Relic Hunting In Karelia

Old Mill Site Discovery

I climbed a small hill behind the foundation, where the lack of overgrown vegetation allowed me, and explored the hilltop. I found a pile of brick fragments that indicated the location where the house used to be. But I did not see its foundation.

Brick Fragments

All the clear spots suitable for metal detecting were littered with modern trash, mostly rusty tin-cans, left by hikers. The rest of the space was overtaken by the dense bushes of stinging-nettle.

Usually, the stinging nettle indicates former settlements. It is attracted by the extra nitrogen in the soil and is among the first plants to settle where the ground becomes newly available. Thus it is a good indicator plant for locating the sites of disappeared homesteads.

Stinging-Nettle Bushes

That was where I found the clue to what the big foundation was all about - a large millstone. Someone put a thick tree branch through the hole, probably, trying to carry the millstone away.

Large Millstone

Millstone's Other Side

Millstone's Other Side

Obviously I came across the ruins of the 19th century mill. That was why the foundation was in close proximity to the riverbank. The site was not really old, but it was better than nothing. I began metal detecting the meadow adjacent to the ruins.

My first find was a badly corroded pin which depicted the famous Monastery Island of Valaam on Lake Ladoga.

Famous Valaam Island Pin

After an hour of digging rusty cans and aluminum wire, I finally got a solid coin signal. It was nice to see a medium-size old coin in the dug hole.

Old Coin in the Hole

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