The Purchase Area has a club for of metal detector enthusiasts and relic hunters. The West Kentucky Treasure Preservation Society meets monthly and their main goal is to find and preserve items that otherwise may have been lost forever.
Members explore historical locations ranging from old home sites, to areas of interest that are related to the civil war. The 35 plus members are from all over the region: Fulton to Eddyville, and southern Illinois as far north as Golconda. Detection enthusiasts are from all age groups and club embers range in age from pre-teen to seniors. The club is always looking for new members who are passionate about preserving history.
“Our history is what made each one of us who we are today,” said Randy Harris, vice president of the club. “Why wouldn’t I want to help preserve these relics from a simpler time and keep alive our ancestor’s way of life? I love spending my time bringing back parts of history that were almost lost.”
At monthly meetings, club members discuss each other’s progress and exploration of areas they have designated of interest. “We provide guidance and educate members about illegal hunting habits,” explained Harris. “We support bringing history back into view and we want to assure that it is done correctly and legally.”
Sometimes, a member may find a relic and not fully understand its history or value. The meetings offer education sessions so members can understand the importance and value of their finds. “We encourage each member to bring their recent finds,” said Harris. By peer vote we select what we call ‘Find of the Month’. This helps keep everyone eager to return to their local hunting spots to secure finds - it creates competitive spirit.”
October 7 and 8 is the 7th annual open detector hunt for the club. Its held at Stuart Nelson Park in Paducah from 12 - 3 pm. There will be prizes so check in with the society’s social media page for details. The club is doing all it can to get more people involved.
At the club hunt there are specially marked metal tokens placed just below the grass. They’re out of site and this restricts the need for actual digging since it is a public park. The ‘detectorists’ line up at same time and are released simultaneously – all with the goal of rapidly searching until all tokens are accounted for, or all hunters satisfied that area had been searched to the best of their abilities.
“This method of group hunting has worked very well for us in the past,” Harris said. Prize selections are changed each year and include baseball caps, hunting pouches, new detectors, grilling kits, TV’s, silver and gold coins, and civil war relics that haven been donated by club members after having been found in our region.
Club meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month at 7 pm at Lebanon United Methodist Church - 4620 AT Massa Drive in Paducah. The Society recognizes that many of its members have youngsters at home and it strives to remain kid-friendly by hosting “kid hunts”. Children search for smaller prizes such as wheat pennies, Susan B Anthony’s, or other semi unique coins.
The club also holds creative hunts, where they incorporate playing cards. “The card serves as an identifier for the token, and can be played like a game of poker,” Harris told me. “This form of creative hunting really helps us mix people together: novice and advanced as well as adults and children. It gets the whole family involved.”
If you are looking for a place that encourages friendship, fellowship, and family, along with a constructive and shared hobby, look no further. The club wants to gain more public participation this year, and they look forward to hearing from you. For more information, contact Randy Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.