Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Digging Up Stuff

When you live in an old house, digging a hole can yield unexpected results.  I was up by the barn earlier this morning, working in the English Garden ... moving 'Abraham Darby' and planting a few other roses to fill in some of the blank spots.  As I was using my hands to break up the excavated soil to backfill Abe's new hole, I discovered that one of the clods of dirt was NOT dirt.



It's an iron ball ... about 3 inches in diameter.  It's solid, not hollow, and I doubt it contains explosives.  I don't have a scale, so I don't know exactly what it weighs. 

I'm going to find someone to ask, to see if maybe it's some sort of Civil War artifact.  Our property has been a farm since 1837, and our county was home to tens of thousands of Union soldiers each winter during the war.  The area where I was digging has seen lots of changes since then ... I was up by the barn, which probably built in the early 1900s.  If this thing is 150+ years old, I doubt it's been in the spot where I found it during all of that time.

I have errands to run this afternoon, and I plan to run by the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor's Center to ask one of their people about it.  I'll let you know what I find out.

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There's been a lot happening around here this month ... and I have been working hard on things, but not taking the time to document what I'm doing so I can blog about it.  (It gets me distracted and off track, I hope you understand.)  There are a few roses in the garden that are just beginning to bloom.  The seasonably-cool weather we're having has slowed things down, and I doubt bloom will progress much for the next week or so.  Whenever the wind dies down, I'll get out there with my camera and show them to you.

I'm planning for the upcoming rose season ... weeding, trimming, training, planting, and (as soon as I get some) mulching.  Parts of the garden look beautiful, other parts are still pretty horrible.  It is what it is, and I will make the best of it and do what I can.

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Here's the scoop .... I showed my find to the folks at the Visitor's Center.  They sent me across the street to the Civil War Store.  The guy who runs that place is an expert on relics, and I was assured that he could identify MY relic.  He looked it over, saw the mold mark (which I missed) and promptly proclaimed it to be a ball from a Colonial era 3-pounder ... probably Revolutionary War!!!  Their other store has an identical one on display, which was found here in Hartwood, too.  He said that there was a lot of 18th Century activity in my area.  (When confronted with a fascinating mystery like this, it certainly helps to live in a place with such a concentration of history experts.)

This ball is solid iron, so it's completely safe to handle ... as long as I don't drop it on my foot.  I want to thank those of you who saw this here and on FB, and called to make sure that I didn't do something stupid with it and blow myself up.  It's great to have such good friends.

24 comments:

  1. Wow! Quite a find- It looks like an old cannon ball! It will be interesting to see what it is. I'll bet you are beyond busy with your gardens and keeping your booth going. xo Diana

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  2. "It is what it is, and I will make the best of it and do what I can."

    What a wonderful approach to the garden and, for that matter, to life.

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  3. Very cool, it looks like a civil war era cannon canister to me?! I think that's what they were called. I used to do reenactments with a friend and her family when I was in middle school, but my memory is not what it used to be! ;-)

    Kat

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  4. That is a very cool find! Let us know what it is!! I know you are working hard with your roses and you will show us the fruits of your labors later! Hugs, Linda

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  5. Very cool! Can't wait to find out what they say it is...I have Old Blush blooming, very pretty, and again this year, I procrastinated too long, and the deer got to my Bella Donna...I could have sat there and cried...ok, here's to next year! donna :)

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  6. How exciting! Musket ball perhaps? So much history in our state.

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  7. Yup, I agree, looks like a big 'ol cannon ball!! Cool!

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  8. That is so neat!! It does look like shot from a cannon. You dig up civil war artifacts and I dig up old weights and lamp fixtures! Lol

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  9. That is so cool!!! I wonder what else is buried on your property ;)

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  10. Wow, very cool. So what are you going to do with it?

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  11. What a spectacular find! What are you going to with it?

    I'm happy to hear you're playing in the rose garden(s). I know that makes you happy and I'm looking forward to seeing some photos when you're done.

    Have fun!

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  12. Colonial artifact, that is WAY COOL!

    Congrats on your find. Have you ever wondered what the folks who left it there would think of us getting so excited over stuff they threw away? Of course, I sometimes wonder what they would think of us in general, LOL.

    Enjoy your history-treasures and your rose-treasures.

    CCG

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  13. Oh Connie,

    That's so cool. Art just found a rusted doorknob yesterday when changing a livestock waterer. The treasures our old places give us is amazing! Happy diggin'

    Cyd

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  14. That is pretty cool. Now you need to find a neat way to display it.

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  15. Oh my gosh, Connie! How fascinating! That is truly a one-of-a-kind discovery!!! Coool!

    xoxo laurie

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  16. From the revolutionary war! What a find! How cool to have a bit of history right under your feet!

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  17. Keep digging Connie, let's see what else you can un-earth.....that's awesome!

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  18. I still say it's a petrified meatball.

    ;->

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

    PS....seriously...that is pretty darn awesome!!!!!

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  19. Revolutionary!!! I didn't even begin to think that far back... my mind stopped at Civil War. What a treasure!!!

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  20. What an awesome find!
    Are you going to keep it or donate it?
    Catherine

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  21. As I was reading this I was thinking that i needed to send you to that civil war store.... then I saw in the update that you ended up there anyway :) Its a very exciting find! I always wanted one to hang on a chain to keep my garden gate closed. Ive seen people use them that way down town...

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  22. Ok. That iron ball is very cool!!!!

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  23. What a great find and love seeing your property in the next post. When Dave and I were in Alaska, I found a ship's ballast. I lugged it home, much to the amusement of all who asked, "why the big rock?" _lol_

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  24. Wow, the same week you found this, my neighbor found a CW fused ball in her yard!

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