Featured The Orangeburg Story

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by lordmarcovan, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. heavycam.monstervam

    heavycam.monstervam Outlaw Trucker & Coin Hillbilly

    I always thought 3rd shift at a hotel meant watching movies and taking naps behind the desk, or better yet, taking naps in the closest available room by the desk.
    Certainly not much action after midnight(?)
    Just the occasional check-in for drunken infidelity? I bet you have some stories !
    I would probably look people up on facebook & then blackmail them:woot:
    lordmarcovan likes this.
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  3. Dave Waterstraat

    Dave Waterstraat dave700x

    Will there be a sequel or maybe a prequel...:woot:
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Tuesday night is supply inventory night. Lots of other random chores arose this particular night, too. Then it got busy towards the end of the shift and oh - here come the tax exempt people who drop their tax forms on you at checkout, instead of up front like they're supposed to. Surprise! Now you have to manually adjust off a week's worth of taxes. Oh, but they also booked through a third party, so they're paying Expedia and Expedia is paying us. Naw, that doesn't complicate things at all! Did I mention the credit card server is down again?

    Oh, and while you're dealing with all that, you have three other people at the desk trying to check out, one is disputing his rate, and someone in the West Wing has a clogged toilet and wants a plunger, which is in a closet in the opposite wing. And you're still the only person on duty in the entire hotel because the AM shift won't arrive for another hour or so. And the pool deck and patio still have to be picked up and put back in order because the the drunks and cigar jerks trashed it. And then the shift recap has to be sent out. And the wakeup calls done - manually. And the office trash emptied.

    I am the sole person on duty overnight and run an 85-room four-star hotel singlehandedly. It's not some 30-room motel.

    In the last hotel I worked in (a 200-room beach resort), I used to love it when people would ring my bell and I'd come out front and they'd say, "Oh, I'm sorry, did I wake you up?"

    Lady, I've got four and a half hours of spreadsheets to do before I can even run my audit in the property management system, let alone send it all to Corporate and be sure it's balanced. And it's not like I wasn't interrupted 12-15 times by drunk wedding party idiots and I'm also the switchboard operator and getting reservation calls. You think I have time for beauty rest? You've watched too many movies if you think all I have to do is watch movies and nap.

    (Actually, I do get plenty of sweet, sweet downtime for Internetting on most nights, though there has never, ever been any napping, and who's gonna answer the phone and man the desk if I go off to sleep in some room? You must be kidding.)

    Yeah, it is usually peaceful and mostly easy where I work now. And the audit is way easier here. Most nights I can finish my work and be on CoinTalk by 3:00 or 4:00 AM, and just do wakeup calls and checkouts.

    But some nights I actually work all night... at work.

    Imagine that.
    Paul M., Evan8, dwhiz and 3 others like this.
  5. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    What do you do with all that free time?;)
  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Merge threads about ugly, damaged modern coins posted by people who think they've found million-dollar errors and so felt the need to create two if not three threads about the same coin. ;)
    Paul M., ldhair, Theodosius and 4 others like this.
  7. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    I've only got two of them, Ken, and I lost a lot of sleep while they were growing up. Twins, you know.

    lordmarcovan and green18 like this.
  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Post #125 was the prequel.

    Sequel? Lawdamighty, I should hope not! Wasn't this train wreck of a thread enough? :hilarious:
  9. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on Supporter

    Until you have been through a hurricane, you don't really understand how bad they can be. I was born and raised in southern California but as an adult I have been through probably three... a couple on the outer banks of NC, and one in Hawaii. The first one I unwisely joined a Hurricane drinking party before it came near. Caution... don't do that, it does not take away anxiety or give you bravery in a storm and it makes you sick when you shouldn't be. I have also sandbagged for hurricanes and spent time in a shelter for one. Others I rode out in my home or at friends. And the time to beware is also afterwards, because people die from heart attacks clearing trees, etc or thru other accidents brought on by damage. I did not have Hugo, but I heard it did a lot of damage way inland throughout NC.
  10. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I lived up in the Western NC mountains in 1989, on the opposite end of the state and thousands of feet above sea level, and there were downed trees and flooding even up there. That's pretty unusual.

    Why am I not asleep yet?

    Just had a shot of Nyquil. Nice knowin' y'all.

