Ghost Town Adventures: Part One

metal detecting

Old Foundation

My family, with my brother and his family, recently started scouting out the locations of a few Ghost Towns less than a few hour’s drive from our homes. These are interesting places to Metal Detect and we plan on sharing our adventures exploring these areas throughout the next year. We’ll share what we learn, offer tips, and hope to encourage you to explore places near you. It is always a fun time to go on a hunt.

One of the first things to do when Metal Detecting is to decide on a place to do so (and always get permission). We had located some old maps, and historical accounts of the once major Lumber and Ice Industry which thrived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in our area. Once the forests were depleted of their wood, and Ice for Ice Boxes no longer needed, the towns were left abandoned. Only ruins and foundations, if that, can be seen today.

My brother was familiar with the area on the maps. He had hiked and fished the streams nearby and knew of the railroad beds being marked. It was decided then; they were ideal spots to begin our Ghost Town Adventures.

Because the weather has been mild (hardly any snow), and yet flourishing thickets and brushes have gone to the wayside for the season, it is a great time to get out and locate where the houses, school, church, railroad station, store, hotel, boarding houses, and businesses once stood exactly. Sure we have a map, but finding these on spot, and determining the best route into them (some are quite the hike to get to) is better done now rather than doing it in the summer when all things are lush and overgrown.

metal detecting

Washed out!

The one route we were first going to take proved unnavigable (for what we came prepared with). We were going to walk the one old railroad bed out to the one town, but when we got there we noticed a section of it going across the stream had been washed out. With frozen temperatures, swift and deep waters, and children with us, we changed our plans and decided to walk down a different railway. It actually offered a more direct path.

This was our first time to the area, and we will be going back. We located a few foundations and got a feel for the place, but only detected a bit on this outing.

And if you think fishing only awards the finding of ‘boots’, think again. Metal Detecting does too! Within an area of more recent activity, the rivets of the boot set off our detector. It was considered our fun find of the day, because after we checked to make sure it was empty, we laughed at the find. We weren’t expecting to find a boot.

ghost town

Find of the day! Just like Fishing 🙂

But that is what is going to be the most fun about this adventure. We have no idea what we are going to find! We have already discovered a lost history and way of life while researching for an area to Metal Detect. I enjoy learning and then actually going out and seeing where that history happened.

It will be exciting to realize anything the once a thriving community has left for us to unearth.

It will be a Ghost Town Adventure and sure to offer fun and surprises!


To be continued……….






Some other photos:

ghost town

Ice Flowers




ghost town

Old Foundation

ghost town

Dry lake bed: was once used for harvesting ice









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5 Responses

  1. Mark J says:

    great adventure and thanks for sharing Jenny.

    The ice harvesting reminded me of my grandfather. His first job in the early 1900’s was delivering ice. He quit on his first day when he found out he had to carry the large blocks of ice up several flights of stairs for delivery.

    • Jenny says:

      I don’t blame him….lol… was a hard cold business…..

      The one book I have on the ice industry shows the men with ice on their faces……but what was interesting, is it mentioned they never lost a man who fell through the ice (only a horse or two)…..but they had a place to take the men and immediately get him taken care of…. and get him back to work….. such different and admirable times….. and men….

  2. astree says:

    Very neat story, Jenny. The sense of adventure while exploring something formerly inhabited by humans, with only traces remaining, can certainly engage the imagination. That’s great, too, getting out into he woods on a cold day, with you and your brothers families. Looking forward to reading more.

    (What type of metal detector are you using?)


  3. George says:

    Jen – is that you in the white coat?

  4. Jenny says:

    @astree- we are looking forward to going back….can’t wait! The detector we took with us this time was a Teknetics…it has a waterproof head and we wanted that for this trip…..

    @George- yes, it is… : )

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