Metal Detecting for Artifacts in Wilson County

metal detect

Elton likes to do his detecting at abandoned plantations in the county that didn’t survive into the era of aluminum cans, the bane of metal detecting. One of his favorite spots is the Tart family plantation.

metal detector

On the left side are Union buttons  and on the right are Confederate ones. From these examples I would have to say that the Union won the war of the coolest buttons.

Last night Elton Franks, local insurance agent,  genealogist and metal detectorist, gave an engaging presentation on his 20 years of metal detecting in Wilson County.

His grandmother lived next door to the famed local historian Hugh Johnston and he credits the old sage as the spark that lit his enthusiasm for metal detecting.  Elton has been quite successful in uncovering a wide range of relics from the county’s time immemorial, including: thimbles, buckets of civil war minie balls (even ones that were carved into fishing weights and dice), coins that date back to the mid 18th century- along with a half of a Spanish piece of eight, Confederate and Union buttons, jewelery, pocket watches, horse tack, parasol parts and a slew of other vestiges of bygone eras.


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