    Evan8, Theodosius, green18 and 3 others like this.
  11. heavycam.monstervam

    heavycam.monstervam Outlaw Trucker & Coin Hillbilly

    I stay at Wyndham hotels, 2-3 nights a week 6 months out of the year. (Not beachfront resorts) some of the hotels are pretty big.
    Upper peninsula Mi, there is a guy that watches TV and naps on the couch out in the lobby all night. In Wisconsin there is a man from India who's a telemarketing representative on the side while he's also manning the front desk at the same time.
    Thats what i call a go-getter !!
  12. Dave Waterstraat

    Dave Waterstraat dave700x

    I just had a Johnny Cash pop into my head while reading your post...I guess I'm kinda quirky at times...:wacky:

  13. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator


    The homeowner Dave looks down at the bottom of the box where the broken jar lies. He sees that it is spilling out gold coins, and that the other unbroken jars also appear to be full of them as well.

    He picks one of the coins up. Despite having lain in the muck at the bottom of the strongbox for one and a quarter centuries, it shines as brightly as the day it was made, and appears to have very little wear or evidence of circulation on it.

    Delirious and in a giddy state of shock, he grabs up each of the jars, unscrews their lids, and pours out their coin contents into a wooden box which he has lined with a towel.

    They are all United States Liberty Head gold pieces.

    A few are tiny little gold dollars which amaze him, as he has never seen one before, but most are $2.50 quarter-eagles and $5.00 half-eagles. There are only six or eight $10.00 eagles and four $20.00 double-eagles. And there is one $3.00 gold piece, which strikes him as quite unusual indeed. Like the gold dollars, it features the portrait of a lady wearing an odd feathered headdress which sort of - but not quite - resembles an Indian war bonnet. He will later hear this design referred to as an "Indian Princess", though the lady on the coin looks nothing like a Native American.

    He does not notice the mintmarks on the coins, being a non-collector, but later, when the treasure is inventoried, it will be noted that many of the coins are from Southern branch mints like Charlotte (North Carolina),
    Dahlonega (Georgia), and New Orleans (Louisiana). The Charlotte and Dahlonega coins are particularly rare, since those mints operated for such a relatively short time, and he has the remarkable good fortune to have found a hoard of them in unusually high grades of preservation.

    Most of the Southern gold in the hoard grades Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated, not that these distinctions mean anything to Dave. There are plenty of Uncirculated pieces as well, though few of the Southern mint coins are Mint State examples. Only a few coins from the broken jar have orange colored deposits from the rusted iron of the box they lay buried in. The rest are bright and pristine despite their long burial.

    The most worn coin in the hoard looks like this 1842-D half-eagle from Dahlonega.

    Ex-Lord Marcovan Eclectic Box collection

    Dave notices that one of the quarter-eagles has a slightly different Liberty head and eagle, though it has essentially the same design as the later coins. He sees the letter "C" above the date, which he will later learn is the mark of the short-lived mint at Charlotte, North Carolina, which closed in 1861 due to the outbreak of the Civil War. This coin is the earliest dated gold piece in the box. It is dated 1839, which happens to have been only the second year the Charlotte Mint was in operation. A coin dealer will later inform him that this type is called a "Classic Head", and its grade of preservation as well as the Charlotte mintmark makes it rare and valuable indeed.

    Image credit: coinfacts.com

    But the lone $3.00 gold piece later turns out to be the most valuable single coin in the box, as it happens to be a great rarity. It was struck in 1854 and bears the "D" mintmark of the equally short-lived Dahlonega mint. It also happens to have been from the only year Dahlonega struck $3.00 pieces. And since no $3.00 pieces were struck at Charlotte, it is the only Southern branch mint $3.00 gold piece ever made, with the exception of the 1854-O coins from New Orleans. Despite a few small marks, it just makes Uncirculated status, and will later receive a grade of MS60 when it is professionally certified, not that Dave will know this, or have any inkling of what the grade numbers mean.


    Image credit: coinfacts.com

    The hoard is purchased from Dave for an undisclosed sum by an anonymous consortium of three wealthy private collectors and a dealer who represents their interests. This consortium of buyers operates in the utmost secrecy, and Dave never meets them, doing business only with the dealer. He signs a non-disclosure agreement, so the sale proceeds without fanfare or publicity. The coins are held for several years before the ones that get resold are trickled out into the numismatic marketplace one and two at a time, over a period of many years. But many go directly into the collections of the elite buyers and are not seen on the market for a generation or more.

    Dave keeps just a few of the more common gold coins. He has one of the gold dollars mounted into a ring for himself, and two others are mounted in earrings for his wife. One of the $5.00 half-eagles also gets mounted in a pendant that she will keep for the rest of her life, and wear on dressier occasions.

    Because of the secrecy, Dave does not know how much profit the consortium will make from the subsequent resale of much of the treasure, but he does not mind that. After all, he and his family are to become financially secure for the rest of their lives. Not only will he have the money to repair the hurricane damage to the roof of his house, but the entire mortgage on his property will be paid off. And Dave's children's college educations are assured. Furthermore, there will be trust money for them and Dave's future grandchildren and heirs, some of which will be invested wisely and some of which will be squandered.

