Many varieties of treasure right under our feet

A program featuring “treasure” hunters was held at the Old Town Hall Museum Friday, May 31. Shown from left are Ricky Chovanec, Randy Frazier, Jim Dickerson, and Eb Burnitt. George McDonald overlooks the group’s display of notable finds. (Photo by Douglas DeViney, Sr.).

By Douglas DeViney, Sr.

Eb Burnitt gave a talk at DeQuincy Town Hall Museum Friday, May 31, with two of his metal detecting friends, Ricky Chovanac and Randy Frazier. They displayed a small portion of the historical items they have unearthed during a treasure hunting presentation, “DeQuincy and Southwest Louisiana Unearthed Metal Detecting.”

The display had many children’s toys that I would have played with as a child growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s. For those who remember, such toys included cap guns, die cast cars, and trucks. There were also metal buttons from military uniforms, both from the eras of WWI and WWII. Additionally, they unearthed metal treasures dating back to the 1800s such as coins and a wide assortment of glass items.

One of Burnitt’s oldest finds was a glass bottle that he found while digging for some metal objects behind the former David’s BBQ. On the bottom of that bottle was the name “Heinz” and an 1800s date.

There is so much buried not far under our feet and each piece is just a little bit of history of those who lived in this sleepy little Louisiana town of DeQuincy.

Along with the door prizes that were given out, Burnitt gave Diane Engle a brass name plate that bore the name of her great-uncle, Sam D. Mazilly. He also gave the DeQuincy News part of a metal plate that was used as a masthead of a newspaper when printing was done with hand set plates during the early years of newspaper publishing, where each individual letter of a paper was actually set in place by hand and tapped in with a hammer. Quite a labor intensive job, not like today when it is done with a plate, but the plate is printed from a computer.

Burnitt gave an interesting talk on the hobby of metal detecting. Each find is just one piece of someone’s life who grew up in or even just passed through DeQuincy, like a button that came off their coat or a coin that they lost while pulling out something from their pocket.

What treasures will be unearthed 50 or 100 years from now from those now living in DeQuincy?

History is lived and written every day of our life, even with something as simple as that penny we just dropped.