Tricks to digging below the water level?

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willong

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Well, it's not in a ravine exactly. It's a flat area between two hills in such a way that they couldn't have just chucked them off the top. I'm thinking there was an old home or a road which led there, as the hills come together just past the dump so that there's no exit in that direction. I think I said earlier that the stream ends as you walk towards that direction (which is shown on today's maps). I just checked maps from 1909-1936 and that stream doesn't appear anywhere. Strangely enough, there's no marker of a home being there during either 1909 or 1936, so unless it only stood in the years between I'm at a loss (I figured that a family would stay in a home they built longer than that span of time, but I may be wrong). It runs downhill from the direction of that coming together of hills, so there's no stream to be diverted and it has always flowed so it probably isn't runoff. Doesn't smell like sewage or contain any other trash. I'll have to check whether there's a pipe and if it gives any hints. Definitely not a very traditional dump or like any I've dug before--it leaves me with a lot of questions!

Edit: It seems like the stream appears in in an 1899 map. Maybe it was just too small to be worth drawing on the later maps. Still no home sight on that 1899 map, however. I'll look for some between 1909 and 1936.
Neither all streams nor all structures are always shown on all maps. It really depends on the purpose and vintage of a map, together with the surveyor's and cartographer's skill. While Township, Range and Section lines can be quite accurate when compared with modern maps, stream courses on old maps are often little more than educated guesswork. The simple reason for this is that the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) was established to divide land in preparation for sale settlement. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Land_Survey_System) And geographical, hydrological and geological features were considered of secondary interest to the main purpose of establishing townships (not a townsite, but the 36-square-mile land division) to get the lands sold and occupied in order to produce revenue. Obviously, the early surveyors and cartographers were not working from aerial stereo photographs or satellite imagery as the much more recent map makers often were and are.

Does your 1899 map show topography (contour lines)? Are the 1909 and 1936 maps without? If your 1899 map is a USGS map, generally, I would trust stream locations on it more than a map produced for primarily property recording and taxation purposes.
 

Wildcat wrangler

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Put on a mask and snorkel. Bottles will sit on the river bottom even in fast flowing water.

Also the older stuff was dumped first and closest to the riverbanks and lots of the time this older layer has eroded into the river long ago.

Exactly what I’m thinking! Treat it like gold mining below the creek level, which in the summer around here, is the best place to be when it’s 120 degrees out. I wouldn’t do it right now at my swimming hole, without a wetsuit. Just be aware if your digging under something- gravity even works underwater. Just don’t get yourself pinned there! But it sounds like spring time fun. Good luck!


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MountainMan304

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Neither all streams nor all structures are always shown on all maps. It really depends on the purpose and vintage of a map, together with the surveyor's and cartographer's skill. While Township, Range and Section lines can be quite accurate when compared with modern maps, stream courses on old maps are often little more than educated guesswork. The simple reason for this is that the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) was established to divide land in preparation for sale settlement. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Land_Survey_System) And geographical, hydrological and geological features were considered of secondary interest to the main purpose of establishing townships (not a townsite, but the 36-square-mile land division) to get the lands sold and occupied in order to produce revenue. Obviously, the early surveyors and cartographers were not working from aerial stereo photographs or satellite imagery as the much more recent map makers often were and are.

Does your 1899 map show topography (contour lines)? Are the 1909 and 1936 maps without? If your 1899 map is a USGS map, generally, I would trust stream locations on it more than a map produced for primarily property recording and taxation purposes.
They're all USGS topographical maps. It seems like they paid a lot of attention to waterways, but over time the contour lines have been edited and are a bit inconsistent map-to-map. The 1899 pays much more attention to waterways and includes many that the 1909 map doesn't. I'm thinking that a lot of creeks and streams have been rerouted or "buried," as the 1899 map shows streams which don't appear to exist anymore (or might just be a drainage ditch now). The elevation is consistent with the topographical maps' depiction of my dig site, though they might also reflect just changing geography as development happens.

That's the only difficult part about using these maps--Charleston, WV has changed considerably in topography over each decade, with a lot being leveled out or excavated for more usable space. The building locations around the site are consistent with those known from my research about the area. I'm thinking that maybe this was the dump for (without exposing too much, but I don't think there are any Charleston diggers) a public fair-type park, but the foundations seem too far (probably a quarter mile uphill--the workers would theoretically have to hike up and down the mountain with tons of trash as there's no road leading downhill). The park's existence is consistent with the time period of bottles I'm digging, however. The 1899 map shows a road going through my dig location but no home, but I'm thinking that nearby homes used the road leading to it to dump their trash as it seems just far and accessible enough. Sorry for the essay!
 

