By Jonathan and Steve Stewart
MethuenLife Columnists

Metal Detectives Jonathan and Steve Stewart recently shared their passion – and their treasures – during a Summer Series event at Nevins Library. Courtesy photo

On July 13, my son and I had the privilege to present an evening of instructional and educational information on metal detecting. In collaboration with Nevins Library as part of their free 2023 Summer Series, along with their new acquisition of two Garrett Ace metal detectors for loan, we presented a night filled with knowledge and entertainment in front of a maxed-out Garden Room crowd.
In attendance were young and old, all interested in learning about our hobby! It was overwhelming to say the least, yet we were amazed by the interest our monthly MethuenLife articles produce. There were approximately 30 guests in attendance, with many names on a waiting list. It was our first public forum in front of adults, as we have worked previously with school groups. Some folks brought their machines, while others had notepads diligently recording notes. We started at 630pm sharp and finished an hour later. The time flew fast and honestly, we could have kept talking for another hour! The questions were numerous, showing the true interest those in attendance have for the hobby. They even correctly answered my first question: “What is the number one item found consistently while metal detecting?”
Answer: Trash.
Yes unfortunately, as I have stated in our previous articles, to find treasure you have to dig a lot of trash first.
Kidding aside, the evening consisted mostly of questions and answers. We discussed depth and settings on the machines, the need for a pouch to collect and throw away the trash, along with a special box to save your historical treasures, the right shovel to dig a proper hole or “plug,” as we call it, and correctly covering up a spot after a discovery is made so no one can tell where you dug.

We emphasized research: Knowing the history of the land you are hunting will almost always be rewarding.
We also discussed our best finds and told some stories. Everyone wants to know, what is your greatest recovery? For Jonathan and me, it will always be our 1652 Pine Tree Schilling – a 1600ss coin created right here by hand in Boston, before the United States was even official! We also told of Civil War recoveries on Veterans Day and my son’s rare U.S. Seated 1800 half silver “coins” found just months from each other. Special buttons, crotal bells and silverware were also included in the stories.
We finished the evening showing off some prized treasures, including that 1600s coin. Even after the library concluded the evening, the questions continued for another 20 minutes. It was an enjoyable evening and we look forward to doing it again. Thank you to the residents of Methuen and neighboring towns for coming out and especially the Nevins Library staff for hosting us in their Summer Series.
Remember that Nevins Library has two Garrett ACE 300 metal detectors available for a 7-day loan. Each comes with a bag and supplies. Contact the library for more information.

Methuen father/son treasure hunters Steve and Jonathan Stewart were the August 2019 MethuenLife cover story. They run YouTube, Facebook and Instagram accounts called Mass Metal Detecting and have followers around the globe. They love to save history and enjoy talking about it. If you’d like to invite them to your property for a hunt, you may be included in a future article! Please drop them a note via