Let's talk about a typical old house in a typical town or city. Our old house was built around 1868 by a young
local businessman. A nice house in it's day, but nothing real fancy.
The man and his wife had four kids by the time the house was built. The oldest was 8, and the youngest 2. It
was their habit to give the three oldest kids a penny each Sunday for church donations, and another for helping around the
house. The oldest boy, had gotten a pocket knife from his grandfather for his 8th birthday, and a year later, he somehow lost
his knife while playing. When he was 10, his mother died in childbirth. The custom of having friends and family over before
and after the funeral brought 30 people to share in a meal in the back yard of our fictional home.
His father married a widow with two daughters when he was 12 and the group that came to the house numbered 40.
His 2nd wife, always tried to keep a little money hidden on a kitchen shelf. After all you never know what might come up in
When his grandfather died a year later, grandma gave him his grandpa's watch and gave the other kids his military
medals. By the time he was 15, his father had passed out well over 2000 indian head pennies.
In 1877, two of the younger kids took a fruit jar, filled it with treasures, including two of those medals, 5
brand new 1877 pennies and a bunch of marbles and buried the jar in the back yard by the oak tree. They couldn't find it the
next day because of chores. Soon thier 'treasure map' was lost, and the treasure was not able to be found.
Years pass, more weddings and more funerals. Grandchildren and thier friends come and go. Now it's 1910, and
the only person living there is the mans 2nd wife. Friends stop and visit. The woman loves being in the back yard where she
can smell the lilac bush, and most visitors are more than happy to sit with her there.
Jumping ahead, the year is now 1925. The family reunion that is held there brings nearly 100 people. Shortly
after this event the woman passes on. The old house is sold and everyones life continues.
Now let's take this story and apply it to us and what we are looking for. Can you imagine the number of pennies
nickels, and dimes that went through the hands of all those children? What about small toys? If one coin fell from the pocket
of a pair of pants as it was hung on the line, to dry or one coin was lost from a pocket when someone reached for something
every 4 years, there would be 25 coins or more under the cloths lines area alone!
Just think about what could have happened in that yard for all those decades! Where would the kids have played?
See any fences? Were there any other buildings put up when the house was built? Are sidewalks there, along side
the house or leading from the back door to the wood shed or out house? Where was water tossed? That may seem like a
silly question, but the dirty water had to be dumped somewhere. If there was little indoor plumbing, dish water and
bath water would have been a couple of those little nasties that was simply tossed out the window or a bucket emptied along
side the house to keep the water out of the rudimentary sewer system and to settle the dust. Maybe grandma's gold ring, or
a piece of silverware went flying as well...
The ideas are endless. Old houses have terrific treasures, and you never know when you will be the one to hit
that old fruit jar the kids lost back in 1877, you remember don't ya??? The one with the 5 brand new 1877 Indian Head pennies...
Or how about all those pennies that were passed out for church? Did they ALL end up in a collection plate???