Something to try if you haven't already

One thing that has produced well for me, which you don’t typically need permission for, is public school properties with history before the school was built. A lot of public schools were built on former farmland, and that means old houses were demolished. So check your old maps and figure out where the old houses were located on current public school grounds. With any luck you will find a nice demolished house site.

I have been detecting one of these public school house sites that I think was built 1930s (maybe earlier), and it has produced several wheat pennies (included a first year 1909) and lots of scrap brass and copper. I’m holding out for a couple silver coins. My best find so far at this site is a brass makeup compact with an 1899 Indian cent hidden inside.

So don’t think you necessarily need to get private permission to make some good finds. A lot of great sites on public property get overlooked because there is no longer a physical trace of what was there.


Good suggestion.

I’ve hunted newer schools, without knowing any prior history, and found clad and a few of the rings I’ve posted.

I’ve also researched older (1800’s) schools, many were gone, a couple still standing (though dilapidated), and a couple which were converted into homes.

The demolished ones were always, you guessed it, in farm fields. Many times the school doubled as a Church, or there was also a Church extremely close. These are great sites if you can find them.

Maybe you got lucky and found a spot that held both!

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In the area that I am at school grounds are off limit for detecting.

School owned property is for me as well, for the simple reason I carry.

I agree 100%. I love hunting older schools for the reasons you mentioned. I hunted an old school for a couple of hours Sunday morning and scored 2 silvers. Then went to another one Sunday evening and scored 3 more. They can be productive!

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Schools and parks of any size, can have prior history. As you said, they often were farms prior to being donated or bought by the local county. ANY public owned land is worth checking the back history via historicmapworks or other maps. Historicaerials is also good to check, though doesnt go back as far (be sure to check the topos tab as well. And use the “compare” feature to see old vs new. You can find public lands for your state/county at Ohio - Regrid: Nationwide property data and mapping tools for everyone just type in your county and in the upper left of the page, click on “Overview” and it will show you a list of the largest land holders in the chosen area (ie county or state). Choose one and click on it and the areas that entity owns will be shown in purple. You’ll likely have to zoom in to find the areas in purple. From there, cross check those lands against mapworks and aerials and you have paces to hunt without having to worry about “permission” as they are public lands!

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