MountainMan304

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Exactly what I’m thinking! Treat it like gold mining below the creek level, which in the summer around here, is the best place to be when it’s 120 degrees out. I wouldn’t do it right now at my swimming hole, without a wetsuit. Just be aware if your digging under something- gravity even works underwater. Just don’t get yourself pinned there! But it sounds like spring time fun. Good luck!


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Well, it's a stream that a baby couldn't drown in unfortunately. I hope I find a nice creek to snorkel in at some point. Tons of spiders, chemicals, and human waste in the creeks near me though! In Charleston, there's a legend of a massive man-sized catfish named Moldy Dick who grew so large from all of the waste and chemicals hahahaha
 

willong

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Well, it's a stream that a baby couldn't drown in unfortunately. I hope I find a nice creek to snorkel in at some point. Tons of spiders, chemicals, and human waste in the creeks near me though! In Charleston, there's a legend of a massive man-sized catfish named Moldy Dick who grew so large from all of the waste and chemicals hahahaha
Moldy Dick sounds like something a guy doesn't want to catch!
 

willong

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They're all USGS topographical maps. It seems like they paid a lot of attention to waterways, but over time the contour lines have been edited and are a bit inconsistent map-to-map. The 1899 pays much more attention to waterways and includes many that the 1909 map doesn't. I'm thinking that a lot of creeks and streams have been rerouted or "buried," as the 1899 map shows streams which don't appear to exist anymore (or might just be a drainage ditch now). The elevation is consistent with the topographical maps' depiction of my dig site, though they might also reflect just changing geography as development happens.

That's the only difficult part about using these maps--Charleston, WV has changed considerably in topography over each decade, with a lot being leveled out or excavated for more usable space. The building locations around the site are consistent with those known from my research about the area. I'm thinking that maybe this was the dump for (without exposing too much, but I don't think there are any Charleston diggers) a public fair-type park, but the foundations seem too far (probably a quarter mile uphill--the workers would theoretically have to hike up and down the mountain with tons of trash as there's no road leading downhill). The park's existence is consistent with the time period of bottles I'm digging, however. The 1899 map shows a road going through my dig location but no home, but I'm thinking that nearby homes used the road leading to it to dump their trash as it seems just far and accessible enough. Sorry for the essay!
No need to apologize for an essay, at least not to me. I've posted a few of those here myself.

On the other hand, I may have to apologize to you for all my questions, for I fear I might have gotten you to reveal more than you wanted to about your site.

I enjoy a mystery that might be solvable with maps a bit of on-site exploration. I have a hunch about what you might be looking at, but I don't want to goad you into revealing any more that might clue others in to your dump location, though I would hope those who participate in this forum, if any are from your region, would be principled enough to not poach. I'll move further discussion onto "Conversations" function, probably do so tonight or tomorrow night. I was just intending to drop by briefly; and I don't want to get into drafting another "essay" myself right now, especially as the next one will require a few attachments and links.

Talk to you later.
 

Wildcat wrangler

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Moldy Dick sounds like something a guy doesn't want to catch!

Sounding like a “glow in the dark” catfish fillet-who needs candlelight! My creek not only has all the lions and bobcats peeing in it- if you drink that you will get Giardia- but it’s the only water above ground in 20 miles- so you see black poly pipe going up all the hills, with people dropping bare well pumps down in my creek and who knows what chemicals they use. People leave generators along the creek in the bushes- then ask me did I see anyone taking it- don’t they know everyone gets broken into and ripped off the second their vehicle is seen leaving.? (I can’t build out there- it’s bad!)They pulled the whole side off the house across the creek from me, off to rip him off! He had some magnetic lock set up on his doors. We had the biggest drug bust up and down the creek a few years back- I learned I had met some ms13 members out there- who had 8500 plants, planted on EVERYONES property. We had the FBI, and the DEA crawling all over my wilderness wildlife refuge property, that summer. Out there, you assume EVERYONE is packing heat- if not, they are new to the area…. & probably should leave.


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hemihampton

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starting to sound like you live in Detroit.
 

MountainMan304

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starting to sound like you live in Detroit.
I'll be honest, I call Charleston little Detroit sometimes. A good deal of violent crime, theft, drug overdoses, etc. as a result of poverty. Where Wildcat lives sounds nearly like Charleston!
 

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