Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bayside Park Colchester, VT Digging Into The History Of A Park

 Clarey's Bayside, better know as Bayside Park

Some areas that are open to metal detecting are the town parks located throughout Vermont.  No matter what you do, make sure to be careful about leaving the area looking better than when you found it.  Remove old trash that you come across and make sure to cover any holes that you may dig.  Parks can be a great area to metal detect in.  Many parks are used by all sorts of different people.  What I want to focus on today is to dig a little deeper into the park's history to find out how old the park really is.  If you find that the park is old then this the coins and items that you will discover here will be older and worth quite a bit more.  Because it is a park, you always have the opportunity of discovering rings, necklaces, watches etc... 
One such park is Bayside Park located in Colchester, Vermont.  I researched the area and found out that it used to be called Clarey's Bayside and was a popular spot in the early to mid 1900's.  You know what that means.  Silver Coins!  I searched for old photos of the area and am including them in the History section of the post.  By using the older photos and comparing them to the photos of the area today, one might determine where the old buildings used to stand.  Check for areas that were being used more often in the older pictures, "baseball field, courts, people gathered etc..  Then figure out where those spots are today.  By doing so you can then narrow down your areas to search.  I bet you will find a lot more older targets that way too...  If you get a chance to get out and make any discoveries, let me know. 


Older residents of Chittenden County will remember the first big establishment on the bay which catered to all ages and types of people bent on recreation. In 1927 George F. Clarey opened Clarey's Bayside, Inc. Vacationsist's paradise. On his 25 acres, again on the south side of the bay near Coates Island, Clarey put up numerous housekeeping cottages and cabins, as well as a pavilion for ballroom dancing, square dancing and roller skating-to say nothing of pin ball machines and bingo, or beano as it was first called.

Bayside From Lake Champlain, Malletts Bay, VT
Pavillion activities were only a portion of the entertainment fare at Clarey's. One could swim from their private sandy beach, and from its shoreline set out for boating and fishing. The recreation park featured a baseball diamond, lawn basketball court, volleyball couert and areas for badminton and ping-pong. In the "shady grove" one found open fire grilles, picnic tables, shelters, and a children's playground. According to Clarey's granddaughter, "Many school picnics and other annual outings staged by clubs and similar organizations were held at Clarey's. She adds that pie-eating contests were one of the special feature highlights on square dance nights.

Clarey's Bayside Cottages,
 About ten years ago the pavilion burned in a spectacular blaze, and thereafter for a time Clarey's daughters continued to rent the cottages and cabins. In 1969, however, the two owners, preferring to see the area used for recreation rather than for residential development, sold the land to the town of Colchester, which was able to procure both state and federal funds to assist in the purchase. From this exchange grew the present Bay Side Park. 

Deluxe Cabins at Bayside, Lake Champlain Malletts Bay

This town recreational area so impressed the Chittenden County Historical Society that in 1971 the Town of Colchester received one of nine awards made that year recognizing outstanding scenic and architectural improvements.

Today, in 1975 Colchester is conducting a whole series of activities to satisfy every type of recreational need. The park is annually the center of Colchester's big Fair Day held on the Fourth of July, with its traditional features of an all-day picnic, a parade and fireworks after dark.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fort Ethan Allen (Colchester, VT)

This historic image at Fort Ethan Allen is of the U.S. Artillery Camp. There are five large teepee-like tents across the center of the image. The tents have doorways that face a large group of horses and donkeys pulling wagons or just standing. A cannon can be seen towards the center of the line, and the group of horses seems to be roped off parallel to the tents. Three men can be seen sitting down in the foreground with a large blanket of canvas in front of them. There is a large hay pile to the left of the men. A hill rises up in the background that is wooded in the middle and clear-cut on the sides. The season is most likely summer. Paul Bierman writes on 2011-12-21 that this is a scene from Underhill where the Federal Underhill Artillery Range was located. It was associated with the Fort.

