Construction at Overton Park Golf Course unearths hidden items buried for decades

Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 7:06 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - If you’ve driven by Overton Park on busy Poplar Avenue lately, you have likely seen the renovations happening to the Overton Park Golf Course.

That construction has given the opportunity for one Memphian to discover all kinds of hidden treasures.

Bulldozers and other heavy machinery have been used to dig up the ground at Overton Park to make way for a newly renovated 9-hole golf course.

This work has provided a unique opportunity to find historic items buried for decades.

While many people look at this and just see dirt, Steve Herr sees much more.

“I see potential,” said Steve Herr as his metal detector beeps in the background.

Herr has walked nearly every foot of the dirt that was once the Overton Park Golf Course.

“I was out here in the snow, in the mud and the rain,” he says with a laugh.

Herr’s trusty AT Max metal detector scanning along the way.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for metal detectors,” said Herr.

Herr, who owns his own motorcycle shop, recently picked back up the metal detecting hobby 4 years ago.

“I never know what I’m going to dig up,” he said. It’s relaxing, it’s good exercise.”

When he saw the ground underneath the Overton Park Golf Course, created around the 1930′s, dug up he saw an opportunity to hunt for artifacts.

“Removing the sod and topsoil, it’s exposed a lot of items that were otherwise too deep to find, or the fact we couldn’t hunt the golf course when it was a golf course,” said Herr.

He’s been coming to the park several times a week for months, to search and dig.

“It’s a little bullet!” He exclaims as he pulls a small bullet from the dirt.

Along the way, he’s unearthed some very interesting items such as bullets possibly dating back to the civil war.

And Coca-cola bottles from the early 1900′s.

“And this one happens to be from Memphis, Tennessee,” he said holding the bottle up.

And if a half dime from 1854 isn’t old enough to grab your curiosity, how about a dime from 1838?

“First day I hunted I found this, and my hunting partner almost fell out,” said Herr. “That’s one of my best finds ever.”

Herr says, despite combing over practically every inch of the golf course, he isn’t done yet.

“As we say it’s not what you found it’s what you might find,” he said.

Besides, Herr says even in places you’ve already looked, you just never know what you’ll find.

“I’ve probably found more unique stuff out here in last two months than I’ve found in the previous three years,” said Herr.

Herr says there are discussions to place photos of the items he’s discovered inside the clubhouse for the golf course.

He plans to continue coming out to Overton Park and hunting as long as he can, but considering that this construction is planned to be finished by the end of this summer and that the work is already ahead of schedule, he may be running out of time.

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