Cheatham County Diggers’ Nick Humphrey has acquired quite the following through his efforts in unearthing and preserving pieces of local history otherwise buried. His metal detecting-popularity was evident on April 11 during the highly-attended Cheatham County Historical and Genealogical Association’s Spring Social where Humphrey was the guest speaker and presenter.
“I was so amazed at the turnout,” Humphrey said, who estimates over one hundred people in attendance at his second appearance at the CCHGA’s annual event where he proudly displayed over 100 artifacts found in Cheatham County soil.
“It was awesome seeing so many people interested in what I do.”
Humphrey, who spends over 30 hours a week detecting, began the hobby a decade ago; he established Cheatham County Diggers in 2015 with the plan of helping his community preserve unique pieces of its history.
Some exciting finds over the past years include a rare Hopalong Cassidy pocket knife, a dog tag from 1954, a 1960s Boy Scout knife, a 1893 Remington single-shot rifle, a 1923 polio campaign pin, and countless old coins.
During a 2018 dig at the site of the old Link School on Thomasville Road, quite a bit of local history was recovered. The original steeple, possibly the door lock for the school, an unbroken milk bottle, a mule hitch, square-head nails, the top of a pot- bellied stove, a pair of child’s glasses from around 1910, a lantern top, and a piece of an original desk were found.
As a service to the county’s history and its residents, Humphrey donates everything he finds, barring what landowners choose to keep themselves, to the CCHGA. Many of his findings can be viewed in the museum located below the Cheatham County Public Library.
In the near future, Humphrey plans to revisit the old Link School and branch out to an old Civil War site near Murfreesboro and an old train station located in Cumberland Furnace.