The historic photograph gives a bird's eye view of Fort Ethan Allen. There is a tall brick smokestack in the foreground of the image. There are several brick buildings around a central green space with an American flag on the left side of the photograph. Two people are visible on a dirt road. Sidewalks run through the green space surrounding the buildings. It looks like summer. 


This is a colored postcard of Fort Ethan Allen from the Water Tower. Mountains are pictured in the background of the image. Brick and wooden-frame buildings are pictured in the foreground of the image. A dirt road is located on the far right side of the image. The dirt road wraps around the background of the photograph. Leafy conifers and deciduous trees dot the landscape in the background. There is an impressive brick building pictured toward the back center of the photograph. All rights reserved; (c) Shelbubrne Museum, Shelburne Vermont, Contact Rights and Reproductions at 


1907 - 1915
This image shows a large group of men with horses partaking in a firing drill at Fort Ethan Allen. The men and horses are scattered in a large flat open field. There are a few men on foot operating small cannons supported by two wagon wheels. A few deciduous trees are visible on the left through the smoke of the cannons. The writing on the photograph reads, "Firing Drill, Fort Ethan, VT." 

This is black and white postcard of the Guard Mount at Fort Ethan Allen in Burlington. The image shows lines of men in uniform assembled out on a grassy lawn. In the background is a line of deciduous trees. Behind the trees is a line of very large houses, many with multiple chimneys and wrap around porches. All rights reserved; (c) Shelbubrne Museum, Shelburne Vermont, Contact Rights and Reproductions at


This photograph documents three men haying at Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester. In the foreground the men stand atop a wagon filled with hay. The wagon is being pulled by a team of four horses, and can be seen crossing the railroad tracks and a dirt road. To the right of the wagon, rolling fields lead back to the river in the background, while to the right a row of utility poles and trees are visible. Utility poles also can be seen running behind the wagon, as well as a large deciduous tree. Mountains are visible in the background. Season summer, photograph courtesy of Nancy Hayes. 


 The historic photograph shows an overview of a valley with open fields and wooded areas in summer. There are barns, houses, tents and an encampment along one of several roads in the valley. The Green Mountains are visible in the distance. This is summer. A title at the bottom of the photograph reads, "The Artillery Range, Fort Ethan Allen, Vt." Esther Munroe Swift writes on 2005-2-9: Note: Fort Ethan Allen was in Colchester, not Jericho, and for most of the years 1902 until 1959 had its own post office with that name. Paul Bierman writes on 2011-12-21 that this is a scene from Underhill where the Federal Underhill Artillery Range was located. It was associated with the Fort. The Mountains in the distance clearly indicate this is not Colchester. 


This photograph documents the Water Tower at Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester. In the foreground a dirt road and railroad tracks can be seen cutting across the bottom of the photograph and the foot of a small hill. On top of the hill an earthen footpath leads up to the water tower, which is a five story stone structure, with window turrets, an observation deck, and a wind vein. Besides the tower the field above the hill is cleared of vegetation and development, with only a few deciduous trees visible in the background. Season summer, photograph courtesy of Nancy Hayes.

This photograph is of the Water Tower at Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester. In the middle of the image is the Water Tower which is a five story round stone structure with a pointed peak roof. There are three windows down the side of the tower. The entrance way can be seen on the right of the tower. The top of the tower has three windows. Surrounding the tower is two blue warehouse type buildings. In the foreground of the photo is the corner of a white building. with a tall chimney. To the left of the tower, there is a freight trailer parked. Power lines run to the right of the tower. To the right of the tower is a green storage box. In the background of the image you can see a growth of trees, both deciduous trees and leafy trees. The picture was taken in the winter and snow covers the ground and road. Compared to the original, there has been many changes. In the first photo, the tower is surrounded by trees with no buildings in sight. Now, the tower is surrounded by warehouse type buildings, power lines, and freights. The trees are only seen in the background of the

This image depicts a Naturalization of Aliens ceremony at Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester on June 25, 1918. The 310th Calvary is taking part in this ceremony. In the foreground of the image there is a gazebo with a group of older men looking down at the 310th Calvary. There is a band dressed up in uniform playing in front of the gazebo. Behind the gazebo is a group of men and women watching the ceremony from afar. They are standing under giant deciduous trees that line the path and road. On the far left there is another group of onlookers behind a fence. All of the onlookers are watching four standing men in the center; two of which have flags. Surrounding the men with the flags are hundreds of men in military uniform who are standing is a semicircle formation. In the background there is a grove of deciduous trees along with multiple military structures. 


