Friday, July 29, 2011

Thrifty Acres - found in the front yard

Hello! Old-house dwellers such as myself are used to coming across bits of the past while doing outdoor work. I've found pieces of broken pottery so pretty that I mourned over their breakage, nails with square heads, sections of old bricks and chunks of coal. 

My most intriguing outdoor find, however, came after a spring rain several years ago. I was checking out the blooming progress of the primroses in the front yard when I spied a penny sticking out of the moist soil. Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned, so I bent down to pick up the loose coin. 

A quick glance showed me that it was an old penny, so I took it inside to wipe the mud off to determine its date. This is what I found:

To my astonishment, the penny was from 1879! Given that our house was built around 1905 or so, this coin predates the house by several years.

Here's the back of said coin:

I couldn't help but wonder who had dropped this penny many years ago - someone working on building the house or the lady of the house picking some flowers in the front yard? And what took it so long to make its appearance known?

My husband is a coin collector, so he was able to estimate that my penny is worth about $3.00. Not bad considering its original value! I keep it as a lucky piece of sorts. I always hope to find another old coin in our yard, but haven't yet. Still, I'm pleased to have found something of that vintage.


  1. "A penny saved is a penny earned." -Benjamin Franklin.

  2. You're supposed to toss a penny onto his grave for good luck - I have done this! (He's buried in Philadelphia.)