ANOTHER "GREAT BOTTLE DIGGING STORY" FROM THE PAGES OF
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE OF THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTING HOBBY
ebay Photos and text by Peter Samuelson nasa
are many things to be found in the ground besides bottles. When I
go digging, I like surprises. From time to time, this is just
what I get.
Two years ago I was excavating an old railroad trash pit near the Vermont and New Hampshire border. The place had been dug back in the 1960s and again in the 1970s. I really didnt expect to find much of anything.
Dormant mouse from railroad dump.
I started digging at the edge of the pit. At the bottom layer I found 1890s whiskeys and pharmacy bottles. Besides bottles there were railroad padlocks, old tools and many bullet casings.
Halfway into the dump I noticed lots of ground-up leaves in the soil. Just past the leaves there was a pile of old fruit jars packed with soil, grass and other debris. One jar in particular caught my eye and I decided to empty it out. Much to my surprise I got more than I bargained for. The jar was the winter home of a little mouse. He had passed out for the season and was not ready to wake up.
I felt sorry for the little fellow. It
hadnt been my intention to intrude upon a dormant mouse.
Wanting to continue my digging efforts, I placed the mouse on an old dish. The suns warmth slowly brought him around, but not before I snapped a photo of the creature. The mouse was then put back in a jar full of leaves and buried in a far section of the dump.
& Hutch: Groueton Bottling Co.
Groueton, N.H., from railroad dump.
to find C. Whitcomb Rheumatic Indian
Linimentm Apthorp, N.H. from hotel dump.
Later in the summer my curiosity got the best
of me. I wanted to see if the mouse was still in the jar. The
leaves were there but no mouse. Apparently he decided to head for
About a month later I was once again entertained by a bottle creature.
My friend Norman Webster and I decided to investigate an old hotel dump near the Connecticut River in Northern New Hampshire. This dump was extensive. It covered about an acre, and in places, the depth was over six feet.
All but a few bottles at this location were machine made. There were many hotel plates, cobalt bottles and painted sodas. The age of the dump appeared to be 1915-1959.
Norman likes to dig for soda bottles. Flea market folks buy a lot of them from him. To me the more modern dumps are a real drag. My digger (rake) is always getting wound up in nasty old bread bags and nylon stockings. It seems as if I spend half the day pulling this junk off my digging tools.
While Norman was looking for painted sodas, I was digging at the far edge of the dump. I had dug down about three feet, when I came upon a mess of rotting roots and other things. The ground was damp and muddy. As usual I was doing one of my favorite things getting absolutely filthy.
The roots were giving me a hard time so I decided to cut them out of the way. Finally after a major undertaking the entire mess came loose. Along with all of this I became the recipient of a beautiful six-inch spotted salamander. He or she was very cold and slimy. This was the best thing Id dug all day.
Norman didnt seem too impressed. However, he did acknowledge the fact that it doesnt take a whole lot to please me. The day ended with a pile of junky bottles and some great photos of the salamander. Before Norman and I headed for home, I placed the creature in a dark, damp place in the dump.....
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