or natural bench on the sidehill when you investigate in the field. Bingo! A former RR logging camp. The hunt to narrow down the dumpsite begins!
Thanks for the input! That’s quite a bit to respond to but what you are saying kind of lines up with the location I’ve discovered. It’s on the downside of a hill on what looked to be a dead end road and now it just wouldn’t seem possible to get a train or a vehicle into it due to all the new growth coming up. All that’s left are remnants of a two track road. Not sure if there were ever any train tracks but if there was they might have been removed. I did not use a map, what lead me to the spot was the more modern trash thrown over the side of the hill. I would definitely like to find a map of similar locations in my area thanks for the suggestions!


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willong

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
180
28
Port Angeles, WA
Thanks for the input! That’s quite a bit to respond to but what you are saying kind of lines up with the location I’ve discovered. It’s on the downside of a hill on what looked to be a dead end road and now it just wouldn’t seem possible to get a train or a vehicle into it due to all the new growth coming up. All that’s left are remnants of a two track road. Not sure if there were ever any train tracks but if there was they might have been removed. I did not use a map, what lead me to the spot was the more modern trash thrown over the side of the hill. I would definitely like to find a map of similar locations in my area thanks for the suggestions!


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You're welcome.

There are some dandy online map resources available, some of which I do not voluntarily reveal. However, I will tell you that the entire USGS archive is available online; but much of the Midwest was not mapped by that service until well into the twentieth century. For early map coverage of your area, I recommend that you begin begin by searching local library reference sections and especially your county courthouse. A 1910 plat book was my first resource for targeting specific locations--I only learned about Sanborn Maps within the last twenty years; and I still haven't actually used them as I prefer prowling the woods over knocking on doors seeking permission to probe and dig. Because they taxed standing timber as "real property," some counties out here also maintained "Timber Record" books during the early days of the last century. I don't know if that was a common practice elsewhere, but it is worth inquiry.

On disused logging and mining railroads, the iron rails at the least, would be pulled for reuse or salvage when resource extraction was completed. The crossties (sleepers for British readers) might have been left in place if they were only crude, untreated timbers intended for temporary use--that was often the case out here in the virgin forests of the West where a surfeit of ready material had to be cut in the course of pioneering the route anyway.

Prior to the introduction of railroad logging, and continuing well into that era, trails for extracting bucked and sniped logs from the woods were fashioned of relatively short logs laid down in corduroy fashion. Initially, teams of draft animals--oxen was often the animal of choice in the PNW*--preceded by lowly (in the hierarchy of the woods) skid greasers were used to draw the logs along the skid roads. As technology evolved, steam donkeys (yarding engines) began replacing draft animals for the wealthier logging companies. The reputation of poor settlements that had sprung up along the early skid roads once snaking into the settlement of Seattle resulted in "skid row" entering the English lexicon.

In the very early 1970's, after arriving on the Olympic Peninsula, it was not uncommon for me to still encounter sections of skid roads while prowling through the second-growth woods seeking old camp, mill and homestead sites. The rot-resisting character of Western Red cedar convinces me that many remnants remain undetected today beneath an additional half-century of forest litter accumulation and the regrowth that thrives on the decomposing material. Even in the early 1970's, it was already extremely rare to encounter wooden structure remnants intact in western Washington woods other than those originally constructed of heavy timbers. Thus, I recommend that you keep decomposition in mind when you search your own region for sites old enough to contain blown bottles (typically prior to 1910 in the USA).

*One trash accumulation that I dug through at the site of a turn-of-the-century sawmill, even though it was located beside a RR grade, contained many large, sawn bones. They were obviously what remained of steaks and roasts, though they were much larger than beef bones to my eyes. I speculate oxen that got injured or could no longer pull adequate loads were slaughtered for consumption by the crew. While the mill was alongside the RR, I believe oxen were used at the location to yard logs into landings along that RR and the lone spur that showed on early maps.

Nearby, I found the structure pictured below (image retrieved from web):
1590594199929.png


At the time, my best guess was that it was part of a kiln, though I was thinking lumber drying. Today, it is part of the attraction of the "Lime Kiln Trail" near Granite Falls, WA. Off-limits to digging therefore.
 

woods_walker

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2018
129
29
You're welcome.

There are some dandy online map resources available, some of which I do not voluntarily reveal. However, I will tell you that the entire USGS archive is available online; but much of the Midwest was not mapped by that service until well into the twentieth century. For early map coverage of your area, I recommend that you begin begin by searching local library reference sections and especially your county courthouse. A 1910 plat book was my first resource for targeting specific locations--I only learned about Sanborn Maps within the last twenty years; and I still haven't actually used them as I prefer prowling the woods over knocking on doors seeking permission to probe and dig. Because they taxed standing timber as "real property," some counties out here also maintained "Timber Record" books during the early days of the last century. I don't know if that was a common practice elsewhere, but it is worth inquiry.

