The more time I spend metal detecting, the more passionate and intrigued I become about the history that lies just beneath our feet in ground we walk over every day. It's quite breathtaking to consider. As I was born and raised in Waynesoboro, Virginia and surrounding Augusta County, I do most of my exploration and metal detecting right here. Some older, but very detailed post-war maps of Augusta County, have provided some amazing details and information. Augusta County holds more than it's share of history:
Augusta County was created from Orange County in 1738. For seven years, until the population grew large enough, Augusta’s records were kept in Orange. In 1745, Augusta elected a sheriff, a vestry, a county court, a minister, and a clerk of court. A courthouse was built on the same site in Staunton (originally called Beverley’s Mill Place) as the current courthouse. The county’s records have been kept continuously at the courthouse since 1745. In that year, the county included all of present southwestern Virginia, most of present West Virginia and even stretched to the Mississippi River. As people began to settle in those western areas, new counties were cut off from Augusta, beginning in 1769 with Botetourt County, then Rockingham and Rockbridge in 1778.While my primary interest has always been (except as a boy) primarily the Civil War era, I'm also quite interested in the colonial era as well. My interest in this era of our nation's history has been intensified in recent years due to my metal detecting activity. I've recently been exploring a site in a rather remote area of Augusta County. In previous posts, I've noted some of my recoveries: An 1801 Large Cent and counter-stamped token and part of a colonial shoe buckle. I've also found a couple of colonial pewter buttons, spoons, and another shoe buckle.
The Augusta Militia, today the 116th Infantry, was formed in the 1740s and represents one of the oldest and most storied military units in the country. Descendants of the original militia became the famed “Stonewall Brigade” in the Civil War, and during World War Two, this unit hit Omaha Beach on D-Day. (Source Augusta County Historical Society)
Below are some of these finds, which I've not posted before:
|Above are parts of pewter spoons - circa 1750-1820|
|Above: Pewter button #1 - circa 1790-1810|
|Above: Pewter button #2 - circa 1790-1810|
|Above: Colonial shoe buckle #2 - circa 1790-1810|