    Though the riches from the strongbox do not solve all of their problems, they will for the most part all live reasonably well for the rest of their days.


    There is an oak grove on one side of Dave's property which contains many large, old trees that survived the storm. On certain moonlit nights, the ghost of Colonel Isaac Culpepper can be seen galloping through the grove on a spectral steed. Beneath the largest of the oaks, the phantom horse leaps, and its rider's head disperses into grey mist as it touches a large limb on the tree.

    Despite occasional headlessness, Culpepper's ghost is is a peaceful spirit, since he knows that his onetime earthly fortune ended up enriching several generations of a good family, instead of being wasted in a futile and tragic war.

    So they all live happily ever after - even the ones who are no longer living.

    ~ THE END ~
  14. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Well, so there you have it, folks. The much-belabored story of the Orangeburg Hoard. Dragged out into Thursday morning when it should have been just a short series of a few posts on the weekend. What can I say? I was having fun with it, rough-hewn though it is.

    Which brings us to the...


    This is a work of fiction, but there is some tiny basis of fact (or at least real-world hearsay) that planted the seed of this story in my imagination after I first heard about it 24 years ago.
    • In 1994, an Asheville, North Carolina coin dealer told me the story of a gold coin hoard that had been found.
    • This hoard was supposedly found in the vicinity of Orangeburg, South Carolina around 1989, in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Hugo.
    • The hoard supposedly contained a number of Charlotte and Dahlonega gold coins in high grades like AU and even Mint State.
    • No details were given about the quantity of coins in the hoard, nor was there any information about their specific dates and mintmarks.
    • The details were mostly lacking because the buyers did not want any publicity, as it was apparently feared that the property owner might object if he saw the price of the coins multiplied greatly after they were resold. But the property owner was of course handsomely compensated.
    • The dealer who told me the story apparently had some inside knowledge of the sale of some of the coins, though he was not necessarily involved in any of those transactions.
    • If I remember correctly, the hoard was just being sold for the (second?) time, and perhaps being dispersed - quietly - at the time I heard about it in 1994.
    And that's about it, really.

    How would you imagine the Orangeburg Hoard?

    What dates and types would you put in that strongbox?

    It's fun to daydream about, isn't it? :)

    Anyway, thanks for reading all of this. I had fun with it, as you can probably tell.

  15. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    We have some civil war era headstones in our church cemetery. I believe there may be a Headstone for a Colonel Beauregard Culpepper if I am not mistaken.;)
  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    That was Isaac's uncle Bo.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  17. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Speaking of churches in your state, here is one I would LOVE to metal detect. I didn't - it would probably be impossible to get permission to do so- but I visited it (coincidentally in 1994) and was quite swept away in the aura of the place, which is eerie and beautiful at the same time.

    And here, closer to where I live, is another old church that was burned by the British in the Revolution (but rebuilt in the 1790s). It is another wonderful old place. I made one of my more interesting coin finds outside the crumbling brick walls of the old cemetery - a find far more ancient than the very old colonial site itself. But I wasn't detecting there that day- in fact, I didn't even have my machine with me. I was just there to stroll and take photos. It's amazing what you can just pick up off the ground sometimes!
    Theodosius likes this.
  18. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I been to the old Sheldon church on a number of occasions. The place is exactly what your mind envisions when you think of 18th-19th century ruins. To a history buff like me I am just in awe when I walk the place. Thing is though, it is right on the main thoroughfare to Hilton Head. It is a popular place for weddings and get togethers as well as the late night adventure seeking crowd. I would venture to say the place has seen far more traffic in the 20th & 21st centuries than it ever did in it's prime. Detecting the place would be a nightmare I believe. An education in beer tab development through the years would be the result of an afternoon's detecting....... How does an ancient Roman coin show up in the heart of Georgia? That has to be one of life's great mysteries!
    Theodosius and lordmarcovan like this.
  19. Theodosius

    Theodosius Unrepentant Fine Style Freak! Supporter

    Wow, great story LM, one of the best on CoinTalk!

    How is this not a featured thread?

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  20. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Thanks, but I'm not gonna feature my own thread. Will leave that up to the other mods and admins.

    Besides, it's kind of a mess. Was a fun little exercise, though. :)
  21. dwhiz

    dwhiz Collector Supporter

    Here's the grave of Ben Franklin Ben Franklin 001a.JPG Ben Franklin 003.JPG
    Pickin and Grinin and BRandM like this.
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