Knock On Those Doors Before It’s Too Late…

Got thinking about a few of my old coin hunting haunts back in New Jersey, and the Flemington Fairgrounds was one of them.  The Flemington Fair (or Hunterdon County Fair as it was called early on) started in the 1850’s and continued until 2003, attracting thousands year after year.  It was also the site of the famous Flemington Speedway.

Early photo of Flemington Speedway

Early photo of Flemington Speedway

I was fortunate enough to be able to hunt there, and the number of old coins I found there would probably fill a cigar box, but I have to also add that I worked my ass off to find them. The grounds were littered with bottlecaps, pulltabs, you name it.  In amongst them….Liberty Seated, Barbers, Indian Heads and even a few Large Cents, not to mention the newer silver coins.

Today, on this site you have a huge shopping center, featuring a WalMart and a Lowes. I thought I would bring this up because just recently the Erie County Parks Commission in New York was talking about restricting detecting in their “historical” parks.  Well folks there was  nothing more historical than the Flemington Fairgrounds, yet the local powers to be decided it was better to replace it with big box, bullshit stores (you know, exactly like the same ones a few miles up the road).

Flemington Fairgrounds Gone Forever

So, don’t sit on your butt.  Knock on that door and ask.  Find out who is in charge and go for it because tomorrow it might be gone… I get mad every time I think about this, and it’s only one of a number of sites that I hunted years ago that are not available today.  So much for the preservationists!



Job Interview:

Human Resources Manager:   “What is your greatest weakness?”

Old Man :   “Honesty.”

Human Resources Manager:   “I don’t think honesty is a weakness.”

Old Man :   “I don’t really give a shit what you think.”

This courtesy of John Howland (of course).



When Robert Proenza emailed last week wanting to donate a detector to the Ken MacIntyre effort,  I promised I would get in the Pug Bug and visit American Detector Distributors.  I did that yesterday and met up with Robert and his father Bill, whom I’ve known for over 25 years.  American Detectors is located in Bedford, Texas, about an hour from where I suffer here in Texas, and is a wholesaler/distributor for many of the top line detectors.

Bill & Robert Proenza

Bill & Robert Proenza

I must say I was knocked over at the operation and it’s new setup.  I say that because years ago I worked for Bill after leaving Garrett, and ADD was just starting to grow.  Today they occupy three store fronts, and if it’s related to treasure hunting in any way shape or form, they have it!  Their stock room is chock  full to the point where they can’t open any of the incoming shipments, and the shipping department was humming.

After a tour of the various areas, I spent some time checking a few of the various models hanging on the wall, and was impressed with Robert’s knowledge of each one I picked up.  He could answer all my questions quickly, and he even shared a few tips on various setups and nuances.  He most definitely knows his business, and was straight forward with his opinions and thoughts on each one I looked at.

It was great to see Bill again, and we spent some time talking about the good ole days, the people and characters we had both lost touch with, and of course some of those fun times we had.  Fun times that I would love to share here but cannot.  You see both Bill and I are married….

While American Detector Distributors is primarily a wholesale operation they also have a retail store front, and I highly recommend a visit if you live in the Dallas, Fort Worth area.  They are located at 510 Hardwood Road, Suite K and if you need directions, give them a call at the 800-933-2897.  They carry metal detectors, both hobby and security, pin-pointers, diggers, pouches, books and so much more.  They not only welcome shoppers, they have a dining room table in the front of the store if you want to just sit down and talk treasure hunting (hint…donut store a few doors down).  If you do decide to visit be sure and tell them Dick Stout sent you.



Filed under Metal Detecting

11 responses to “Knock On Those Doors Before It’s Too Late…

  1. I’ve attempted to get permission at the sites of various historical tear-downs and have failed every time because, while they say their insurance company won’t allow it, they really just don’t want me to find something historic which might entail slowing their project (a historic site that warrants archaeological attention.)

    • Exactly Scott… It’s simply more governing via “money under the table” in my opinion.

      • This comment in the article really says it all…

        According to Doyle, the value of the land jumped from $2.5 million to $21 million when the Planning Board agreed to rezone the property to allow the commercial development.

  2. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Hello Dick, two great points about “Getting Out There” and Honesty! Now we are finally in for some rain this coming week in NJ – So now we can get out there and get some depth! First off I need to get over the need to detect and then after that settle down and do some reseach for a site like you posted! Sweet!

  3. bill from lachine

    Good point…..a real life example from where I live.
    There’s an old school yard I hit pretty hard over the years circa 1920’s and made quite a few nice finds.

    Recently they did a major extension to the tune of $25MM and dug up a big whack of earth and carted it off to who knows where…here’s the kicker the site is probably part of the original fort built in Lachine circa 1670….not an archie in sight during the overhaul.

    Regards + HH


  4. Great post as usual! Yep, it’s better to ask now before it’s too late. I have a spot that is about to go into private hands, and I can not wait to get a chance to ask to detect there!

  5. All too familiar with this scenario. We also had a local fairgrounds with race arena in Danbury, CT.

    Lucky local residents also fondly remember Fair Day-when every year all the towns school children received the day off and a free entrance ticket.

    The fairground is now known as the “Danbury Fair Mall”. Sad…

  6. When Fay and I moved here to the Dallas area we chose a small town close-by, pretty much a farm community. That was 25 years ago. Today? No farms, no open spaces….just housing developments, cookie cutter homes and strip malls. I am so glad I started detecting when and where I did.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s