I, and all who live on my street, have unique properties — so I’ve been told by those who have lived in the area much longer than I have.
My backyard is extra long; the back section of it purportedly used to be a roadway where horse-drawn carriages would take citrus fruits, which were grown in this area prior to development, down to the old railway on University Avenue. This was pre-1920s.
You’ll see in map below that 44th Street currently jogs west a bit when it extends north of El Cajon Boulevard, but originally (I’ve been told) it went straight north through what are currently properties which face Highland and 44th. Interestingly, the properties on the opposite side facing 44th Street are quite a bit less deep than those facing Highland.
This photo from 1928 shows the properties and 44th Street as they are now. So, if 44th Street really did extent straight north, it would have had to be some time before then.
Here is an edited photo with an indication of where the road would have been.
I’ve also been told that Brazilian peppertrees, of which there were two in my yard and which are abundant in the back yards of those in this area of Highland Ave, were orginally planted to keep the former dirt roadway clear of growth from other plants, as the peppertree’s seeds fall to the ground and poison the dirt so no other plants are able to grow.
We started finding artifacts when we removed the large Brazilian peppertrees at the far west end of our yard when we purchased our home in 2013. Since then, each time we plant a new plant or dig for some reason out in the far west end of our property, we always come away with new treasures.
I’ve begun documenting each artifact we’ve found and doing a little research on each item. Below are the treasures (and trash in some cases) we’ve uncovered.
ITEM 1: Cast-Iron Ball
1 pound, ~2 inches in diameter
Could be a cannon ball since the dimensions are near identical to that of a 1-pounder solid shot cannon ball (reference: http://www.civilwarartillery.com/shottables.htm).
The Mexican-American War, which took place from 1846-1848, had a major battle near what is now Ramona. Perhaps this is a cannon ball from that time period, or perhaps it’s just a mill-ball or shot put ball, or a paper weight!
See my inquiry about this item on treasurenet.com here: http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/what/548612-metal-ball.html#post5482249
UPDATE: Based on feedback from the nice folks over on treasurenet.com, it seems very likely this is, in fact, a 1-Pounder caliber cannonball, from the Colonial Era into the early-1800s.
ITEM 2: 1950’s Auburn Rubber Co., Toy Rubber Knife
7.5 inches long
Labelled “Auburn Rubber Company, Made in U.S.A.”
ITEM 3: 1950’s Diecast Metal Cap Gun
5.5 inches long
This mini cap gun is a knock off of the Hubley cap gun and was manufactured by The Greencraft Co., Inc. out of Jersey City.
ITEM 4: Jaw Bone
Likely from deceased opossum
4 inches long
ITEM 5: Metal Drain Stop
1.5 inches in diameter with 10 inch metail chain
ITEM 6: Metal Drain Grate
3.5 inches in diameter
ITEM 7: 1950’s Domes of Silence Furniture Glide
1.5 inches in diameter
Labelled “Domes of Silence – Insulated”
Here are a couple photos of what this may have looked like new.
ITEM 8: Stove-Top Knob
2 inches in diameter
Plastic and metal
ITEM 9: Marble
ITEM 10: Dairy Cow Ear Tag
Labelled “1180” on front, “Breedyk Dairy” on back.
A newspaper article from 1985 shows a Breedyk Dairy that was located in Chino, CA and had been in business since around 1955. (Click for full article.)
ITEM 11: Glass Bird-Shaped Wind Chime Piece
ITEM 12: Blue Plastic and Brass Dart
Labelled “Made in England”
Here’s a photo of a what the set likely looked like.
ITEM 13: Owens-Illinois Glass Co. Amber Glass Bottle
Approx. 1.75 inches tall
Labelled with Owens-Illinois Glass Co. logo and “2.” (numeral two plus dot)
Likely produced in 1942
See page 11 here for dating information which as stated in the document does not necessarily apply to a bottle this size, so may not be accurate.
ITEM 14: Hexagon Shaped Clear Glass Dura-Gloss Nail Polish Bottle
2.5 inches tall
Labelled “U.S. PAT D 110034 9..”
Art Deco embossing of triangle shapes on the sides
My initial research showed that though the shape is flawed, the bottle features raised embossing and a distinct vertical side mold seam as well as a screw thread top (for a screw cap) which means this bottle was machine manufactured sometime after 1920.
Searching the patent number yielded this result from someone else who found a similar bottle. It turns out the bottle was a nail polish bottle produced from 1938-1947.
Another person who found a similar bottle: http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/what/132713-goggles-bottle.html
ITEM 15: Petrified Wood
That’s my best guess at least.
ITEM 16: Tiles
Labelled “Pomona Made in U.S.A. U.S. Pat. No. 1694665”
These were actually discovered in our crawl space. We think they are scraps thrown down through the floor when at some point a former owner of the home was having the bathroom, or maybe kitchen, tiled.
Pomona Tile Manufacturing Company in Pomona, CA was a premier tile maker in the 1950s. I found a number of online resources about the company.
This article (http://asitwasarchitecture.blogspot.com/2012/07/complete-1954-pomona-tile-manufacturing.html) shows their 1954 catalog including color chart where you can see the color of the tiles we found.
This article (http://paulmccobb.blogspot.com/2011/06/pomona-tiles-distinguished-designer.html) discusses the “Distinguished Designer” series which featured designs from Paul McCobb, Saul Bass, and other famous contemporary designers of the time.
This article (http://retrorenovation.com/2014/07/28/vitnage-pomona-tile-viewmaster/) has a wonderful find of a collection of View-Master reels that showcase Pomona tiles.
The patent number relates to the tile design: https://www.google.com/patents/US1694665
That’s it for now, but I’ll continue to update this post as we uncover more buried treasures!
Have some treasures of your own to share? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your Talmadge discoveries with our neighbors!