This picture shows the Gazebo in the middle of an open field at Fort Ethan Allen. There is a flag pole in the center of the photo. Trees line the left side of the photo. In the background you can see many buildings that line the road. There is a large deciduous tree to the right of the gazebo. It is winter and the ground is covered in snow. Three deciduous trees are in a line to the left of the gazebo. This picture differs greatly from the original in that there are no people in the picture. The area is bare in the new picture. in the original picture there is a fence that is behind the people. That fence no longer is there. The trees are different. in that there were several more developed trees there, now there are young trees. The buildings in the background cannot be seen in the original.

Flood Remains! A Perfect Spot To Metal Detect (Milton Flood of 1927)

Excerpts from Vermont In Floodtime – 1927 Flood
(Lamoille Valley)

“The Lamoille River and its ordinarily peaceful valleycontributed their toll to the flood loss. In that section four persons lost their lives, dams broke loose, arailroad was disorganized, industry suffered grievously and scores of homeswere washed away…

(Scene when Bridge went out Nov 4th 1927)

Surging on, the Lamoille carried away the bridge in theVillage of Milton, (pictured Left) the building of the Franklin County Trust Co., the Star Theatre operated by Earl Bevins,(Pictured Below Left) thewheel-wright shop of H.C. Bevins and Kennedy’s store. Orvis Mayvilles’ big brick house with all itsfurniture was undermined and crashed. All buildings in this section of the Village, up to the general store ofO.S. Phelps & Co., which was saved by the construction of a coffer dam,were wiped out. The safes and valuablesin the bank were removed.

(People watching Kennedy's store disappear. 1927)

On the lower end of River Stree, houses… were either movedfrom their foundations or otherwise badly demolished, in many cases with completefurnishings…Barns and shops in connection with these buildings went also. The houses on the river side of the road weredamaged more extensively than those on the opposite side.

Houses flooded in the 1927 Milton Flood

The bridge at West Milton was the only one usable for a longdistance up the stream. Much debrisaccumulated at this bridge. Parts ofhouses, bridges, and all kinds of wreckage caught on the piers and once a partof a house was seen floating down the river with a bed set up—all made up.

(Isaac Howard's Barns)

At West Milton the Deslaureau barns went out partially andIsaac Howard’s were turned around. Thehorses and cattle on these two farms and on the Clark farm, about 160 in all,were drowned with the exception of a few young cattle on the Clark farm. All the stock in Granger’s store wasdestroyed. All the residents along theriver were compelled to flee with scarcely time to save anything on the groundfloors of their homes.

On abutment of the State bridge over the Lamoille on the wayto Grand Isle was shattered, but the bridge did not go down.

Soon after the disaster, Red Cross workers reached Miltonand rendered material assistance to the stricken town. Funds were provided to supply all needed foodand clothing.”

Excerpts from St. Albans Weekly Messenger

….The Lamoille River overflowed its banks for a vicinity ofabout a mile doing damage that will amount to thousands of dollars…

(Aerial Photo of the flood of 1927 Milton, VT)

…Many farms, buildings, and barns were swept down the River inthe vicinity of the Villages…

(Barns and homes in Milton)

Excerpts from Burlington Daily News

(November 4, 1927)

“…Furniture in their homes were either badly damaged orswept away by the high water.

