Monday, January 30, 2012

McCallum High School, Visit #1

So I decided to change things up this past weekend and picked a different location to metal detect: McCallum High School.

A.N. McCallum High School, Home of the Knights, opened in 1953. It is the second oldest high school in AISD and is currently the oldest operating high school campus. It was named after AISD's first high school superintendent, and the location was chosen because of population growth in North Austin.

I remember going to the sports field when I was younger to watch my brother play soccer. A few years ago, the old wooden bleachers, original to the field, were torn down. My target for the day was the sides of the track, where these bleachers used to be.

Unfortunately, when I arrived at around 8:00AM on Saturday morning, the track and field were occupied by a soccer game. This is the reason why I always have a plan B. I headed to the front of the school only to find out that an orchestra competition was taking place. There were people everywhere and I really didn't feel like detecting within feet of people waiting to enter the theater.

Aha! I had a plan C.

While doing my aerial photo research of the area, I noticed that the dirt/gravel parking lot from 1964 was actually across the street from the main entrance. According to current Google Maps, that old parking lot is now a vacant grassy lot. While probably not an ideal area to dig, it was definitely better than nothing.

This lot was JUNKY. Old pull tab beer and soda cans, rusty tin cans, nails, screws, and even more unidentifiable junk.

I found hardly any coins, but did manage my oldest coin for the day, this 1956-D wheat penny:

About the coolest thing I found was this candle snuffer:

When the school finally cleared out a little, I went to a side entrance and managed a few bucks in clad coins.

I still haven't pulled my first silver! However, some of the dimes and quarters were 1965 and 1966, so I will be going back to McCallum High School to look some more!

Don't stop digging!


  1. The idea of all that junk just scares me.

    I read a post on fmdf about hunting parking lot islands. Using google maps I've found a couple of parking lots like that in the city (OKC is the only city I know of that refers to itself as "the city"). I think my next non totlot hunt is going to be in something like that.

    I can't find the thread right now... Next time I stumble across it I'll link it.

    Here's the idea though...

    1. And that wasn't even all the junk.

      You'll probably pull a lot of modern clad from those parking lot islands, and if you get lucky, a piece of jewelry.

      I hunt the islands as warm up next to where I park when I go to these schools, and I always manage at least a few quarters or dimes and tons of pennies.

  2. hrmmm... your css doesn't show it, but the last line of what I wrote is a hyperlink...

  3. Seeing all that trash tells me you are on the right path to becoming a metal detecting super star! It's all about persistence and work ethic.
    I just got back from my lunch hour hunt with a 1920D wheat and a USC Co Selby No 10 shot shell.

    Are there really no schools in Austin older than the 50's? Isn't Austin a really old city?

    1. Congrats on the wheatie and shot shell!

      The first high school was the old Austin High, which was the only school until McCallum was built.

      Austin High is currently at its third campus, which was built in the 1970s. The first campus no longer exists (paved over) and the second campus is now an Austin Community College Campus, but it is very small and there is very little green space. I will probably hunt it eventually - it was built in 1916 - but will need to secure permission first.

      I currently have permission to hunt all of AISD schools, so I will start hitting the elementary schools in Austin; there are more of them and are older. The first on my list was built in 1911.