Potentially historic copper frog found at a Lithia spring

Moonshadow

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
37
Location
Alamosa, CO
Hello folks! I've been gone for quite a while, but and I took a 7 full year break from metal detecting when we moved to the big city. I guess other priorities came up, and I think found that I really enjoyed metal detecting in smaller rural towns versus our current city. I've been swinging for a few months now, and it has fully captivated me again regardless. I've mostly been focusing on parks to get experience again, and the days are starting to get very productive.

I am currently away from the big city and I am working in a small and remote town. I am having a blast. It feels like I am the first person to hit these parks ever. It is such a big difference from the big city. I used to fantasize about detecting in a larger city due to the population and wealth. I have no clue that I was already living in Paradise. I am going to continue metal detecting regardless, but I wanted to share that okay so anyone needed to hear it.

Now for the good stuff!! Let's get on to the copper frog thing.

Today I went to a very old cold water lithia spring. This place is historic to the region, but it is forgotten about and the value is not fully appreciated. It is so this beautiful turquoise blue bubbling pond that is filled with a purplish pink algae growth, and The walls are coated with calcium. It has a steady stream of bubbles from the middle, and the spring maintains a temperature of 70° here around. When I first arrived, I noticed overgrown grass historic structures, and medium trash visible on the ground. I have seen worse places, but It was obvious that folks prioritize attention to the other springs in town. I started metal detecting, hitting the low grass areas, and eventuall hitting the high grass areas. I kept on finding trash and decided I would start cleaning up the place one foil ball at a time. As I was detecting near the river that flows from the pool, I hit a solid signal. I thought for sure it was a quarter, as the VDI was in the 70 to 80 range, and it's spiked on 2.4. I enjoy hunting quarters, but I was initially disappointed to pull out a piece of iron. I am still fine tuning my mental discrimination, and I probably would have filtered it out if I was paying attention to the size and other frequencies. When I started to rub it off, I realized it was not a piece of iron. As I wiped away the matted mud and grass, a pattern started to emerge. Suddenly, I noticed a frog or a toad and an ornate pattern!! Just as it was getting good, a local woman walked up and quickly dipped her feet into the pond. I put it in my pouch pretty quickly, and I did not know how she would take to the metal detecting at her stomping grounds. She was really laid back and seemed pretty relaxed. She was not judgmental about metal detecting, but we talked about how fun it can be to find lost things or geocaches.

She asked me what the coolest thing I have ever found was. I thought about this for a second and told her one of my previous call last finds. I knew deep down inside that this frog thing instantly topped it, but I was afraid to share that I might have found a historic artifact. We split ways and I went on to detect around the structures. I read about the history for this place on the signs. The native Americans used to soak in the hot springs, and one of the pioneers felt the Lithia spring had healing powers. The pioneer even went as far as bottling it up as drinking water and selling it for many years. Shortly after, I found some really old bottle caps, and I can only imagine that they might possibly be related to the site. The bottle caps easily looked 100 years old possibly.

After she departed, I decided to do the same by soaking my feet in the pond. I have gout, and I could use some major healing for arthritis. I started to examine The subject as I cleaned it off in the Lithia water. I found that it was made from copper instead of steel as I initially thought. It looks like it could have been a decorative cap for something. It has a hole at the bottom like you would screw it to something. It has a similar pattern on both sides of a frog holding a leaf, and a four-leaf flower I believe. This thing is ancient for these stomping grounds! I am amazed at the condition, considering it was sitting in soggy Lithia mud for the past hundred years or so. I did a reverse Google image search, and I came up dry. If I could take a guess, this looks like a decorative cap that would be put on the bottom of a knife, or even a sword.

Although this probably doesn't have much material value, this holds a special place in my heart due to the emotional aspect of relaxing and soaking my feet and enjoying my surroundings. I have been so focused on metal detecting for this trip, I haven't really taken a chance to pause and enjoy things. I'm glad I met that stranger and realized the pond holds more than just visual value.

I have found coins, gold, silver, and even some gems while metal detecting, but the best treasures I have found are always the things with true history and experiences that linger in my memory. People find stuff all of the time of material value, but when you find something that makes a memory, it is special. This is the primary reason why metal detecting engages me so much.


I just know deep down in my heart that this is related directly to the pioneer days, and the frog design is directly related to the spring. I normally keep all of my finds, and I was planning to put this in a shadow box with other cool finds. Part of my heart was telling me that it is not right to keep this. After much thought, I have decided that it would be best to donate this and possibly the bottle cap to the local museum for safekeeping and for others to enjoy. Maybe they can date it, or find a way to tie it to the history of that pond. My hope is that they will have a section of the museum for the springs, and it will be a small contribution to hopefully spark interest in conserving and maintaining the natural gifts.

With that said, I am very curious what you folks think this is. I have never seen anything quite like it, and I'm curious what it could be. Let me know your best guesses!
 

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You don't suppose it is a cane tip or walking stick tip?
It definitely could be! I'm just amazed by all of the detail in it. It really shows the level of craftsmanship that went into everything back in the day. I was looking at it last night, and I found more details. It's not just a frog! The frog is sitting on what appears to be a dragon, feline, or a bat at a slight angle. On the other side of the frog, it looks like a snake or a dinosaur. Maybe it is the tail of a dragon?
 

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It definitely could be! I'm just amazed by all of the detail in it. It really shows the level of craftsmanship that went into everything back in the day. I was looking at it last night, and I found more details. It's not just a frog! The frog is sitting on what appears to be a dragon, feline, or a bat at a slight angle. On the other side of the frog, it looks like a snake or a dinosaur. Maybe it is the tail of a dragon?
Thank you for sharing your nice story, We enjoyed it. You did great.
too_
 
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