When the crest of the flood hit the hollow, it swept thebridge down into the gorge below and the mass of wreckage and the pressure ofwaters toppled the brick building known as the Bevine Block and containing theVillage movie theatre. At the same time,the building housing the Kennedy store was wiped out. In all, four buildings were a total loss andthere is every indication that most of the ten or a dozen other houses damagedare beyond repair.”

(Milton vt street scene 1927)

By using the information given about the devastating flood of 1927, one would conclude that the river valley area should hold some very interesting finds. As the waters washed away buildings and homes in the raging rivers, items from the time would have been deposited around the area. If you were to locate any such items they would have to be at least from the 1920's. Always ask permission before using your metal detector on another person's property. This is not the only town that was affected by the flood of 1927. There were quite a few locations along rivers that were impacted in a similar way. Do a little research in your area. A trip to the library might uncover quite a few opportunities for potential areas to use your metal detector.

Below are some before and after images of the flood of 1927 taken from the air. Don't forget to check out our website at

(Milton VT Flood of 1927 Aerial Photo)

(Milton, VT 2005 Aerial Photo of same location as above.)

(Milton VT Flood of 1927 Aerial Photo)
(Milton, VT 2005 Aerial Photo of same location as above.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Rainy Day

A Rainy Day's Rich Rewards

I woke up on one particular summer day when I was living with my parents and was up ready to head outside to try out my new mxt metal detector from White's. My dad was serving as a pastor of an old country church in Minnesota and I had gotten permission to search the grounds. We lived in the parsonage next door to the church and I had been able to search the grounds previously and had found some good coins. The church was founded in the late 1800's and I had found several coins dating to that time. What made this particular church extremely profitable was that that there had never been a parking lot put on the grounds. So from the time the church was founded to now the congregation would park their cars on the lawn in order to go to church. So the area was untouched, perfect for running my new metal detector around the yard.

My Dad's Church

I bounded up the stairs to get a good breakfast before the day's hunt. Went I reached the top of the stairs and glanced outside my heart sank. The sky was overcast and a slight drizzle was falling soaking absolutely everything. As I sat down to a breakfast of eggs, toast and a tall glass of milk I was trying to come up with some way to go ahead and take the detector out anyway.

After breakfast, I decided that I would wrap the box up in plastic and give it a try nonetheless. I headed out into the garage with detector in hand and grabbed a shovel that was propped up against the wall. The rain was now only a mist falling and I headed over to the church. I slowly began detecting keeping the coil close to the ground so that I would get the best result. It wasn't very long until I had a pretty good signal. I checked underneath the bag to see what it was the display showed a pretty strong showing that it was a quarter. I started digging and to my absolute delight brought out a beautiful Liberty quarter.

I ran back to the house to show my mother and Great Grandmother what I had found. They were very impressed. I headed back out to the church yard and continued the hunt. I was pulling coins out both clad and unclad. The next big find was a 1906 barber half pictured below. The three bottom coins were all picked during that wet drizzly day. The top two were part of a picture I listed on ebay to sell the coins. I got almost 100.00 for the lot of them and that was before silver had made it's jump.

Bottom Three Coins Found At The Church

A good rain will bring actually be a benefit to you when you go metal detecting. Because the rain in the earth helps to conduct the transmissions from your metal detector helping you to locate the deeper targets. If you think that an area has been hunted out then try it after a good ground soaking rain. You will be surprised at how many targets start leaping out of the ground.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How It All Began

The Birth Of A Hobby

Most every one of us have a place in our childhood that brings back the very best memories. For me it was our country home located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We lived twenty acres of land. My parents built our home with the help of several very kind neighbors and church members. There were four of us children, my two younger brothers and my youngest sister.

As young kids do, we spent hours upon hours having all sorts of adventures in the back ten acres of woods. Wild grasses and flowers filled the fields around our home that my parents built. We would run barefooted across the fields and it seemed the dirtier we were at the end of the day the happier we were.

