The morning of 12 June 2010 appeared grey and overcast. Perfect for digging bottles. The Saturday had been set aside by Dumpdiggers all over the city, earmarked as a day of discovery in the Four Seasons Bottle Collectors 2010 ‘Club Dig’. The secret location was an old dump in the heart of the city of Toronto.
Old and new diggers gathered together to make the trip. The story is recorded in excruciating detail in a story entitled Digging Bottles with The Four Seasons Bottle Collectors in Toronto.
Carl Parsons is a storyteller and venerated member of the FSBC. He’s been an antique dealer specializing in Canadian glass bottles for over thirty years and he knows his way around a couple hundred old dumps in Ontario. He led the tour down into the day’s dig site and alongside ‘Indian” Al Pothier they selected the exact spot based on shade more than anything else… nobody could remember if the exact spot in this site had been dug before, as the dump is one of the oldest in the city, and the terrain is constantly changing.
The crew got busy right away and dug out a large hole. The soil was soft and light, a gentle mixture of sand and ash with fragments of dump – broken china and bits of brick were visible on the shovels.
Tex and Mac were the new diggers and they worked hard sinking the hole down to a six foot depth. Then the guys got busy with hand trowels and garden forks. Carl put on a demonstration to show how he often uses a hoe with holes cut in the blade (to let water out), but today’s dump was dry as a bone. The hole wasnt very deep, about six feet from surface, when Al Pothier declared that they’d hit bottom and now they’d best look to the sides.
Al had a pocket of good dump to the south of his position and Mac and Tex found some hard packed virgin dump to the north of their spot in the hole… but sadly it was under the day’s dirt pile and so any excavation in that direction meant moving the dirt pile on the surface. all the same some old sauce bottles were discovered and there were a few exciting moments when some soda shards and stoneware bottoms were spotted in the virgin dump tract at the bottom of the hole.
You can read more of the day’s adventure in Digging Bottles with The Four Seasons Bottle Collectors in Toronto in the Shovel Guild Library on Dumpdiggers.com