On disused logging and mining railroads, the iron rails at the least, would be pulled for reuse or salvage when resource extraction was completed. The crossties (sleepers for British readers) might have been left in place if they were only crude, untreated timbers intended for temporary use--that was often the case out here in the virgin forests of the West where a surfeit of ready material had to be cut in the course of pioneering the route anyway.

Prior to the introduction of railroad logging, and continuing well into that era, trails for extracting bucked and sniped logs from the woods were fashioned of relatively short logs laid down in corduroy fashion. Initially, teams of draft animals--oxen was often the animal of choice in the PNW*--preceded by lowly (in the hierarchy of the woods) skid greasers were used to draw the logs along the skid roads. As technology evolved, steam donkeys (yarding engines) began replacing draft animals for the wealthier logging companies. The reputation of poor settlements that had sprung up along the early skid roads once snaking into the settlement of Seattle resulted in "skid row" entering the English lexicon.

In the very early 1970's, after arriving on the Olympic Peninsula, it was not uncommon for me to still encounter sections of skid roads while prowling through the second-growth woods seeking old camp, mill and homestead sites. The rot-resisting character of Western Red cedar convinces me that many remnants remain undetected today beneath an additional half-century of forest litter accumulation and the regrowth that thrives on the decomposing material. Even in the early 1970's, it was already extremely rare to encounter wooden structure remnants intact in western Washington woods other than those originally constructed of heavy timbers. Thus, I recommend that you keep decomposition in mind when you search your own region for sites old enough to contain blown bottles (typically prior to 1910 in the USA).

*One trash accumulation that I dug through at the site of a turn-of-the-century sawmill, even though it was located beside a RR grade, contained many large, sawn bones. They were obviously what remained of steaks and roasts, though they were much larger than beef bones to my eyes. I speculate oxen that got injured or could no longer pull adequate loads were slaughtered for consumption by the crew. While the mill was alongside the RR, I believe oxen were used at the location to yard logs into landings along that RR and the lone spur that showed on early maps.

Nearby, I found the structure pictured below (image retrieved from web): View attachment 207883

At the time, my best guess was that it was part of a kiln, though I was thinking lumber drying. Today, it is part of the attraction of the "Lime Kiln Trail" near Granite Falls, WA. Off-limits to digging therefore.
there’s definitely no shortage of sawn bones at these dump locations. I’d be better off as a bone collector than a bottle collector with all the ones I find. There very large in size like the ones you found. So just more proof that the Dump came from a logging camp. Very likey to because northern Michigan is known for logging in the early days. I love knowing the history behind the bottles I find and it doesn’t matter if there rare or common, slick or embossed they all have history and that’s what I love about bottle digging. Thanks again for taking so much time to offer your knowledge on the subject.
 

willong

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
180
28
Port Angeles, WA
there’s definitely no shortage of sawn bones at these dump locations. I’d be better off as a bone collector than a bottle collector with all the ones I find. There very large in size like the ones you found. So just more proof that the Dump came from a logging camp. Very likey to because northern Michigan is known for logging in the early days. I love knowing the history behind the bottles I find and it doesn’t matter if there rare or common, slick or embossed they all have history and that’s what I love about bottle digging. Thanks again for taking so much time to offer your knowledge on the subject.
While the nature of the timber and terrain, thus some of the logging methods, up here in the Pacific Northwest were quite different from those that the early loggers in your region encountered, there's one piece of common equipment that occasionally wore out or broke and got discarded. If you find any pieces of crosscut saw that would just about clinch the logging camp theory. Finding the sole of an old calk-boot would be just as convincing--contemporary loggers here call them "corks."

Today's "Lime Kiln Trail" was just an overgrown path following an abandoned railroad grade when I visited in early 1971. The downslope side of the embankment was littered with saw blades. Of course, there was a mill in the area too. So, many of the blades were big circular saws. I was just a youngster who didn't know much about logging or milling. So, some of what I took to be two-man crosscuts among the rubbish might actually have been broken sections of band saw blades. I do recall that some looked inexplicably buckled (for crosscuts). If I ever make my way over to the site again, I'll have to take a second look with the benefit of a bit more knowledge.

I shot no photos, didn't have a camera with me, when I visited; but I'm adding a photo that I "lifted" from the web. Keep in mind that today, while the relics are authentically from the site, they have been extracted from the forest litter and staged along the trail as exhibits.

1591799856205.png


I couldn't find any photos on the web that picture crosscut saws still lying about the area--likely carted away a long time ago. They are popular display items, though so are circular saws, that some people also like to paint scenes upon.
 

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