On several occasions we would crawl under our neighbor's electric fence and go explore the farmer's fields and woods next door. Our closest neighbor lived a good mile away and there was no such thing as trespassing there. There was one particular patch of woods in the neighbors field that we especially enjoyed visiting. There were several very large wild apple trees, plum trees and excellent climbing trees to play around in. There was also an old foundation where a home had once stood. It was hidden by the overgrown trees and shrubs but could be accessed easily enough. The farmer's cows would keep the grass low enough that we could play around in the what was left of the crumbling walls.

One day one of my dad's members of his church came over to visit us. We all sat around a fire enjoying each others company and eating a wonderful pick nick meal. I can hardly remember what was for dinner but what I do remember is what came after our dinner. The visitor went to his car and pulled out a very interesting looking object that I had never seen before. My brother's and I sat on tree stumps and lawn chairs listening with wide eyes as he explained to us what he had in his hand. He told us that this little machine would be able to find metal in the ground and if he was very lucky even gold.

Well this got us very excited indeed. We had read stories of pirates and treasure and buried loot. We couldn't wait to watch the man turn it on. He said that the best place to look would be by the old home next to our house. We all followed with excitement as he led us to what remained of the old house. He began following a cow trail that was worn in the brush and immediately the detector started to beep. We all watched with great anticipation as he pulled up our very first treasure; a gnarled, mangly piece of twisted metal. We set it aside and continued down the path. More and more treasures came to light. First a nail, then a horseshoe. Pretty soon we had a whole lot of items to bring back to the group around the fire to share.

I don't think that anything of real value was found in the thirty minutes of searching but I do know it sure left an impression on me. We finished putting away the meal and my dad doused the fire and we headed back into the house. The man and his wife, who had come to visit, left in their old rusty vehicle down our long dirt driveway. I had had my very first taste of metal detecting and the experience had left with an interest that has grown and grown with each passing year.

Ten or twelve years later, I purchased my very first metal detector. This blog and my website, are dedicated to this very exciting hobby. I will tell you this. I enjoy a lot of things in my life. I love the outdoors, hiking, fishing, camping, sports and have many hobbies. All of these things can't compare to the truest treasure that I have found in my life. I found life. I found joy. I grasped within me, the deepest part of me, that God, the creator of the life and the things I enjoy so thoroughly really loved me. He created me to love, to laugh, to sing, to run, to climb, to get passionate, to explore and He set me in a world that I would love to laugh in, to sing in, to run in, to climb in, to explore and to get passionate about. Then I came to understand that the God who created me to enjoy all these things also created all these things for me to enjoy but yet there was something that hid Him from me. Something that distracted me from Him, something that separated me from Him. Pain, guilt, shame, fear, evils, death, lies, confusion and all the other things that are in the world that hid Him from me. I came to understand that God created me out of the purest love and created me to love a beautiful creation and I could not have a perfect relationship with me because I was so unclean myself.

My past was marred, If I was like a cup of ice cold water and God were like a man, then he would have never have put me to His lips. Not me. And yet I looked at Him again. I longed to know this God, but even more He longed to put me to his lips and drink. But how could I ever satisfy my creator? For within my cup was all sorts of mud and filth. It was as if I could smell my own foul odor rising to my nostrils.

O God Please is there not a way, that I might be clean within?
My heart is heavy, arms are shaking from this load of sin.
I know that I should pay a price for all that I have done.
I've lusted, lied, was full of pride, muddied by things called fun.
Who is that there standing so pure he looks like me and you.
Yet though he's plain he stands so regal this man by birth a Jew.
From a clean body wounds appear and blood begins to flow.
What is the meaning of this God? Why to you strike him so?
For he's done nothing that is clear to deserve such heavy blows
I've never seen such pain and suffering, my worry for him grows
My God! Please Stop! You're killing him He's stumbled to his knee
My God My God upon a Hill? For everyone to see?
My God you've killed him now he's dead. Why do the things you do?"
With saddened eyes My God replies, "He took the place of You!"

If you are reading this today and you haven't yet felt the freedom that I have found. I would be happy to share some more. For Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, the truth and the life no man comes to the father except through me." You can always send me an email at