TQ Newsletter May 2009


Well-Known Member

The hunt is on! We have seen just about everyone get out in April and the finds have been coming in! I have selected a new members find as the Featured Thread for this months newsletter.

With so much having happened over the last month, it has been difficult to keep up with all the activity on the site. Having said that, you will need to excuse me if I missed a major event or find from the past month! I will always encourage people to help by submitting, nominating or suggesting any thread event or feature they think should be placed in the newsletter.

I attempted to sell tee-shirts for folks to have as they went out hunting this season and it proved to be quite a popular fashion item, even in these difficult times. We sold 17 shirts and I learned a lot about the business of selling tee-shirts. It was fun to be able to send a nice memento of TQ for folks to wear their TQ pride proudly!

As the temperature warms, we are seeing the birds migrate back north and Tinman has made it safely back to PA and begins yet another chapter of his life. BDAHunter moved into his new digs and shared some spectacular views with us. Metalman made it back to the states after a very hospitable stay with Anne in England. He could not seem to keep himself out of mischief it seems, and was nearly caught attempting to enter Stonehenge to do some detecting there. The site has seen the addition of some wonderful new members who are of all levels of experience and from all parts of the world.

The TQ Spring Hunt is all set for the weekend of June 5th, just a month away! This one sounds like it will be even larger than last year’s successful hunt with even more TQers in attendance. Hats off to Mr. Silver for bringing this all together!

The TQ Auction Area has a new look and promises to be easier to use. People who wish to either buy or sell will need to register, even if you were registered at the old auction site. I believe that you will find that this new Auction Site will be easier and a lot more active! TQ Auction

I continue to hear reports on members seeing other detectorists not filling holes. Please try to always leave a site as you left it. We are seeing more and more towns and cities banning metal detecting and I will submit that this is a direct result of the few who leave their holes unfilled. People often ask what they can do to prevent places from being closed to metal detecting……here is one very definite way you can help! Help save the hobby!

Florida's Indian Key

Jacob Houseman, of Staten Island, bought Indian Key, a small, rocky island to seaward of the head of Lower Matecumbe to establish a base of operation for his salvage business. It was an ideal location, being within a day's sail of all the treacherous reefs that comprise the Florida Keys.

A war with the Seminole Indians was raging on the Florida Peninsula and Houseman thought the area was far enough from the mainland to be safe.

The 10 acre island thrived and quickly became the largest town for hundreds of miles. For twenty years it grew to have over a dozen homes, a hotel, carpenter shed, boatyard, warehouse, in total, some 40 structures dotted the island by 1840.

Lignum Vitae Key, to the north and much more fertile, became the garden for the community.


Houseman's mansion stood in the center of Indian Key, and to the northwest was that of Charles Howe, trader, postmaster and customs officer, each surrounded by well-planted grounds, with rows of slave quarters. Nearby was Howe's store and on the northeast shore were the carpenter and blacksmith's shops, with 3 large wharves to seaward, along with a large warehouse. On the same shore, farthest from the sea was a house assigned to Doctor Henry Perrine, physician and botanist, who arrived with his family in 1838, and whose son, Henry E., then 12, wrote of the events on Indian Key.


Indian Key today

Life was quite pleasant and very active for the small tight-knit community and disaster seemed very far away in August of 1840, but on the 7th of that month, it came.

The two carpenters were the first to be stirred from their slumber at 2 in the morning by some strange noise and looked out their window to see 17 Indian dugouts had landed on the beach. They hurried out to warn the community but it was already too late, the Indians were already in position and, when they saw the two carpenters emerge, they began their attack.

Pandemonium followed. With Indians already at every door, the residents made no resistance and ran to hide as best they could, every house for itself. The night echoed with shouts and screams, gunshots and the sound of breaking glass. Soon the scene was lit by fires set in the houses.

The two carpenters dashed into an empty house and hid in the attic until the looting stopped at dawn and with the house on fire, ran through the flames and escaped. The Mort family, father, mother, grandmother and two children were found, and dragged out. The children were killed first, then the mother and father died in each other's arms. The grandmother escaped and hid in a bathhouse on the wharf until the raid was over.

The Howes reached a boat and rowed out to their schooner and sailed to the military fort at Teatable. Henry Goodyear (brother of Charles, the inventor of vulcanized rubber), hid in a cupola until dawn and survived the attack. He was able to view much of the mayhem that went on throughout the night

Henry E, his mother and sisters hid in a tunnel that led under the house to the sea up to their necks in water. Next to them was a cage of turtles whose splashing got the attention of on Indian who lifted the trap door to see what made the noise. Luckily he did not notice the Perrines standing next to the cage. His father did not fare as well and ha gone up to the second floor to speak to the Indians and buy his and family time. It cost him his life and his bones were discovered in the ashes of the house later.

By morning, it was over. The Attackers had left with their loot and abandoned the key. They killed 7 residents, 3 of whom were children.

The Federal troops arrived although not in sufficient numbers or in time to pursue the attackers. They rescued survivors and took them to Teatable Key.

The complete history of the attack on the town is one of fear, suffering and sacrifice. It was not a major
incident but it changed many lives forever and destroyed the once prosperous settlement at Indian Key.

Jacob Houseman, who was away that fateful night, met his end less than a year later. One source says he was crushed between two boats, another, in a dispute over cargo from a wreck. There used to be a marble marker on Indian Key, erected by his wife.

Indian Key later had a US Navy Hospital and various other buildings added during and after the Civel War.

There is more information on Indian Key on the web. It is a Florida State Park and access is by private or chartered vessel from the nearby marinas,

Also, if you have news or have written a Metal Detecting article that you would like to share with the membership, please contact the Admin!

To read the Treasure Quest Newsletter Online go here: TQ Newsletter Online

This newsletter is sponsored by Ron at Windy City Detector Sales, Kellyco Detectors & TC Detectors.
Please visit them for all your detecting needs.