ANOTHER "GREAT BOTTLE DIGGING STORY" FROM THE PAGES OF
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE OF THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTING HOBBY
bottledigging BottleCreaturesprivy digging
Two years ago I was excavating an old railroad trash pit near theVermont and New Hampshire border. The place had been dug back inthe 1960s and again in the 1970s. I reallydidnt expect to find much of anything.
Dormant mouse fromrailroad dump.
I started digging at the edge of the pit. At the bottom layer Ifound 1890s whiskeys and pharmacy bottles. Besides bottlesthere were railroad padlocks, old tools and many bullet casings.
Halfway into the dump I noticed lots of ground-up leaves in thesoil. Just past the leaves there was a pile of old fruit jarspacked with soil, grass and other debris. One jar in particularcaught my eye and I decided to empty it out. Much to my surpriseI got more than I bargained for. The jar was the winter home of alittle mouse. He had passed out for the season and was not readyto wake up.
I felt sorry for the little fellow. Ithadnt been my intention to intrude upon a dormant mouse.
Wanting to continue my digging efforts, I placed the mouse on anold dish. The suns warmth slowly brought him around, but notbefore I snapped a photo of the creature. The mouse was then putback in a jar full of leaves and buried in a far section of thedump.
|Blob & Hutch: Groueton Bottling Co. |
Groueton, N.H., from railroad dump.
|Hard to find C. Whitcomb Rheumatic Indian |
Linimentm Apthorp, N.H. from hotel dump.
Later in the summer my curiosity got the bestof me. I wanted to see if the mouse was still in the jar. Theleaves were there but no mouse. Apparently he decided to head forsafer territory.
About a month later I was once again entertained by a bottlecreature.
My friend Norman Webster and I decided to investigate an oldhotel 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. Therewere many hotel plates, cobalt bottles and painted sodas. The ageof the dump appeared to be 1915-1959.
Norman likes to dig for soda bottles. Flea market folks buy a lotof them from him. To me the more modern dumps are a real drag. Mydigger (rake) is always getting wound up in nasty old bread bagsand nylon stockings. It seems as if I spend half the day pullingthis junk off my digging tools.
While Norman was looking for painted sodas, I was digging at thefar edge of the dump. I had dug down about three feet, when Icame upon a mess of rotting roots and other things. The groundwas damp and muddy. As usual I was doing one of my favoritethings getting absolutely filthy.
The roots were giving me a hard time so I decided to cut them outof the way. Finally after a major undertaking the entire messcame loose. Along with all of this I became the recipient of abeautiful six-inch spotted salamander. He or she was very coldand slimy. This was the best thing Id dug all day.
Norman didnt seem too impressed. However, he didacknowledge the fact that it doesnt take a whole lot toplease me. The day ended with a pile of junky bottles and somegreat photos of the salamander. Before Norman and I headed forhome, I placed the creature in a dark, damp place in thedump.....
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